Who's new to Substack? Welcome!

What questions are on your mind as you get started? Our team is jumping in the thread for the next hour to help answer your questions.

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Thank you for joining us at Office Hours today. The Substack team is signing off but will be back next week to help answer more questions.

In the meantime, please visit:

Resources Center - https://substack.com/resources

Support Center - https://support.substack.com/

See you then,

Kaite, Bailey, Becca, Emmad, Sam, and Ben

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I love writing on Substack.

This community is fantastic.

And receiving comments and emails is the most gratifying thing of all.

Some things are not easy.

Like consistency.

Or growing subscribers.

But showing gratitude (and sharing it) is helping me to get passed the biggest hurdles.

So, thanks everyone for being here.

Connecting with fellow authors and sharing the good and the bad is one of the things that is keeping me going.

Grazie, grazie, grazie 👏👏👏

P.s.: I have recently written a short piece on a gratitude practice called “Beauty in everything”. Hopefully might help you too to move forward! 💫


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Cleared 150 subscribers! After hitting 100 in five months, it took only one more month to add 50. Exponential math this is and I hope it continues!

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Ahhh! The inline footnotes thing is magnificent. What a grand thing. I'm now worried about what it's going to do to my writing*. Thank you for continually rolling out Great New Feature after Great New Feature. It's so appreciated.

*I like** my footnotes.


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Is it possible to introduce a cooling off period for people who are unsubscribe - say turn off emails for a week, two weeks, a month, etc, instead of just turning them off? I know from personal experience, and some feedback, that sometimes people have too much going on, and want a bit of inbox quietude. This way, they won't be lost for good.

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What alternative sources (to your own social media and Substack features) are you using to get exposed to new subscribers?

P.S. One of my main sources (1 in 4 of all my subscribers came from there) is The Sample, a free services that time-to-time shares your post with people interested in newsletters of a similar category. If you want to give it a go, you can register via this link - https://thesample.ai/?ref=850d

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Do you have questions about writing fiction on Substack, or are you looking for a like-minded community of fiction writers? Look no further than the largest (and only that we know of) fiction community called Fictionistas. We are 1200+ strong now, have monthly Zoom calls, our own monthly office hours, run challenges, are looking to introduce prompts (woo-hoo!), and support one another as best we can with helpful articles. Check us out:


As for me, you can find me writing weekly speculative fiction at Future Thief:


We look forward to having you along for the ride!

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Can I please ask 2 questions?

1. How is the work coming on with SEO? It unfortunately still seems to be the case that Google doesn't like substack subdomains too much, and it's incredibly hard to get SEO traffic compared to your own hosted website (I'm not going to name competing services, we all know who they are)

2. How is the work coming with themes? I'd LOVE to add more personalisation with substack and love Bari Weiss's theme for thefp.com - even if you added themes like that as just a few default options it would be amazing!


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Wanted: Super-well-written first-person stories to share with 170,000 readers on Understandably.com.

You get a bit of money and usually a good number of new subscribers. I get great work to share with my audience.

Details and 5 great examples from 2022 can be found here:


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2023 is my year of connection and collaboration! I am especially excited about Substack's cross promo and letter writing features and I'd love to know any writers (you or substacks you follow) who are using these tools in fun and clever ways? Tell me everything...

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Hi Substack friends! Shout out to the illustrating substackers!

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I've had a lot of satisfaction over the almost ten months I've been writing and posting "On the Kitchen Porch." It's time to go paid but I'm terrified of two things: 1) I'll immediately lose all my subscribers! Or 2) being part free/part paid, which several writers do, seems like it might be hopelessly complicated for my aging brain. Please reassure me. I know, as a writer of long experience, that I should be paid.

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Happy Thursday! I think the Office Hours may be the best part of an already great Substack experience. I lurk sometimes, just taking in what everyone else is writing about, because I'm still learning, even after what should be enough time to get it! (I don't yet)

I have two newsletters, Writer Everlasting, and Constant Commoner, and while I'm not up there with the giants I'm happy to see both of them growing, in readership, in subscriptions, and in monetary support--though by Substack standards I'm tiny.

I think I've finally found my voice on each of them, and my main reward is in the comments from readers who tell me I've made a difference in their lives.

