Introducing recommendations: simple cross-promotion for writers
A new way for writers on Substack to recommend each other and discover more great work
Today we are rolling out a new feature to allow writers to directly endorse each other’s publications on Substack: recommendations. A writer can select a number of publications to recommend to new subscribers, and the writers of those publications will be notified and prompted to recommend back.
This cross-promotion feature provides a way for writers to promote and discover each other on their own terms.
Writers cross-promoting each other has been the key to discovery on the internet since its inception, notably in the blogosphere, where writers’ blogrolls helped unearth niche communities and build bonds of trust between writers.
At Substack, we know personal recommendations between writers can be powerful. But until now, soliciting endorsements from other writers has been a largely manual process. Writers tell us they want better ways to connect with, reward, and collaborate with each other on Substack.
For writers, recommendations offer an avenue to celebrate other writers they admire on Substack, while forging new relationships and collaboration opportunities. For readers, recommendations from writers they trust are one of the strongest possible signals of quality.
How it works
Writers can now select other Substacks to recommend when a new reader subscribes to their own publication. They also have the option to add a personal blurb—a chance to describe why they endorse the publication.
For readers, recommended publications appear after they subscribe to a publication. The content is not algorithmic, and the writer is in control of which publications they recommend.
The recommended writer will receive an email with details of how the endorsement has impacted their subscriber numbers. They are encouraged to reciprocate your recommendation, and to recommend other writers.
Head to the “Recommend other publications on Substack” section of your settings page today to start cross-promoting your favorite writers.
We’ve been encouraged by the early results from the testing of recommendations and we plan to continue to iterate on this new feature. It will remain in beta as we work to find more ways for writers to promote and discover each other.
We hope you give recommendations a whirl and start exploring the ways you can collaborate with other writers on Substack. You can also help promote other writers by setting up your reader profile and adding links to your publication homepage.
As always, please feel free to leave feedback in the comments.