1102 Comments

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🧠 Welcome to all new Substackers. I always want to help fellow Substackers to get on their feet and this ebook will help you to get started and grow. Feel free to reach out if you find it useful.

https://open.substack.com/pub/raisini/p/from-zero-to-100000-subscribers-the?r=aegif&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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@RAISINI have you ever used quizzes for list growth?

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🟧Maybe you could put together some sort of contest where we could vote on smaller and newer substacks. sabrinalabow.substack.com

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Hi Sabrina! Thanks for sharing this idea. We're always looking to improve, so we appreciate the note.

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Substackers could have friends and family stuff the ballot box.

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✏️ has anyone used substack to write a serial book?

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I’m going to serialize my novel (fiction) . I’ve heard nonfiction does better but I’m excited to try anyway.

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Go for it. You'll never know until you do.

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Which one is better, serializing on Substack or selling it on Amazon? If I want to publish on Amazon after I serializing on Substack, do you think that is okay?

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Hi Kathleen! I've serialized a novel through my Substack, and will be starting to send pieces from my short story collection next week (linking below to both in case you're interested), but there are many other authors serializing as well.

Nathan Slake --> https://slake.substack.com/

Claudia Befu --> https://www.storyvoyager.com/

Ben Woestenburg --> https://benwoestenburg.substack.com/

Ben Wakeman --> https://www.catchrelease.net/

And then here's the intro to the novel I serialized --> https://garrettfrancis.substack.com/p/and-in-the-dark-they-are-born-novel

And also the aforementioned story collection --> https://garrettfrancis.substack.com/p/strays-like-us-short-story-collection

Hope this is helpful in some way!

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Thank you Garrett. You've been busy. Nice shout outs. And congrats to all of you.

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Thanks for the mention, Garrett! 🙏

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Thanks for the mention, Garret. I really appreciate it.

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Yes, people are serializing on Substack. Fiction and nonfiction both. What are you interested in?

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lots of people. I recommend looking up Fictionistas or Erika Drayton who has a list of all the fiction on Substack, or The Link Library.

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yes, several others have as well, and I've serialized my memoir here → https://bowendwelle.substack.com/memoir

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Yep, me! I'm excerpting and serialising my memoir as an audiobook about intergenerational maternal trauma, mental health and the complex interplay between our mental health and the natural world. It's for my paid subscribers but Episode 1 launched last Sunday for everyone if you fancy a listen: https://lindsayjohnstone.substack.com/p/held-in-mind-an-excerpted-memoir#details

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Thanks Lindsay and congratulations. Will check out your audio book.

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I’m planning to serialize a Middle Grade novel after Christmas.

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Yes, I did. I released several thousand words each week...

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I'm serializing (5 episodes) one of my short mysteries: https://susanwittigalbert.substack.com/s/short-fiction Have another already scheduled for Jan-Feb and another in the works. I benefitted from the work of Simon Jones, who regularly posts on the subject: https://simonkjones.substack.com/s/how-to-write-serialised-fiction

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excellent. and congratulations. thanks for responding.

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I don't even know how to the emojis.

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You can copy/paste by highlighting from Katie's text, or if on PC you can press WindowsKey and . to bring up the in-built emoji menu.

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Katie-When I tried to email subscribers with a new post earlier today the email function did not work. Am I missing something? Thanks.

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I think there are occasional hicupps like that. The bold heading functions & block quote functions also sometimes don't seem to work.

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I had 16,000 subscribers when I first came to substack and lost nearly 7,000 of them. The problems with delivery are consistently showing up, as in one out of five will come through to the email address. I have a couple back up email addresses I used to test the delivery and it was horrid.

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this also happened to me. some people received it, but not everyone. I didn't even receive my own post via email???

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Yes, that's how it should work. I got an email on my first two posts but the third time I posted no email??

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It gets much worse the more often you post until I wondered why they were not delivering to all the followers. Particular to this phenomena, since complaining on this platform, as a writer voicing my concerns, it got worse, not better.

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That's completely bizarre. It would be so helpful if a substack staff member could offer some direction on this? Is there some other step we need to take?

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✏️ How do I set up promo codes for 1 month free mode? I would like to set up 10 promo codes (1 month free from having to pay from $1 to $10 per month, it's the reader's choice). A Substack user gave me this great idea.

