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How to Get Featured on Substack

How to Get Featured on Substack

Gaining visibility on Substack is an aspiration many writers share in the digital content space. The platform offers writers a way to build an audience through newsletters, articles, and posts. Substack features a selection of writers who showcase a strong grasp of a specific topic, consistently create content, and cultivate reader engagement.

To be featured on Substack, creators must exhibit best practices in their content efforts. This includes maintaining a regular publishing schedule and actively engaging with their subscribers. By meeting such criteria, writers can increase their chances of gaining the attention of Substack’s team, responsible for amplifying noteworthy content.

A writer’s individual journey to being featured can vary, but typically involves strategies that highlight their unique voice and expertise. They must provide value through their insights, often starting with a foundational subscriber base, which can include friends or peers, before expanding to a wider audience. Consistent effort and strategic engagement with readers are key elements that contribute to a writer’s growth and potential feature on Substack’s platform.

Understanding Substack’s Featured Section

Substack’s Featured Section, known as Discover, is a curated space where selected publications are highlighted. It plays a significant role in increasing visibility for writers on the platform. Publications included in this section exemplify Substack’s best practices and often showcase a clear and deep engagement with specific topics.

Writers who are consistent with their posting schedule and actively engage with their audience are more likely to be noticed by Substack’s team. Engaging content that resonates with readers and encourages interaction can increase a writer’s chances of being featured. The Discover section is not only about showcasing writers but also about providing readers with quality content that aligns with their interests, leading to a mutually beneficial experience for both parties.

Getting featured on Substack can lead to substantial growth in one’s subscriber base. The visibility that comes with being highlighted in the Discover section can result in a significant uptick in new readers. Often a writer’s success on Substack is the outcome of consistent effort over time, including regular writing and maintaining a good relationship with subscribers.

Creating Compelling Content

To stand out on Substack, a writer must be adept at producing high-quality and engaging material. The content should not only be well-written but also tailored to appeal to the writer’s specific audience.

Crafting Quality Newsletters

A quality newsletter is characterized by its relevance and value to the reader. They should be well-structured, with clear headings, and include concise, informative content that aligns with readers’ interests. Consistency in the schedule and the quality of newsletters fosters trust and keeps subscribers engaged.

Engaging Your Audience

Interaction with subscribers can significantly enhance a newsletter’s appeal. Substack writers can engage their audience by encouraging feedback through comments or polls, and by responding to reader inquiries. Personalized content, such as subscriber shoutouts, can increase engagement by making readers feel valued and involved.

Incorporating Visuals and Media

Incorporating appropriate visuals and other media helps in breaking up text, which can make newsletters more attractive and less daunting to read. Writers should consider using:

  • Images: Relevant and high-quality images can illustrate points effectively.
  • Videos: Short and engaging videos can provide a richer content experience.
  • Infographics: To summarize complex information in a more digestible format.

Using media enhances comprehension and keeps the reader’s experience dynamic and interactive.

Building Your Subscriber Base

To get featured on Substack, creators need a solid subscriber base. It’s essential to leverage multiple channels and offer value to readers to grow this base. Building relationships with readers and other writers also plays a critical role in amplifying one’s presence on the platform.

Leveraging Social Media

Writers should actively use social media platforms to share their content and newsletter links. They can:

  • Post regular updates about new content on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Engage with the audience by responding to comments and messages.
  • Use social media analytics to understand what content resonates with their audience, optimizing their posts for better engagement.

Networking with Other Writers

Collaborating with fellow writers can lead to mutual growth. Writers should:

  • Participate in writing groups and online forums to connect with peers.
  • Offer to guest write in each other’s newsletters to reach new potential subscribers.
  • Share and discuss each other’s work, which can lead to more exposure.

Offering Exclusive Benefits

To entice readers to subscribe, writers can offer exclusive content or privileges. This may include:

  • Early access to new posts or series.
  • Exclusive access to Q&A sessions or webinars.
  • Special offers like discounted merchandise or services for subscribers.

