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Substack Notes | What are notes and why you should be using them

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Are you done keeping up with the never-ending feed and algorithm gods? Yeah, me too. Substack notes are a breath of fresh air! They cater to high-attention-span users and attract writers and readers who want to connect directly, share ideas, and build a community.

What are Substack Notes?

Substack Notes allow writers to share short-form content, ideas, and snippets with readers and other writers on the platform. It’s the new social media-inspired update to Substack, similar to Twitter but without the algorithm and ads.

Unlike Chat, which allows you to privately send messages to subscribers, Notes is a public feed available to anyone in the Substack network to see.

Notes are not emailed to subscribers like a newsletter. They are a separate feed within the Substack platform. However, if subscribers miss notes activity, they may receive a notes digest email. You can find your notes on both your home feed and under “Notes” on your Substack profile.

Who uses Substack Notes?

Anyone with something to say can use the Substack and Notes feed. It’s a platform for building a community and sharing your writing, ideas, or creative work. Typically, journalists, digital entrepreneurs, authors, and content creators such as bloggers and podcasters use it.

Benefits of Using Susbtack Notes

  • Not everything needs to be written in long form content or emailed out. Your own Notes allows you to get in front of your audience and post short form content in between your newsletters.
  • You can curate your notes feed – you’ll only find things from people you subscribe to.
  • It helps you draw attention to your long-form content.
  • Substack notes allow writers to engage more frequently with their audience, creating a strong community and growing their subscribers.
  • It gives readers fresh content and meaningful conversations that social media ads haven’t exploited.
  • Substack writers own their email lists so the time and effort they spend nurturing relationships through Substack notes is beneficial long-term. They can take their email list anywhere.
  • Substack connects you with a wider audience beyond your existing subscribers by leveraging the Substack network.
  • Anyone can access notes, even if they are not interested in writing a newsletter. They can sign up as readers and join discussions and the community.
  • Substack readers are its customers vs other social media platforms where advertisers are the customers.
  • Substack Notes can be a powerful indirect driver of paid subscriptions.

Disadvantages of Substack Notes

  • Susbtack feed only helps you promote your newsletter to readers already on Substack. You will have to actively promote your newsletter on other platforms.
  • Even with its 20 million active subscribers and 2 million paying subscribers, it’s possible there could be lower user engagement compared to more established platforms.

How to use Substack notes

Posting Substack notes is easy:

  1. To access Notes, open the Substack app or website and navigate to the Notes tab.
  2. Click in the box next to your profile picture that says “what’s on your mind” and start typing.
  3. You can share ideas, thoughts, updates, share links, add up to six photos, and mention other writers using the @ symbol followed by their username to initiate conversation. Once you’re happy with your note, click “Post” and share it with the Substack community.
  4. If you need to edit a post, click the three dots under its title and click “edit post.”

Substack notes are about building a community. Like other writer’s notes, reply to comments, and participate in discussions!

How could you use Substack Notes?

There are many ways writers and readers can use Substack Notes:

1. Discover New Writers

Follow Substack publications and writers you’re interested in to see their Notes and find fresh content.

2. Microblogging

Use Substack Notes to share quick thoughts, sneak peeks, updates, or behind-the-scenes glimpses between newsletters to keep your existing audience engaged.

3. Create Discussions

Create discussions and restack interesting posts to share with your own Substack network and promote writers you enjoy. Restacks are very similar to Twitter’s reposts.

4. Promote Your Work

Share ideas and quotes from your latest newsletter to convert casual readers and encourage subscriptions. Similar to Twitter’s tweets.

5. Build a community

Tag writers you admire in your notes to collaborate, share your thoughts, and start conversations. Respond to reader notes, answer questions, and create more interaction around your content.

Substack notes vs. Twitter

Substack notes feature is similar to Twitter but a cleaner version. It doesn’t have an algorithm or ads. It’s a subscription network – its customers are its readers. Creators benefit financially from user attention, not the platform.

The quality of content on Substack is, at this point, much higher without the bots and fake accounts found on Twitter.

There are no character limits on Substack, unlike Twitter’s 280-character limit. You can post notes (“Tweets”) like comments, ideas, links, and images and repost (retweet) other writers’ notes.

FAQ’s | Substack Notes

Substack Notes FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Substack Notes:

1. Can anyone see my Substack Notes, even if they’re not subscribed to me?

Yes, Substack Notes are public by default. Anyone on the Substack platform can see your notes, even if they’re not subscribed to you directly. This makes Notes a great way to connect with a wider audience and discover new writers.

2. How can I use Substack Notes to convert free subscribers to paid subscribers?

While Substack Notes aren’t directly sent to subscribers like emails, they can be a powerful tool for indirectly driving paid subscriptions. Here’s how:

  • Share exclusive content, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or discussions related to your paid content. This extra value can entice free subscribers to see the benefits of going paid.
  • Use Notes to demonstrate your knowledge and passion for your topic. This will position you as an authority and make your paid content even more attractive.
  • Regular interaction through Notes keeps your audience engaged and makes you and your work visible to them.

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy reading these articles:

Beehiiv vs. Substack in 2024

Beehiiv Review: My Thoughts About the Newsletter Platform

Substack vs. Medium | Which is Better 2024?

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I'm Celina. I help emerging entrepreneurs learn how to start a profitable online business and make money online.

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