I Am Starting A Substack Newsletter!

Starting A Newsletter

I am starting a newsletter with substack!

If you haven’t heard of it, it is an online platform that allows writers to have newsletters and gain monetization/income through paid subscriptions. And it is the next grand step in furthering my career.

I am so excited to get started on my newsletter and have been waiting for the time that I could write and publish posts to tell you about it. By the time this post is published, you’ll be able to subscribe from anywhere on my blog.

For a good while, I have been trying to figure out a way to take my blog and content to the next level in a manner that’ll allow me to connect and interact with my readers on a much more closer and consistent level. And substack allows me to do that and more. On this blog, I write a lot about my journey toward literary success and the things I’ve learned and am studying along the way. But I don’t showcase or publish much of my creative works and stories here.

Though on substack, you’ll be able to write with me as I serialize my short stories and novel. Now you can read my stories and see my creative progress in real-time or just as frequently as I post on this blog.

If you are a fiction writer or a writer of another kind, you’ll love this post. On my way to starting this newsletter, I learned so much. Especially about the different opportunities and limitations the fiction niche has for writers. Running a hot-topic blog is one thing, but knowing how to make money running a blog with a fiction niche is another thing.

Fiction is an Interesting Content Niche

When I first started this blog I was excited to write and excited to make money. Actually, I have made money so far, but it isn’t much. And completing only one year of blogging I’d hope to have made more. So I really have to kick things up a notch for my second year of blogging.

And yes I’ve finally made money! According to my first and previous income reports, I have made nothing. But in the income report coming up, I will tell you exactly how much I’ve made so far.

Increasing my income has always been one of my main goals, but after assessing the ways that I’ve tried to monetize my fiction content over the past year, I know that I have to change my approach to things

The first step to that is finding the best monetization methods for my niche: fiction. A blog can make a lot of money, and depending on the chosen niches, the amount can be more or less. I’ve come to figure out that with my niche, monetization can get a bit tricky. Even though there are many ways to make money online as a general writer, the situation is a little different for fiction writers.

For most niches under the grand umbrella of writing, most ways to make money online are kinds of freelance work. Blogging is also one of the top ways to make money writing online and I’m already doing that.

With a blog, one of the first ways to make money is through ads. I’m already earning with ads. But ads don’t make a substantial amount of money. Not for a while at least.

Blogs also make money through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and partnerships. In a niche like technology or anything that has to do with buying physical items (home decor, shopping, cooking, etc.) these monetization options work amazingly. But there aren’t as many affiliates, partnerships, and sponsorships available with the fiction niche nor many high-paying ones. So it is a little bit more challenging to go for substantial earnings within my niche.

But I’m still going for substantial income anyway.

There aren’t many of the same types of income opportunities in my fiction niche compared to other niches. But there is a lot less concentrated competition. Authors and writers who are able to find good success with fiction, do earn big. Bigger than those in other niches or working in other fields. So the money is somewhere I just have to find it.

Less Work More Money

Between the blog and school, I am busy enough to know that I need to carefully assess my full plate before making adjustments.

Freelance work is great but it requires a lot of work to build a reputation and manage clients. It is a job of its own. Since my hands are already full I gladly pass on that option.

One of the ways I considered my monetization issue was by looking over my goals and ideas for the future of the blog. And I found that I lack a connection with my audience and readers. I could do social media. You know post every day, plan content and get through with sponsorships and partnerships. But that requires almost as much management as a blog and being the only employee and writer at Actually Writing that’s too much extra work for me to add on.

I want to do less work and make more money than I am now. Or at least do the same amount of work that I am doing now and make more money. So less extra work that allows me to have more income and a better connection with my audience and readers.

I’m not complaining about my work nor not up to the challenge of building my career. But I have to be strategic about the kinds of workload I add or remove from my plate.

