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How Much Does Substack Pay Per Subscriber?

How Much Does Substack Pay Per Subscriber?

Substack has become a popular platform for writers to monetize their content. Many writers are curious about how much they can earn from their subscribers on Substack. The amount of money a writer can make from Substack depends on various factors, including the number of subscribers, subscription fees, and Substack’s revenue share.

Substack’s revenue share is 10% of the subscription fee, which means that writers keep 90% of the revenue generated from their paid subscriptions. According to Substack, some of their writers are making up to a million dollars a year from their paid subscriptions. However, this is not the case for all writers on the platform. The amount of money a writer can make from Substack varies depending on the number of subscribers and the subscription fees they set.

In this article, we will explore how much Substack pays per subscriber. We will look at the different factors that can affect a writer’s earnings on the platform and provide some examples of writers who are making a living from their paid subscriptions.

Understanding Substack

Substack is a platform that enables writers to create, publish, and monetize newsletters. It provides a user-friendly interface that allows writers to focus on producing quality content while taking care of the technical aspects of newsletter creation and distribution. Substack also offers features that help writers build and manage their subscriber base, including analytics, payment processing, and email marketing tools.

One of the key benefits of using Substack is that it allows writers to monetize their newsletters through paid subscriptions. Substack takes a 10% fee on all paid subscriptions, while the remaining 90% goes to the writer. This fee covers the cost of payment processing, hosting, and other technical aspects of running a newsletter.

To maximize earnings, writers need to focus on building a loyal subscriber base. According to Substack, the typical creator with an established following can expect that 5-10% of their existing audience will become paid subscribers. Therefore, writers need to focus on producing quality content that resonates with their target audience and encourages them to subscribe.

Overall, Substack provides a powerful platform for writers to monetize their newsletters and build a loyal subscriber base. By focusing on producing quality content and building a loyal following, writers can maximize their earnings and achieve long-term success on the platform.

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Substack’s Revenue Model

Substack operates under a subscription-based revenue model. Creators can set up a paid newsletter and promote their own written content. Substack makes money by taking a 10% commission fee off of the monthly subscription fees charged by creators. Additionally, Substack’s payment provider charges another 2.9% + 30 cents per payment.

Subscription-Based Model

According to Substack, the platform calculates gross annualized revenue for creators. This figure represents how much money creators make per year, before Substack’s fees and credit card transaction fees (charged by Stripe). The calculation is annualized, meaning that Substack looks at the revenue at any given time and figures out what it would look like over the course of 12 months, assuming the mix of monthly and annual subscriptions.

Substack has managed to attract over 500,000 paying subscribers, and according to GrowJo, the platform’s estimated annual revenue in 2021 was $94 million. Paid newsletter subscribers represent 5% – 10% of the total readership, according to Fortune.

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Factors Influencing Subscriber Pay

When it comes to how much Substack pays per subscriber, there are several factors that influence the amount. These factors include subscriber count, subscription cost, and newsletter quality.

Subscriber Count

One of the primary factors that influence how much Substack pays per subscriber is the number of subscribers a newsletter has. Generally, the more subscribers a newsletter has, the more money the creator can earn per subscriber. This is because creators with larger subscriber bases have a wider reach and can offer more value to advertisers and sponsors.

Subscription Cost

Another factor that can influence how much Substack pays per subscriber is the subscription cost. Creators can set their own subscription prices, and the amount they charge can impact how much they earn per subscriber. Generally, higher subscription prices mean more revenue per subscriber, but they may also lead to fewer subscribers overall.

Newsletter Quality

The quality of a newsletter can also impact how much Substack pays per subscriber. Newsletters that provide valuable and engaging content are more likely to attract and retain subscribers, which can lead to higher earnings per subscriber. Additionally, high-quality newsletters may be more attractive to advertisers and sponsors, which can lead to additional revenue streams.

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Calculating Earnings on Substack

Substack is a platform that allows writers to monetize their content. One of the ways they do this is by charging subscribers a monthly fee to access exclusive content. But how much does Substack pay per subscriber?

Substack’s Fee Structure

Substack takes a 10% cut of all subscription revenue, and the platform’s financial service provider, Stripe, takes another 2.9%, plus a 30-cent transaction fee for each subscriber. This means that for every $5 subscription fee, the writer will receive $4.18, and Substack and Stripe will receive a combined $0.82.

Net Earnings

To calculate the net earnings, let’s assume that a writer has 1,000 subscribers paying $5 per month. The gross revenue would be $5,000 per month. After subtracting Substack’s and Stripe’s fees, the writer would receive $4,180 per month.

It’s important to note that this is just an example, and earnings can vary based on the number of subscribers, subscription fee, and engagement level of the audience. However, this should give writers an idea of how much they can expect to earn on Substack.

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Case Studies of Substack Earnings

Successful Newsletter Examples

There are several examples of Substack newsletters that have achieved significant success. One such example is the newsletter “Everything Happens” by Kate Bowler, which has over 20,000 subscribers and generates over $100,000 in annual revenue. Bowler’s newsletter focuses on the topic of grief and has resonated with a large audience.

Another successful Substack newsletter is “The Profile” by Polina Marinova. This newsletter has over 50,000 subscribers and generates over $500,000 in annual revenue. “The Profile” features in-depth interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, and has been praised for its high-quality content.

Average Earnings

According to a source, the average earnings for a Substack newsletter with 1,000 subscribers is around $10,000 per year. This figure can vary widely depending on the niche, content quality, and subscriber engagement.

It is important to note that while some Substack newsletters generate significant revenue, the majority of newsletters do not generate substantial earnings. However, with the right approach and dedication to creating high-quality content, it is possible to build a loyal subscriber base and generate a meaningful income from a Substack newsletter.

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Comparing Substack with Other Platforms


Patreon is a popular platform for creators to earn money from their content. It allows creators to set up membership tiers and offer exclusive content to their supporters. Patreon takes a cut of 5-12% of the creator’s earnings, depending on the membership tier. In addition, payment processing fees are charged by the payment processor, which can be up to 5%. Compared to Substack, Patreon’s fees are higher and can eat into a creator’s earnings.


Medium is a platform that allows writers to publish their articles and earn money based on engagement. Medium’s Partner Program pays writers based on the number of “claps” their articles receive from Medium members. However, Medium’s payment system is opaque, and it is difficult to predict how much a writer will earn from a particular article. In addition, Medium takes a cut of 50% of the earnings generated by a writer’s article. Compared to Substack, Medium’s payment system is less transparent and its fees are higher.

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