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You go to DASHBOARD>SETTINGS>PAYMENTS>MANAGE SPECIAL OFFERS+

I talk about it in my 50,000 word guide, at the bottom of this part. https://authorstack.substack.com/p/worldclasssubstack

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🟧What about having the writers with more followers sponsor another who has fewer? sabrinalabow.substack.com

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🟧 I am approaching 650 free subscribers after almost two years of mostly regular posting of quality content. I've added about 250 this year. I write for a small audience of covered calls and puts stock options investors.

And I have 5 pledges for about $512 total.

I figure that if I go paid at $240 a year after discounts and fees I might get 50 to 60 paid subscribers who would pay on a monthly basis. I don't want annual subs because if I have to refund subscribers' money if I have to quit in my old age, I don't want lose money on the 13% credit card and Substack commissions.

Does this make sense?

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Just a thought which might help...if it came to you retiring from writing part way through some of the subscriber's one year term, maybe instead of refunding in cash (which as you mentioned would make a mess of finances on here), what about "gifting" something of equal value...say a new book from Amazon or two delivered to their door in the value of whatever was left of their year. Might be easier optically come tax time as well. Make sense?

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Katie, I have none of those emojis. How do I get them?

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I just copy/paste them.

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🟧 - are there plans afoot to promote little or new stacks? I would love, for instance, to receive a 'Substack Reads' featuring smaller & new substacks so that they get their chance in the spotlight. Many of the Substack Kings & Queens dominate, making it hard to discover brilliant new writers with a small following. As with every platform, it's getting more challenging to sift through the noise as those that already have big platforms are always front and centre. Not that I don't love what they do! many thanks, Lucy

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Many have asked this, and I am among the people who asked. I hope they'll do a 'Substack Reads' in that direction or change the settings of the 'explore' page with categories for newcomers and writers under 1000 followers.

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Oh I like the idea of an explore page with categories allowing searches for us smaller fish!! Brilliant, Emmanuelle!

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Glad you like the idea Holly! Hope the Substack team will hear us!

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Spotlight for the one with under 1000 subscribers is a great idea!

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I really don’t know why they haven’t done it already. It’s pretty basic stuff, really

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

We actually do make sure that a good chunk of lot of slots of Substack Reads are writers with smaller lists, and we avoid featuring writers multiple times to spread the love. But I hear you, and I'll make sure the team sees this and has the nudge to consider how we might do more.

And just as a reminder, writers collaborating with each other to grow (recommendations, cross-posts, notes) are a way more sustainable and powerful growth path than features from our team.

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I appreciate this, Bailey. I will share that when I started writing on Medium (three years ago), I feel like I got a lot more attention from editors there early on, which really helped me to attract an initial following that then continued to build on itself. I believe that growth on Substack is more sustainable over time (followers on Medium have come to mean nothing, and the platform isn't built around email subscribers), which is why I launched a newsletter here about six months ago. I really appreciate Substack, but as I noted in a comment below, there's kind of a "cool kids" vibe that I've found intimidating, and the editors here seem to be less proactive about discovering and promoting new talent. Maybe I'm being impatient, but that's just my take as a relative newbie!

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I hear you on that, noting the "cool kids" vibe. I've had a Substack since late January / early February, and there was about a three-month stretch where I found myself getting pretty frustrated by it. I've since been trying to reframe, and just focus on the work but it can be tricky sometimes.

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I want to jump in and say I’ve had similar experiences. Been here for several months and not sure how to connect to a larger audience outside of my own social media channels.

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See if there is one in your city.

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Sing in to substack 703

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I agree wholeheartedly. There is an insider and outsider feel to this where there does seem to be manipulation through the delivery, as I am getting 1 in 5 posts on two identities that are subscribed compared to my own identity I write under. Delivery is suspect.

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This gets brought up ever week in office hours but I don't see it happening in real life. I see tons of "Welcome to Substack!" for big name people who bring in thousands of their own subs. But not for people who are starting from zero. Seems a little out of balance and as someone else said, a "cool kids" club.

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100%. Every week. Yet to see “Welcome to Substack (little known writers)”. Seems obvious to me that writers switching platforms with thousands of subscribers don’t need a shout out.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023

I made peace with the capitalist economy. While they don't need the shout-out they bring more money to the platform. It's self perpetuating. If your work is good it will grow, maybe slowly but I see that as a positive to have time to be thoughtful.

