We invited Anne Kadet, who writes CAFÉ ANNE, to share insights on how she runs her newsletter with all-free posts supported by paid subscribers.
"My newsletter really started growing after I adopted a consistent schedule and format while doubling down on my commitment to create the newsletter I’d want to read—rather than trying to please others."
100% YES to this! Consistency has been a huge part of growth for me as well. Writing something I'd like to read had made that ride much more fun.
Yay, Anne!! CAFE ANNE is like a wonky grown-up version of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and I will always sing it’s praises! When my husband hears me chuckle out loud and asks me what I’m laughing at, about two thirds of the time it’s CAFE ANNE. Also--love hearing from a successful Substacker that didn’t come in with a huge following.
Cafe Anne is like a very cool under the radar super secret coffee shop full of the coolest people who are also somehow super nice and welcoming and each have the most amazing stories to tell. All curated by the great Anne Kadet, friend, inspiration, and all around great human who also knows a ton about coffee and tea and every other thing in the coffee shop somehow.
Excited to watch it grow more and more and more. Congrats Anne!!
I just subscribed to Anne's Substack after we interacted on last week's recommendation thread. I read one of her posts and was completely charmed by it! Definitely a unique, fun publication.
One of the best growth interviews you guys have done and right after this I’m heading over to Cafe Anne to subscribe!
Anne, I’ve thought about posting my work to Reddit but I fear it will feel spammy and people will hate it. How did you do it gracefully with effect?
“...an opinion-free, politics-free, controversy-free zone of fun.”
THEM: “That’ll never sell.”
ANNE: “Hold my NyQuil Chicken and watch.”
Seriously, I love CAFE ANNE. Anne connects with her readers, and that makes all the difference. She makes me want to travel to NYC to meet some of the people she interviews and places she writes about. Her posts inspire me to write what I want and to keep my voice authentic, and my goodness the laughs! They are the words you read aloud at gatherings to get everyone laughing.
Anne, I probably already said it, but you're an inspiration! And I really appreciate the way you approach monetization. If I ever decide to go paid, I'll most likely follow your example and keep all content free for all.
Another great thing about Anne’s newsletter is that she really engages with her readers’ comments (as exhibited in this thread). The comments section really feels like a buzzy cafe.
This insights are SO GOOD. I love Anne's newsletter, and so grateful she's sharing these insights.
I really like the point about writing a newsletter that you'd want to read. I do my best to follow that advice, and whenever I feel that I'm staying true to that maxim, I really do see positive results in terms of growth.
Thank you Anne. You already know I love you and your newsletter, but this interview was particularly helpful as I've just "gone paid". Especially this: "...doubling down on my commitment to create the newsletter I’d want to read—rather than trying to please others." I mean, I *know* this is the way to go, but am I always remembering to do it? Thanks again.
Cafe Anne: want NYC? Here's NYC! I don't live there, but do love to read about New York - and Cafe Anne is perfect.
And this is a great point: 'a disciplined, consistent format and publishing schedule' is the key to success.
Cafe Anne is one of my most favorite reads! I don't live in NY, but through her stories I get to pretend.
Such helpful advice, Anne. I especially found your experience with comment and subscribe buttons helpful. I’ve heard that putting that everywhere is the conventional wisdom but it annoys me as a reader so why would I do it as a writer? Thanks for calling that out!
SO THRILLED to see Anne pop up here! I'm a huge fan and a paid subscriber, because there aren't many people who can make me smile on a Monday morning, and she manages to do it every single time. Plus I'm really invested in that rubber plant now. Congrats, Anne! Keep kicking butt!
It's great to see how others use Substack. I'm just starting out myself and am looking at doing something unusual - a fitness and health blog where I show older people how to recover their strength and health.
Not sure it will work and I definitely am not doing enough marketing or sharing. For example, I don't have an email list of 200 people to share my newsletter with. Anne got her start like this and it's great to note the events she went through after one year on Substack.
I wonder what the year ahead will bring for me.