Have questions about publishing, growing, or going paid on Substack?
The Substack team, and your fellow writers, are here to help!
Today we’re gathering the writer community and members of our Community, Product, and Writer Development teams together in a thread to answer writer questions for an hour.
How do you best utilize Substack sections?To get started, check out our guide to publication sections. Some inspiration: Recommentunde uses sections for their different podcasts and Data Analysis Journal uses them to topically separates posts.
Seeking inspiring ways to reflect on and commemorate milestones? Check out Garbage Day’s one year review and Tiny Driver’s reflection on learning in public for a year.
What goals have you set for your publication? Courtney Martin, author of The Examined Family, discusses how she cultivated a writer's mindset and set goals for a paid launch. At the first session of Substack Grow, we’ll dive into setting goals for your Substack. Request a seat.
Drop your questions in the thread and we’ll do our best to supercharge each other.
Our team will be in the thread today from 9 am - 10 am PST / 12 pm - 1 pm EST answering questions with you.
Next week we’ll host the monthly Shoutout Thread like this one. Save it to your calendar so you don’t miss it.
Thanks for stopping by Office Hours. It's rad to see you jumping in to answer one another's questions. Next week we will host our third Shoutout thread. It's an opportunity for writers to share their publications and what they've been inspired by. Hopefully, you'll discover publications too :)
We hope to see you! In the meantime, our Resouces page is here for you: https://substack.com/resources
Katie + Kristen + Jamil
One thing I like about substack is that it isn't one big feed controlled by an algorithim--I think that was Medium's fatal error. But I do wish there was a way to promote organically on the site--maybe that's what the grow directory will be?
Anyways, what metrics or what does Substack look for when they promote newsletters on their home page? And does Substack find that doing so, actually boosts that letter significantly?
Whatiscalledthinking.substack.com now has over 100 paying subscribers and 800 total readers. One way I want to grow is to cross promote with other newsletters. How do I find other content creators that are reaching people I might also resonate with.
Same question as last week. How can we get the new posts to show up in Google? The slightest mention in other tiny pubs and blogs like Patch and the Easy Reader equal a name alert e-mail. Is there some setting we're missing in Substack to make that happen?
Hi substack community, I write long form essays on culture on a bi-weekly basis. It's my preferred writing style, but I know a lot of substackers write on a weekly or daily basis and in much shorter form. I'm wondering if this is really detrimental to growth, or how other longformers have succeeded in growing readership? Any advice?
Another week of writing on Substack and loving it.
I have two newsletters:
The First Years of Marriage:
In growth mode for both.
1. Writing 5x a week for Odd Jobs. It's helped me 10x my growth in the past 2-weeks
2. Creating shareable content (with interesting stats, links, and quizzes)
3. Reminding people to share! That's important.
What's not working:
1. Posting "check out my newsletter" on other social platforms. There's no value there.
2. Self-doubt. Growth can be slow but it happens.
I'm excited to start utilizing the thread feature, but feel I don't have enough subscribers yet to make it worth while. Is there a certain threshold that works best for starting threads? How can I best lay the ground work to launch them?
I noticed you removed the "beta" label from the dashboard. Congrats on the milestone! 🥳
You certainly did it faster than Gmail did back in the day...
I write 10+1 Things a weekly newsletter featuring 11 interesting offbeat stories finely curated by me.
What are some innovative ways to collect feedback and testimonials?
I use Feedletter, but not really a fan of their design. What are some other easy ways so that subscribers can easily give feedback?
In the latest issue, I talk about African Apocalypse, Build a Great Life, Internet in a Box and Plant Consciousness.
Thanks for doing this! I’m curious about SEO? Are there any tools available within Substack to help us better understand what search terms we’re ranking for or drove visitors to our publication? Does linking to other websites help or hurt SEO? Any other tips on maximizing our reach in search engines?
My publication, Battleground, is a state-by-state review of the American political landscape via maps of election results. The topics that I cover are heavily searched for but as of now I don’t get really any traffic from search. Just naively trying to compete with the Politicos and FiveThirtyEights of the world!
Any help (or subs!) is appreciated :)
Hi gang! I write Life Mostly Full, a Substack about balancing the philosophical and the practical in handling all of the nonsense modern life throws at us. http://lifemostlyfull.substack.com/
- Question: "How do you best utilize Substack sections?"
I am planning on launching a podcast soon and intend to give it a distinct section.
- Question: "Seeking inspiring ways to reflect on and commemorate milestones?"
I always love "best of" lists, even if I'm a longtime reader. It lets me revisit good posts I may have missed. If I'm a new reader, "best of" lists are golden.
- Question: "What goals have you set for your publication?"
I want to gain five new interested readers a day (on average). If I do that, I'm happy. There are many ways that I could gain a lot of readers, but I'd way rather have 1 new engaged reader than ten unengaged ones.
