Have questions about publishing, growing, or going paid on Substack?
The Substack team, and your fellow writers, are here to help! Drop your questions in the discussion thread by leaving a comment, and we’ll do our best to share knowledge and tips.
Our team will be answering questions and sharing insights with you in the thread today from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. PST / 1 p.m.–2 p.m. EST.
Some product updates and reminders from the Substack team:
Bringing followers from Instagram to Substack: We spoke to
Ways to share: Today, it’s easier than ever to share new posts with your audience, wherever they are. After you publish a new post you will land in the share center. You can return to it at anytime from the three dot menu of your post and then selecting “view shareable images.”
Shareable images: You can download an image which makes use of the post’s social preview image, title, and subtitle, as well as your publication’s branding. Images are sized for social media including Instagram’s feed and stories, Facebook, X, and more.
Shareable videos: In just a few clicks, create a video from a favorite quote in your post. Simply highlight the text in your post, select AI voiceover, or record your own voice, choose a style, and then share.
Got questions about Substack or feedback about a feature or tool? You’re in the right place! Leave a comment in this thread.
🧠 I’ve found that one of the best ways to grow my audience organically on Substack is to read and engage thoughtfully in the comments of other writers’ posts! It’s not really a “strategy” because I’d be doing it anyway, but I always notice new subscribers trickle in when I’m engaging with other writers, and I love doing it.
Of course the trick is to not be spammy. Sometimes I will mention that I write about a similar topic, or will share a link to a relevant piece of mine, but only when that seems like that would enhance the conversation and be interesting to the original author. The added bonus is that we all like to see engagement on our posts!
Have others found that engagement in the comments brings new subscribers?
To help organize the conversation, please use one of the following emojis when you start a new comment.
🧠 - when sharing strategy or advice for fellow writers
✏️ - when asking questions or seeking feedback from fellow writers
🟧 - when asking a question you hope the Substack team can help answer
Use your emoji keyboard or simply copy and paste the emoji at the beginning of your comment.
🧠 writing less and publishing less has actually worked out better for me. I take breaks here and there and my subcriber count and open rate keeps going up. Don't be too hard on yourself when writing.
✏️ How likely are you to *listen* to a newsletter? I am considering recording my weekly newsletter in audio format, but I don't know if it's worth the added time required. Alternatively, I could add a paid tier with an additional piece each week with an audio option. I think it's a balance between working out what is actually worth my time (currently I just do this for fun, I don't get paid!) - and what will actually help me grow my subscriber base.
✏️ Hi fellow writers!
How do you feel about changing goals? I was planning to self publish a book by the end of the year but my preferences for the kind of writing I do has really changed. I really shifted more to writing very short more frequent posts instead of longer pieces that I used to do. But there won't be enough of them by the end of the year for a book. I hate letting myself down, and I don't want to feel like I failed to complete something I set out to do, but changing course really feels right.
How's everyone else feeling about their accomplishments as we're nearing the final stretch of this year?
🟧 Can we please have a theme option to have a progress/scroll bar at the top of the page so that the reader knows how much of the article is left and how far into the article they are? I see this a lot now with other newsletter services and blogs and it’s a really neat feature!
✏️OK, so I am new to Substack, and I have not posted anything yet (because I’m like 13 years old) but I REALLY love writing. I follow my friends and stuff, but I don’t think anyone would actually read my content. And since y’all are all high and mighty writers and interviewers who write newsletters and articles, is there a way for me to make my writing interesting and what should I write about? I would really appreciate any feedback from anyone😊
🟧 - pretty minor, but I would appreciate a button to share to Threads added. Just go ahead and get rid of the twitter share button since it famously doesn't work anyway.
🟧 Any plans to ever have a native writing app? Several of my staff *only* write on mobile/phone and the mobile version of the publishing section is pretty awful. Love literally everything else about Substack, keep up the great work!
