How Jack Rhysider’s Darknet Diaries Podcast Gets 300,000 Downloads Per Episode

Would you like 300,000 downloads per episode? Are you willing to work for three weeks to get media exposure in 2% of the outlets you contact? Are you willing to work for months on your first episodes and ask others to give you HONEST feedback on your show? Are you willing to ask questions that might potentially show you that your show is boring? Jack has, and he has created a great show. Today on episode 758 of the School of Podcasting I have the honor of looking into how Jack has grown his Darknet Diaries podcast.

Jack was looking for a podcast about hackers/hacking and couldn't find any (especially in a narrative format). The solution? Create the podcast YOU want to hear and see if anyone else would be interested in listening to your podcast.

Where Did He Come From?

Jackson had been blogging for eight months at was getting 20,000 visitors a month when he launched his podcast. He had a fair amount of people following him on twitter. He knew his space, and what people wanted to hear. He knew the influencers in his space and knew who to contact for potential exposure and partnerships.

Jack's Best Marketing Tools

Jack's best asset is his attitude. He embraced feedback in the pursuit of not just making a good podcast but making a great podcast. In today's episode, you will hear Jackson state that, “People will turn off a good podcast to listen to a great podcast.” So many people are looking for some automated tool, some magic switch to flip to get boatloads of downloads. Jack realized the best tool was right in front of him: his audience. All you have to do is feed the audience with great content and it will promote your show to everyone they know.

When Do You Start a Patreon Campaign?

For Jack, this decision was easy. When the fifth person asked him, “Hey, how do I give you money?” He knew it was time to open a Patreon. As of this writing, his Patreon now brings in 14,668 a month. He found that most of the top people on Patreon:

  • Have podcasting a while
  • Offer bonus content

For more Patreon insights and other monetization strategies check out my Book Profit From Your Podcast: Proven Strategies to Turn Listeners into Livelihood.

Rating And Reviews DO NOTHING in Regards to Rankings in Apple

Jack called podcast “promoters” in Bangladesh to understand how the Apple Charts (as these people were being hired to hack and cheat the charts). He found again proved what I've been saying for years, “Rating and reviews do nothing in regards to Apple chart placement.” It's all about subscribers and the total number of downloads in a period of time.

NOTE: Please quit saying, “Rate and review us – it helps us get found.” 

When You Deliver Value, You Don't Feel Weird Asking For Value In Return

When you've gone to the lengths that Jack has to make great content, it will feel strange at first requesting people to support you. However, has had been told by his listeners that in some cases one listener has told forty people about the Darknet Diaries. It's obvious you are delivering value in that instance, so don't stop your audience from supporting you in return.

Jack Rhysider's Favorite Marketing Books

Make Noise: A Creator's Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable – Seth Godin
Gary Vaynerchuk
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth -Gabriel Wineberg
Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, And Build a Successful Business – Pat Flynn
Dave added: Will it Fly Pat Flynn

Connect with Jack

Darknet Diaries

Lime.Link Podcast Blog

Jack's Patreon Page

Dog Podcast Network Final Week Before Launch

The Dog Podcast Network is launching a new show on their network called “Dog Edition” and today we talk with James Jacobson about the final preparations. You can earn money sharing stories that include dogs.


00:03:34 How Many Downloads Does Jack Get
00:04:44 Jack's Launch
00:07:04 Jack Sent Out a Survey
00:08:03 What Part is Boring?
00:08:37 Why Did You Use a Survey?
00:10:01 Negative Feedback
00:10:30 Do have any kind of focus group?
00:10:59 How do you find these stories?
00:12:58 Your Podcast On Auto Pilot
00:15:03 How did your early listeners find you?
00:16:36 10,000 Stickers in a day
00:17:30 Reaching Out to the Media
00:20:10 How long did this strategy take?
00:21:33 How Long Had You Been Blogging?
00:22:34 Secret Weapon: Your Attitude
00:23:06 Marketing Strategies
00:23:57 Early Monetization
00:25:32 How Long Did it Take to Go Full Time
00:26:16 How Did You Grow Your Numbers
00:26:54 Don't Gloss Over Your Ask
00:27:16 How Did You Know It Was Time to Start a Patreon?
00:27:56 Deep Dive Into Patreon
00:32:20 Using Castbox as a Benchmark
00:34:29 The Curiosity Headline Approach
00:37:52 He Has Good Descriptions
00:40:03 A Deep Dive Into The Apple Charts
00:43:20 Favorite Marketing Books
00:45:49 Is there any Downside to a large audience?
00:48:57 Jack Got Tracked
00:50:53 Meeting Fans With Divulging Your Identity
00:51:51 Advice For Wanna Be Podcasters
00:56:19 Dog Podcast Network
01:02:02 Please Share The Show

Mentioned In This Episode

Graphtreon – See how much people are making on Patreon

What Was That Like? Podcast

Dave's Patreon Page

Episode on Podcast Surveys

Castbox app

Subscribe to the School of Podcasting Podcast (free)

School of Podcasting Affiliate Program

Podcast Rodeo Show

Podcast Review Show

Podcast Consulting

Join the School of Podcasting

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
2 comments on “How Jack Rhysider’s Darknet Diaries Podcast Gets 300,000 Downloads Per Episode
  1. Looks like his blog is broken! That’s a shame, because it sounds like a must subscribe to blog for podcasters.

  2. A better link for Jack’s podcasting blog –

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