Hi everyone! I have a question, and also a tip on getting new subscribers that's worked for me.
I'm currently writing my newsletter in seasons (as a good way to bake some engagement-friendly endings into it all), and I haven't yet worked out how to how to show & promote previous seasons as a discrete, one-click kind of thing from my landing page or elsewhere. Maybe this is something that Sections would be useful for? I'd love any advice from anyone a lot smarter than me about this stuff (which is probably everyone)...
If you have a newsletter that's particularly meaty & has a good storyline to it, adapt the whole thing into a thread on Twitter, using every storytelling trick in the book to keep folk reading ("you'll never guess what happened next" etc) and making sure you have lots of visuals. Just make sure you add a few CTAs for the original newsletter version, to attract people to sign up. For example, I did it with this - https://twitter.com/Mikeachim/status/1392468208922337280 - which went mildly viral and attracted just under a hundred new subscribers. Also, critically, it's fun to do! Win-win.
A shout out to those wonderful people who sit at the support desk. You're so patient! Thank you! My main annoyance is how hard it is to navigate my draft when I'm trying to insert anything but text. It seems I have to figure out a workaround for too many insertions.
For example, if I put a picture at the top of my post I can't get above it to add some forgotten text. I have to delete the picture, add the text, then insert the picture again.
I can't add text between buttons if I've forgotten something. And there are times when I can't get past a line to add more text. What am I doing wrong?
Hi all. Happy Thursday! We at investrly - https://investrly.substack.com :
the weekly newspaper empowering you to invest early in your financial future.
Very curious how other growing newsletters have been able to improve the premium experience for readers. We are closing in on 1000 subscribers without any paid promotion or advertisement. Always looking to learn and earn and cross promote.
Is there a way to use the iframe signup embed as a pop-up on a website?
Currently have it as a regular embed, but I'm using AddThis as a workaround for the pop-up for Timeless & Timely https://www.timelesstimely.com
I’d love to know what the optimum file size and format is for images embedded in newsletters and used as thumbnails. Does Substack automatically compress large images?
Thanks so much for this. You all rock!
Hi Everyone. And thank you, as always, to our Substack team for helping us all grow. I am tip-toeing in, once again, to ask about the status of housing pdf's within our newsletters.
Would like to request a feature - POLLS.
1) Will help me better understand my audience.
2) Is low-cost audience participation for many who won't prefer to not leave a comment.
Also, is email the best way to start people joining or is social media a better method?
This may be the worst question, but how can I share my webpage with other people so they can sign up?
Is there any way to see which of my subscribers has "liked" a post?
Hi everyone. I'm Philip, the Editor of the Global Economic Outlook (G.E.O): https://ecofinar.substack.com/
My question: Is there a platform/place on Substack where articles/writings on specific areas are kept together, and can be accessed by people with interest in such subjects?
Hey everyone! Happy Thursday - quick question for the general group: do you update your email header often? Or do you pretty much leave it be?
I run an investing newsletter at www.stockduediligence.com - in the header, I invited people to submit stock ideas (as a lead generator). What do you include in your header?
It's great that the sub-newsletters appear in the menu bar at the top of the main page, but would it be possible to also add a link to the main newsletter? That doesn't seem possible right now, and I think it would be immensely helpful for the main newsletter to be a "category" of its own.
I’ve never used the header/footer features. Would love some ideas on how to take advantage of them. Thanks!
I appreciate this opportunity, but, frankly, I think there are more immediate issues that should be addressed before we deal with the above particulars.
First, our nation has been on Daylight Savings Time since 14 March 2021, yet the above "Writer Office Hours" cite PST (Pacific STANDARD Time). More care should be taken when it comes to such details. If the details are sloppy, how can we confidently rely on the overall substance?
Second, although I signed up for the "Substack Grow" series of on-line meetings due to commence on 11 August and which were to be confirmed today, there's been no such confirmation. Why is that?
Hi, everyone. I write a weekly essay called Booked, which is about reading and other pleasurable pastimes. I have 196 on my email list, 43 of whom are paid subscribers. I hesitate to link my newsletter updates to Facebook on a regular basis because I fear that people will rely on Facebook to receive it, rather than subscribing. I suspect I am shooting myself in the foot. Anyone else wrestling with this? Thanks. https://sheilacallahan.substack.com/
Hi everyone. I work for a non-profit organization interested in using Substack to grow our reader base. We publish newsletter and articles as well as podcasts regarding national and economic security. I'm wondering how often you need to publish articles or newsletters to be relevant?
Hey guys, I'm interested in how newsletters with a custom url that don't use the substack domain are aggregated and categorized. I've been seeing a lot of people experimenting with directories of newsletters, and mine never seems to show up because of my custom domain.
