Recommendations on Substack present an exciting opportunity for writers to boost visibility and grow their audiences. Through this feature, authors can promote fellow writers’ publications, offering subscribers additional valuable content tailored to their interests. This reciprocal system not only exposes readers to a broader range of topics and writers but also fosters a community of mutual support among content creators on the platform.
Implementing recommendations is a straightforward process. Writers can navigate to their publication settings to manage and recommend other Substack publications. By doing so, they can directly influence their subscribers’ discovery of new and engaging newsletters, which, in turn, could lead to reciprocal recommendations from those they endorse.
Understanding Substack’s Platform
Substack is an online platform that empowers writers to publish newsletters and build an audience. It provides tools for writers to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers’ inboxes. The platform supports both paid and free subscription models, allowing creators to monetize their work.
One of Substack’s key features is its community-building capability. Through features such as the comments section, discussion threads, and community posts, writers can engage with their readers. This fosters a sense of connection between the writer and their audience.
Additionally, Substack offers various tools for writers to promote their publications:
- Recommendations: A feature where writers can endorse other newsletters on Substack, which appear to new subscribers after sign-up.
- Cross-Promotion: The ability to collaborate with other writers to increase visibility for each other’s work.
Writers can access these promotional tools from the publication settings menu, which helps them grow their audience and network within the platform.
Guidelines for Recommending Publications
When a writer wants to recommend other newsletters on Substack, there are specific steps and considerations they should follow. They can integrate these recommendations during the subscription process. Once a reader subscribes to their publication, they are presented with up to seven recommended newsletters.
Recommendations can also be displayed on the publication’s homepage. This increases the visibility of the suggested publications. Writers should include a brief “Why I recommend” blurb which will accompany the recommendation, providing personal insights into their choices.
To add an endorsement to a publication:
- Go to the Settings page of the publication.
- Click on Basics within the left navigation bar.
- Follow the prompts to add endorsements.
Endorsing other writers can benefit the community as a whole, fostering a supportive environment for sharing and discovering engaging content.
Finding Quality Publications to Recommend
When recommending publications on Substack, one should focus on the relevance and value they offer readers. Aligning recommendations with the audience’s interests is key.
First, they should consider niche-specific publications. This involves a deep dive into specialized areas that mirror the interests of their readers. One method is to search within Substack for topics closely related to their own content. Here, quality can be gauged by:
- Consistent Posting: Regular updates indicate a dedicated writer.
- Engagement Levels: High interaction in the form of comments and likes implies a resonant publication.
- Subject Expertise: Publications with in-depth, well-researched content.
Popular Publications Amongst Peers
Next, they might seek out popular publications within their peer network. This entails looking at what other Substack writers in their circle are subscribing to or recommending. Key indicators include:
- Peer Endorsements: Publications frequently recommended by peers.
- Subscriber Counts: A high number indicates a publication’s popularity and influence.
- Cross-Promotion Opportunities: Some popular publications might be open to mutual recommendations.
By focusing on these methods, a writer can curate a list of quality recommendations that enhance their readership’s experience.
The Recommendation Process
The process of recommending other publications on Substack is a strategic tool for building community and providing value to readers. It involves crafting compelling narratives, timing the share for maximum impact, and fostering interaction.
Writing a Persuasive Recommendation
A persuasive recommendation starts with a clear understanding of the content one is endorsing and its relevance to their audience. To write an effective recommendation, publishers should articulate the reasons behind their choice. It’s about creating a concise and genuine narrative that resonates with subscribers, explaining why they believe the other publication is of value.
Scheduling the Recommendation
Deciding when to schedule a recommendation is crucial. The optimal timing often hinges on the publication’s audience engagement patterns. Recommendations are typically presented to new subscribers post-signup, which might include up to seven suggestions. This is an opportunity to ensure the mentioned publications are relevant and timely.
Engaging with Readers
Engagement with readers doesn’t end at the recommendation itself. It is important for publishers to invite feedback and discussions regarding their suggestions. This can be done through:
- Comment sections under the recommendation blurb
- Direct engagement such as replying to readers’ emails
- Social media interaction where the recommendations are shared
Encouraging dialogue around recommendations can solidify a community feeling and help in understanding what resonates with the audience.
Leveraging Social Proof
When a writer recommends another publication on Substack, they are essentially using social proof to signal trust and quality. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people copy the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior. By endorsing a peer’s publication, they not only help others discover quality content but also build a collaborative community.
