Best Substack Alternatives | WIRED

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If your plan If you want to run a newsletter as a hobby, Substack is perfect – it’s free, it’s easy to set up, and it’s fairly straightforward to send out emails and build a subscriber base. The problem comes when you want to make a living from publishing your newsletter, at which point Substack can quickly get expensive. That’s because instead of charging a monthly fee, Substack takes a 10 percent cut of all revenue.

No matter how spotless their reputation is, the economics of using Substack are hard to justify in the long run. Let’s say you get 500 people to pay $10 a month for your newsletter—that’s a real achievement. It also means your newsletter is making $5,000 a month, of which Substack will take $500. Annually you’ll be paying Substack $6,000, and it gets more expensive as you succeed. You might think this is fair, you might not. Either way, sticking with Substack when other options might be more cost-effective at the time is a waste of money.

It’s true that it would be hard to leave Substack. They’re a really nice, normal company – which no way Enabling extremism (To flirt.) Everything Substack does is just, good, and pure, and the company certainly wouldn’t send a horde of transphobes at the mention of an independent service journalist. Associating with Substack is not bad for your brand in any way.

With that in mind, here are some more affordable options that are worth checking out, what they cost, and links to some newsletter publishers who migrated from Substack and discussed their experiences.

Evil spirit

Screenshot of the Ghost newsletter and blogging platform

Courtesy of Ghost

Ghost is open source and run by a non-profit organization. You can, in theory, install Ghost on your own server, though most people prefer to pay for Ghost instead, including many former Substack publishers. Ghost offers an official guide to migrating and even a free concierge service that will handle the migration for you.

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