The ultimate guide to growth, engagement and monetisation on Fountain

How do I grow my audience? How do I build community? How do I monetise? Whether you've just launched your podcast or you've already been in the podcasting game for a little while, you're probably looking for answers to at least one of these questions. You're in the right place.
On Fountain, your podcast is powered by a community of supporters who will spread the word so that you can focus on creating amazing audio content. Our suite of powerful social tools features help you start a chain reaction that inspires exponential audience growth while fostering connection with your listeners. Fountain also makes monetisation simple from day one by giving listeners an easy way to support their support by integrating payments into the user experience. In this guide we will cover everything you need to know to get started with Fountain and share tips from podcasters who are getting the most out of our tools. Skip to the section you're looking for below or keep scrolling to read more.
Create your Fountain account
How to set up your profile and make it official
Claim your podcast
How to set up your podcast to receive payments from listeners on Fountain and other apps
Set up your splits
How to add co-hosts, guests and contributors to your show and episode splits
Tell your listeners about Fountain
How to ask your audience to listen and support on Fountain
Read out comments from supporters
How to generate better engagement and increase your earnings by reading out Boost messages
Create clips (and ask your listeners to)
How to get your podcast discovered by new listeners by creating clips on Fountain
Create a playlist for first time listeners
How to give new listeners the best possible introduction to your podcast
Start a promotion on Fountain
How to supercharge your growth by starting your first Fountain Promotion
Go live
How to fuel super-fandom by live-streaming your podcast on Fountain
step 1

Create your Fountain account

We will begin with a bit of housekeeping to get your Fountain account set up for success.
Download the app and create an account
Fountain is available for free on iOS and Android. After installing the app, you will be asked for an email address so we can create a wallet for you.
Choose your username
Make sure you change your profile name from the default username we give you when you create an account so people know it's you. It's up to you whether you set your username as your real name, your alias or the title of your podcast.
Choose your profile image
This is another important step to make sure that people know it's you. Your profile image and your username will be seen next to your comments, clips and playlists - as well as in your splits.
Update your bio
Give Fountain users some more information about you and your podcast(s).
Add a link to your website
Got a website, store, social media profile or affiliate link you want to send people to? This is your opportunity to highlight it.
step 2

Claim your podcast

When you claim your podcast on Fountain, we create a "value block" for your podcast. This allows you to start receiving payments from listeners on Fountain and other Podcasting 2.0 apps. The money simply gets sent from their Fountain wallet to yours over the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Claiming your podcast on Fountain also offers podcasters a range of other powerful features like splits (which allow you to share income with other people), transcripts (which are made available to your listeners on Fountain for free) and promotions (which help you reach new audiences in the Fountain app). Fountain is not a podcast hosting platform, so you will need to make sure your podcast is already hosted on a public RSS feed. If you have not yet started your podcast, we recommend that you choose a podcast hosting service that supports Podcasting 2.0 features, but any podcast hosting service will do.
Search for your podcast
You should be able to find your podcast by searching on the Fountain app or website. If you can't find your podcast, you will need to add it to PodcastIndex (the podcast library Fountain uses to populate the app with new episodes). All you need to provide is the URL for your RSS feed. After waiting a few minutes, it will be added to PodcastIndex and it will appear in Fountain.
Verify the email address in your RSS feed
Hosting services include an email address into your RSS feed so that you can verify you are the owner, however some will hide this to prevent spam. You will need to make sure your email address is being displayed in your RSS feed to claim your podcast on Fountain. To check if it's being displayed, go to the URL for your RSS feed, right click and choose View Page Source. You can now search the XML file for "itunes:email". If nothing shows up, log into your hosting platform and make sure your email is being displayed.
Once you have claimed your podcast in the app, the next time you open it you will see a card in your Wallet under Podcast Income. Tap on this to go to your Show and under the Income tab you will see your support stats. Listeners can now support you on Fountain and other Podcasting 2.0 apps!
step 3

Set up your splits

Once you have set up splits for your podcast, you can share income with everyone involved in your podcast. Whenever a listener supports your podcast, it gets divided and distributed to everyone listed in the splits. You can add other Fountain users to your show splits so that or customise your splits for a specific episode. When a users has been added as a split, they will get a card in their Fountain wallet so they can see all the payment and comments. Here are some ideas on who you can add.
Team members
Many podcasts are a team effort and would not be possible without help from co-hosts, producers, writers, researches, editors or designers. Some podcasts credit their team by giving them a mention in the show notes, but why not go a step further and give them a share of the earnings? Not only does adding contributors as a split make them feel more invested in what you are creating, but it gives listeners a reason to support.
Listeners are more inclined to support a certain episode when if they know their comment will be seen by the guest and that some of the money they send will go to them. Adding guests to you splits is also a great way to thank for their time and incentivise them to share the episode on Fountain when it gets published.
Adding your fans as a split is a great way to reward them for their contributions and get them more involved. Maybe one of your listeners created an amazing clip, asked an interesting question, put you in touch with a future guest or helped you out with a technical issue. If so, this is a nice way to pay them back!
Good causes
Did you know that you can add projects to your splits as well as people? Some of the most supported podcasts on Fountain share a portion of their income with projects they are passionate about. If you would like to raise money for a cause that's close to your heart, just ask them to create an account on Fountain so you can split your income with them, or ask for the address of their lightning node.
Peter chooses to donate 20% of all income from his podcast to OpenSats' lightning node to help support open-source projects. This is a great idea, because when listeners know the money they send is going to a good cause, they are likely to be more generous with their support. He also gave himself and the team who work on the podcast an equal split of 15% each. This means that everybody who works on the podcast in fairly rewarded for their work - plus they will see all the comments from listeners.
step 4

