The Power of Substack

  • Tegan and Sara — In early March 2020, Canadian indie pop duo Tegan and Sara were preparing to launch their summer tour, but when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, their plans were derailed. After a period of transition, Tegan and Sara decided to work on their relationship as a duo. This sparked their newsletter, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” as a way to be more authentic and intimate with their fans and share their progress as they rebuild. After launching at the end of January 2022, they already have hundreds of newsletter subscribers, who have the option to pay $6 per month for more inside information.
  • Casey Newton — In 2020, Casey Newton left his job as Silicon Valley editor at The Verge. Casey wanted to be an independent and reader-focused writer and create a real community for his readers, which he addresses in the first edition of his Substack newsletter, “Platformer.” The newsletter, which is ranked number two on Substack among technology newsletters, addresses how tech and democracy intersect. For $10 per month or $100 per year, Casey provides his subscribers information on current events, trends, and conversations in the tech world. In addition to his newsletter, per Casey’s request, Substack created a mentorship program, Substack Bridge, where Casey and other established writers could help support newer writers, especially diverse writers.
  • Alexander Verbeek — In March 2021, Alexander Verbeek added Substack writer to his resume, which already included TEDx speaker, Yale World Fellow, and former strategic policy advisor at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His Substack newsletter, “The Planet,” details environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, and shares potential solutions. The newsletter ranks number eight on Substack for climate. In December 2021, Alexander shared that he will be starting a podcast parallel to “The Planet” as a third way to communicate with his audience, apart from Twitter and Substack.

Tips for using Substack successfully

  • Sharing relevant information with his community — Anthony knows the investor community because he’s been part of it since 2016 when he quit his job at Facebook to join an early-stage venture capital firm. Anthony’s target audience is investors looking to know more about what’s happening in the global economy and what to do about it. His newsletters analyze recent trends, dive into intimate conversations with industry insiders, and share actionable insights.
  • Providing multiple ways for subscribers to consume information — For $10 per month, paid subscribers receive “The Pomp Letter” five days a week; meanwhile, non-paying subscribers can still receive the newsletter once a week. His posts on Substack contain both audio and written content, giving his audience more angles for engaging with his content.
  • Leveraging other platforms to supplement his Substack newsletter — In addition to his Substack newsletter, Anthony hosts “The Pomp Podcast,” where he invites notable people in business, finance, and Bitcoin to share their thoughts. Previous guests include Mark Cuban and Dave Portnoy. Having a multi-channel content strategy simultaneously gives his existing audience even more ways to consume his insights, which helps increase engagement, and provides opportunities for new people to become part of his audience.

Is Substack right for you?



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