From 15 listeners to 300 MILLION: How Rob Dial became a podcast millionaire

How long does it take for a podcast to make money? Rob Dial - The Mindset Mentor
Rob Dial, host of The Mindset Mentor podcast. Image: Instagram/@robdialjr

How long does it take for a podcast to make money? How many episodes? How many hours?

These are all common questions we see and hear from budding podcasters.

Now we have the answer, thanks to one of the world’s most successful personal development and motivational podcasters, Rob Dial.

Dial’s podcast The Mindset Mentor has dominated its category on all the major podcast charts over many years.

The show has had over 300 million downloads since it was launched in 2015, with over 1,400 episodes published to date. It has turned into a multi-million dollar business for Dial, but this was no overnight success.

No shortcuts to podcast success

Dial says he’s often asked for “shortcuts” or “hacks” to creating a podcast that can generate enough revenue to replace employment income.

“There is no shortcut for hard work there aren’t shortcuts for some of the greatest things in life,” says dial.

He revealed his first three episodes – published in 2015 – had only around 15 downloads each.

But he wasn’t deterred.

“I just kept doing it because it was just a passion… I don’t know if there’s anything else I’ve loved more in my entire life than doing this and helping people and it started growing because I was passionate, I wanted to put time into it and I have not missed an episode in almost 9 years.”

How long does it take for a podcast to make money?

It takes five years for a podcast to make money. That’s if you are an unknown personality (i.e. not already a celebrity or well known thought leader) and if you are not supported by a major podcast network or media organisation.

The five year theory is based on Dial’s trajectory of success, from virtual obscurity.

He says he made no money from the Mindset Mentor podcast for around five years. But then he experience a ‘hockey stick’ moment.

“Within the first year it got to about 80,000 downloads a month and it stayed there for three years I could not break past 80 to 85,000 downloads a month,” he says.

“I was like I’m just going to keep trying to help people, then something happened and it was the podcast like 10x, 15x, in one year and it just exploded.

“It was like the hockey stick where it’s like it’s kind of growing just a teeny tiny bit and then it was just a hockey stick moment, but it took five years to get to that hockey stick moment.”

It takes time for great things to happen

Dial’s message to podcasters is “it takes time”. But as he’s experienced, this time investment could be hugely rewarding.

“It took me four years to get to four million downloads, now it (the Mindset enter podcast) does that in less than 30 days and it’s just a crazy thing to think about – that it’s gotten there and it’s grown to what it is.”

On a recent episode of the Mindset Mentor, he had this piece of advice for beginner podcasters.

“Do three episodes a week for eight years and I guarantee you you’ll figure it out.”

“If you just don’t stop, you cannot fail, because eventually you’ll figure it out. But most people don’t give themselves a long enough runway… They say ‘oh I’m going to try this for six months and then if it doesn’t work I’m going to try something else’ – they’re bouncing from one thing to another, to another, to another every six months and they never fully get the chance to be a master at something.”

“I never ever thought it would hit 300 million downloads, I could have thought I would be doing it for 30 years and still not hit 300 million downloads, but it did and I got there because of just the dedicated effort I put into it… Most people start, they get excited, and then they stop.

“If you just don’t stop you can’t lose.”

The Mindset Mentor podcast is hosted on Simplecast and available on all the major platforms. Four new 15-20 minute episodes are released each week.

Rob Dial how long does it take for a podcast to make money?

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