Have you “Moved to Substack”?

Lately I’ve been coming across quite a few abandoned blogs with a note along the lines of “Moved to Substack.”

That’s all well and good but when you do that you no longer own your platform (and IMO lose a bit of character that makes you different).

There’s nothing wrong with utilizing Substack (I certainly see the appeal) but why not keep your blog alive as your central home at the same time?

It’s your unique calling card on the web — a more permanent record of who (and why, how, etc.) you are.

Set up a way for your blog to slurp your new Substack posts (i.e. on WordPress you can use an RSS aggregator plugin to pull in your Substack RSS feed) so they’re automatically archived on your own domain.

Use your blog for other things too — a bio page, now page, etc. and of course a blogroll of your favorite blogs. Make it a Central Square of You with signposts to your other presences on Substack and social media.

That way you’re covered if Substack ever changes or goes out of business or you get tired of it. Your Home Sweet Home is still there because it’s truly and only yours.

On a related note, when I browse from someone’s blog over to their Substack it feels like going from a sweet little neighborhood into a staid corporate park. A little piece of joy dies in me when that happens because it’s another reminder of the corporatization of the web.

Blogs just have a different, personal vibe to ’em and it’s a reminder of why they’re so cool.

Substack: Visiting someone’s office. Blogs: Hanging out on a friend’s porch.

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11 Comments

  1. @alongtheray Couldn’t agree more with any of this. I’d never ditch a home on the web that I control and is linked to me, for Substack or anything else. Credit where it’s due, Substack is a better choice than many other options out there, but as you mention it’s still bereft of the charm and openness of a personal blog.

  2. @pimoore Credit agreed – Substack’s brilliant in their implementation and mainstreaming of newsletters for all. I’m hoping an enterprising dev can duplicate that for WordPress with everything baked in. Newsletter Glue comes closest but you still need to hook into an email provider and Stripe, etc.

  3. I’m thinking that if someone is on Substack, his primary goal is to monetize his writing and therefore, a personal blog serves him little or no useful purpose. They are people who are more interested in self-promotion than in self-expression and community building, so they probably have little reason to care about relinquishing control to a third party.

    • Poorchop (love your alias!), you make a good point. I’d still think it would be smart to have a central place as a hopping off point to whatever you are doing in case you change platforms, etc. etc. Also there’s SEO juice to consider — keeping copies on your own blog helps.

  4. @alongtheray Considering Automattic has been moving and shaking lately with bringing Day One and Pocket Casts aboard, it wouldn’t surprise me if they also get newsletters into the mix for further integration into the platform.

  5. @pimoore Excellent points and add in Automattic’s acquistition of MailPoet along with a substantial investment in Titan Email, something’s afoot…

  6. @pimoore the theory is you can always export your substack posts and import them elsewhere … Eg I experimented with export and import to buttondown – and it worked … then all you have to do is set your dns to whatever your url is and voila – it moves much like a micro blog archive.

    That said – it isn’t perfect.

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