Substack Sections Explained

Karen Cherry
4 min readOct 28, 2023

… a feature that’s a lil’ bit clunky…

This post is all about the mysterious ‘Sections’ feature of Substack. Substack devs, we love you but hmmmm this feature is a lil’ bit clunky!

Anyways… here’s my breakdown of Substack sections.

Sections are sub-parts of publications. They are used for:

  • organizing a publication’s content into different topics; or
  • providing different content to different groups of subscribers.

Publication owners can create sections just for paying subscribers, or for different styles of posts. For example, a literary publication might have three different sections; one for poetry, one for a serialised novel and one for reader competitions.

Subscribers can receive emails from all sections or only from some sections of a publication, depending on the settings chosen by the publication owner. Each section of a publication can therefore exist like a separate ‘newsletter’.

That’s the theory anyway.

Unfortunately, however, creators don’t have control over which subscribers receive emails from each section. Instead, it’s left to readers to opt-in or out. And the process of subscribing and unsubscribing from individual sections is not easy or obvious to readers. This means that…

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Karen Cherry

Substack writer. Secret tree hugger. Aussie business owner with >$17K revenue on Substack. Refusing to dumb it down.