Yes, I’m starting a newsletter. Yes, it has a pun in the name that I’m extremely proud of. Whilst this is mostly an announcement post, other creators who currently create content in multiple locations might be interested in doing something similar on Substack!
As the number of distinct sites I write articles on has slowly grown to 3 (and future plans to expand), it was becoming hard to keep track of new posts. If I’m struggling, any potential readers have no chance! I’d been looking into a few ways to let people subscribe to my posts for a while, and every service is overcomplicated, paid, or comes with massive caveats.
Having an informal newsletter every week lets me put any new content in one place, as well as any interesting things I’ve found elsewhere. Whilst the newsletter will obviously include a lot of self-promotion, I’m hoping the linked videos etc will make it worth reading to anyone without any interest in my work.
The newsletter idea is
stolen from heavily inspired by Tom Scott’s excellent weekly newsletter, as well as the freedom of topic choice enjoyed by creators like Atomic Shrimp. An excerpt from Tom’s latest email is below, and whilst the content is perfect, the overall experience and convenience unfortunately could do with some improvements. This is where Substack steps in.
I had a few requirements for whatever service I choose to run my newsletter on, to make the experience painless for myself and readers:
- Free & ad-free
- Provides a web version of every email (example) (unlike Tom Scott’s!)
- Doesn’t feel actively hostile towards readers (unlike Medium!)
- Allows scheduling future newsletters (unlike Jekyll!)
- Basic analytics & customisation
Whilst these requirements seem pretty simple, it’s amazing how few services actually offer all. Substack was easy to set up, had a clean and simple UI, and there’s still plenty of functionality I haven’t explored yet.
Admittedly I’m not using Substack for its main purpose (paid subscriptions), but so far I’m very happy with it. The only negative is the $50 one-off fee if you wish to use a custom domain, which I’ll probably end up paying in a few months.
I read a few comparison articles (with this one by Sah Kilic being my favourite) before deciding on Substack. Your needs will undoubtedly differ from mine, give the linked article a read for pros & cons!
New editions will come out every Sunday lunchtime. The newsletter is lazy Sunday content, and that time hopefully makes it convenient for both EU and US readers.
Thanks for indulging a very self-promoting a post. Maybe there’s a newsletter you could start writing too?