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Substack Review: Is This The Best Platform for Writers?
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The internet is so full of new platforms that it can sometimes take work to keep up with them. But, in this article, we will see a Substack review. First, this platform is a real game changer regarding online publishing.
It has been a giant in journalism and personal writing since the 2000s. It may be the missing piece to your social media marketing plan. So, let’s learn a little more about Substack today and what its publishing features.
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Substack is an email newsletter platform. It has a simple interface and the ability to publish and monetize your web publications, making Substack an excellent platform for any level of writers.
For many journalists, Substack is lovely because it does not require editors and does not require ad sales to get your message out. For teachers and thought leaders, it is an excellent resource for making notes of your thoughts and then delivering them to your students.
For writers, it’s a good tool for building a portfolio by the time you meet your audience, regardless of what you want to address. And for content creators, it is an excellent way to generate revenue from the good followers you have gained on social media.
Substack is famous for its practical approach to censorship. Although they still have guidelines for publications (hate speech, no porn, harassment, etc.), Substack’s lack of gatekeeping has brought innovative journalists and controversial writers to the platform.
Better said, the software is a tools for writers that will help make it easier for anyone to publish. More than a million people pay every month for exclusive content subscriptions the Substack.
How Substack Works
The platform makes it possible to create web publications easily and quickly. Posts can be made for free or a subscription fee. There are also discussion threads, which is the feature that makes it possible to start a Twitter-style conversation among subscribing members.
Podcasts can be made, which is used a lot and allows individuals who create this medium in audio form to publish and grow their podcasts. In 2022, Substack started a test of a particular video player for creators. This shows that the potential for creation is increasing.
So the moment you get your Substack account up and running, you will realize how simple the platform is to deal with. It is literally a blank canvas where many people create amazing things.
Writers are the main attractions of Substack. When you enter the platform, you will find many journalists, thought leaders, media figures, and people who love to write. We can name a few members of the podium, including journalist Roxane Gay, Will Leitch, Heather Cox Richardson, and novelists Salman Rushdie and Chuck Palahniuk. And if you dig even deeper, you’ll find Substack for any niche:
- Jessica DeFino, a beauty business critic, delivers her industry critiques with her newsletter content, The Unpublishable.
- Trends cultures predicted and broken with Jonah and Erin Wylie’s Blackbird project.
- The TrueHoop podcast, one of the oldest in the world, does its publishing on Substack about valuable content
- Patti Smith uses the platform to publish her readings on poetry and also uses the audio feature.
Start a Substack
It’s straightforward to sign up for the platform and start publishing. If you follow these steps, you’ll get it done in minutes.
1. Define a Niche
Regardless of your web venture, this is the first step you’ll need to take for audience growth. What will your work be about, what is your type of content, and what is the topic of discussion? Planning ahead is the best way to start.
So choose whether you will write about politics, newsletters, or books. Define your audience, and find out what you can about their desires, concerns, reading habits, and anything else you need to know before you start.
2. Create Your Account
Your Substack account can be created using your email address or Twitter account. Linking with Twitter is a good option. Connecting your contacts and using your Twitter bio to highlight your newsletter is easier. So it would be perfect if you chose this option, especially if you have many Twitter followers.
3. Setting up Your Profile
You must confirm your details, such as email, address, and username. You can add a profile picture as well.
4. Creating Publications
Name your publication, summarize the subject, and certify your URL. At this point, you will need to focus on your concentration and let your creativity flow, but there is no need to worry. Changes can be made.
Make sure your summary is quality content, coherent and short, as people will be more willing to subscribe if they know what it is about.
5. Subscribe to Your Publications
If you have linked your account to Twitter and follow individuals who also have Substack, you can follow again. This is a good option because you can start a similar path of content to what you have on Twitter, and it will remind your followers that you are also on the platform.
6. Import Your Mailing List
Suppose you come to Substack from another platform like Patreon, Mailchimp, or TinyLetter. In that case, you can upload a CSV file as well as you can import your email list.
7. Add Subscribers
In this step, you can manually add your family members and friends to your new subscriber list to have a subscriber base. It may seem like a small step, but you must start somewhere. Sign up with an additional personal email address to see how your newsletter will appear to your subscribers.
