Should you move to Substack?

published11 months ago
1 min read

Good afternoon Reader,

It's been in all the news lately:

So what's the right platform to go to? If you don't want to rely on platform algorithms or ads, where can you write?

Many writers have been talking about Substack. Many writers are already on Substack! I subscribe to two amazing Substack writers myself (Today in Tabs and Garbage Day).

Substack, for those of you who don't know, is a subscription-based newsletter model. For example, say I run a model like this:

  • I write 3x per week for free subs
  • I write 1x per week ONLY for paying subs
  • I have 6k subs
  • I have 100 paying subscribers
  • I charge $5 per month for my premium content
  • I earn ($5 x 100) - 13% (Substack's cut and payment processing fees) = $4535per month

Pretty great, right? And the really nice thing is that you earn more money for the same work as long as you keep getting subscribers.

So why not move to Substack straight away?

  • You need to have a mechanism for growing free and paid subs. Substack's recommendation algorithm is in its infancy, and as we know, you can't rely on algos.
    • This means you need an audience somewhere else you can funnel towards your Substack. You need a Twitter (groan), Medium, YouTube, or existing blog.
  • You need to be happy to market yourself. People won't always sign up just because they love you.
    • Platforms allow you to get paid without doing any marketing.
    • On Substack, you need to say, "Hey, I think you should pay me $5 a month for my awesome content." That can be tough!
  • Substack has its own issues -- content moderation is a real issue, and they've run into controversy with their Substack Pro program.

And there's another option, too: Ghost. Ghost offers a lot of the same features as Substack, but with more customization and more geared towards creators of all kinds (video, podcast, etc). It's a little trickier to get set up, but it's worth considering too.

If you've been thinking about starting a subscription-based writing model, then you should watch this video:

In it, I compare:

  • Ghost and Substack head to head
  • Substack features and benefits
  • Ghost features and benefits
  • Substack's controversies, and potential reasons you SHOULDN'T go on Substack

I can't wait to hear what you think!

Happy writing,


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