The Substack launch checklist

Get started

  1. Set up your publication

    • Connect your Twitter account during set-up

    • Import your mailing list, if you have one

  2. Announce your newsletter to the world by sharing the link to your homepage:

  3. Publish your first “real” post. (Don’t overthink it! Best to just start.)

  4. Keep publishing!

    • Talk to your readers and get feedback

    • Tweet each post with a short thread (learn how)

  5. Once you have some posts under your belt, flesh out your “positioning” a bit more (edit here)

    • Write/edit the one-sentence description that appears on your welcome page ( and entices people to sign up

    • Write your “about” page

Launch paid subscriptions

  1. Connect your Stripe account

  2. Publish a dedicated post to announce that you’re launching paid subscriptions. This should include:

    • Why you’re going paid

    • The launch date (date of first subscribers-only post)

    • What’s behind the paywall (what you post about, frequency of posts, etc)

    • A “Subscribe Now” button

  3. Share this post on Twitter and anywhere else you can. Ask friends to share.

  4. Keep publishing free posts in the lead-up to your paid launch

    • At the top of each post, remind readers that your paid launch is coming soon and that they should subscribe to make sure they don’t miss anything

    • At the bottom of each post, embed friendly tweets that serve as testimonials and ask people to share the newsletter

  5. The day before your first “real” subscribers-only post, let everyone know it is coming (with a teaser) via a post to your mailing list, Twitter, etc. Include links to subscribe.

  6. On your paid launch day, publish your first “real” subscribers-only post.

Build momentum

  1. Tweet each post (public and subscriber-only posts) with a short thread

  2. Continue to publish regular public posts

    • These will help you gain new readers and build your mailing list

    • Aim for a 3:1 ratio of subscriber’s to public posts

  3. Send occasional posts to “only free signups,” to let them know that they’re missing out by not subscribing. Sometimes you might consider offering them a discount as an incentive to subscribe.