9 steps to going paid on Substack

1. Set up paid subscriptions. Connect your Stripe account and decide on a price. We suggest picking a price 20% higher than you normally would, and then offering a lifetime 20% discount for everyone who signs up in the early days. (We can help you do this: just email us at support@substack.com.)

2. Announce at the top of your next post that you are officially going paid and that the date of the first subscriber-only post will be [date]. Tell them the price, what paying subscribers will get, and what free signups will get. [example]

3. Keep reminding people at the top of every post until then that they should subscribe before [date] to ensure they miss nothing. Use the “Subscribe Now” button each time. (Find it in the “Buttons” dropdown list in the editor's toolbar.) [example]

4. Convey the same info in a Twitter thread. [example]

5. The day before you publish your first subscriber-only post, publish a dedicated post about the impending launch. Thank your readers for following you this far and remind them why you’re doing this. Tell them that as of tomorrow it will be mostly subscriber-only content from then on. Tease what the post will be (hopefully it has some tantalizing quality). Keep the messaging tight and use those “Subscribe Now” buttons to make it easy for people to make the payment. It would not be overkill to have one of those buttons at the top of the post and one at the bottom, and perhaps even one in the middle. [example]

6. Convey the same info in a Twitter thread. Try to get the word out in whatever other ways you can (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, gmail, press, radio, podcasts, events...)

7. Ask friends with big followings to tweet about your paid launch. It might feel shameless to do so, but if you are going to spend your shamelessness credits just once, this is the time for it. [example]

8. The next day, publish your first subscriber-only post. At the top of your post, thank everyone for subscribing early.

9. Start publishing on your new schedule. In the first free post since the introduction of subscriber-only content, remind people that they’ve been missing out on great stuff. From time to time, you should send a subscriber-only piece to the “only free signups” list a day or two later and say something like, “Here’s a taste of what subscribers get. Consider subscribing yourself! [Subscribe Now button]”