Tell your listeners about Fountain

If you don’t let your listeners know how and why to support you on Fountain, not much will happen. Once you find the right way to do this (and do it regularly), you will quickly see your supporter numbers grow. Here are a few important points to consider when working on your pitch.
  • Consider how supporting the podcast benefits your listeners. Most listeners would agree that what matters most to them is that you continue to create exceptional content on a regular basis for a growing community of listeners to enjoy. The money and messages your supporters send give you the motivation and financial incentive to keep grinding, but they also play an important role in driving audience growth - and they want to see you succeed.
  • Explain how it works without overwhelming listeners with information. You don't need to go into detail, you just need to give a brief overview of the different ways they can support and help you grow, and that topping up their wallet and getting started is straightforward. Telling listeners that they can earn money on Fountain is a great selling point that might get their attention too!
  • Think carefully about the language you use. For example - if you ask for “tips”, you are likely to receive smaller amounts so try asking people to send an amount that reflects what the content is worth to them. Try not to confuse them with unfamiliar phrases they may not understand, such as "Podcasting 2.0", "Value for Value" and "The Lightning Network". Ultimately you know your audience better than anyone, so just put yourself in their shoes.
Add a call to action to your podcast audio
The best way to tell your listeners about Fountain is to add an audio call to action to start of the end of each episode. You might find it helpful to write a short script (30 to 60 seconds is ideal) then record it so you can drop it into every edit. Here is a tried and tested template that you can adapt as needed.
"If you're a regular listener of the podcast, there's a really easy way to show your support and help us grow. Download the Fountain app on iOS or Android, follow [your show title] and start listening. You can share your thoughts on this episode by sending a Boost (like a payment with a message) and see what other listeners have to say, or create clips of the best moments. Getting started is easy - you can top up your Fountain wallet with a bank card. Oh - and you can earn rewards just by listening on Fountain too. It's a no-brainer. Follow the link in the show notes or visit fountain.fm to learn more."
Put your Fountain link in your show notes
It's also worth putting your show link in the description for your podcast feed and each episode. You can find your show link by pressing the share button on your show page in the app.
Post your Fountain links on social media
When you release a new episode, share a link to the episode on Fountain. It's easy for Fountain users to open web links in the app, plus any listeners which aren't already using Fountain will be able to download the app from any link you share.
Add a Fountain badge to your website
If you podcast has it's own website, you can download our Listen on Fountain badges and add them to your pages.
No Agenda is a podcast about news and politics. They regularly see over 250 supporters and earn over $1000 a month on Fountain alone. How have they achieved this? Every episode they ask their listeners to support on Fountain if they’re enjoying the show. They explain very clearly that support from listeners keeps the show ad-free and allows them to keep the content coming. They also acknowledge their supporters by reading out the boost comments, which builds a strong sense of community while also reminding listeners how they can show their support.
step 5

Read out Boosts from supporters

Some of the most supported podcasts on Fountain have a regular segment in their show where they read out the top Boosts (by value) from the last episode. Reading out boost messages is highly effective because:
  • It allows your audience to participate and join the conversation which is great for building community
  • It incentivises your listeners to send more money and higher quality questions or comments
  • It creates a sense of FOMO with your regular listeners and gives them a reason to start supporting
  • It gives you an opportunity to regularly communicate how and why to support the podcast
We also recommend liking and replying to boosts in the Fountain app. Not only does this mean your podcast will be seen by more new listeners in their discover feed, it also lets listeners know that their interactions are being seen and acknowledged.
At the end of every episode, hosts Marty and Matt pick a handful of the most interesting pieces of commentary from the previous episode and read them out. They give the username of the supporter, the amount they sent and read out the message. This is great source material and sparks conversations that their supporters have initiated. Rabbit Hole Recap was the #3 most supported show on Fountain in 2022.
Some podcasters have also taken the extra step of gamifying this format within their show and giving away prizes or special accolades to their top supporters.
The Mere Mortals podcast is 100% audience funded with no ads or sponsors. Their primary goal is to reach more listeners, and hosts Kyrin and Juan recognised that high-value boosts are really effective for discovery. That's why every supporter who sends more than 100,000 sats over three episodes shows gets a free Mere Mortals shirt sent to them. Offering exclusive merch or prizes is by no means a requirement for generating interest in supporting your podcast. However, as Mere Mortals have proved, offering listeners something they can't get anywhere else in return is a great way to incentivise them to start supporting you. In 2022, they were #27 in the Fountain most supported list.
step 6