Hey y'all! I'm Terryn from Terryngrams. I write about culture + politics + being a Black Southern millenial. My favorite Substacks are Monica Potts' Welcome Home (https://monicabpotts.substack.com) and Tressie McMillan Cottom's Essaying (https://tressie.substack.com/). I like them because they cover different aspects of Southern life, and are so, so good at the craft of writing.
Is there is way to insert tables? I've even tried to copy/paste a table without success. Thanks.
LIFEE MAZY LET GO ON HEARD TO MAKE IT TRUE HEY EVERYONEVJUST IS THE ARTIST ABDUL CAME TO PRESENTE HI BEAUTEFUL LIFE AND MOR AVANTAGE IN THE FICTURE FOR HIM LET MAKE EACH OTHER LIFE HAPPY SO THE WORLD WILL BE BETTER PLACE
IM HERE TO LOOK FOR OUR BETTER FUTURE ,YOU AND ME WE CAN MAKE IT TOGETHER
I created my Substack thingy by accident, thinking I was registering for another writer.
How do I delete it?
I write YouTopian Journey (https://youtopianjourney.substack.com/) and am always looking for people who want to cross promote so we can help one another grow our substacks.. Please reach out to me or drop me a comment here.
Has anybody figured out why the size of payments from Stripe are inconsistent? An annual subscription to my newsletter costs $30. I have received Stripe payments for the following amounts: $25.83, $25.38, $25.23, $25.20, $25. 08, etc.
Greetings, my name is JJ. I write the Economic Justice and Progress Newsletter here: https://jjpecon.substack.com/
Similar to Philip’s question about finding content on certain topics in a single place, I would like to know if Substack has any plans to include Economics as a more prominent subject in its designs.
For example, while I can tag my newsletter as being about “economics” and “political economics”, I still cannot click an economics button on Substack Discover. Likewise, when signing up for Substack Grow, economics was not among the list of subjects I could choose. Some larger economics newsletters will appear in the “business” section of Substack Discover, but I cannot find any way to search for economics newsletters specifically.
Are there any plans to integrate Economics as a subject in Substack interfaces? Thanks!
What are the key to make people willing to pay for my newsletter? How could I promote my substack to let more people know?
My question: I want to send just 1 e-mail newsletter having new contents for both the main body AND the section. How can I do?
I would LOVE to be able to type diacritics directly into the site like I can in Microsoft Word. Can you make my dreams come true, Substack team? :)
#WHUFC have completed the signing of #PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on a season-long loan, which includes an option to buy.
I have just uploaded my first article, but I don't know where it is displayed. Will anyone see it?
My main problem with substack is that I have no idea how to get emails. I never worked in business, so, I never had access to emails. This is my one and burning question. Can anyone shed light on this? Thank you!
Hello all, I'm Jurgita and I write about life in Qatar (where I live!). I felt there is a lack of deeper, researched-through content about life in this country and I realized I could be the one to write it. I recently moved my subscribers list to substack and I love how focused this platform it is on promoting good writing.
Hi All! I’m Cass Galleas. I’m a book writer. I’m running a project, the Chariot of Thoughts, in which I share my insights, accumulated experience, and knowledge, ancient wisdom. So this can serve you with good tips and useful advice on how to stay creative and healthy, how not to lose inspiration and burn out while working on your beautiful masterpieces.
Hi All! I'm Nicky and I have a substack called the Weekly Widget, a newsletter that covers the latest goings-on in Digital Marketing, Big Tech, and all things marketing. https://weeklywidget.substack.com/
Hello! I have a cookbook appreciation substack and I'm starting to interview people about their food memories and their hobbies at acookedbook.substack.com
I'm Mordecha. I have a substack that explores the nexus of technology and the spiritual - through a Jewish/chasidic lens (you can catch it: mytechtribe.org/dispatch)
I'm going to give a shoutout for https://tzvi.substack.com - a substack that gives a wonderful philosophical look.
Greetings! I'm Hannah, the health coach and writer behind Baby Dust, a publication dedicated to delivering evidence-based resources for women trying to get pregnant. I send out a free, weekly resource guide with links to relevant and reliable articles, in addition to publishing two podcasts per month for my premium subscribers. If you are trying to get pregnant or are passionate about fertility, I invite you to stop by and read some of the resources on the weekly posts!
I have not had much time to explore other substack authors, but I would love to read anyone who is writing about pregnancy, fertility, postpartum, motherhood, and nutrition. Please share recommendations!
My name is Philip and I am the main contributor to the weekly newsletter called "Global Economic Outlook (G.E.O)", where we provide economic and financial insights critical for making sound business and investment decision.
Please subscribe by clicking the link beside 'Ecofinar' above.
I recommend 'First 1000' which shares stories about how startups survived their initial years. You can read the one written about Reddit below: https://read.first1000.co/p/-reddit?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copy