What (exactly) is Substack?

With 35 million users, Substack is getting serious momentum

Karen Cherry


Image by author, created with DALL-E

Substack has become a global publishing phenomenon. You’ve probably heard of it. You might even have a Substack account.

But what (exactly) is Substack? And what is “A Substack”? More importantly, why are creators frothing about it?!

Substack says its mission is “Building a new economic engine for culture”. But what does that mean?

Substack is web-hosted software that allows creators to email their work to their own subscribers, while simultaneously publishing it to a webpage. Simple! But that’s not all.

Publishing and emailing content for creators is the main thing Substack does. But it’s got many more features including video hosting, podcast and audio hosting and community-building features. It even has its own social media network.

I’ve been using Substack since August 2021 and generate $16K per year with a paid newsletter. I also have a free newsletter for other creators, where I share everything I’ve learned about Substack while building my publications.

In this post I’ll explain:

  • What is Substack
  • What is ‘A Substack’?
  • Who can use Substack?



Karen Cherry

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