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Happy 70th Office Hours! As we look ahead, what support do you need more of? How might the Substack community be able to help? Share your ideas.

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Thank you for coming to today's 70th (!!) Office Hours. Our team is signing off for today with lots of ideas of how we can keep improving Office Hours together.

Until then, you can visitor our resources: https://on.substack.com/s/resources

See you next time,

Katie, Bailey, Mills, Ngoc-Quyen, and Kevin

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Welp, that's a first! We're back now. Sorry for that blip.

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

Chasing numbers can drive us crazy. Obsessing over the perfect time to post on all of our platforms can rob us of the real joy of sharing our work. Here's a rule I implemented for myself a long time ago, to save myself from the horrible disappointment that often comes with chasing numbers. Right before I click POST on anything, I tell myself, "The people who need it will see it." And I truly believe that. I believe that the right content reaches the right people at the right time, even if that's only a handful of folks.

Do I still find myself worrying when a post only gets three likes? Sure, I'm human! But I quickly remember that the right people saw it, and I move on to the next post. The pressure is off. As long as I inspired someone, anyone, then it was worth it. It may not work for everyone, but this philosophy works for me!

How do YOU avoid the numbers game? Let's share and encourage one another!

Most importantly: keep going, keep writing, and DON'T GIVE UP! 🌿

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I was thinking about the thread the week before last week from Tami Carey (https://outsourcedoptimism.substack.com/) about how writers can support writers, and I wanted to share:

I came to Substack DEEPLY skeptical of internet communities. I am a sensitive person, and the experience of being on Twitter, or IG, or reddit, or really basically anywhere on the internet is...mostly awful for me. On top of that, I didn't really believe in genuine connection over the internet.

Substack is starting to thaw my icy position on the internet (I said *starting to*...let's not go overboard πŸ˜‰). But seriously, even as I come to the platform with a bias that all comments are transactional and everyone is just trying to promote themselves, I am finding myself disproven over and over again here. Thanks to everyone here who is showing up to be supportive, showing up with real and genuine questions, reading each other's work and offering encouraging words, and all the other little acts. I'm still far from being an "internet person," but I have one warm spot in my heart for this little corner of the World Wide Web.

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Congrats on the 70th Office Hours! I mentioned this a couple of Office Hours ago, but for those who are trying to grow their Substacks without much of a social media following or established brand, it would be amazing to have a directory of writers who are seeking submissions for guest posts or who are open to cross posting! For example, I know Emma Gannon accepts essay submissions at The Hyphen and Georgia Clark and Hannah Orenstein accept short story submissions at Heartbeat - but I only know that because I follow them on socials.

Thanks for keeping these forums open to take feedback - it's been a great place to learn from other writers.

PS. My newsletter is called Cheers! (https://cheerskelley.substack.com/)

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Any plan to add mentions to comments? That would definitely be helpful, especially in shout-out threads!

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Is anyone else noticing a marked decrease in subscriptions over the past months? I'm getting better than ever engagement, number of views, and feedback but subscriptions have struggled. I feel like it aligns with an increased difficulty in actually subscribing through Substack's system. For example:

1. I can click through and read the article but if I'm not a substack member, I get a splash screen that appears to force a subscription

2. If I do enter my e-mail address I'm faced with going to my inbox to validate it.

3. Then I have to pick a plan and the dollar values flashed in my face is intimidating

4. Then I get hit with a screen to subscribe to other substacks

5. Then I get pushed to post it to Twitter

6. Only then do I actually get to the content I wanted to read.

I think this is pushing people away and I'd like to see the numbers of how many people fail to follow-through that entire sequence!

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The Facebook group, "Substack writers" has been super helpful in discovering new writers. I think the discover feature on Substack could be a little bit better in terms of finding new writers that don't have a huge following.

