The top 10 publishers on Substack bring in more than $20 million a year in subscriptions, underpinning the newsletter platform’s revenue growth. Now Substack is trying to broaden the pool of writers who can earn a living from paid subscriptions. Next month, it will launch a new program called “Substack Grow” that offers a free, six-session course over Zoom to help writers build a loyal following and reach their first $1,000 in earnings.
The initiative, which has not been previously reported, is one of the ways the four-year-old startup is addressing intensifying competition from Facebook and Twitter and rising demands on consumers attention’ as pandemic restrictions ease in the U.S.
Co-founder and CEO Chris Best, in an interview from San Francisco, says “things haven't slowed down that much,” as people’s routines inch back to normal. He chalks that up to a “phase shift” accelerated by the pandemic, where “people are subscribing directly to writers and creators, and having a real relationship.”