How I’m Attracting Subscribers to My Substack

Using a range of platforms to promote my writing

Andy Spears


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I’ve been writing on Medium for what will be two years in February.

When I joined, I was looking to find as many ways to write and earn money from writing as possible.

Yes, I knew that writing wasn’t the “big ticket” to big money.

I also knew (and know) that I loved writing and wanted to find a way to make writing my life.

Currently, I teach part-time at two colleges in Nashville, TN.

I also do contract writing and communications work for a range of clients. That’s usually short to medium range project work, but it’s pretty consistent.

And, well, I also write here on Medium, on NewsBreak, and on Substack.

I love Medium for the community, but the money is — well, it’s ok. I make enough to get some coffee during the month — and I DO love coffee, so, that’s nice.

I really like Medium for the community — for the feedback and engagement.

NewsBreak has been pretty consistent about paying decent money.

I think it is important as a writer to have diverse streams of income.

I’ve been writing on Substack — newsletters on education policy and on consumer finance.

I like Substack because you can post blog posts and also email them to a list — and you can build and grow a list of subscribers who like and support your content.

Early on, I decided to offer 100% of my Substack content for free. But also to have paid options — essentially, asking readers to sponsor my work for $5 a month or $50 a year.

At scale, this would allow me to work all day every day producing newsletters.

I’m not there — yet.

But, I do add free subscribers almost daily. Sometimes, I’ll see a conversion to paid. Usually, that happens AFTER…



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .