Should you start a Substack?

For most of you, no, starting a Substack is not the best way to build a financially sustainable long-term writing project. You should definitely build an email list, but you should do it with a free newsletter you run alongside a website/blog that you own.

Especially for people like me—if you write mostly about abstract intellectual topics that are not directly useful—writing should be the way you build your audience and not the way you monetize your audience. After you’ve built an email list through consistently publishing your writing for free, you can monetize in other ways, which make more sense and will earn you more money in the long-run. I wrote a blog post about this at

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