7 Habits of Highly Effective Substackers

Unlock the secrets of exceptional newsletters

Karen Cherry


Image created with DALL-E

In my years on Substack, I’ve noticed a definite pattern among people who are new to the platform. Some new creators succeed, but many are doomed to fail. According to Substack’s team, 84% of people who start a Substack don’t make it to 14 weeks. Wow.

An effective Substack creator is someone who builds a newsletter publication that grows, attracts new subscribers, and delivers benefits to both the creator and their audience consistently over time.

Effective Substackers have certain character traits that help them create and grow newsletters without giving up too early or overthinking the process. Each character trait is supported by daily habits, which reinforce the trait and make it easier to write, publish and promote a newsletter.

Here are the seven most important character traits for Substack creators, and the habits that support them.

1. Commitment

Effective Substack creators have committed to publishing consistently. Consistent posting is a cornerstone of success on Substack: no newsletter can succeed without it.

Committed creators promise themselves they will write and publish to a certain schedule for a certain number of weeks or months. And keep the promise.

Habit for commitment: priority-setting. Make sure your newsletter has a high enough priority in your week that you will find the time to write and publish.

2. Reader focus

A reader-focused creator can draw new readers in each week, and keep their current subscribers excited to open every newsletter.

Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, includes the habit “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. This habit is key to crafting a consistently interesting and useful newsletter.

Effective Substack creators have a habit of constantly asking themselves “What do my readers want to experience when they open my email this week?”

Habit for reader-focus: Every time you write, ask “What do my readers want from me? How can I deliver that today?”



Karen Cherry

Substack writer. Secret tree hugger. Aussie business owner with >$13K revenue on Substack. Refusing to dumb it down.