Optimizing for Discoverability

For writers seeking to elevate their presence on Substack, discoverability is critical. They must employ smart techniques to ensure that their newsletters are easily findable and attractive to potential subscribers.

Using SEO Strategies

Writers should integrate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to enhance their Substack newsletter’s visibility. By including relevant keywords within their content, titles, and descriptions, they increase the likelihood of appearing in search results. It is also beneficial for them to maintain a consistent publishing schedule and engage with their readers, as these practices contribute to a greater online presence.

Selecting the Right Tags and Categories

Choosing appropriate tags and categories is vital for matching a newsletter with interested readers. Writers need to select tags that accurately represent the content of their newsletters and categorize their works under clear, pertinent topics. This clarity helps readers find newsletters that align with their interests and boosts the writer’s chances of being featured in the Substack Discover section.

Interacting with the Substack Community

Engaging actively with the Substack community is a critical step for writers aspiring to be featured. They should start by consistently posting content that sparks interest and initiates discussions. Not only does this demonstrate commitment, but it also helps in building a dedicated readership.

Another essential tactic is to comment on the work of fellow writers. When doing so, writers should make thoughtful observations and give constructive feedback. This fosters a supportive network, which is highly valued by Substack’s curators.

Finally, writers can utilize social media and existing channels to drive conversations around their Substack publications. This approach amplifies reach beyond Substack itself and invites a broader audience to participate in these discussions. Each interaction outside the platform should inherently serve as an invitation to join the conversation within Substack, contributing to a more vibrant community interaction.

Analyzing and Improving Your Metrics

In order to get featured on Substack, authors must pay close attention to their publication’s performance metrics and user engagement. Accurate analysis and proactive improvement of these metrics can significantly increase visibility and growth potential.

Tracking Analytics

Substack provides authors with a dashboard where they can monitor various metrics such as total views, open rates, and subscription numbers. These analytics are critical as they give insights into what content resonates with their audience. An author should regularly check these metrics, focusing on:

  • Total views: This indicates the popularity and reach of each post.
  • Open rate: This measures how often subscribers open their emails.

Responding to Feedback

Audience feedback comes in various forms including comments, emails, and subscription rates. Authors should:

  • Actively engage with readers’ comments to form a strong community.
  • Analyze subscription trends to see which topics or styles may increase reader subscriptions.

By applying these strategies, a publisher can refine their content strategy and increase their chances of being featured on Substack.

Submitting to Substack’s Editorial Team

To catch the attention of Substack’s editorial team, a writer should focus on carving out a specific niche and maintain a consistent publishing schedule. The editorial team looks for content that resonates with a broad audience and showcases a writer’s unique perspective and expertise. Regular engagement with readers is also a significant factor, as it reflects an active and growing community around the newsletter.

Writers may submit their work to Substack’s editorial team for consideration. However, it’s important to note that the submission process might not be formally structured. Gaining visibility can also happen through other means, such as community recommendations or by sharing on social platforms connected to Substack.

Substack sometimes requests submissions through various calls to action, like reader polls or requests for the best content read on the platform. Having a regular reader recommend your newsletter, as seen in the case of a writer getting featured after a reader submitted their April 21st blog post, can be an effective way to catch the team’s eye. Thus, building a strong relationship with one’s readers can indirectly assist in getting noticed by the editorial team.

Promoting Your Content Externally

To get featured on Substack, one must also look beyond the platform itself. Promoting content on external channels can amplify reach and contribute to the criteria Substack considers for featuring writers.

Guest Posting

Guest posting on other blogs or websites is a strategic way to access new audiences. Writers should focus on outlets that share a common interest or topic with their newsletter. For instance, if one runs a technology-focused newsletter, contributing a well-crafted article to a tech blog can highlight their expertise and direct tech-savvy readers back to their Substack newsletter.

Collaborations and Cross-Promotions

Collaborations with fellow writers or influencers can create mutual benefits in audience growth. Cross-promotion involves sharing content with another creator’s audience, often with the implicit agreement to reciprocate. These partnerships should be strategic and beneficial to both parties involved, ensuring that both audiences receive value from the shared content.