Substacking the Deck 🃏
Jared Newman notes over at FastCompany that “writers who crave independence should skip Substack.” He refers to several WordPress-powered alternatives, including Newsletter Glue “which lets me instantly send out WordPress posts as nicely formatted newsletters.” ✉️
Personally, I don't find Substack too appealing. It reminds me of Medium back in its early days — the hype and the idea of paying people to host exclusive content on the platform. That's great if it profits the platform, but owning your content is usually the best strategy for their users. What writer wants to give up that much control?
Ernie Smith tends to agree with that concern:
“…Substack is pre-paying some famous writers to join the platform without telling the public who got the money and admitting that the pre-payment amounts to editorial influence on the platform.”
Ernie also lists some alternatives to launching an email newsletter, including WordPress with Newsletter Glue or Newspack Newsletters from Automattic. Another reason he has for taking this route is the cost:
“The thing that newsletter creators should know about sending newsletters is that it’s actually very cheap to do.”
As I mentioned on Twitter, whenever experts and larger media outlets cover solutions and alternatives to startups that are gaining market share, if they mention WordPress that is a bigger win than bragging about WordPress powering nearly half the web or more than half of all CMS-driven sites.
People outside the WordPress bubble are more likely to understand, appreciate, and use WordPress if they see the problems it solves or the solutions it offers. That is better for WordPress's lifespan than (almost?) anything else.