Substack is a newsletter publication platform. It allows writers, comic creators, podcasters, and bloggers to send digital newsletters to subscribers and earn through a monthly subscription.
For example, if you have 1000 subscribers paying $5 per month, you can earn up to $60,000 annually.
With this platform, you own all your content, mailing list, and IP for life. You also have the freedom to choose what you write, have a community, and keep 90% of the revenue. Having a community around your brand is necessary since it helps keep the conversations going.
Despite having unique features, Substack has limited SEO and blogging features, it gets expensive when you have many paying subscribers and only suits creators who focus on writing and podcasting.
This may force creators to consider other platforms that offer a more comprehensive range of features and are versatile enough to accommodate all kinds of content.
This article will give you a detailed guide to the best Substack alternatives.
Patreon is our first Substack alternative on the list. It is a membership platform that provides business tools for content creators to run a subscription service. The platform allows you to give your fans access to your exclusive content and insights into your creativity and community.
Patreon helps you earn a monthly income via monthly payments from your patrons. This way, you don’t depend on ad revenue.
You get to enjoy direct and meaningful conversations with your audience without ads, trolls, or algorithms.
This platform gives you creative control; therefore, you choose to create what you enjoy most and your audience loves.
Compared to Substack, Patreon is more versatile. It accommodates creators of all kinds, like writers, podcasts, journalists, musicians, virtual artists, and more.
Getting started is free. Patreon only charges 5% to 12% once you start earning, plus a fee for processing payments from your patrons.
Explore the best alternatives to Patreon here.
Write.as is a platform that makes it easy to publish content on the web. You can write and publish a journal, blog, newsletter, or subscription and share the ideas with the world.
The platform is designed for writing; its clean editor and ad-free interface allow you to focus on your work and lets readers enjoy your content without distractions.
With Write.as, publishing is a breeze. After writing, simply hit publish to send the words to your subscribers, social media account, or the web as a whole.
This platform gives you control over your web presence, as you can add a domain name. Plus, you can add a custom theme to make it your own. What’s more, self host your site or export the work with WriteFreely, the open source app behind Write.as.
Your audience can choose where they want to access your work from – whether it’s on the web, social media platform, RSS, or email.
What I find most impressive about Write.as is that they value privacy. I can write whatever I feel because they won’t track me.
In contrast to Substack, Write.as has a suite of products to enrich your publication experience.
For example, Submit.as lets you accept writing submissions, review each, and publish directly to a publication. The submission process is easy and doesn’t require writers to sign up.
The other tool is Snap.as which lets you publish and share photos on the web. And, they also have Remark.as that lets you start conversations around a blog.
Write.as allows you to start for free with a 14-day free trial and later upgrade to the Pro or Team plans where you pay from $6 to $25 per month respectively.
Ghost is an open, independent app for creators to publish, share, and grow a brand around their content.
This platform allows you to grow your audience by transforming your clicks into contacts with instinctive signup forms. Substack doesn’t have this feature.
You get detailed engagement analytics for your audience. This helps you evaluate what kind of content your audience loves most and identify your fan base.
By connecting your Stripe account, you can offer premium content to your audience and earn revenue via subscriptions. Ghost doesn’t charge any payment fees.
Ghost is integrated with all your favorite apps to enhance your workflow. This way, you can automate everyday tasks, harmonize data, collect analytics, and more.
You also have access to professionally customized themes to choose from. In addition, there is a library of resources to help you share content and grow your business.
Ghost gives you a 14-day trial and plans to choose from later.
Letterdrop is the next alternative for Substack. This platform helps you effectively grow traffic with a legit content workflow used by high-growth companies.
You start by ranking content ideas from your team based on SEO potential and your objectives. Therefore, you quickly determine what to write about and rank on Google and email. This feature makes it stand out from Substack.
This platform also allows you to publish your content to an SEO-optimized newsletter or blog, share on social media, or to your new subscribers via email.
You then measure if your readers are converting to customers through the analytics.
What if sales and support would help you with content ideas? Make it easy for these teams to share ideas to marketing from slack or email, evaluate them, and choose what to write about.
You always stay on track with Letterdrop’s workflow, content calendar, and approval process. You remain more consistent with your posts and newsletters.
The platform is constantly updated with Google practices; therefore, publishing your blog, newsletter, and socials is easy.
Letterdrop allows you to sync email to your CRM to market your workflows. The platform is also Zapier-friendly, connecting your data to over 2000 apps.
Joining the Letterdrop partner program helps you take advantage of benefits such as affiliate revenue, free marketing, training, priority support, and new customers.
MailerLite is a tool that allows email marketing and helps build websites for all kinds of businesses.
This platform enables you to create newsletters with your preferred editor; custom HTML, rich text, or drag & drop. You can also start with the templates and design a professional campaign that meets your target.
Using MailerLite’s websites, landing pages, pop-ups, and embedded forms, you can grow your audience and convert them to active subscribers.