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Hello. I have asked this before and had no answer, so i will try again. Substack very reasonably tries to aid potential readers by classifying the different newsletters according to a complex typology. But I could not see anywhere in that typology for we generalists to be noted. I am not an expert on anything in particular, but i know how to think and I know how to write. And a growing number of people are choosing to follow The Granny Who Stands on her Head, covering everything from regretted careers to orgasms to thinking about death to the significance of travel time. There must be other people out there who are not easily classified. Surely, you could create one category that is clearly universal for those with a taste for our writings.

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I just hit the 50 subscriber mark and I am marking that with personal thank you notes to each one. Just looking for any new ways of marketing and promotion to build on that subscriber base. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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I hit one million cumulative article views last week!

https://karlstack.substack.com/p/karlstack-hits-one-million-reads

To get this chart I manually added up all the dates/views fore each of my articles in a spreadsheet

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Hi, there! What would be the qualification to be featured in Substack Reads? Thanks in advance for your advice 😎

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want to boost your subscribers? post consistently while subscribing to authors with larger platforms who consistently cross-promote, comment on their posts authentically until they recognize you and there is a decent likelihood you'll get a cross-promoted link. Or you could even ask!

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Hey! I now have 14 subscribers, 100% of them from in here. Thank you all! ha ha ha

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One feature that would greatly improve the look and perceived value of newsletters is the ability to wrap text around images. I know this is not 'simple' programming wise but surely it's doable. The 'centered only' format makes it look rather clunky. Please Substack.

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I've been thinking a lot about recommendations. There are a lot of publications I'd like to recommend (and currently do!), but I start to worry about overwhelming new subscribers at sign-up if they see a list of like, 25. Was thinking a cool feature might be if these could rotate in and out (say a different 5 each week.) Also, would love a way to choose which publications to highlight under the recommendations that show up on my homepage.

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Hey there :)

How do i get featured by Substack? I'm interested in what tools substack uses to grow newsletters, and how to find them.

Part of the point of my newsletter (a year offline on Britains canals - https://sehejo.substack.com/) is that I don't use any social media, and am mostly offline - so don't have normal methods of outreach available.

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What is the status of Chat coming to desktop? Thanks.

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Last week I hit 57 subscribers and gained my first PAID subscription. Just one, but it has to start somewhere.

Part two of my most popular story releases today at 11:11am CST. Deception by Omission of the truth is a cautionary tale about crafty coaches weaselling trusting people like me out of hard earned money.

https://substack.com/profile/4895139-patricia-meier?utm_source=account-card

I don’t really have a question however I am truly grateful for this platform and community! πŸ’žπŸ™πŸ’ž

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One feature suggestion. I have found several writers on Substack with whom I would like to discuss a collaboration, but getting in touch with them can be challenging.

If there was a way for Substack writers to communicate with each other, through the platform, it would be a great enhancement.

Thanks

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Happy 70th Postday πŸ₯³ I'm looking for anyone who fancies collabing on writing a piece on the future of work / future of careers. Started my publication now a year ago (crazy!), have over 500 free subs and am hosting our first offline meet-up on 24th March. Focused on helping multipotentialites (those of us with many interests) in their 20s to navigate their career. Check it out here if interested: https://masteryinyour20s.substack.com/

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First time commenting here, so tell me if I’m doing this wrong! Lately, I’ve started to think about the success of my posts by the quality of conversations it starts afterwards. This week I wrote about how getting older makes you feel less β€œcool.” It was fun to hear from others who felt the same way and made me care less about the actual views.

https://fromthedesk.substack.com/p/no-longer-cool

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When you think about it, people's comments are truly the pulse that indicates whether something is working or not. Once we take that into consideration, the decision has been made for us. In other words, thank God for the comments section.

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How about a Substack Writer of the month? Like a Spotlight on new writers or even writers that have been writing consistently for awhile but don't have very big followings? Just something so that everyone can see what everyone is writing about, not just Substack Reads where it's someone with a very strong following and doing well, we should also be spotlighting new writers and long time writers that may also be struggling and being featured would help.

