How to Make Money on Substack

Karen Cherry
5 min readMay 3, 2024

There are lots of ways to monetize a newsletter, this way is the easiest

Image by vector_corp on Freepik

There are a lot of ways to make money with a newsletter. Today I’m going to upset hardcore fans of Substack by telling you not to follow the Substack playbook.

Newsletters have been around for almost as long as the internet. In the early days of newsletters, things were simple. Here’s how people used to make money with a newsletter:

  • Ask readers for their email address;
  • Send them information about your company, product and services;
  • Ask them to buy.

After a while, readers started being more protective of their email addresses. Newsletters changed to reflect that. The model looked like this:

  • Make a free downloadable for people (like an e-book, checklist, guide or white paper);
  • Collect email addresses from people who want to download the freebie;
  • Send a sequence of emails to ‘nurture’ the subscriber until they are ready to buy;
  • Tell them about your products and ask them to buy.

For years, this was the way to make money from a newsletter.

Then Substack appeared, and the world of newsletters turned upside down.



Karen Cherry

Substack writer. Secret tree hugger. Aussie business owner with >$19K revenue on Substack. Refusing to dumb it down.