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What Is Substack?

Substack is a relatively new platform that has taken the world of newsletter services by storm. Its popularity is due to its simplicity and user-friendly interface. However, when it comes to comparing Substack with other newsletter services, there are some key differences to consider.

One of the main differences between Substack and other newsletter services is the focus on monetization. While other services may offer monetization options, Substack is designed specifically to help writers and creators earn money from their work. This is achieved through a variety of tools such as paid subscriptions, sponsorships, and merchandise sales. Additionally, Substack takes a smaller commission from its creators compared to other services, making it a more attractive option for those looking to earn a living from their writing.

What is Substack

Substack is an online platform that allows writers to create and distribute newsletters to subscribers. It was founded in 2017 and has gained popularity in recent years due to its ease of use and monetization options for writers. Unlike other newsletter services, Substack offers a simple and free website for its users. This makes it easy for subscribers of Substack newsletters to view their favorite publications’ archives on Substack at any time.

One standout differentiator between Substack and other newsletter services is the difference in cost to the writers. While other services may charge a fee or take a percentage of the revenue generated by the newsletter, Substack allows writers to keep the majority of the revenue generated by their newsletter. This has made it an attractive option for writers looking to monetize their content and build a loyal subscriber base.

Another feature that sets Substack apart is its ability to help writers build a community around their newsletter. Subscribers can interact with the writer and other subscribers through comments and discussions, creating a sense of community and engagement that is often lacking in other newsletter services.

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Understanding Other Newsletter Services

There are many newsletter services available on the market, each with its own unique set of features and benefits. Some popular options include Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact.

Mailchimp is a popular choice for those who want a comprehensive email marketing platform. It offers a wide range of features, including email automation, landing pages, and social media integration. However, it can be overwhelming for beginners and may not be the best option for those who only need a simple newsletter service.

ConvertKit is a newsletter service that is designed specifically for creators and bloggers. It offers features such as customizable opt-in forms, email sequences, and subscriber tagging. ConvertKit is known for its user-friendly interface and helpful customer support.

Constant Contact is another popular newsletter service that offers a range of features, including customizable templates, email automation, and social media integration. It also offers a variety of integrations with other platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce.

Overall, when choosing a newsletter service, it’s important to consider your specific needs and goals. Some services may be better suited for beginners, while others may offer more advanced features for experienced marketers.

Comparison of Features

When it comes to newsletter services, Substack is not the only option available. Here are some of the key features that differentiate Substack from other popular newsletter services.

Ease of Use

Substack is known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, which makes it easy for writers to create and publish newsletters. Other newsletter services, such as Ghost, may have a steeper learning curve for beginners.


Substack offers a free plan, which allows writers to keep 100% of their subscription revenue. However, Substack takes a 10% cut of revenue for paid plans. Other newsletter services, such as Patreon, offer different pricing options, including a percentage-based fee or a monthly subscription fee.


Substack offers a range of customization options, including the ability to customize the design of newsletters, banners, headers, and footers. However, other newsletter services, such as Ghost, may offer more flexibility in terms of design and customization.

Subscriber Management

Substack makes it easy for writers to manage their subscribers, including the ability to import and export subscriber lists. Other newsletter services, such as Patreon, may have more limited subscriber management options.

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Pros and Cons of Substack

Advantages of Substack

Substack is a popular newsletter platform that has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Here are some of the advantages of using Substack for your newsletter:

  • Easy to use: Substack is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it a great option for beginners or those who are not tech-savvy.
  • Monetization opportunities: Substack offers several monetization opportunities, including the ability to charge a subscription fee for your content and sell merchandise to your subscribers.
  • Built-in audience: Substack has a large and growing audience of readers who are interested in subscribing to newsletters on a variety of topics.
  • Customizable design: Substack allows you to customize the design of your newsletter to fit your brand and style.
  • Great analytics: Substack provides detailed analytics that can help you track the success of your newsletter and make informed decisions about how to improve it.

Disadvantages of Substack

Despite its many advantages, there are also some potential downsides to using Substack for your newsletter:

  • Limited customization options: While Substack does offer some customization options, they are somewhat limited compared to other newsletter platforms.
  • Limited integrations: Substack does not currently integrate with as many third-party tools and services as some other newsletter platforms.
  • Subscription fees: Substack takes a 10% cut of your subscription revenue, which can add up over time.

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Pros and Cons of Other Newsletter Services

Advantages of Other Services

Other newsletter services offer a range of features that Substack does not have. For example, Mailchimp offers more customization options for newsletters, including the ability to add images and logos. ConvertKit offers a landing page builder, which can help creators grow their email list. Additionally, some services, like AWeber, offer more advanced automation options, allowing creators to send targeted emails based on subscriber behavior.

Another advantage of other newsletter services is that they often have more affordable pricing plans. While Substack takes a 10% cut of newsletter revenue, services like MailerLite and Campaign Monitor charge a flat monthly fee. This can be more cost-effective for creators who are just starting out or have a smaller subscriber base.

Disadvantages of Other Services

One of the main disadvantages of other newsletter services is that they may not have the same level of community and discoverability as Substack. Substack has a built-in audience of readers who are looking for new and interesting newsletters to subscribe to. Other services may not have the same level of exposure, making it harder for creators to grow their audience.

Another disadvantage of other newsletter services is that they may not be as user-friendly as Substack. Some services, like Mailchimp, have a steeper learning curve and may require more technical knowledge to use effectively. This can be a barrier for creators who are new to email marketing or who don’t have a strong technical background.

Overall, while other newsletter services offer some advantages over Substack, they may not be the best fit for every creator. It’s important to consider the specific needs and goals of your newsletter before choosing a platform.

Choosing the Right Service

When it comes to choosing the right newsletter service, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to think about the needs of your audience. If you’re targeting a tech-savvy audience, a service like Substack might be a good fit. However, if your audience is less tech-savvy, a simpler service like Mailchimp might be a better choice.

Another factor to consider is the pricing model. Some services charge a flat fee, while others charge based on the number of subscribers or the number of emails sent. It’s important to choose a service that aligns with your budget and growth goals.

Finally, it’s important to consider the features offered by each service. Some services offer advanced analytics, while others focus more on design and customization options. It’s important to choose a service that offers the features that are most important to you and your audience.

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