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Would still love to be featured on Substack Reads !

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After 700 plus posts, some well over ordinary fair, even short books, and coming with 14,000 followers to see it drop to 9500 since moving here three years ago. I have published nearly 6 million words or more, Grammerly says 9,750,000 words checked, but not once a notice or feature, even a note of achievement other than the standard notice wii get. Pictures, How to, creating houses out of salvage, villages out of people with skills and intentions to create a better world. Solutions versus conflict and it appears, Wii become invisible here too. Time to find new soil to plant words in... ideas may flourish with good light.

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Yes, but how do I find writers on substack publishing on similar subjects? There's no directory, and it would be easy to build. All you'd have to do is ask substack writers a few questions and a massive searchable database would be created within a month.

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Thanks Bailey! One category that could really use some love promoting smaller accounts is Science; about half of the top ten on the leaderboard are very popular anti-vaxx and misinformation publications. Controversy and angry posts definitely attract more engagement compared to well-written and thoughtful science and medical journalism by experts. I would be happy to provide a list of some great accounts to promote (besides myself, obviously 😝)

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Many thanks for youre reply Bailey — I will also push harder on the other growth tools such as recommendations, notes, cross-posts etc.

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I love this idea. I'm still new-ish to Substack and there's definitely a "popular kids" vibe to it that's a little intimidating!

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I think there has to be a popular kids vibe because SubStack needs to make money. So they have to promote the big kids to make people want to come here. We have to learn enough tech to make their search engine find us, I guess. I am leaning towards the alternative search and social routes, because Google can wipe a person out in a day or less. Relying on a single platform and single engine is not the best way to grow. Getting subscribers is a LOT of work, and a commitment to learn tech and media is required..... so I am studying hard.

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Something that tends to be forgotten (or not noticed) is that the popular kids sort of pave the way for the rest of us; they don't actually take attention away. I have noticed that I get subscriptions from complete strangers who are already subscribed to Substacks by more famous writers, while close friends who don't know about Substack won't even support me in that way. So I conclude that the popular kids draw new readers to platform, which in turn gets them accustomed to Substack and makes it more likely that they'll subscribe to more Substacks.

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I agree. I also have received subscriptions from those who read and comment on those with rather large followings on Substack. I am gratified to occasionally see, for example, that a person subscribes to Robert Reich's substack and to mine!

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But this only works if you're subscribed to the popular ones and actively engaging with them. I'm not interested in most of the big ones, they just don't write what I want to read. This is not a complaint, just saying.

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I think you're off to the side of my point. If you can find readers of other Substack writers through means other than interacting with their blogs, they're more likely to subscribe to you than people who don't know about Substack at all. The fact that there are famous writers who have drawn them here purely through their personal following works to your advantage because they're already comfortable with the platform.

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Good point, and well said.

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Truth! Most people usually need some "established" reason to try the new platform. Adding new subscriptions is easy once they get on board.

It's typical / normal that the people close to you won't sign up. They see you personally, and can't see you professionally. That happens to everyone, no matter the profession...

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YES - and my little Procrastinator Monkey 🙈 and Impatient Monkey 🙈 HATES all the time it takes to learn new systems! My heart gets happy when I'm willing...

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I need to study too! I keep putting it off:( sabrinalabow.substack.com

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I get that too; does seem to be a clickish dynamic. On the other hand, I’ve found that the popular kids here are actually pretty approachable, relative to other platforms. I do get friendly engagement from popular authors on the various goofy comments I scatter around here, and I think that speaks more to the good attitude of the writers than to my commenting talents or lack thereof.

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Yes I hear you there

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So I say we start an “unpopular kids” grow and go head on. We start by subscribing to one another’s stack and then promote only the unpopular posts. Who’s with me?

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Clique with the un-clique clique.

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Omg--yes! Feels like high school sometimes! 🫤

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Yes. Many have asked for this. It’s a good idea. Maybe feature writers with 1,000 or less subs

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1,000 subscribers still seems like a pipe dream at this stage!

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We will get there. Engaging with others and Notes, Notes, Notes! It's really great! It's gotten me the most new subscribers. sabrinalabow.substack.com

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I am 3 years in and I only have 450 subscribers. Marketing always fall on the creator.

