Every month, I publish an answer to a reader’s question. Here’s a transcript of my answer to one of my favorite readers’ questions about ownership:
Hi Lisanne, most of the people I know who have a newsletter are on Substack. I’m thinking about launching my own newsletter as well, but I’m not sure whether to use Substack. I noticed that you have been building one independently. What is your reasoning behind it? Many thanks for answering my question!
Substack is a wonderful platform that has made publishing very easy — especially for those who are new to the newsletter arena and lack specific knowledge, or those who don’t want to invest the time and energy into building a website and maintaining it.
The writing platform also helps, as far as I’m concerned, with one of the biggest challenges I’ve found in building a newsletter, which is discoverability. This is a challenge for the majority of creators unless you’ve achieved fame and people already know your name. Trust plays a pivotal role in attracting subscriptions, particularly in the vast realm of the Internet — a process that demands a considerable time to build. Substack endeavors to tackle this challenge by introducing readers to similar newsletters, easing the path to new discoveries.
Yet, the realm of online media is also destined to change. Platforms like these will constantly iterate, innovate and grow. As writers we are part of that game, building our assets on an algorithm we don’t fully understand, therefore, requiring us to adapt to it constantly. Ultimately, the only things we truly claim ownership of or control over online are the newsletter we craft and the domain we inhabit.
So the idea of being an owner and having creative control over my work has always been very important to me. I always preferred to have ownership over my writings and assets, to grow and shape it into how I envisioned it to be. As you start your own platform like I did, you know it’s going to take longer. I wanted to put in that effort because I love what I do and I’m it for the long run.
So far it’s been a fun and fulfilling journey and I always had a clear idea of how I wanted the platform to look and feel like. More than a newsletter only, it’s a platform. A community. That’s what matters most to me; building a community of like-minded people who share my interests on a personal level. This has always been more important to me, than fast growth; to be able to tell stories and have meaningful conversations with other interesting people.
So thank you so much for reaching out. I’m sure you or your friends can find out which medium fits perfectly well with your goals.
Thank you for reading. This reader’s question is part of the Ask Me Anything series. I´d love to answer more of your interesting questions and get a sense of your interests. If you have questions to extend this Ask Me Anything section, please let me know. I like to hear from you. Send me your question via [email protected]
Here is a list of the last 3 readers’ questions I’ve answered: