Talking Pulp: Probably Going to Move Off of Substack

I started this Substack newsletter as an experiment. I do like writing it and it’s important for me to write about my creative process, as it helps me and could potentially help others. I still stand by the ideas and objectives I outlined here. However, this platform is ineffectual and feels pointless, unless you already have a massive following and are able to pull people here from elsewhere in an attempt to monetize your content.

As a place to write or grow an audience, Substack is pretty useless. Unlike some of its older, better competitors, there is nothing within Substack that is better than the platforms it wants to pull its creators from. Can it get there, though? Sure. But it has a long way to go.

Being that I was frustrated with a lot of the things being forced upon its users by WordPress, I felt like it was time to find an alternative. I came here because on paper, it sounded like a cool platform to jump in on and those who love it, LOVE it.

On WordPress, however, I was able to grow an audience pretty easily and naturally, as the platform pulls readers into your content and has the sort of backend tools that help people discover you.

Substack relies on you doing all the work. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do the work, but an assist would be nice, otherwise, why should I use a platform over another one that gives me an edge?

Since I’ve been using this, around the start of the year, I haven’t gained a subscriber beyond those I added to get started. I also haven’t had any engagement: zero. Since I’ve left WordPress (or paused it, really), I’ve gained a few dozen more subscribers and still had some engagement. And over there, I haven’t done a thing.

Maybe this isn’t the right platform for me because I don’t have any interest in monetizing my words. That’s what my book series is for, but that’s also a different animal and I’m not doing that to make a living. Although, that’d be nice some day.

If Substack wants to survive like very few ambitious platforms do, it needs to help its users. It needs to make them excited to use the platform because ultimately, they’ll be more effective than any amount of money dumped into marketing and promotion.

Additionally, I hate how this platform works. It’s obvious that it’s made by designers that can’t think outside of their own box. It’s overly minimalistic to the point of not being user friendly. It lacks options, it lacks style, and it certainly lacks the most important element a writing platform needs: creativity.

All that being said, Substack is frustrating and it feels like it’s been a waste of my time in regards to getting my writing beyond just my own eyes. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, as I want to continue to chronicle the creative process of the Barbarians of the Storm series, but maybe I’ll just go back to WordPress, despite my issues with it. At least, over there, I can get traction, engagement, and actual feedback.

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