How to Get Your First 2000 Subscribers on Substack

Three ways to grow from ZERO that you can start doing today

Karen Cherry
5 min readAug 19


Image created by author using DALL-E AI. (I’m crap at AI art!)

I’ve been talking to Kristina God this week. Her Substack journey is inspiring.

Kristina started with ZERO subscribers in November 2022 and now has more than 2600 subscribers.

How did she get there? And what can we learn from her journey?

In this post, I’ll talk about three things that helped Kristina get from 0 to 2000 subscribers.

1. Collaboration

Kristina is really good at collaborating with other Substack creators. She frequently publishes ‘shout outs’ to other Substack writers in her posts, and takes the time to comment on other writer’s posts.

The other day, she wrote to me to ask if I would recommend her newsletter and said she had a spare ‘slot’ to recommend mine. That’s collaboration.

My free newsletter has generated 14 subscriptions for Kristina’s newsletter, completely on autopilot, through Substack’s recommendations feature

Substack has tonnes of built-in tools to make it easy to collaborate. Recommendations are a powerful way to ‘share the love’ with other Substack publications; sending them more subscribers, and hopefully getting some in return.

‘Mentions’ are another way to collaborate. Substack mentions work like Facebook tagging. I used Substack’s ‘mention’ feature to let Kristina know I was writing about her.

How to do this yourself

To tag another writer using ‘mentions’, type ‘@’ and then start typing out the writer’s name or publication name. A list of possible matches will appear for you to select.

Substack’s ‘mentions’ feature is another easy way to collaborate

To check out who is recommending your newsletter on Substack click on the Recommendations tab in your publication dashboard.

To recommend a publication, click the pale-coloured ‘Manage’ button at the top of the Recommendations tab in your publication dashboard.

2. Value



Karen Cherry

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