Create clips (and ask your listeners to)

Want to get your podcast discovered by new listeners? You should try creating clips on Fountain - or asking your listeners to. Clips are displayed on your show page under activity, but they will also be seen in the discover feed. You can also share clips as videos on social media to promote new episodes.
Create trailers for new episodes
When you release a new episode, create clips to tease the best soundbites. You can also share clips as eye-catching videos on social media. Make sure you include a link to the full episode when posting clips outside of Fountain!
Ask your listeners to create clips
Clips are a great way to crowdsource your podcast's growth. When your listeners create clips of your podcast, they earn money when they get liked by other users on Fountain. While only some of your listeners will be excited by this prospect, all of them will be motivated to create clips if they know that they are helping you bring in more new listeners.
Reward listeners for creating clips
Liking and replying to clips of your podcast is a great way to increase their visibility, but it also a nice way of thanking them for taking the time. As mentioned, you can also add listeners who create amazing clips to your splits.
step 7

Create a playlist for first time listeners

On Fountain you can create playlists of your favourite episodes, clips and tracks. For podcasters, this is a great opportunity to curate a selection of your best content and put it all in one place for newcomers to delve into. If you had a podcast about the NBA, you could make a playlist called "Hot takes from the NBA 2022-2023 season" and include all the best clips that you and your listeners have created from your podcast and add to it over the course of the season. You could also create a playlist for a specific category of episodes you release, for example "Inspiring interviews with NBA stars". Make sure your playlist has an attention-grabbing title that will interest your target audience. You can also share links to your playlists, so you could put these in your show notes or share them on social media.
step 8

Start a Fountain Promotion

Fountain Promotions incentivise new listeners to try out your podcast for the first time, helping you grow your audience overnight. Get your latest episodes featured in the Fountain home feed and when a user plays your promotion, they will get paid for every minute they listen. With a minimum spend of $50 and a minimum cost of $45 for 1000 listens, Fountain Promotions are accessible for podcasters on a modest budget too. Once you have claimed your podcast on Fountain, you're ready to start your first promotion. Just go to your Show page in the app, press the three-dot menu and choose Promotions. Here are some tips of setting up your first promotion.
Choose an episode
Select which episode you want to promote or select Promote Show to automatically promote your most recent episode. If choosing a specific episode, make sure it's one that a first-time listener would enjoy.
Set your budget
The higher your budget, the longer your promotion will last. The minimum is $50. 60% of your budget will be paid directly to listeners and the remaining 40% is Fountain's fee.
Set your max reward
Choose the maximum amount you want to pay per listen. The minimum is 100 sats (around $0.04). Setting a higher max reward means you will reach fewer listeners with your budget, but on the flip side it is a nice experience for the listener.
Purchase promotion
You can pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay. We will notify you by email when your promotion has been purchased. Within 24 hours of purchase, your promotion will be approved and pushed live. You can check the status of your promotion in the app.
Check your stats
See how many new listeners your promotion generated, how much budget you have remaining along with other valuable metrics.
Ian and Mandana are the hosts of the Flirting With Bitcoin podcast. Starting in December 2022, they invested a total of $1500 in Fountain Promotions and saw their audience grow exponentially. Promotions have helped them bring first-time listeners in, but Ian and his wife also remind their listeners to send a boost or create a clip to help spread the word. In June 2023, they reached 100k total downloads and have hundreds of regular supporters, with over 80% of their total audience listening on Fountain.
step 9

Live stream your podcast

While listening to a live stream is only something that perhaps only your most engaged listeners are going to do, podcasters on Fountain have found that these listeners are the most likely to go above any beyond in their support, sending larger amounts on a more regular basis. Going live is also a great engagement driver as it allows the audience to participate directly in the show as it's being recorded. Whether you're already live streaming your content on other platforms or you're new to this, making it available on Fountain is pretty straightforward if read our guide on how to start a live stream on Fountain. Make sure that you inform your listeners ahead of time when the live stream begins. Once it starts, remind your listeners to stream and Boost throughout the show. It's a good idea to read out the Boosts during the live stream or at the end.
Boostagram Ball is a music podcast by Adam Curry where you can listen to his favourite tracks and support the artists directly from the Fountain app. You can listen live to his show on Fountain, send Boost and get your message read out. It’s like drive-time radio powered by lightning.

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