Substack

Paid email newsletters made simple

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Substack makes it simple for a writer to start a paid or free newsletter. Writers get a CMS built for publishing email newsletters, integrated payments through Stripe, and a website that can host free and subscriber-only content.

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Reviews

 +2 reviews
  • Stowe Boydfuturist, researcher, imperfectionist
    Pros: 

    Easy to set up/use, responsive team

    Cons: 

    Single tier of subscriptions

    I've hosted workfutures.org on Substack, after experience with Patreon and Steady. A great experience so far, a month in.

    Stowe Boyd has used this product for one month.

Discussion

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Abadesi@abadesi · 👩🏽‍💻 Product Hunt | Hustle Crew | NTT
Thanks for hunting @katmanalac, this is a pretty neat innovation @hamishmckenzie I notice more and more entrepreneurs starting with a community first approach and tools like this help monetization happen quicker -- what led you to build this?
Hamish McKenzieMaker@hamishmckenzie
@katmanalac @abadesi Thanks! Basically, Chris and I were sad that social media incentive structures were increasingly encouraging content that stoked outrage and sensationalism, making it hard for people to have reasonable conversations with each other. We wanted to build something that provided a better way for writers to get paid, and for readers to have quality reading experiences. We love the idea that readers pay not so much for content but for relationships with the writers they love and the community around them.
Hamish McKenzieMaker@hamishmckenzie
We need to introduce ourselves! I'm Hamish McKenzie, a journalist who has wandered through a couple tech companies (Tesla, Kik). Chris was the technical co-founder of Kik. We're both fans of Ben Thompson's Stratechery newsletter, and we wondered what it would be like if it were easier for writers to do something like that. So now, instead of wrangling a bunch of different tools like Thompson did to start Stratechery, writers can just use Substack as a simple, all-in-one solution to do paid newsletters. At a time when social media has distorted the incentives for media, we think the Substack model offers a better way forward for writers and readers.
James Robinson@jalrobinson · Public Relations Manager, Credit Karma
Really awesome to see this take flight. A lot of great content taking life through Substack - huge fan already of Mixtape and the Second Arrangement. Great work @hamishmckenzie and @cjgbest
Hamish McKenzieMaker@hamishmckenzie
@cjgbest @jalrobinson That's awesome to hear, James. We love Mixtape and The Second Arrangement, too. Long live Steely Dan!
Caleb Dismuke@jcd5816 · Creator of SAM-An investment newsletter
I have used Wordpress and other CMS systems for newsletters. Nothing compares to how simple it is too create and send content. I used to spend 20-40% of my time on back-end work that is now taken care of. Not to mention page load times are as fast as I've seen. Which is important when you are trying to get people to your website from Facebook and other social channels.
Taylor Pearson@taylorpearsonme · Author, TaylorPearson.me
Really cool project, excited to watch it develop! Curious what you guys are seeing in terms of at what point it makes sense for someone to launch a paid newsletter. I.e. Are there any metrics/rules of thumb for when it makes sense to switch from platform/audience/brand building with free content to adding a subscription model?
Hamish McKenzieMaker@hamishmckenzie
@taylorpearsonme So far there's no rule of thumb, but the one non-negotiable is that your free newsletter should have a hard core following of at least a few devotees who *love* it. If your niche is valuable enough, you don't need many people paying you, say, $10 a month for the finances to become really interesting. If you have several thousand free subscribers and open rates north of 40%, we think it's worth adding a paid element so that the readers who care most about you have an option to join a kind of insider's club. Most will be grateful for the opportunity to pay for the person/thing that is bringing such value to their lives.