Most of us want to become famous and possibly wealthy, but what if it's enough to become necessary? Even to the smallest groups of people? I'm finally coming to terms with that, using whatever resources I have to build those communities I'd always dreamed of. To make a difference, no matter how limited.

I think I'm there now, though I'm still small, and I would love to hear from others who find that contentment and enjoyment are enough.

Am I the only one?

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Oh the inline footnotes could be so fun, can't wait to try them.

Is there anyone here who is planning on/already has publishing a book made up of their substack posts? That's something I've been entertaining for a while and wonder how others have approached it.

I try to write ignoring this intention, because I want what comes out to be natural and unaffected. Not everything I write has to serve this purpose, either. But it's hard because it's also a big motivator for me to remain consistent in my efforts.

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Having lots of luck with mine, I think so anyway. I went live last July, have about 850 subscribers, 59 paid, and I have never asked anyone to pay. It has inspired me to write more. 50 pieces so far. https://rleonard.substack.com/

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Hello all! Happy Office Hours! Here's a little bit of encouragement from one small newsletter to all of you:

No matter how your January is going, that isn't an "omen" for the rest of your year. Full disclosure? In some ways, this year isn't starting the way I hoped it would. BUT we can't let that stop us or keep us from moving forward, even if the steps we take are tiny. Show up for yourself and the readers who love you. Don't stop! Someone out there needs your words! Keep going, keep writing, and DON'T GIVE UP! 🌿

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I am an old-school newsprint journalist. I have since retired but continue to write. I have friends that also write and we've discussed using a newsletter to relate some of our pent-up wisdom to others and felt online was the best way to start. But where I was very good at designing print pages I struggle when it comes to online. I tried Facebook but do not like it. I'm just looking for some suggestions on how to get started on Substack. Thank you.

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Hey All, I launched paid tiers last week with a combination of mostly patronage with some paywalling. It was generally well-received and some other writers said they might replicate this approach.

Here's the link if anyone's considering going paid: https://agowani.substack.com/p/new-year-new-business-model

Hope it's helpful!

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Hi Substack,

I am loving being able to offer my subscribers digital downloads like my illustrations as wallpapers! I just noticed that for my subscribers to access the downloads they have to access them from the browser. I let them know but i think a lot of them wont go the extra couple steps if they cant download straight from the email. Is there anyway to make downloads accessible from the email in future?

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How do you create sections on your main page to categorize your writings into different topics under one newsletter? I see some of the writers do that, but I cannot figure out how to do that.

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I've had my Substack, Rootbound, for nearly a year and I'm planning on going paid next month. Should I announce it a few weeks before I do it? Or just do it? Any tips are appreciated!

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can everyone please say hi to one of my best friends Rae Katz who IS ATTENDING HER VERY FIRST OFFICE HOURS TODAY! Rae writes The Matriarchy which is SO GOOOD: "Personal essays about living while female: work, family, and all the health stuff no one wants to talk about." https://thematriarchy.substack.com/

Two things to know about Rae

1. She and I share an inside joke that is not funny but has somehow lasted for 15 years. I got a tattoo representing the joke on my actual human body.

2. She called me when these office hours started in a panic and the first thing she said was "I'm not crying. I know it might sound like I'm crying, but I'm not."

Basically you can treat her like a person from the 1700s who just time traveled here and doesn't know how the internet works but is super talented like the top writer from back then like she is actually Shakespeare. So yea please be nice so she stays in 2023 thank you

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I enjoy the continual flow of new features, but I miss the "Let me just read it first" feature that appeared on the first page of newsletters. Now you must either click "No Thanks" or "Subscribe". Clicking the former makes me feel vaguely guilty; clicking the latter is an overcommitment. I just want to check it out! Not a big deal, but if there is a setting feature to set it back to what is was, I'd like to know. Thanks!