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Hello fellow online writers! I've missed most of the Office Hours events in recent weeks due to work commitments but I would like to check in to ensure everyone is doing well. Keep up the good work! Persist!

P.S. like my own post this week, I've written this comment without the use of the letter A.

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Something I'd love is to be able to tag each post according to topic (with the ability to add more than one tag to a post) and then organise the navigation bar on my page according to those topics. I find the current sections model a bit limiting as things often have crossover content but would love people to head straight to (in my case) all posts about running, or adventure, or work.

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Hi there, I am still quite new to substack (less than a year) but I am loving the minimalist container Substack provides. I brought over a couple hundred subscribers from Convertkit and am having a bit of trouble getting ppl to like or engage with the posts. Besides asking persons to comment or like, has anyone found a way to increase engagement with your posts. My goal is to build a community that supports each other and not one where all the information comes solely from me. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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My subscriber list is increasing a good bit each week, but now I'm seeing my open rate decline. Has anyone experienced this with increased readers?

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It's been so cool to discover writers and journalists that I already read are on Substack, like Susan Rinkunas's The Body Politic https://bodypolitic.substack.com/. I mentioned her in my latest newsletter, by embedding a link. Is that the best way to connect across newsletters? I'm a little confused about linking vs cross posting.

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Happy office hours, everyone! I have a question: I've taken a hiatus with my newsletter as I start work on my new album and am unsure now how to launch back into it. Who has seen great examples of artists/musicians share their process on Substack?

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Hello everyone! Great to be here. We are passionate about music and share our most exciting finds every Friday with our subscribers. Looking forward to reading about your learnings :)

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Is there a way to know who's big and who is just getting started. Some folk on here are already somewhat famous online so they may only be in their 3rd month of posting but already have hundreds or more subscribers. How do we know who the smaller subs are and how can we support them?

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Hi Katie, I just wrote a comment about Substack offering virtual (smaller) tutorials on various subjects and charging for them. Can't find the comment...hope it went through~! (This is precisely why this format confuses me haha).

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Can we have a way to add tables and maybe maybe markdown implemented for folks who are already writing in markdown like me. It makes my formatting so much easier just to copy paste

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This is my first time dropping into office hours. I finally decided to start publishing a month ago and one of the things that’s been the most helpful is the advice to not stat watch. It seems healthiest to be here because you love writing and have something to say. If people get value from it and an audience builds because of that, great.

Thanks to this community and the authors of a few posts I’ve read for the reminder.

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Hi everyone! I wanted to share a "celebratory" moment that's been a long time coming for me. Last week, I met my goal of querying 10 agents for my novel, The Pattern Shop, a book I've been writing for almost a decade!

For so long, this step felt impossible. I wasn't sure I would ever finish it (enough to send it out into the world) and I had no idea how to write a pitch. But! One, small step at a time I kept chipping away at my fears and feel a sense of surrender now that I've done my part. Honestly, I didn't realize how badly I needed to follow-through on this project because the relief I feel now is HUGE.

I wonder...is there a project or idea that's "hanging over your head?" Are there small steps you can take to move it forward or make it tangible? I'm guessing these are the ideas and projects that really want to be out in the world and it's up to us to set them free!

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you can relate. Happy writing!

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I recently saw a fellow writer publish a booking link for one on one meetings directly via Substack. This is something I offer on my website, but would love the option for my readers to book directly through Substack. How does one gain access to this option?

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70th Office Hours πŸ₯³πŸΎ

Hello everyone!

Delighted to be here with you all. It's only early days for me as I started my 'baby substack' a few weeks ago. I hesitated for months before biting the bullet. What actually made me start was a burst of anger πŸ˜†. Employees suffering from poor management, lack of trust and leadership in organizations, disrespect, office politics make me very angry. I suffered from all that for many years too, and this is an ongoing problem worldwide! I wanted to protect my teams from that when I became manager myself. And it is possible to build a great working environment for team members where everyone has a say, where they feel safe and heard. If I could do it, anyone can; and I wanna help!

