Substack is a popular platform for writers and creators to publish newsletters and gain financial support from their readers. One of the features that Substack offers is the ability to pause paid subscriptions. This feature is useful for writers who may need to take a break from publishing content or want to temporarily stop charging their subscribers.
Understanding Paid Subscriptions on Substack
Substack is a platform that allows writers and creators to set up paid subscriptions and receive financial support for their content from their most dedicated readers.
When you turn on paid subscriptions, readers are charged a recurring fee to access your content. Substack takes a percentage of each subscription fee as a platform fee, and the rest goes to the writer.
Subscribers can choose from different subscription plans, which can be set up by the writer. These plans can vary in price, frequency, and content access.
It’s important to note that paid subscriptions are optional on Substack. Writers can choose to have a free newsletter or publication, or they can choose to offer paid subscriptions. Additionally, not all subscribers will choose to pay for access to your content.
How to Pause Paid Subscriptions
If you need to take a break from publishing content on Substack, you can pause your paid subscriptions. When you pause your publication, the billing cycles for your subscribers will be frozen, and new readers won’t be able to purchase a paid subscription plan. Existing paid subscribers won’t be charged.
To pause your paid subscriptions, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Substack account and navigate to your publication’s dashboard.
- Click on the “Settings” tab in the left-hand menu.
- Scroll down to the “Publication” section and click on the “Pause Publication” button.
- Enter a reason for pausing your publication (optional) and select a date when you want to resume publication.
- Click on the “Pause Publication” button to confirm.
Once you pause your publication, your subscribers will receive an email notification informing them that your publication is temporarily on hold. They will not be charged during this time, and their billing cycle will be paused until you resume publication.
It’s important to note that pausing your publication does not cancel your paid subscriptions. If you want to cancel your paid subscriptions, you can do so by following the steps outlined in the “How do I cancel my paid subscription?” article on the Substack support page.
Reasons to Pause Subscriptions
Pausing paid subscriptions on Substack is a common practice among writers and creators. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider pausing your subscriptions:
- Taking a break: If you need to take a break from writing or creating content, pausing your subscriptions is a good idea. This will give you time to recharge and come back stronger.
- Reassessing your content: If you feel like your content is not resonating with your audience or you want to take a different direction, pausing your subscriptions can give you the time to reassess and make changes.
- Dealing with personal issues: Sometimes, life happens, and you need to take care of personal issues. Pausing your subscriptions can help relieve the pressure of having to create content while dealing with personal issues.
- Avoiding burnout: Creating content can be stressful, and it’s easy to get burned out. Pausing your subscriptions can give you the time to rest and avoid burnout.
- Managing expectations: If you have a small audience, pausing your subscriptions can help manage expectations. It’s better to pause subscriptions than to disappoint your audience by not delivering content consistently.
Pausing your subscriptions is a personal decision, and you should do what’s best for you and your audience. If you do decide to pause your subscriptions, make sure to communicate with your audience and let them know when you plan to resume.
Effects of Pausing Subscriptions
When a publication pauses their paid subscription, subscribers will not be charged during the paused period. Additionally, new readers will not be able to purchase a paid subscription plan until the publication resumes. This means that subscribers will not have access to any new content during the paused period, and new readers will not be able to join the community until the publication resumes.
However, existing subscribers will still have access to the content that was published prior to the pause. It is important for publications to communicate clearly with their subscribers about the pause and when they can expect the publication to resume.
Pausing a paid subscription can have revenue implications for publications. When a publication pauses their subscription, the billing cycles for subscribers will be frozen. This means that the publication will not receive any revenue from subscribers during the paused period.
It is important for publications to consider the financial impact of pausing their subscription before making the decision. Pausing a subscription may be necessary for various reasons, but it is important to weigh the potential revenue loss against the benefits of the pause.
Reactivating Paused Subscriptions
If you have paused your paid subscription on Substack, you can easily reactivate it whenever you want. Here’s how:
- Go to your Substack Settings page.
- Click on the publication that you want to reactivate.
- Scroll down to the “Pause subscription billing” section.
- Click on the “Reactivate subscription billing” button.
Once you reactivate your subscription, your subscribers will be able to purchase a paid subscription plan again, and new readers will be able to subscribe to your publication.
It’s important to note that when you reactivate your subscription, the billing cycle for your subscribers will resume from the point where it left off when you paused your subscription. This means that your subscribers will be charged based on the billing cycle that they were on before you paused your subscription.
In addition, if you have made any changes to your subscription plan while your subscription was paused, those changes will take effect when you reactivate your subscription. For example, if you have increased your subscription price, your subscribers will be charged the new price when their billing cycle resumes.
Alternatives to Pausing Subscriptions
If you’re considering pausing your paid subscription on Substack, there are a few alternatives you may want to consider before making a decision. Here are a few options:
1. Offer a Discount
Instead of pausing your subscription, consider offering a discount to your readers. This can be a great way to keep your readers engaged and show them that you value their support. You can offer a discount for a limited time, or you can offer a permanent discount for loyal readers.
2. Offer a Free Trial
Another option is to offer a free trial to your readers. This can be a great way to attract new readers and give them a taste of what your publication has to offer. You can offer a free trial for a limited time, or you can offer a free trial to new readers who sign up for your paid subscription.
3. Offer Exclusive Content
Consider offering exclusive content to your paid subscribers. This can be a great way to show your readers that you value their support and give them something extra for their subscription. You can offer exclusive articles, podcasts, or other content that is only available to your paid subscribers.
Overall, pausing your subscription should be a last resort. Consider these alternatives before making a decision, and remember that your readers are your most valuable asset.
Pausing paid subscriptions on Substack can be a challenging decision for writers and creators. However, it can also be a strategic move to reassess the value of their content and the needs of their audience. By pausing paid subscriptions, writers and creators can take the time to experiment with different content formats, engage with their readers, and build a stronger community.
During the pause, it is essential to communicate with your subscribers and keep them informed about your plans and progress. Substack offers a variety of tools to help writers and creators manage their subscriptions, including the ability to pause, cancel, or refund subscriptions. It is also possible to offer discounts, promotions, and other incentives to encourage subscribers to stay engaged and loyal.