Paid Subscriptions Aren’t Enough. Why Substack Should Build An App Store
Helping Writers Monetize Their Free Readers More Effectively By Opening The Platform Up (and Taking a Cut)
Consider me a fan of Substack. Yes, I disagree with aspects of their content policies (and occasionally wince at the arguments they make to defend said choices), but the company founders fundamentally want to see writers do their best work and make a great living in the process. Getting creatives paid is a mission I’ll always support.
Beyond the aforementioned community standards questions they inspire a lot of public debate for something which is basically a CMS, email list management tool and Stripe integration. One way to understand the coverage is via Aaron Zamost’s important narrative clock metaphor. The fact Substack raised large amounts of capital during a particularly bullish time in our industry (and the people they raised it from) made them a particularly delicious topic.
How the Tech Press Forces a Narrative on Companies it Covers
Pinning Startups to “Silicon Valley Time.”
“A company’s narrative moves like a clock: it starts at midnight, ticking off the hours. The tone and sentiment about how a business is doing move from positive (sunrise, midday) to negative (dusk, darkness). And often the story returns to midnight, rebirth and a new day.”
But this isn’t a post about any of that. At least not directly. Instead consider it a companion to my “Why a Paid Newsletter Won’t Be Enough Money for Most Writers.”
Why a Paid Newsletter Won't Be Enough Money for Most Writers (And That's Fine): The Multi-SKU…
Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash A number of reporters and columnists these days are "going indie," detaching from…
So long as Substack offers a great publishing platform (and helps grow audiences) they will have enough writers. Yes, Author Development will still be a staffed function and various incentives (such as the well-covered Pro guarantees) may exist, but I’m actually not worried about the ‘supply…