With features like A/B testing, surveys, and segmentation, you can test campaigns, see what your audience prefers, and work on making your content more impactful.
You can earn more income on this platform by monetizing your newsletters with a recurring subscription or directly selling digital products from your emails and landing pages.
The advanced email automation feature allows you to establish trust with subscribers and increase engagement. This feature isn’t available on Substack.
This platform allows you to start with a forever free plan and upgrade as your subscriptions grow. The paid version is based on the number of subscribers and starts at $10 a month for up to 1000 subscribers with unlimited emails per month.
Medium is a platform where you can read, write, and connect with millions of readers. This platform allows you to publish stories on any topic for free.
This platform is not limited to a specific writer. Whether you are a thought-leader, an individual with an exceptional perspective, or an expert, you can write here. It creates a space for all your thinking.
On Medium, you get to share your thoughts with a range of publishing tools and earn from your posts. You can write once a week or once a month. It all depends on you.
Medium allows you to collaborate with others or build your brand by adding a name to help readers identify your space.
Using the built-in analytics, you can evaluate what works based on every post and decide what kind of content to focus on.
Medium’s monetization model is slightly different from Substack’s. On Medium, you are paid based on the time members spend reading your content. To be eligible, you need to publish a story, have 100+ followers, and stay active by publishing at least once per six months.
You also earn by referring readers; you earn 50% of their membership fee.
Members enjoy unlimited access to all stories for $5 per month.
Interesting Post: Wordpress vs Medium
Wattpad is an online social reading platform that enables users to read and write unique stories.
The app is available on all your iOS and Android devices.
This platform helps create a social community with no boundaries between readers and writers. A single story connects a global community of over 90 million readers and writers.
Wattpad studio partners with the entertainment industry to make your story the next big hit. If your story is original and captivating to readers worldwide, there is a chance it will be the next film on your TV.
In addition, Wattpad books help you meet your dreams by publishing your original story and selling it globally. This motivates you to write more, grow your audience, and show the world your potential. Substack doesn’t have such capability.
Wattpad offers a variety of writer tools and resources to help you improve your crafting and chase your writing dreams. With partners like Canva, ProWritingAid, Scrivener, and more, your stories are taken to the next level.
With Wattpad premium, you get to enjoy unlimited offline stories, no ads, and high-class theme colors.
Also Read: Best Apps Like Wattpad
Buttondown is a tool designed to help you write, run, share, and grow your newsletters.
Writing emails is effortless with the minimalist interface, and the automation helps check any typos, broken links, or distorted images.
This platform allows you to earn from your newsletters. Buttondown doesn’t charge any revenue from your earnings. All your payments and credit cards are processed through Stripe.
Buttondown uses Markdowns, embedded tweets, and photos to help you write quickly and resourcefully without worrying about ungainly email markups.
In contrast to Substack, Buttondown allows you to run more than one newsletter from the same account.
Analytics help you track your subscriber retention, rates, and more.
Buttondown integrates with apps like Zapier, Squarespace, and more to make it effortless to plug in your existing workflow.
Buttondown’s price rises as your newsletter grows. You start for free, then pay $5 per month per 1000 subscribers or upgrade to Buttondown for professionals.
Buttondown offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee if you are apprehensive about committing.
Revue helps writers and publishers send newsletters hassle-free and get paid.
This platform allows you to be in control of your audience forever. You can also grow your following from your Tweets and Twitter profile.
In addition, you can import, update, add, or delete subscribers.
Revue deducts 5% of your paid newsletter revenues plus processing fees.
Revue analytics allow you to see engagement insights, past opens, and click rates. Therefore, you can determine the content that brings more traffic to your site and the kind of audience it attracts.
Revue also has browser extensions that allow you to add links from anywhere. This feature isn’t available on Substack.
Other features like scheduling, social sharing, cross-publishing, and embeddable subscribe forms also help attract more people to your page.
Revue allows you to customize your domain through which readers can access your page.
The support team is always ready to help whenever you are stuck.
All these features are available on your free account.
Check out how Substack stacks up with Revue here.
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing application that lets you manage and communicate with your customers or subscribers. The platform features step-by-step videos and tutorials to help with your business journey 24/7.
Mailchimp integrates with Chargebee to automatically collect recurring payments for newsletter services, SaaS, and other subscription-based services for an eCommerce business.
All subscribers in your Chargebee site are synced into the Mailchimp list. This includes all details about their starting date, subscription status, and plan details.
Merge Fields provided by Mailchimp helps you track your member plans. Segments and groups help you easily send your targeted customers customized content.
Groups and segmentation allow you to send subscribers tailored content. You can also target customers with custom email campaigns based on specific attributes to enhance better conversions. Substack doesn’t have this feature.
Mailchimp has a flexible pricing plan for everyone, whether you are just starting out or already have many contacts.