As I was getting my handle on this blog, there were days or weeks that I spent more time blogging than I did writing and developing my fiction stories. And after adjusting my workload so that I can blog and write healthily, I don’t want to add more work that will move away from writing. If I keep adding more work that does not involve developing my stories, then I am wasting my time blogging about the moves I am making to achieve this grand goal of being a successful writer.

I don’t just want to chase money. But write inspiring fiction stories and make money from it.

And that’s why I choose Substack. With low maintenance, I get to make money doing something I’m already doing, writing fiction.

Why I Chose Substack Over Medium, Vocal.media, and The Likes

But why did I choose Substack over Medium, Vocal.media, or even Newsbreak ( and all other platforms similar in how they give writers a chance to write and earn income)?

  1. On Substack writers can create content easily – I can also do the same with the other platforms as well.
  2. I can directly control my pay rates/income rate – This pay-by-subscription feature is unique to Substack. Medium and Newsbreak monetization methods aren’t controlled by the writer. With Substack, I set my price and get to choose if individual posts can be for free or not.
  3. I would use the app to enjoy other people’s work – I’ve found some really interesting newsletters on substack that I am excited to read. Other than just writing on the app I would also just use the app regularly. I honestly would not use Vocal.media or Newsbreak regularly. Though I do read Medium articles occasionally.
  4. How discovery works for writers – I love that you discover writers before their work. When hitting the discovery button on other platforms I am immediately hit with articles and article suggestions. Compared to Substack which shows the writers for discovering in general or based on the topic you filter by.
  5. Writers standing out as writers, not article mules– This bit is a little hard to explain but I’ll try. For me writing on substack, I feel like a writer proud of my work who is able to sell based on its value. Not a writer contributing to a much larger conversation ( not that there is anything wrong with that). With my fiction work, I don’t like to feel like I’m selling it off or gambling with it amongst a pool of a bunch of other writers who are all gaming for the same thing. I feel like I have more freedom to do with my work as I please. And that when people see my work they also see me. Medium is awesome. But reading one article I am already interested in a ton of other suggested articles and long forgot the name of the writer if I even read it. Whereas with Substack the writer and their work really stand out singularly. If you have more questions about this one, comment below and maybe I can do a better job of explaining by answering questions.
  6. Organization – I do love that I can organize my work into sections. Or create a whole other publication altogether. With Medium, Vocal.media, and Newsbreak you get one account to create one set of works from. So it’s a little hard to organize your work into sections or parts. Or if you wanted to write about two different separate things at the same time you would need another account.
  7. Layout – I also like the layout options I get to choose for my newsletter.
  8. I don’t have to worry about SEO – Not having to worry about SEO takes a huge load off my back. Having SEO taken care of ( for the most part) makes it easier for me to build an audience. Though the platforms do take care of SEO as well.
  9. It is free to start and run – My blog cost me less than $20 dollars to run honestly. But when I look at the number of months I have been paying to run the blog versus the amount of money the blog has made me……………………. let’s just say I don’t want any platform that’ll cost money to run and dig me a deeper hole of loss.

Tallying up the areas that substack wins over the other platforms and weighing the aspects that mean more to me ( like standing out as a writer) Substack won me over.

My Substack Newsletter

Okay okay okay, here are the details of my newsletter…

On Substack, I’ve got three sections within one newsletter and one of those sections is a podcast. Though the whole publication is named By Christa

  1. By Christa – is the section where I’ll be sharing a novel I’m working on as I write it. The story will be posted piece by piece
  2. Practicing Story With Stories or pSwS – is a newsletter of my short stories that I write to practice the art of writing stories.. They too will be posted in pieces.
  3. Writing It– COMING IN DECEMBER – will be a podcast where I’ll go over my process and experiences as I wrote each piece of fiction as I publish them. I hope to go in-depth about my thoughts and strategies behind the published pieces.

Laying that out in a numbered format makes it simple. But as my substack sections begin filling up and the sections become hard to define you can look at the newsletter page on this website or the about page on my Substack site and on this blog.

Now, have you subscribed yet?

Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one
Until my next words (on here that is)

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