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Hello Everyone! I am Shia - writer, college student, sister and a daughter. I always wanted to start my very own substack but I was in dilemma if I should or shouldn’t. Also me being just another overthinker teenager ( well, technically not teenager anymore but I’d like to call myself that haha lol) I wondered if anybody would even like to read what I write? I love writing and it brings me so much happiness. I love connecting with new people especially online and create content. I found substake to be a really interesting and fantastic platform to begin my writing career. I love the people here and had got opportunity to talk to some greatt writers & authors and I look forward to meeting you. My substake is called “Dollar’s & Therapy” and I write about Self-care, Mental Health ( especially after Covid, it should be our first and foremost priority), I also talk about my own personal, emotional life experiences that has had huge impacts. I am still in process of building my Substack and there is lot to come yet. I love listening to other people’s life stories that had changed their life or struggles, hardships that they went through and still manage to outgrow themselves. If you have your own story to tell please reach out to me on shiasurani786@gmail.com and I’ll surely include in my writings :)

Thanks for reading this far and whosoever is reading, I hope you have a wonderful day/night.

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Hi, I'd like to limit the number of emails my subscribers receive to one per week. However, I'd like to post more frequently. Is there a way for folks to receive a "weekly digest" email of content from me?

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I love substack and I love writing on it. But I'm really not sure how to make the most of Substack to find new readers.

Is there a way to build a network or improve your visibility on Substack App and home page?

Is there a way to find all #medical newsletters or those written by #healthcare professionals?

Is it possible to build a sort of league table of Medical newsletters by subscribers?


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Digging the Substack community. I really enjoy writing for an audience on here. I’ve learned how to engage and grow my subscriber base while simultaneously helping out other Stackers. We all help each other out!

I write essays about culture, politics, Wokeism, and autobiographical fiction about my life.

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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HI I am new to Substack and trying to understand how this works. This chat is a bit like drinking from a firehose and I wonder if there are suggestions about how to actually follow the flood. Is there a summary of the most interesting and popular topics somewhere?

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I'd love to know how folks are using sections in their newsletter! I've been writing my main newsletter, Write More, Be Less Careful, and I have a pretty engaged readership, and I have a fun side project, good creatures, about motherhood. I've been thinking of moving good creatures over as a section. Has anyone done something like this? How do you handle two separate (but sometimes related) projects?

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Hi all! I just released my first piece in Next Draft about indie publishing and marketing. I'm going to be doing a year-long (possibly longer) focus on the indie author world, based on my experiences from publishing my first book Rock Gods & Messy Monsters last September. Article is called "What Kind of Writer Are You? (And Why It's Important) - you can check it out at https://dianehatz.substack.com/p/what-kind-of-writer-are-you-and-why

Please follow my substack if you're interested in indie writing - and/or are working on publishing your own work! My goal is to help other people skip the manyyyyyyy mistakes I made along the way.

Also happy to report that my book just won another honor - I'm a 2023 indieBRAG Medallion honoree. The validation of all the hard work that went into the novel is the best part of it. Have a great week!!

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Just joining the chorus of others who are grateful for this platform and the community that comes from it. I am, by nature, a contrarian. It's one of the hazards of academic life, problematizing culture, looking for holes in arguments, being a gadfly. I am very much of the Barbara Ehrenreich school in guarding against too much brightsiding. Sometimes I still indulge in a polemic here or there, but I've also been glad to turn toward more affirming subjects and to feel supported in that. It's nice to feel like I can be a whole person on Substack, not merely a brand. Thanks to everyone who has been part of my journey.

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1. Has Substack considered integrating Mastodon into the Platform like Twitter?

2. Has Substack considered creating their own Mastodon instance?

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Ecstatic to host on Substack and engage with the amazing community here!

What's the best way to communicate a hiatus to subscribers? I'll have to undergo surgery for an ongoing medical issue and will be out of commission for a few months.


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Love inline footnotes. I stopped including footnotes because I realized it was too annoying to have to scroll to the bottom to read then and then back up again to find your place. Might have to think about including them again...

My question: is there a way to prevent my emails from going to Gmail's "promotions" box? A couple people I know personally don't always see my emails because they don't go to their main inboxes, and I suspect it's the same for many other subscribers.

Also, Dostoevsky and ego:


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I'm -very- loosely toying with the idea of going with an optional paid model, but don't think my content is worth anyone paying for. Has anyone else felt that way before going paid?

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I love the new inline footnote feature. You folks at Substack are rocking this app.

I seriously think that with the way the news print publishing world is collapsing, that Substack offers a damn good place for all those reporters to land. Now we just need more people to realize this would be an excellent place where substitutions for all the local newspaper that are going out of business could be found.