🧠 Oh blimey,. I'm late to this party today. I doubt anyone will see this, but here's something that's worked like gangbusters for me in building my audience:
🤯 ** Share your enthusiastic response to learning about something awesome for the first time ** 🤯
This was my social media strategy on Twitter before it became....what it is now. I did it with excited-sounding threads, promoting a sciencey story I just learned about for the first time. The biggest of these totally blew up, reached 10 million people and sent 6,000 free subscribers to my newsletter. (Substack interviewed me about it here: https://on.substack.com/p/grow-series-7)
Now I'm trying it again on Threads, and - it seems to be working? https://www.threads.net/@mikeachim/post/CyQUL3TM5tG
I'm far from the first to discover the power of this approach. For example, it's why "unboxing" videos work on YouTube. But it's incredibly useful for newsletter writers wanting to reach new people and get them intrigued enough by your reaction (and their reaction to your reaction!) to want to click through and learn more.
🟧 - Sorry to flood with questions! This is my 4th and last question today, and it's only because I've been bumping up against lots of little things while trying to use substack for a community building discussion forum behind the paywall. I would love to be able to keep using substack comments to do deep discussions with my paid subscribers... I'm trying it out, and one discussion post has 444 comments. Exciting, but MAN they are unruly and impossible to navigate. People are complaining and saying substack isn't really the best for this discussion because the comments are so hard to navigate. It would be amazing if they would all collapse to just show the first comment, and then expand to see all the replies of each comment only when clicked... does this request make any sense?
🟧 Can writers please please get the option to hide their subscribers from their profile page? This feature is way too much social media for my liking.
🧠 I've been here about a year and a half and the one thing I wish I had done more of before getting started was think through what I wanted to accomplish here and develop a strategy. I've just posted a piece to help others do that front-end thinking.
✏️ My newsletter has been free, and I want to change to a paid subscription model. What are best practices for deciding on what subscribers will receive (I read something somewhere about always making sure your best content is available to everyone?), how much to charge, and how to roll-out/announce the change to current subscribers? Thanks, everyone!
✏️ I’m looking for moms who want to be included in my interview series, Moms in America. It’s 15 questions, about motherhood and what it’s like to be a mom currently in the USA. Drop your email below for more details :)
These shareable videos are a game changer Substack.
✏️- fellow writers who don’t write to a specific niche- how do you expand or promote yourself to readers? I’m not smart enough to only cover one specific area, and I don’t think I’d like to have that kind of narrow scope, but I’m not sure how one spreads the word about your Substack if you write about different topics every time- curious to see what others do!
✏️ For those who have had good success promoting and growing their subscriber based here on Substack: in terms of time, how much do you think you invest in writing and developing your newsletter vs promoting it?
For example, if you're spending 4 hours a week on writing and posting, how many hours should you be spending on promoting it?
🟧 How can I move around “Most Popular” on my homepage, and shift and change “recommendations” as well?
✏️ I’d like to know how I can become a multi-millionaire Substack writer with adoring fans everywhere and my face on watch and underwear ads. Can I get some advice on that?
🟧 I include audio in my written posts that are shared with all subscribers but will be adding a pay wall limiting full access on some articles to paid subscribers. Is it possible to add a paywall within the audio itself in addition to the written part?
🟧 Can you post without sending an email blast out to anyone?
🟧 Hi again. One issue with office hours is that I might not receive a notification to an answer until hours later. When I click on the notification I have to scroll through the thousands of messages and sometimes can’t find the response. Any tricks I’m missing? TIA.
🟧When you’re doing settings for a post, under “This post is for…” How can you make “Everyone” the default? It keeps defaulting to paid, and I don’t want that.
🧠🧠 If you’re tired of not growing on Substack or just starting out, come see me. I give you guidance based on the advice Substack gave me and how I built two bestselling, Featured Substacks.
I love helping writers succeed on here.
The writers I’ve worked with have
* doubled and tripled in subscribers,
* seen a sharp increase in revenue,
* gotten real engagement, and
* been Featured Substacks.
✏️I am curious about how the substack search feature works. My newsletter is pretty niche--I write about a not very good basketball team--but if I search using keywords I would assume would result in my newsletter, it doesn’t show up. Anyone else have this issue?
🟧 hi Substack team! I've been trying out the new Beta version of "create video" after making a written article post.
