118 Comments

I have to say that yet another benefit to posting every day is that this tends to become evident. My brain simply won't produce things outside of the format I've come to hone over the last 150 days in a row, and I'm grateful to have this figured out/on auto pilot for now, so I can think more deeply about other stuff (like my topics).

Expand full comment

That’s impressive. You don’t find that daily posts are too much for readers?

Expand full comment

Sure, but I'm not looking for all readers. I'm looking for a very specific set of folks out there who don't mind hearing from me every day (or just skip a few days and dive in when they see something interesting).

There's no single right answer here.

Expand full comment

Some yes. But the angle matters. Daily snacks/news vs Weekly deep dives.

Expand full comment

What does angle mean?

Expand full comment

100%. I’m able to focus better when I have a consistent framework for writing

Expand full comment

The ‘Duplicate To Drafts’ is life changing!!!!

Expand full comment

i keep forgetting it exists!!

Expand full comment

Yeah, same, hah. I've never used it!

Expand full comment

It’s so helpful with my Caught In My Web 🕸️series. I do the same format every time and it has saved me sooo much time. I highly recommend if you do a regular format.

Expand full comment

Right, it saved my health! :)

Expand full comment

My favorite feature ❤️‍🔥

Expand full comment

While I prefer to have an original photo to go with each post, I often end up using the Unsplash stock photo gallery built into Substack. Its a reliable backup.

Expand full comment

It's the best hidden feature!

Revealing more about the not so secret, secret here: https://support.substack.com/hc/en-us/articles/4697212547860-How-do-I-add-free-images-or-pictures-to-my-Substack-post-

Expand full comment

I use this every day. Thank you.

Expand full comment

I use stock photos most of the time, because my own photography is very subject-specific. If I have an original photo or my own that's on topic and hasn't already been used, I use my own. Most of the time, that's not the case. The stock photos are an excellent tool.

Expand full comment

Never heard if it, thanks!

Expand full comment

Good to know! Haven’t tried it.

Expand full comment

My only commentary is that, even for fiction writers, I find the journalism-style of 1-2 sentence paragraphs to be appreciated. I read a lot of my substacks via email or on the phone, so long paragraphs can be difficult to keep track of.

Adding pictures also helped transform my substack. https://kevinmcsa6.substack.com/

Expand full comment

I tend to agree. I've seen some people say the opposite and that they can't bring themselves to write in shorter paragraphs, but I think that's them not wishing to adapt to the medium. Personally, I find the reading experience on screen is, for whatever reason, easier when in smaller chunks.

Expand full comment

Much truth to what you guys say. It’s that wall of text effect. If you don’t break it up, it’s literally hard to read.

Expand full comment

I was thinking about publishing my book reports from third grade, all written neatly in cursive. I, of course, am not serious and am only writing this comment to throw my face on this page in a desperate attempt for somebody to notice me and perhaps check out my words, maybe even like them. Who knows? Crazier things have happened. Anyway, it's been real. I've got changes to track.

Expand full comment

We look forward to your book reports

Expand full comment

Woohoo!

Expand full comment

now I want to see some examples of beautiful handwriting. I think I failed penmanship (what it was called in my day)

Expand full comment

Yeah, penmanship, those were the days.

Expand full comment

this escalated quickly! Cursive, I still write cursive in my journals ! Ingrained in me like times tables

Expand full comment

I prefer cursive, but I always seem to forget it exists. Besides, my handwriting, no matter how I hold a pen, is terrible. It has declined since grade school.

Expand full comment

my brain only works in cursive nowadays. Writing in print feels unnatural.

I even started dreaming in cursive, as I watched my thoughts being written in the air in cursive letters. Now if I could just remember how a capital Q should look.

Expand full comment

Curses, it's the Cursive Curr. An-Cures Aweigh"!!

(Actually, the basic word here - - cursive - - is difficult to play with.

Whadda ya got that's better? Tim

Expand full comment

I like the book report idea, Corey!

Expand full comment

Nice. Now I am definitely doing it. I'll keep you posted.

Expand full comment

The tip about duplicating to drafts is a game-changer! My newsletter has a fairly simple format, but this tip saves me significant time in formatting that I can then spend on writing. As a mom of toddlers trying to squeeze in a project for myself, every minute saved is significant. :)

Expand full comment

I’m yet to engage with the newsletter.. I’ll look into that! How do you rate the engagement through it vs through a regular post?

Expand full comment

Can we get better tools for charts and tables? Right now I have to screenshot which doesn’t look pretty

Expand full comment

Did you know we have Datawrapper embeds? https://support.substack.com/hc/en-us/articles/15722290158100

Expand full comment

Didn't know about this. Thanks Katie.

Expand full comment

I did not. Let me try to use this. Is it also possible to embed HTML in an article?

Expand full comment

Not today

Expand full comment

I run charts and tables through Photoshop 2019 where you can greatly enhance them. Photoshop is very worthwhile for illustrations you download for your articles. Snipping Tool allows me to copy content without any compromise in quality.

Expand full comment

I would love a text wrapping feature to put images wherever we want *in* the words. I don't love the disconnect that comes from vertical images taking up so much space between paragraphs or the extensive negative space to each side of an image when I scale an image down. Please consider. 🖤

Expand full comment

Who else here posts once per week?

I've found it to be effective, as I create longer format, research-based articles.

Expand full comment

I'm a once-a-week guy, too. I like the rhythm of it, plus I hope that it doesn't feel overwhelming for those on the receiving end.

Expand full comment

Once a week at the the same time every time

Expand full comment

Same here, sometimes twice a week. There's no rule, we just have to match our own rhythm so that we get readers who appreciate this frequency. Our community will naturally have similar reading habits as us... (ie : introvert people like me and my fellows like to dive into deep readings, and not being overwhelmed by oversharing. :) )

Expand full comment

Thank you Marion! Good point on our community having similar habits...I always knew it, but now that you say it...it clicks! Thank you. How long have you been writing on here?

Expand full comment

This is really nice, and fun! I’ve enjoyed learning how to treat my Substack as my own publication and getting its own style. It’s messy and chaotic but that’s also me. Some really awesome formats and ideas to work on here.

Expand full comment

This is a helpful post, thank you!

Quick note: looks like Leslie Stephens’ “Morning Person” is linked to a different newsletter by accident. 😌

Expand full comment

Good catch. I just updated the post. Thank you, Erika!

Expand full comment

Thanks so much for including Six Things in this!

Expand full comment

Can we get new fonts? :P

Expand full comment

I can pass along the request

Expand full comment

Duplicate to drafts?! 🤯 This will save me so much time. Instead of dragging and dropping my custom dividers from the mess of my downloads - they now have somewhere to live. Thank you!

Expand full comment

As someone just getting started, I appreciate this little series on how-to. Even if my substack is meant to be sort of a free-style journal, I still like knowing what potentially works or doesn't work if I even want to take into a less-free-style place!

Expand full comment