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I don’t see Notes as an option! How do I access it?

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Notes is available in the app. Everyone has use of it inside the app and it really is fantastic for engagement and bringing in new readers.

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Is that the same section as home- explore/following?

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It should be on your navigation bar on your home page OR if you click on your little profile image (top right) and hit home, it'll take you to an explore page. Those are notes.

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Agreed — but we will get there!

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I hope so! I was happy when I got to three digits, honestly. And even now I find it strange and a little uncomfortable to self-promote (especially since I don't really use social media) so I've resigned myself to residing in my tiny corner of the internet.

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I'm in the same place, Jen. I.m gradually weaning myself off of social media for the promises of being discovered on Substack without having to do a ton of self promotion. I was burned out doing self promotion for my former business practice on social media. Now that I've been here for about six months, I'm seeing greater headwinds than I imagined, and there're people who give expert advice about growing your audience outside of Substack, even using paid advertisements. This is actually the opposite of what I wanted to do. I need help!

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And there is nothing wrong with that! I write for fun but it would be nice to make money. I just turned on the option for paid. I'm lucky to have another job to make money but it would be nice to do this full time. I'm getting more and more subscribers by interacting with all of you and with Notes. Just keep writing. If you build it they will come even if "they" aren't en masse! sabrinalabow.substack.com

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Glad I'm not alone...

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No estas sola, aquí en el otro lado del mundo también me gustaria que sepan de mi!!!!

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Yes, may I suggest one Substack Reads featuring posts from those newsletters with less than 1000 subscribers...

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That’s a good idea. And with basic info deets - what your substack is about. It would also be helpful if these sun stacks were organised into categories - food, travel, space, current affairs etc

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They don't feature us with much more either if they do not like our content of empowerment it appears. Been here for years. 9,000,000 words published on here, yet crickets. There is a click, paid for with big dollars, and then there is us... the writers self paid and promoted by us alone it appears. Sad, but I think there is a problem as many of my followers do not get all my posts. Some only 1/5 of them. Never have I been contacted or appreciated except their weekly counts of words and scores. Great for their paid for stars I guess.

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I’d also like Notes to go back to being less algorithm-y. I see the same posts everyday and know I’m missing a lot from the folks I follow and vice versa!

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Substack does make writers “feature publications.” And they do this to publications of all sizes. It happened to my non-fiction publication about 8 months after launch. I was pretty small. I think the reason they tend not to do it for BRAND NEW writers is because most newsletters fold within 3 months of launch. They probably want to be sure you won’t fizzle out

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Good point, Cole, and I agree. In my case, I've been publishing quite steadily for over 2 years, so I hope I appear unlikely to fold! I'd also love to be able to add one of those "Featured Publication" badges to all of my newsletter outreach :-)

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I hope you get picked, Joan :)

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I wish I could tell you what got me picked.

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This has been asked many times. I would love to see this for my stack (obviously) and many others I subscribe to.

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I too would vote for this. Both as an avid reader and as someone with a smaller following so far.

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🟧Maybe they could do some sort of contest where we could vote on smaller and newer substacks. sabrinalabow.substack.com

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This is a really good idea!

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Looking forward to checking out your stack as I see it's all about creativity!

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Definitely would love to see that from Substack.

I do a digest every Friday of awesome writing here that's all related to my niche of art and mental health ... I do include bigger writers but I also include lots of small stacks. I love that we can all co-exist side by side in that way, sharing our wisdom.

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Following you! YAY 🙌🏽 Art & mental health are such good partners. (that's my world too - Creative Healing).

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Yes many have asked for this previously. I hope so too.

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I support this! Great request Lucy.

So true about the Kings and Queens and those coming to Substack with substantial followings already.

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Substack paid for, bought writers rather than promote us, the writers who have written millions of words. Not sure how this is supposed to help except for their chosen people they pay to bring. The problems and loss of subscribers by coming here is troubling and the repeated failure to deliver to the followers is troubling as I have two ID followers who are not getting but a fifth of the output. My concerns are for the the promotion of their paid writers over those of us who helped them get up and running. Its about time to move on if the admin is just here to promote their favorites.

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Agree on this! Also a Spotify type playlist like "New Music Friday" that showcases some new substack writers and their publications.

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Agree. Love this idea!