I select the text, then try to upload custom mp3 audio for voiceover, which is not accepted (just shows 'in progress.') I then try to record audio straight to platform, and try as I might in several ways, I keep getting the error, "Substack does not recognize microphone."
Any suggestions? I'm using Firefox (and have tried Chrome) on Windows 11.
✏️ What's the best way to find other writers similar to your own work? I'm finding the search and explore features on Substack a little too generic. clinttill.substack.com
Notes made a big difference
Use notes, and be yourself.
Get into conversations.
Share things you like.
Revise your Introduction, and your Welcome
What’s unique about yourself and your writing?
✏️Has anyone used the shareable videos on their IG account? Or on YouTube Shorts? Has it made an impact?
I love them in theory, trying to figure out how they would work in practice.
🟧 or ✏️ Hi! I've been on Substack a year now and would love to offer a discount for renewing, but it looks like coupons only apply to subscriptions. Is there a way to offer just to renewals?
I’m going paid soon... getting courage to ask! My question is, with sharing on other SM 🤔 If folks can read me on Facebook, IG etc...get the newsletters ... why would they be inclined to pay? As for newsletters... I like reading the app each day... discovering new writers and categories. So don’t want newsletters clogging email each morning! I’m still learning, not whining...thank you.
✏️ Hi all, hope everyone is having a good October. Recently I wrote a post sharing my thoughts on AI. There are most likely a lot of differing opinions on this topic and I have come here curious to know what the overall consensus is on AI when it comes to writing (or in general I suppose). Many people I follow seem to be against it, but I know there are many out there that see this as a noteworthy tool. Any thoughts you're willing to share would be greatly appreciated, and if you use it, how does that work for you?
✏️ My question:
I am starting a new section in my existing Substack. I was originally going to start a separate Substack but Sarah Fay said that Substack doesn't recommend that for reasons that all made sense to me. I was originally NOT going to bring over my mailing list with me from my main section to my new section, but I am now having doubts. Does it make senses to keep different mailing lists: My two sections are:
Prone to Hyperbole, by Noha Beshir: Exploring the multi-generational, minority immigrant experience at the intersection of mental health, motherhood, and faith.
Letters from a Muslim Woman: Muslims and Arabs are rarely asked to speak for ourselves. This is my attempt to do so.
Any insights or suggestions would be welcomed.
Enjoying SubStack and the opportunity it offers indie writers like me. Great app!
🟧 I'm confused about exactly when Writer's Office Hours actually starts. Your intro says 10am PST, but arriving at 10am I have frequently found posts from an hour before, so I figured it was really 9am. Today I immediately came upon a post two hours old. It's challenging to play catch up with all the interesting conversations that have already been taking place. Now, I know 10am PST is, at best, inaccurate since we're still in Daylight Savings Time and its 10am PDT, not PST, but I don't think that's the problem. Should I just start checking at 8am PDT?
🧠 Here's a thought: Don't drive yourself crazy chasing after subscribers and followers. Concentrate on posting the most engaging, authentic, well-written content you can. The joy should come from the creation side, rather than the marketing side.
🟧 Thx for these office hours! I would love to see more design capabilities for the home pages. Instead of the most recent article being center stage, maybe an option to simply have the authors title, logo and logline of their stack? If this option does exist please share the instructions. Thx! From an analog mama.
✏️ A question on encouraging comments and likes: most of my readers know me from outside Substack--from courses I've taught or social media. So they've subscribed to my Substack but haven't bothered with the app. As a result, they aren't likely to comment on my posts. I want my newsletter to grow into a community where freelancers can learn not only from me but from each other (and where we can all support each other).
I've tried asking questions and encouraging discussion (I often forget, so I need to get more consistent with this) but has anyone found other strategies to get subscribers to download the app and engage in community? Any tips for helping subscribers feel more comfortable interacting on Substack?
I've had a blog on a self-hosted Wordpress install for years. I don't post on it frequently enough to try to make proper mailing list and subscription model yet, but I'm considering trying.
I've heard that I can import my Wordpress posts into Substack directly, which is great. Just want to confirm that what I'm trying to do would work here.