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Hello and good morning all! A little late bc I almost fainted at a blood draw earlier this morning lol. Ok now. Anyway, thrilled to share I launched my substack, called The Muse... first official post is here:


I'm an author, publisher, and entrepreneur (aka APE, as Guy Kawasaki calls us) originally from the Czech Republic. We do a lot of literature over there :)

My question is, now that I've got the substack up and running, what are the best ways to let the world know about it? I imported my email list from my previous author newsletter but I would like to expand my channels.

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I absolutely love being able to add voiceovers to my newsletters! It adds such a personal touch, increases accessibility and my subscribers really appreciate it. So happy that this feature exists.

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Happy Thursday, all! Just wanted to put a plug out there that Julie Falatko (Do the Work) and I are starting a Substack Letters series next week, looking forward to it! We're talking about childhood influences on creative work as an adult. It'll be fun!

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Question - I am new and am setting up my Substack. I think I'm ready, but what is the best way to invite friends and family to subscribe to my newsletter? Email them first? Or add and invite to stay subscribed? Is there an FAQ on this? Thanks!

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Oooh! Very happy to see the footnote feature! Nice to see a dev team responsive to user requests. Just in time for my Saturday post! Where can we find documentation on how to use this feature? Can links and/or images be used within the pop-up? Is there an option to list the references elsewhere in our articles?

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It's great to be around when this convo starts - yay insomnia (as it is 3am in Sydney). I've been serialising my debut novel on conked.io for the past few months and will release the third part of Chapter 10 today. In addition I've been serialising a poetry collection on the days when the novel isn't posted. I wanted to say a big thank you to the Substack team and to my readers for making this such a fun way of interacting with and building a community around my writing. My only frustration is that I'd love to share the sequel to the debut now and that at the current rate of release I'd have to wait until 2024 to get out my 3rd novel, which I've just completed. This is a pipeline issue and the traditional publishing route has a similar problem, but still I'm interested in how other fiction writers have tackled this.

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Hi everyone and happy new year.

I have to say, it has been tough coming in to January and keeping the weekly posts going but ive done it these past two weeks and really proud of the output. Thank you to everyone who has kept me going.

I'd be really interested in what this group thinks about ChatGPT. A totally incredible tool but very scary at the same. Check out my beginners guide!


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I'm so excited about this addition to the footnotes! I've recently discovered the beauty of using footnotes for my pieces and this is just one more way to make that better for readers. Thank you!

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Hey everyone!

My name is Ash and I’m a doc who writes about AI, health technology and the future of healthcare!


I’ve seen some fantastic writing on here and have been recommending so many substack to my friends and colleagues.

Particular faves are...

1. Unsupervised learning by Razib khan

2. The lunar society by Dwarkesh Patel

3. The intrinsic perspective by Erik Hoel

Let me know if I should be recommending any more!

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I have a blind subscriber who told me she had difficulty finding the voice over button.

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The footnote hover feature is fantastic. Small, but fantastic!

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I opened Stock Picking, Options Trading for Income, on Substack a year ago.

Without counting, I think I've published over 150 blogs, some daily and some weekly. I get about 250 to 477 views per article and an open rate of 40% and higher. New free subscriptions come in at a rate of about 1 per day.

twitter is so cluttered with options and stock bots that competition for attention is fierce and produces fewer new visitors than I hoped. When I post to twitter, I use several hash tags used by publishers serving my prospects.

In addition to #optionstrading #optionspremiums #stockmarket, #finance and #trading, I post the stock symbols of the stocks I'm writing about. This gives me higher ranking in the threads on stocks like $CAT and $MSFT.

While I don't write click bait headlines, which are common in this business, I try to write strong headlines that cover my topic. And I try to get readers into my posts by summarizing the highlights with bullet points under my byline like:

Substack publishing has to be viewed as a business.

This is about quality ideas and information, not just about "writing".

It is possible to build a good business if your topic is hot and you have a good reputation and following before you start a newsletter.

Some publishers overcame their fame deficits.

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Hey Substack team. Are there any plans to add the ability to comment with an image on posts (in the same way we already can with chat?) I draw cartoons and I would LOVE to be able to respond to comments on my posts with a quickly drawn comic...

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