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Finance Writer FAQ

Frequently asked questions about getting started with publishing about finance, investing, economics, business, and crypto on Substack.

What exactly is Substack? How does it work?

Substack allows anyone to set up a free or paid publication. Our software makes it easier than it’s ever been to publish your research, analysis, ideas, and opinions online, with no algorithms or ads getting between you and your subscribers.

A Substack publication functions like a blog, but with email. Publishers can deliver posts to the web and email simultaneously, so you can find new readers while always reaching your existing audience. Meanwhile, your publication page on the web acts as a traditional blog would—a permanent online archive of all your posts. These posts can include podcasts, audio clips, video, file embeds, and more. Publishers choose whether to add a paywall to their posts or to make them free for all readers.

How will readers get my work?

For each post, you can choose who will receive it (free subscribers, paid subscribers, or everyone) and whether or not it will be sent by email. Subscribers get your posts directly in their email, on your publication site, and/or in Substack’s custom reader app. We make it easy for new readers to sign up for your mailing list when they visit your publication site.

How often do I have to post?

There are no set expectations or requirements for posting frequency; you can do whatever you want. Writers and creators on Substack are typically most successful when they post regularly and consistently. Many of the top Substacks post twice a week. But, others may choose to post monthly, or even only when they have something to say.

How much does Substack cost to use?

By default, Substack is free to use. We don’t make money unless you do.

If you turn on paid subscriptions, Substack will keep a 10% cut of revenues for operating costs like tech development and customer support. When you turn on paid, Substack’s platform fee is 10%, and the credit-card payment processor, Stripe, also takes a fee, of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

Do I have to make my publication paid?

Substack is free if your email newsletter/blog is free. You have the option to turn on paid and let your most dedicated readers support you with paid subscriptions.

Turning on paid subscriptions enables a paywall, but it’s always up to you who each individual post goes out to. With each post you publish, you choose whether to send it to “Everyone”, “Paid subscribers only”, or “Free subscribers only.” Most publications with paid turned on publish a mix of free and paid posts.

Can I turn on paid but still have all my posts be available to everybody?

Yes, you can turn on paid subscriptions and still publish all your posts free to everybody. Writers who use this model typically invite their most dedicated fans to pay for subscriptions as a way of supporting their work, but then don’t restrict any content to paying subscribers only.

What’s the lowest subscription fee I can charge?

The minimum amount you can charge (for US-dollar Stripe accounts) is $5 per month and $30 per year.

Do I own what I publish on Substack?

You will always own your content, your email list, and your payment relationships with your readers. Writers are completely independent and do not work for Substack. Each publication gets its own RSS feed, and we make it easy to import and export your content, list, and payments to and from other platforms.

I have a question or problem that’s not answered here!

Answers to readers’ and writers’ most frequently-asked questions about Substack can be found on our Support center.

You can also subscribe to Investing On Substack for advice, inspiration, community events, and product news for investing and business writers, or visit our Resource hub.