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Documenting Our Progression on Substack for 2+ Years! Excited to Go "Next Level" with NOTES | @SubstackInc @IndLeftNews @IndieMediaToday @GetIndieNews
From sharing articles to livestream alerts, hosting podcasts to now socially sharing - we've embraced all things Substack & evolved with the platform - and will continue to!
Substack is an outstanding hub for content creators - publishers, livestreamers, writers, podcasters, independent outlets can all house their work there and share it to social networks, plus GET PAID by their fans and subscribers.
We started to embrace daily posting on Substack about 2 years ago (May 2021), as a way to showcase the videos (and at the time, articles too) that were buried down below the fold in indieleft.news, our daily news & video aggregator website. We are such big fans of Substack, it became a centerpiece of our new Indie’s Tech Tips channel on Rumble. We’ve convinced a dozen or more people to start publishing to Substack, too!
Daily 6-Pack of Videos
This was how we started. The ability to simply paste a YouTube link to embed the video made it easy to spotlight 6 videos each day for people to check out. But we also use custom buttons to link to video sites OFF YouTube, as we encourage people to be platform independent - so we "put our money where our mouths are” in that regard. We still do that, every day.
Substack As a Livestream Alert Notifier to skirt YouTube Notification Issues
When we started How Did We Miss That in August 2021, before the show even had a name, we announced it to our email subscribers on Substack. We had just 80 email subscribers then, about 4 months after we’d started. Every episode since (we just finished #75!) has been emailed to our Substack subscribers.
Substack as a Hub for a Network of Content Creators
When we collaborated with 15 other content creators to found & launchin November 2021, was insistent that we also include Substack as part of our content distribution strategy. It's really cool that we can both write individually or contribute to a post.
Substack hosts Podcasts, too!
When we started the Friends of Indie Left show in January 2022, we chose Substack as both the place to alert our subscribers when going live, but also for the first time used it to host & distribute the RSS of the audio podcast version as well. This was our latest episode, withfrom & RT, who joined LIVE from Moscow. Hoping to do more of these in the future.
Write & Distribute Original Articles w/ Rich Content Embedded from YouTube, TikTok, Spotify & more!
Last February, in addition to sharing my (and everyone else’s) videos, I got inspired to write a long-form article, taking further advantage of the capabilities of the platform (embedding images, tweets, video, links, blockquotes) to make it compelling. While emailing out to just 71 subscribers at INN (which had only started 4 months prior), posting the link to Twitter, Facebook, Reddit & elsewhere garnered over 1,700 total views.
Custom Original Articles Webpage
In 2022, Substack added the ability to create a custom webpage that resides in the public web version. So, we used it to create a page spotlighting & breaking out our original articles, which can get buried with our frequency of posting.
Substack Chat, Mentions, Cross-Posts - November 2022 was BIG
When Elon Musk took over Twitter in October 2022, Substack made an attempt to court disgruntled Twitter users with Chat - a way for conversations between fans of a publisher to engage directly, plus with the publisher as well. It didn’t quite have the acceptance and growth it sought, but we embraced that too, posting a link to each day’s summary of videos to watch into the Chat portion, making it easier for readers to find. Not much engagement with that part of the tool, so clearly Substack went back to the drawing board to dream another way of making publishing, reading & sharing articles (written both on & off the platform) more social for Substackers.
Indie’s Tech Tips
In January 2023, we started Indie’s Tech Tips to share the knowledge we’ve gained about Substack and started producing short, actionable videos to help people learn how to use publishing tools & engage with platforms. Exclusively on Rumble!
Substack SEO Upgrades
In mid-February 2023, more free upgrades to help publishers optimize their posts, podcasts, videos & more for Google, Bing & search. We can now set a title & description specifically for search engines, plus a little handy “copy” button next to the ability to add a custom “slug” - which was already there (naming the specific URL for a post after the xxxxx.substack.com/) This was definitely welcome and has contributed to posts being discovered more than before.
On April 5 2023, we got an email from the Substack team that they were soon launching Notes. Everyone is highly encouraged to read the intro post, as it explains the ultimate motivation behind the behavior: growing free subscribers which convert into paid subscribers over time by delivering outstanding, engaging content people want to see & hear.
Substack came out with an FAQ for publishers - one of my favorite features is EDITING A NOTE (take that, Twitter!)
Since Notes was announced on April 5, we've added 58 new subscribers (we just passed 800 this week!). The results in the first 48 hours since launch on April 11 have been fantastic for us, picking up 34 new free email subscribers & engaging with some of our favorite publishers like& one of Substack's founders, .
Have you tried Notes yet? Are you interested in starting your own Substack? Let us know in the comments, in Chat or on Notes!
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