So, here I am writing about this on substack as it helps me channel my thoughts and my experience to date, hoping to meet like-minded people along the way.

Any suggestions and tips on writing formats, or how to find like-minded subscribers, etc. would be highly appreciated.

Many mercis 😍

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Working on growing my two newsletters: www.mondaypickmeup.com and www.scaredtobeamom.com. Any advice?

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With more visually orientated, photo-driven interior design & lifestyle bloggers like myself moving to Substack it would be great to have a category for us that’s searchable, i.e. Interior Design, Home & Garden etc.

Also, if there were an option to include a smaller type photo caption under images that would be very helpful.

Thanks!

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I have a technical ask.

I just discovered the anchor tool on Substack, and that is GOLDEN.

To take it up a notch, can we also get the <summary></details> HTML equivalent, where you can collapse segments of text that a reader can click on to expand?

Particularly for the essay pages on our substack.

Thanks.

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Hi everyone - I'd love thoughts and advice on adding a second Substack and including it as a section/tab in the header of my main Substack.

I write mostly music-themed personal essays for Earworms and Song Loops but I also write fiction and have set up a new Substack newsletter that is not public yet for my fiction. My plan was to explain all this in a new post for Earworms and then cross-post a piece the following week. I want to encourage readers to subscribe to both if interested but leave the decision up to them.

I know many of you have multiple newsletters and was wondering the best way to "debut" the new Substack newsletter to maximize readership and engagement. Just wanting to get all my ducks in a row as it were before making the announcement.

It is "live" right now under the name Dig If You Will My Fiction (digifyouwill.substack.com), for anyone interested in checking it out! Hoping to announce it next week to the Earworm readers.

Thanks for all advice and suggestions.

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Hey all - I wanted to share something that has been working well for me lately. I write a newsletter called The Tobin Report that is about money, markets, & charts...I love what I do and want to do more for more people. That's what drives me.

I found that connecting with other newsletter writers and recommending the ones that I think would add value to my current subscribers works great. It has to be genuine...and I don't fear "competition" because I think differing views even on the same topic add an overall better experience for our readers that enjoy what it is we write about.

I'm always looking to cross post, share, and connect with other Substack authors!

Eric

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I'm up to over 300 free subscribers. A couple of days ago my blog about "Selling puts stock options" got almost 500 views.

I usually get around 250 views.

That tells me that my readers really want to know what I'm trading and how. They make their own trading decisions. I can't decide for them and don't want to.

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Does anyone else illustrate their Substack? Or know of others? Thanks!

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I am excited today! I just launched my series of monthly virtual book club meetings for paid and founding member subscribers. Please take a look!

https://evolutionshift.substack.com/p/the-virtual-book-club-is-now-live

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I would really like to know how to get started. Is there a tutorial, or even better, someone I can speak to?

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This week marks six months since my official launch on Substack, and I've loved every minute of it! When I first started, I subscribed to a bunch of 'stacks based on topic, hoping to learn and connect with others in my lane. Over time I've unsubscribed from many of those and started following a bunch of 'stacks I would have never thought I'd be into but ended up enjoying very much.

The big difference? Community.

When I started seeing familiar names in my comments and in the comment sections of other 'stacks I read, and checked out their posts, and commented back and forth, and so on and so on.... my community grew exponentially and it changed how I interacted with their writings. I look forward to hanging out with all my online friends, now.

Many thanks to all my readers who comment regularly -- I sincerely adore you so so much, and I've discovered many awesome new people and publications through the community of commenters growing on your own 'stacks. Thank you for grokking my vibe and engaging with humor and authenticity.

To new writers here at Substack who are asking how to grow your readership -- explore, read, like and comment. Do it genuinely. Be yourself in your writing and in your networking. Be patient and have a long-view of your growth. It won't happen over night, but with persistence, it can happen.

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Anyone writing about / interested in great music discovery? Please reach out to us, and we can explore if we can do something together

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