March 1, 2024
Substack has become a popular platform for writers to publish newsletters. This article explores Substack's free features, the pros and cons of starting a free newsletter, and alternatives for writers on a budget. Determine if Substack's free plan is the right choice for your writing career.


Substack has become a popular platform for independent writers and publications to publish newsletters and reach their audience through email. As a writer or creator, you may be wondering: is Substack free? In this article, we’ll explore the various features available in Substack’s free plan, discuss the pros and cons of starting a free newsletter, and determine if Substack’s free plan is the right choice for your writing career.

Substack: A Free Newsletter Platform for All Writers

Substack’s free plan offers a range of features to help writers and creators build and grow their newsletter. These include customizable templates, email list management, and subscription options for readers. One of the advantages of Substack is its user-friendly interface, making it easy for writers to set up and publish a newsletter quickly.

Several successful writers and publications use Substack’s free plan, such as journalist Matt Taibbi, who migrated from Rolling Stone to Substack, and “The Exponential View” by Azeem Azhar, a popular newsletter focused on technology and business trends.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Free Substack Newsletter

One of the main advantages of using Substack’s free plan is that there are no upfront costs for writers. Substack takes care of the technical details, such as hosting and delivering newsletters to subscribers. Additionally, Substack’s built-in audience of readers who use the platform regularly can help writers gain exposure and grow their subscriber base.

However, relying on Substack’s free plan has some drawbacks. You have limited customization options and the potential for the platform to change its policies which may negatively affect writers in the future. Additionally, for writers who wish to generate revenue from their newsletter, they may be limited to Substack’s revenue-sharing program.

How to Make the Most of Substack’s Free Features

To maximize the use of Substack’s free features, writers need to focus on engaging content to attract readers and build a niche audience. Cross-promoting on social media can also help increase subscribers. Writers can take advantage of Substack’s premium features, even as a free user, such as integrating paid newsletter subscriptions on other platforms.

Is Substack’s Free Plan Right for Your Writing Career?

Substack’s free plan is an ideal choice for independent creators, freelancers, and niche publications. However, if you need full control over your newsletter design or require more advanced analytics and marketing tools, Substack’s free plan may not be the best option.

A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Substack Newsletter for Free

Setting up a Substack account and creating a free newsletter is straightforward. First, writers need to choose a template that suits their newsletter’s topic and design preferences. Then, writers can create content and use Substack’s email list management tools to grow their subscriber base. Finally, to make a free newsletter stand out in a competitive market, writers need to ensure their content is engaging, informative, and adds value to the reader.

The Best Free Alternatives to Substack for Writers on a Budget

Other platforms and tools that writers can use to create and publish newsletters for free include TinyLetter, Mailchimp, and Revue. For example, TinyLetter focuses on simplicity, making it easy for writers to start publishing their newsletter quickly. Mailchimp, on the other hand, offers advanced marketing tools and customization options, making it an excellent choice for writers who want more control over their newsletter’s design.


In conclusion, Substack’s free plan offers a range of features for writers to publish their newsletter and reach their audience. However, relying on Substack’s free plan has its limitations, and alternative options such as Mailchimp or Revue may better suit writers who require more advanced features.

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