Find out how Substack compares with MailChimp here.
11. Vocal Media
Vocal is a platform that allows you to share your stories, create an audience, and earn money.
You can create a story about a topic you are passionate about and add photos, videos, and music to make it engaging.
Vocal will help your story find a home by ensuring that it meets the Community Guidelines. You keep all the rights to the stories published on this platform. Vocal only has the right to promote the story on their socials.
Contrary to Substack, you get rewarded for all the engagements on your stories, receive tips from your fans, or earn from sales.
Anyone above 13 years old can be a creator on Vocal and it is available worldwide. Your story gets published on the platform within 24 hours as long as it meets the guidelines. If your story is denied, you are advised on the edits to make before resubmitting it.
You have the privilege to edit a story that is already published.
By sharing stories that go beyond your creation, you tap your audience’s emotions and inspire them.
Publishing on Vocal is free. You can monetize on engagements and collect tips from fans at no cost. You can also choose to upgrade to Vocal+ which is a paid membership for creators and access more benefits like higher monetization. Vocal creators earn $3.80 per 1,000 reads while Vocal+ creators earn $6.00 per 1000 reads.
Moosend is an email marketing and marketing automation platform that does not break your bank.
Moosend allows your business to sell itself with the automation features that simplify your marketing and help you reach your goals.
With Moosend, you can send more relevant emails that stimulate your subscribers to read. Your emails are delivered despite the size of your business.
This platform allows you to move, resize, add, group, crop, and change anything that doesn’t match your taste and thus create a beautiful landing page without spending much on web designers. With proper templates, you easily grow your mailing list, gather important data, and share your forms across all your online channels.
Moosend also helps you as a publisher to monetize your content and stay digitally connected. You can group your audience to make it easier to send them content based on their preferences.
With the help of Robo powers, you automatically get recommendations that will help your articles reach more audiences.
This platform allows you to track your performance for better decision-making to achieve your marketing goals.
You can easily integrate Moosend with your favorite apps, eCommerce website, or CRM without any HTML knowledge. No coding is required. This makes it a better alternative to Substack.
You can choose a monthly or annual plan or customize a plan that meets your business needs.
GroupApp helps bring your community, digital products, and online courses to one platform.
You can store your products in your community and offer them resources to members or directly sell them to anyone.
GroupApp allows you to convert your community into recurring subscriptions by selling membership plans.
This platform also enables you to connect to tools that you use. Therefore, you can capture data, automate marketing campaigns, track ROI, and streamline workflow.
The plans offered by GroupApp grow as you grow. You are free to start with a small plan or an advanced one. There is also a free plan that requires no credit card.
Compared to Substack, GroupApp allows you to integrate with apps like Zapier to have control of your mailing list.
Through discussions, Group Chat, or Members Directory, you can bring your community and content together.
Lumenful is a platform where you can publish your content with one click.
You create a space on Lumenful to organize all your content; a guide, eBook, report, or guide. Here you can add a paywall, register wall, or no wall for your article. No wall means your content is open to everyone. A paywall will require payments and a register wall requires your email.
Once you make successful payouts via Stripe, Lumenful charges you a transaction fee plus a card processing fee.
This platform allows you to customize designs and covers that match your style and brand.
With lead magnets and resource hubs, you improve your business’s performance. You improve brand trust with a central resource hub for all your content.
Lumenful helps you create quality content and go live with just a click. Substack doesn’t allow any live streams.
You can evaluate your content’s performance with in-built reporting and modify it with your Google Analytics integration. Conducting contextual surveys also helps gain insights and engagements with your audience.
Monetizing your content gives you access control. You gain leads and easily manage your audience.
Integration with other apps like Zapier is possible on this platform. This helps automate workflow using codes within minutes.
Lumen offers a free plan, a plus plan for $23 per month, and a pro plan for $45 per month.
15. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks allows you to run your community, content, videos, events, memberships, and subscriptions in one place.
It is available for your iOS device, Android device, and the web.
You can invite new members via referrals, links, or by scanning on this platform.
Mighty Networks allows you to move a community from another platform to your existing members, increasing your audience.
Unlike Substack, it also offers multiple ways to earn revenue. You earn from memberships, paid online courses, exclusive groups, bundles, or charge all these together. You can receive payments in over 100 currencies.
Posting questions, polls, and short topics that are related to your audience’s likes increase the number of engagements.
In addition, you can offer free trials and only charge for things as one-time fees or set recurring subscriptions.
This platform gives you the right to all your data.
Mighty Networks gives you no limit of members. You can have as many as you want. This helps boost your creativity and ambition.
Patreon wins. When choosing a Substack alternative, I would consider one that is more flexible with the type of content.
Patreon allows all kinds of creators, from writers to musicians.
It also has advanced features to help improve your content and connect more with your audience. You earn more revenue as your patronage increases with the recurring membership plans.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.