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Substack creators are making 6 figures off newsletters. Here's how they built their audiences from scratch.

Substack creators are making 6 figures off newsletters. Here's how they built their audiences from scratch.

Aleksander Chan, the publisher of Discourse Blog, announced in October that the Substack-born publication was leaving the platform.
Aleksander Chan



The platform Substack makes it easy to create newsletters for free and charges a 10% service fee if creators start to make money off their product.



Building a sizable audience from scratch can be challenging because newsletters are inherently difficult to discover.



Business Insider spoke with a variety of subscription-supported, ad-supported, and free Substack publications to discover how top-tier creators built out and monetized their audiences.



Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Newsletters are having a moment.The platform Substack, in particular, has gained traction among newsletter creators by dramatically simplifying the user experience. The platform is also free to get started. It encourages creators to monetize their newsletter only when they feel comfortable doing so, at which point Substack charges a 10% service fee on their revenue.In the first three months of the pandemic, overall usage of the platform doubled and revenue increased 60%. Readers have found themselves with more time to spare, and a wave of newly unemployed writers, victims of COVID's evisceration of the media industry, have found a financial side-hustle in the outlet.Substack also circumvents many of the problems that plague internet entrepreneurs. Where digital advertising returns only pennies on the dollar, Substack provides a reliable income source in its subscription model. And instead of grappling with SEO minutiae and the black-box algorithms that website copy relies on, newsletters go straight into the inboxes of opted-in readers a?? that is, if you can find those readers in the first place.
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