I just want an online platform, where I own my own content, it can live online in public/searchable/findable way, and I can write new posts semi-regularly. People have the option to subscribe for free, or not, and maybe even later pay me a little because my thoughts are so inspiring and/or pity-inducing.
I just want to A) avoid paying so much for a hosting and a Wordpress instance, and B) not have all my old stuff live in one place and all my new stuff be here.
I hope that makes sense. Any advice is appreciated.
🟧 I’d like to congratulate Substack on the meetup initiative. I think sharing in-person common challenges and goals with fellow writers - is invaluable. Any update when is the plan to get back to hosts?
✏️ What’s the key to good SEO results for Substack content? My weekly newsletter is about Coppell, the Dallas suburb my family calls home. I have a Google News alert set up for “Coppell,” and my own content never appears in the emailed roundups I get from Google.
I’ve been writing my newsletter every week now for the past 26 weeks and it’s a huge accomplishment for me as far as consistency goes. Though there are moments where it feels like I need to focus more on distribution & getting more subs. Is it better to mostly focus on the quality of my work for now & slowly build the community by engaging with other writers posts?
✏️ So… How’s everyone writing their “from sender” on their Substacks?
I was under the impression that having my email say from “My Name from Substack Name” was the best strategy. Is it tho?
There’s so much about personalization online and how important that is—and I agree! (I even remember reading a study that said business cards with a person’s photo get picked up 3x more at events.)
But will new subscribers care what YOUR name is? I’m just looking in my extra inbox where I get my own Substack emails, and it cuts off right after my name when viewing on mobile.
Considering that most people are there for the subject I’m writing about (Raising Gen Alpha) vs me personally—I assume—do we think that putting our own names in the “from sender” field might be less useful than we’re lead to believe? Or is including your name still important, perhaps for long-term strategy?
Pls weigh in!
🟧 How do I put link in my post like affliate link to direct people to another site have been trying to insert link but it keeps bouncing back and it’s really frustrating which browser can I use?
🟧 I’d like to keep my newsletter free to all subscribers, but make a (free) subscription required to view any post in full. Can you please advise how I should set up my paywall/preview settings?
"Create an experience with my writing, not just sharing a thought." That makes so much sense. Thank you!
🟧 What criteria does Substack use in choosing which 'Stacks to feature in its various promotions (Substack Reads etc)? Obviously this is of great interest as the boost it gives to the chosen ones will be considerable.
🟧 I've sent out my monthly substack and it's landing in inboxes multiple times so one subscriber is receiving the same newsletter 2-3 times which is causing some unsubscribes. Worried about sending another in case it happens again, and have no idea how this can be fixed as it's not due to duplicate contacts. Please help!
🟧 - Hey. Here's my situation. I disconnected paid subs from my Substack because it was a stressful thing to ask for subs and what to put behind a paywall and other thoughts. So now I have pledges. I do want to start doing Google Meets where I create a room and myself and my readers can gather and talk wrestling. However, I don't just want to drop the room link in a new article, and anyone can join because once I removed paid subs, the ability to email all my free subscribers without the article showing up on my newsletter feed is gone. So, I'm trying to think of ways to work around this. I could use Substack Chat but it's dead silence in there with my readers. So what can I or what should I do? I was thinking of reconnecting paid subs back just to get that feature and only send my free subs room links for updates about personal life. I want to make money. My content is all wrestling based and requires travel and I don't always want to promote way more than like showing my journey. The hardest thing to grow is wrestling for some reason despite all the passions that drapes the tables. It's a little discouraging. Besides, upcoming will be my story on how I almost got stranded in Philly during the MLW Slaughterhouse event I covered. There's a brightside. So yeah.
✏️Ok, I really do love all of the new shareable material from Substack and I'm making use of it and putting it into my FB and IG planner, scheduling out material weeks in advance.
Here's the problem: I have almost 900 subscribers on IG and I have VERY little traction on what I share. The same is the case for my podcast IG and FB. And if people aren't seeing what I'm putting out there, how can I possibly get them to come over to Substack. The piece about how to do it was great, but useless if people don't see my CTA.