Bringing your Twitter followers to Substack
Tips from writers who are turning Twitter followers into Substack subscribers, taking back both their minds and control of their audience
Twitter is changing, and it's tough to predict what might be next. If you've been lucky enough to build a follower base on Twitter, and you've ever thought about forging a direct link with them that you control via email, now might be a good time to start a Substack.
We made this guide to support the writers, podcasters, thinkers and videographers who are moving their relationships from Twitter to Substack. Read on for learnings from successful publishers on Substack, and share your own tips in the comments.
Make your Substack discoverable on Twitter
Here’s how to make it easy for Twitter followers to join you on Substack.
Connect your Twitter account to Substack. By linking your accounts, we can ensure your Twitter followers find your Substack publication. If they link their Twitter to their Substack too, we’ll suggest your Substack when they sign up and send them an email notification after you publish your first post.
Update the link in your Twitter bio. Stating you have a Substack and adding an link to your bio makes subscribing extra clear for your followers. Taylor Lorenz updated her bio, and took it to the next level, changing her Twitter name to a call-to-action you can’t miss: “Subscribe to my Substack.”
Link your Substack in a pinned tweet. Pinning a tweet that links to and pitches your Substack ensures that visitors to your Twitter profile can quickly learn more. BowTiedBull keeps an enticing tweet introducing their publication pinned to the top of their Twitter profile.
Change your profile banner. Adding your Substack branding and URL to your Twitter profile banner makes sure visitors won’t miss it. Glenn Loury prominently promotes his Substack in his Twitter banner.
Direct followers to your Substack through your content
Tweet weekly about your Substack. Lots of tweets get lost in the algorithm, making it hard to reach even your most devoted fans. Make sure your followers see your Substack by tweeting consistently about your publication. This includes reminders, big milestones, and new post announcements like the examples below.Just a reminder that you can foil the algorithms to find out what I'm up to by subscribing to my newsletter. …rowanotherbearinthecanoe.substack.com There's a paid level, but the basic level is free; just quit when it asks you for money.throwanotherbearinthecanoe.substack.comThrowanotherbearinthecanoe Newsletter | Elizabeth Bear | SubstackHugo-Award-Winning science fiction and fantasy author Elizabeth Bear on publishing, futurism, and diverse topics. Click to read Throwanotherbearinthecanoe Newsletter, by Elizabeth Bear, a Substack publication with thousands of readers.Excited to cross 1,100 readers of my Substack newsletter this week. I started writing (somewhat self-consciously) as a way to write more freely and regularly about immigration for a broad audience. It's actually been amazing. Sign up below (if you want).austinkocher.substack.comNicaraguan Migrants Arriving in United States in Record NumbersAfter years of making up a small percentage of Central American migrants in the US, the number of Nicaraguans in the US immigration system has grown rapidly. Here’s the background and the data.
Architect an effective thread. A great series of tweets can go viral, leading to millions of impressions from potential readers. Transforming those viewers into subscribers takes some intentionality.
Here are some tips from Substack writer Adam Mastroianni about how to craft an effective Twitter thread:
The hook: Text (and image if possible). Omit your Substack link from this first tweet, and get to what’s most interesting right away.
Link to the related Substack post in subsequent tweets so readers know where to go to get the full download of your ideas and insights on this topic.
Finish with a link to your publication homepage and an explanation that you write regularly on these topics on Substack—and they should sign up with their email so they don’t miss anything new. Otherwise, readers won’t know that there’s a place where they can stay up to date on your work.
Send a direct message to new followers with your Substack. Photographer and writer Andy Adams manually sends a message to every new follower on Twitter about his Substack. Other writers who receive lots of direct messages tell followers that they only answer questions on Substack, not Twitter. (There are third party tools that help automate this.)
Need help with designs for Twitter? Download a graphic from our starter pack here.
Haven’t started a Substack yet? Visit our comprehensive guide to getting started.
Got suggestions for items missing from our Twitter migration guide? Tell us and your fellow writers in the comments.
Bringing your Twitter followers to Substack