8. Creating Posts
After completing your subscription, you will be directed to the dashboard, where you can create a post, a new topic, additional details or a new episode. You will notice that the interface is very straightforward. So you will have no problems writing, formatting, and publishing your first post.
Growing on Substack
The platform is more of a tool, separate from a social network. So, you’ll need to disregard your marketing promotion skills and promote your posts the old-fashioned way. Now let’s look at some tips:
Call to Action
Call-to-action copywriting will remain your best friend. That being the case, fill your jobs with footers, headers, and buttons to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter, comment on your posts, and share your content.
Put URLs on your social media pages, email list, and anywhere that allows URLs. Doing this will help you in search engine rankings so that other individuals can find you on the platform organically.
One of the critical things is to post your newsletters on your social networks. Divide your content into topics on Twitter, make screenshot highlights for Instagram, or set up Facebook integration.
Despite not reading the comments sections much in years past, Substack is perfect and thrives on discussion forums. Make comments on related posts, and Substack users will see that you’ve returned to the platform. And it’s a great way to show off your writing skills to other potential members of the community.
It doesn’t have to sound like marketing, although it is. You are asked to post as a guest on other people’s Substack, do interviews with other content creators on your own, ask people with a relevant social media account to share your posts, or pay for a sponsorship.
According to a study by Substack, with Ali Abouelatta and his First 1000 blog. Through the use of many experiments, he managed to gain more than 20,000 subscribing members in three years. Ali achieved these numbers with much effort, work, dedication, determination, and willingness to connect with his niche outside the platform. He did a lot of marketing on Discord, Quora, Slack, and WhatsApp.
Is the Platform Free?
Substack as a publisher is entirely free. You don’t have to spend to get an account; you can make your audio files and text publications without paying for storage.
The vast majority of reading publications on Substack are free. So it is up to the content creators, newsletter writer to put a value or not on their work. A creator may mix paid and free content on his page.
On average, a subscription to Substack costs $5 per month and can go up to $50 per month.
Fans can also subscribe and be a founding members, this enables subscribers to pay as a form of support to their favorite creators, and the platform describes this as a donation.
So this is how Substack makes money. It retains 10% fees for these subscriptions. The company uses Stripe, which charges around 2.9 in fees, plus the transaction fee of 30 cents per subscriber.
You have only one possibility to make money on Substack, and that is by selling your subscriptions. And the subscribing members like to pay a lot for premium content, which is a way to collaborate with the creators, so it is customary to earn this way on the platform. Let’s look at some crucial points to remember:
- Consistency. It is crucial to converting your casual subscribers into fans. And the best way to do this is with regular and reliable posts. And consider doing a mix of free and paid publications on weekdays. So make a schedule that really works for you.
- Generate interest. Crowding your feed with content is a good idea, but you need to make sure that everything you’re posting has a good quality and is actually good. With Substack, you don’t have editors, so you need to do the whole process yourself. That being said, think while you edit your work, “if it were me reading this post, would I find it interesting?”.
- Freedom. We know that everyone wants to build a large subscriber base, but it is essential to have content available for free. Because readers are not just looking to buy your content, and if they like your work, they will pay whatever price. So it is likely that nobody wants to pay for your content every time, so keeping a good percentage of it free is essential.Is it worth having an account on Substack?
If you stop and think of the platform as a blank page, Substack is very much worth it, and it is totally up to you and your brand, being a skill set. So if you’re looking for new ways to start marketing a service or product, it’s good to expand your strategy to include Pinterest and TikTok.
But you prefer to tell incredible stories, engage with thought leaders, and get really involved with your writing and work. In that case, there is no better option than to start publishing content with Substack.
So Substack is on a mission to help many newsletter creators, subscription-based newsletter going. On the platform, you can make some content paid and some free, and not just make subscribers pay for everything they consume.
So, being a great way to generate the economy for creators, the platform shows us how content creators can make a living online these days with subscription newsletter.
We hope this article about Substack review has been helpful and you have learned more about using the platform and its advanced features and tools.
If you are a content creator, writer, or podcaster, start using fancy features of Substack today and see how you can change your reality, working from the comfort of your home, because, with the platform, this is possible.
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Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
Join him on EcomSidekick.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this media site, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.