Product news for writers: introducing welcome page blurbs, polls, and more
A rundown of the latest product improvements to help Substack writers succeed
At Substack, we’re focused on building for and with writers. Read on for a rundown of what we’ve released in the past few weeks—from new welcome page blurbs to polls and recommendations digests. Please chime in, in the comments section, with your feedback.
New welcome page blurbs
Word of mouth can be the most powerful tool for growing on Substack. Writers using Substack’s new recommendations feature will know how far the words of another writer can go to bolster confidence and help convert potential subscribers.
Now we are launching a new way to surface and highlight the great recommendations you are receiving: adding blurbs to your welcome page.
When you receive a recommendation from another writer, you’ll have the option to pin it to your welcome page as a blurb. During testing, we found welcome pages with blurbs were more likely to elicit new subscribers than ones without.
To set up blurbs, navigate to your Settings page and look for “Recommendation blurbs on welcome page.”
Introducing polls on Substack!
Writers have been experimenting with using polls to engage their readers. Politics writer Robert Reich used polls to solicit his subscribers’ opinion on the president; sports writer Joe Posnanski asked his readers which football team he should cover next.
Polls also now have anchor links, similar to headlines. This means you can link directly to them from email voting, other posts, and social media.
Have you been using polls in your Substack posts? Tell us more about it in the comments section below.
Read more: How do I add a poll to a Substack post?
Recommendations email digest
We started sending email digests rounding up the recommendations writers are sharing.
Now when a writer makes a new recommendation for a publication or podcast they like, we’ll include this in a recommendations digest email that we send to their subscribers.
These emails are sent twice monthly from Substack, though writers are able to opt out of being included in the recommendations digest, while readers can unsubscribe from these emails without unsubscribing from the publications included.
When a writer opts out, the digest will exclude recommendations they’ve made and recommendations they’ve received.
Read more: What are recommendations digests?
Paid podcast art
For those running a paid podcast, having separate artwork for paid posts can create an important “members only” feel.
Now podcasters can go to settings and navigate to an “Advanced settings” option where they can set art for paid podcast episodes.
Adding artwork here will make sure it shows up instead of your usual art on Substack surfaces and in players, and you will no longer have to change it on individual posts.
For more information on launching a podcast on Substack, read our 101 series here:
Real-time stocks pricing
For finance writers, we added a new “cashtag” feature allowing readers to see real-time changes in stock prices.
Type a cashtag followed by a space to generate a ticker with daily price change, for example, GOOG 0.00
To discover more writers covering the same stock, click on the cashtag in any post.
We hope you give these new tools and features a try. As always, please feel free to leave feedback and ideas in the comments.