Writers can add personal blurbs to their recommendations, giving a touch of individual endorsement. This can significantly influence new subscribers, as personal notes may resonate more deeply than a generic suggestion. Here’s a simple way Substack writers can leverage social proof:
- Personal Endorsement: Share a brief personal story or reason for the recommendation.
- Subscriber Sharing: Encourage current subscribers to share their own positive experiences.
- Visibility: Make endorsements and recommendations prominent on the welcome page or in subscription confirmation emails.
Substack’s recommendation feature allows writers to cross-promote publications they admire. They can manage these recommendations from their publication settings, and by doing so, they tap into their readership’s trust, amplifying the value of the recommended publication. The reciprocal nature of recommendations also opens the door for being endorsed in return, further strengthening the publication’s reputation.
Measuring the Impact of Your Recommendations
When a writer recommends other publications on Substack, it is important to assess how these recommendations influence reader behavior and subscription choices. This measurement can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of cross-promotion efforts.
Tracking Reader Engagement
One can track reader engagement by examining metrics such as click-through rates (CTR) on the recommended publication links. The writer should look for an increase in page views or time spent on their publication after readers follow recommendation links. Engagement can also be measured by comments and interactions on posts related to the recommended publications.
Analyzing Subscription Conversions
Subscription conversions are a key indicator of successful recommendations. Writers can use Substack’s analytics tools to observe how many readers subscribed to the recommended publications after the endorsement. A table or a list can be used to compare conversion rates before and after adding recommendations, which offers a clear view of their impact:
- Before Recommendations: X subscriptions
- After Recommendations: Y subscriptions
An upward trend in these numbers typically suggests that the recommendations are guiding readers towards making new subscriptions.
Best Practices for Ongoing Recommendations
When recommending other publications on Substack, it’s essential to be considerate and strategic. These best practices will ensure that one’s recommendations remain useful and appreciated by subscribers.
Writers should always disclose to their audience why specific publications are being recommended. It enhances trust when subscribers understand the criteria and the reasons a publication is being endorsed. For instance, if the writer has a personal or professional relationship with the author, this should be clearly stated.
Offering Diverse Recommendations
Aim to recommend a variety of publications that cover different topics, styles, or perspectives. Offering diverse recommendations ensures that subscribers are exposed to a wide range of content, which can enrich their reading experience. Use a list format to present these recommendations for easy navigation:
- Topic A: A brief description of the publication’s focus.
- Topic B: An explanation of how this differs from other recommendations.
- Topic C: The value readers may find in this unique content.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does one recommend another publication on Substack?
They can recommend other publications in two main ways. First, when a reader subscribes to their publication, the recommendations are presented in the subscribe flow. Readers will see up to seven recommendations after they subscribe, including a “Why I recommend” blurb, if provided.
Is it possible to recommend publications on the publication’s homepage?
Yes, they can feature their recommendations on their own publication’s homepage. This allows new subscribers to see what other content the writer endorses, right when they visit the page.
What is the ‘recommend back’ feature?
When a writer recommends someone else’s publication, the owner of the recommended publication gets notified. They are then prompted with the option to ‘recommend back’, creating a mutual endorsement.
Are personal recommendations impactful on Substack?
Absolutely. Personal recommendations are a powerful tool on Substack, enabling writers to authentically share and highlight work that they find valuable, facilitating a sense of community and trust among writers and readers alike.
Additional Resources and Tools
When managing recommendations on Substack, writers have access to various resources and tools to streamline the process. The settings page provides a central hub where writers can select and manage their recommendations. This feature allows for a convenient and efficient way to support fellow writers and promote content that resonates with their audience.
The platform offers a cross-promotion tool, which is particularly beneficial when a new reader subscribes. It enables writers to highlight other Substack publications they endorse. Not only can they share recommendations, but they also have the option to write a personal note explaining their choice, adding a personal touch to the recommendations provided.
For ease of understanding, here is a list of resources and tools available for Substack writers looking to recommend other publications:
- Settings Page: Central management of recommendations
- Cross-Promotion Tool: Ease of sharing when gaining new subscribers
- Personal Notes: An option to add a blurb for each recommendation
Through these features, writers are able to foster a community by supporting and promoting content that aligns with their publication’s values and interests.