Writing for Substack

How to Write a Compelling Newsletter and Grow Your Readership

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Launch your Substack newsletter and engage new readers in this four-week course.

Substack is an amazing platform for writers because it requires no design skills, it keeps you motivated to write, and it helps you grow your audience organically over time. Whether you want to share personal stories, share your expertise, serialize a novel, create an author newsletter, or simply provide a glimpse into the things you love, Substack can help you find readers and create community around your passion. If you want to earn money for your writing, Substack provides tools to do that too.

Course dates: This course is self-paced. You will get your first set of lessons the moment you enroll, followed by a new set of lessons each week. There are no live sessions. You have access to the materials for six months.

What you get: 3 hours of video lessons, 18 written lessons, ongoing discussion forums

When you enroll in the full version of the course, you will also get instructor feedback on your posts.

In this course, you will:

  • choose a subject for your substack
  • Come up with a title and URL
  • create your profile and logline
  • determine your intended audience and theme
  • set a writing and publishing schedule
  • write one to two posts per week
  • get feedback on your posts (1,000 words per week)
  • learn how to make the Substack growth engine work for you

At the end of the course, you will have a professional-looking Substack with several completed posts, and you will be on your way to building an engaged audience.

What students are saying:

Michelle Richmond's "Writing for Substack" course is superb. I had tons of ideas but zero structure in my head, and Michelle was an excellent guide...The lessons are very well structured, informative, easy to follow, and packed with excellent advice (that you don't get anywhere else) on writing in general and writing for Substack specifically. Plus, I have found Michelle to be extremely supportive, kind, welcoming, and inspiring. I can't recommend this course enough! Andres Celati, creator of The Vinyl Room

In WRITING FOR SUBSTACK, you will get weekly video and written lessons, weekly assignments, ongoing discussions, and feedback on your posts. Although it's easy to write on Substack once you get going, setup can be tricky. In my series of videos, I take you into the Substack settings and show you how to set up every part of your Substack.

Please note: There are no live sessions. You can add one-on-one video coaching by selecting Writing for Substack Plus at checkout.

This course is for you if:

  • You are a regular Substack reader and have been meaning to start your own or
  • You started a Substack but rarely post or
  • You are a blogger who hasn't yet used Substack or
  • You created a newsletter elsewhere and want to migrate to Substack and
  • You want to create audience and community around your expertise or your passion.

Here are a few Substacks created in the first iteration this course in February, 2023:

And more created in the second iteration, a live-session course I taught for Litcamp that was geared toward authors:

Why I'm teaching this course:

I've been writing The Caffeinated Writer newsletter for a decade, in addition to my author newsletter. For years, I paid over a thousand dollars per year to send out my newsletters on Mailchimp. At the end of 2022, I realized the pricing model just didn't make sense, and I migrated both my author newsletter and my writing and publishing newsletter to Substack. I also created a new publication, The Wandering Writer, to share stories about writing and travel. I have been surprised and delighted by the motivation the Substack system provides, and by the way my audience grows organically without the use of time-consuming "lead magnets" and "marketing funnels." With Substack, it's all about the writing.

Among my audience, I notice a lot of subscribers have a "coming soon" page but haven't yet started their newsletter. I imagine these writers have many reasons why they haven't yet started their Substacks, from time management to lack of confidence in their writing and the fear of clicking "publish."

I created this course to inspire you to start writing and hit the publish button.

Your Instructor

Michelle Richmond
Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels and two story collections. Her books have been published in 31 languages.

She is the publisher of Fiction Attic Press and the founder of Fiction Master Class. She has taught in the Masters of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco, California College of the Arts, Bowling Green State University, and St. Mary's College of Moraga. She has served as Distinguished Visiting Writer at Notre Dame de Namur University and has designed and taught online writing courses for Stanford Continuing Studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?
You have access to the course for six months after enrollment.
Are there any live sessions?
No, there are no live sessions for this course. However, you can select the "Plus" option at checkout to add a one-on-one live coaching session.
Can I switch from the BASIC to the full version of the course later?
Yes! If you purchase the Basic version of the course and later decide that you want feedback on your posts, just send me an email or notify me in the comments section, and I will send you a link to upgrade.
Can I get all of the lessons at once?
The course is set to release a set of video and written lessons each week. The lessons are quite detailed and most students find that each module gives them plenty to learn and work with each week. However, if you want to work through the lessons more quickly, just let me know and I will open the full course for you upon enrollment.
What if I change my mind?
I want you to be happy! Get a full refund within the first seven days of purchase if you decide the timing or the course isn't right for you.

Are you ready to get started? Do you want to build a writing habit and engage new readers? Replace the "Coming Soon" page on your Substack with your first post, and start growing your audience today.

Get started now!