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The key to gaining consistent subscribers I’ve found is:

1. Write quality material and post regularly but not too often (I recommend 1-3 times per week)

2. Read other Stacks and leave comments on their posts

3. RESTACK other writers’ work and add a personal note

4. Use Notes to help attract attention but don’t post Notes constantly

5. Figure out your audience and what’s original/unique about your writing

6. Be patient

7. Don’t come off as desperate for growth. Self-promote but with thoughtfulness

My piece on the purpose of Substack: https://michaelmohr.substack.com/p/what-is-the-point-of-substack-making

Michael Mohr

Sincere American Writing

https://michaelmohr.substack.com/

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You don't think 1–3 times a week isn't too often? That seems like heaps!

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I think it can work if it's in different sections. For myself, for example, I do the following:

1. Post on Monday --for everyone

2. Post every other Wednesday -- a letter exchange with @rebecca holden -- for everyone

3. Post on Friday for paid subscribers

4. Post on Sunday for everyone

Plus occasional extra posts

Thus it's mainly 2 posts each week for most people, and 3 every other week. They're all in different sections, so people can switch off the ones they are not interested in

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That makes sense. I post roughly fortnightly, because I didn't want to bombard people with emails and I was worried about not having enough to write about if I posted more frequently.

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I understand, although I should have thought that writing about food and children would always present possible articles!

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I used to write for Book Riot, and back then I had to submit two articles a month. I always had a list of ideas for future articles because of the fear of not being able to meet a deadline. Now with Substack, I don't have a boss, only my own self-imposed 'write something every two weeks' goal that I've publicly stated — but the same fear of running out of ideas remains. I still have a list of ideas for future Substack posts :)

I also didn't want subscribers to think, 'Not her again! Didn't she *just* email me?' and then not click on the emails...

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All of that makes sense, apart from the last para. I shall have a look at yours, but I know there are some newsletters that I open straight away because I like their stuff. I think maybe you could experiment with a sort of bonus post every so often in a week that you're not writing, if you see what I mean

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Terry, I am so impressed with your regular posts and while I can’t read them all, I love the ones I read! As someone who is at times struggling to find tine to post weekly, I was wondering how many hours a day do you dedicate to writing? Do you have pipeline of posts you plan in advance and then publish them at a certain cadence?

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Oh thanks, Anu, that's very kind of you. Now, about these posts that you DON'T read. You do save them, right? 🙃 I shall answer your questions in a post I think, and send you the link if that is ok with you.

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Sounds good! I don’t have time in the day to read all I want to, but I hope to read ALL of your posts;)

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Thanks, Anu. I like yours too, but I just realised I haven't been seeing them for a while, even though you've obviously been posting. Sorry. I have catching up to do.

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He's trying to say he 'writes A LOT'. I am duly impressed.

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LOL. I love writing. I even write without publishing sometimes. Chortle!

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I post once a week and that's been working pretty well. I think even more important than how often you post is making sure you're consistent to the point readers know when to expect an email from you. If your readers expect to receive a post from you twice a week, then they won't feel annoyed when they see your newsletter pop up in their inbox. But if you post irregularly this might catch them off guard cause they won't know what to expect from you. Hope this helps. :)

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Yeah, I've been pretty consistently posting about once a fortnight. Sometimes it's been 17 days between posts, and sometimes 11. Which is why I say in my subscribe button that I write 'every two weeks-ish'. I like the flexibility the 'ish' provides.

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Absolutely true! You definitely don't want someone to be annoyed at getting too many emails from you. It's just that we are all so busy. I have 4,000 unread emails--mostly junk--in my inbox. It's never-ending. Just when I clear them they start piling up again. It's why I think it's really important to have a good visual and great title for your posts. sabrinalabow.substack.com

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I think expectations and follow through are everything. I have some newsletters (not all from Substack) that only arrive once a month, others once a day. The material is different, and I must admit that I'm more apt to delete the dailies without opening because I just can't take it all in some days. Different approaches for different folxes. 😆 I've settled on once a week and, unless pre-planned, I haven't skipped a week since I launched close to 2 years ago. I also didn't open paid subscriptions until after the first year, to be sure I and my readers knew what we were signing up for.

https://elizabethbeggins.substack.com/

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1-2 times a week is ideal I think. But it spans the spectrum. Look at Jimmy Doom (every day) or Kathy Fish (every 4-6 weeks)

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I think it depends on what format you use, what you write about and whether you post short or long. I try for twice/week, but most of them are fairly brief (4 minute read, according to Substack).

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

Some do write that often but I cannot seem to find the time to read three posts though but others may enjoy frequency so I think it depends.

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Good list, Michael. Funnily enoughh I bookmarked your article about ten minutes ago.

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I just cut and pasted your ideas which are fantastic! I think 1-2 times per week to post but I think Notes you could do every day. It's where I have gotten most of my subscriber growth. sabrinalabow.substack.com

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Great tips, I appreciate it.

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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

Michael's comments are thoughtful. #4 I find too much Notes is hard when the feed is filled with the same stuff as someone in their network already posted which means I see the same post multiple times or people posting about how many subscribers they have. I can only consume small doses.

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🟧 Hi Katie, I'm going to ask one more time for a category called 'Creative Nonfiction'. I see you have a 'Fiction' category, so why not non-fiction? Corralling us under 'Culture' just isn't working. That category is way too broad.

We creative nonfiction writers talk about ideas and problems specific to the unique ways we write and it would be great if we could find each other more easily.

Surely there's room for one more category? Thanks for any help.

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Yes, this please!

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Oh, that would be a great category. I'd join it! :)

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Oh, I couldn't agree more! Creative Non-Fiction is a writing genre as legitimate as fiction, and in fact, is the style in which most major newspapers write their analysis pieces. The New York Times and the Times Magazine regularly provide great examples of creative non-fiction writing

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Yes! It's the stuff of advanced degrees, as well. It's so legit it needs its own Substack category.

@Substack

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Yes! I was fortunate to take a writing workshop on Creative Non-fiction from a quite famous writer in the genre, and she was the head of a masters program in CNF at a pretty major college.

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I have been writing that, and more but they have a problem with such and thus do not give it attention. They have a leaning toward some things and away from empowerment. Creative Non-Fiction can mess up the distract and destabilize, weaken with whining principles of discordance that may be problem on this admin of site.

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Me 3!...er, 30! And, counting. I remember wrestling so much with category selection when I first launched.

Culture?

🤔

Culture? ::scrolls through the list of options again::

🫤

Culture...

😶

There are multiple sub-categories for Politics, plus Art & Illustration as well as Design, but Culture is the closest best option for those of us who are, more or less, generalists. I guess, when it comes right down to it, many of the pre-populated categories are, in fact, components of culture. But, for those of us who don't specialize in one area, Culture feels too broad. In truth, I suppose the same could be said for Creative Non-Fiction. I wonder if Culture & Lifestyle would allow more of us to be seen? Or the other way around (Lifestyle & Culture)?

Tricky to put labels on those of us who prefer to exist outside of them.

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How about 'Personal Essays'? That would take in a whole lot of territory while still defining a kind of niche. 'Culture and Lifestyle' would cover one of my Substacks perfectly, but my Sub on writing needs more definition.

It is tricky!

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Another great category option, Ramona!

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Now that you mention it, Writing deserves its own category, for heaven's sake, as does Poetry!

Does Personal Essays sound sufficiently inviting, or does it sound like navel gazing? I'm really digging in here, I know, but I'd love to find a word/term that really sings. (not that Substack will necessarily agree). I did a little Googling and see that both "Life" and "Life Lessons" are very popular tags on another platform. I think those have potential!

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I thinkI’m still partial to ‘creative nonfiction’. It would appeal to both writers and readers.

Culture and Lifestyle should be separated, too. They make no sense together.

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Well, one thing's certain: Quite a few of us feel we'd benefit from one or more new categories!

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I also would like more categories, especially 'Creative Nonfiction', as my writings don't clearly fit into existing categories.

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Yes, to a Creative Nonfiction category. Cool idea.

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Would definitely like to see that.

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This is a great idea, and I am all for it.

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YES! I write memoir based on my teenage diaries and would love to be in a creative non-fic category

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🧠 Sometimes I put a lot of work into a story I'm passionate about, and when I release it out into the world, I hear nothing but crickets. I'm sure we've all been there! This was the case with a recent story, "The Most Radical Act of Resistance is To Take Back Our Time," which talked about the increasing pressures my partner has been under at work, leading him to collapse on the job and get approved for 14 weeks under the FLMA. His job informed him that he would be transferred to a different office upon his return and made it clear that his job security was tenuous, at best.

I was so disappointed by the general lack of response to the story, until... his supervisor stumbled across it. Long story short, my partner recently received an email from HR that informed him he could extend his leave if he'd like and return to work at the same office, or if he wanted to part ways (which he does), they would give him a generous severance package, a positive recommendation, and wouldn't contest unemployment benefits.

It just goes to show that you never know who you'll reach when you put something out into the world. This story that initially seemed to make no waves ultimately netted us $30,000 and at least a tiny bit of faith that sometimes there is justice in this world!

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EVERY writer hears the sound of crickets at some point. It's usually when you post a piece that you have truly high expectations for. Keep writing. Keep posting. Consistency and dedication to the craft is all we have.

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This just happened to me this week! I put a lot of heart and soul into a letter I thought was timely and relevant and hardly any response at all. I wonder if expectations has something to do with it...🧐

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Isn't it always our expectations that quietly erode the moorings of our ability to be present and happy?

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Yes, couldn't have said it better myself! It's that bit about releasing control that always trips me up :)

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Yeah, that silly control thing...:-)

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Agreed! Plus images and video is really important! sabrinalabow.substack.com

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As long as you are passionate about your work and keep publishing it will inevitably yield results!

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Kerala!! Wow, this is such a great story. I'm so very glad to hear that this happened on so many levels. Thank you for sharing.

And yeah, those crickets can sure be loud! May we turn them into the song we write to. ;o) Or something like that.

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Whoa! That's so cool!

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That's excellent! It says something about the quality of what you wrote. It also says something about the reach and searchability of the platform.

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Awesome!! And yes: Sometimes you just don’t get much response. Keep writing.

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I'm glad this happened for you and your partner!

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Love this so hard. 💗 so happy for you both. Sounds like a IRL Substack success story! Perhaps write this as a post and share with Substack...?

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I actually had every intention of doing that, but his company explicitly stipulated that we (meaning me!) wouldn't write anything else about them, even though I never mentioned them by name. That's what made me realize how scared they are getting into legal trouble, which made me think we probably *should* sue them, but alas, neither of us have the energy.

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Kerala, I've definitely been in the "crickets" category, and mostly I wish I didn't care. But, holy smokes, what a fabulous reminder that it's not always the quantity but the quality of the impact we make. We don't always get to know what that is, but I'm thrilled, on your behalf, that this time it was so obvious!

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I get so mad that I care! I always tell myself I'll be zen about it, then find myself obsessively checking my notifications.

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I’ll just say me too! I did a travel post on Essaouira, Morocco that I marinated for a while. It got some responses but not as much as I had expected. Great to hear about your husband. All the best to you both.

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Wow, Kerala, thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry to hear that your partner went through such a tough time at work! But what a miracle that his supervisor stumbled upon your article! Very glad that it made such a great impact and I wish your partner a solid recovery back to health.

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Dang, I was about to say hire an attorney... but it looks like your writing saved the day! Nice work, and I'm wishing your partner a restful recovery.

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Yeah, I initially hoped that HR reached out because they felt bad, but I'm quite sure it's because they were worried we would be advised by a lawyer to sue. Either way though, I'm not going to complain about the outcome!

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As someone who has been through the discrimination lawsuit circus (got sexually harassed and then punished for reporting said harassment), I would tell you that HR is never, ever reaching out because they feel bad lol. But yeah, it sounds like you had the very best outcome possible!

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OMG that's such an uplifting story! How did they come across your post? sabrinalabow.substack.com

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🟧 Posting again because I believe this would be super beneficial for fiction writers of Substack!

One thing I’d LOVE to be able to do is put up a “free wall” which would work just like a pay wall, except instead of preventing all but paid subscribers from reading a post, it would prevent anyone who is not a subscriber at all from reading a post.

This would be great for fiction writers who want to keep certain content exclusive to actual subscribers as opposed to making everything that’s not behind a paywall available to anyone on the internet.

Please add this feature, Substack team!!

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I like this idea of knowing who is reading it: atleast getting subs from reads. I think you can do something like make it private so you have to subscribe to read a little like instagram private accounts but its on all whereas would be nice on some

Posts

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Yes please! I've been wanting something like this too... a way to reward subscribers (eg with more private / insider-y content).

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