Daily Productive Sharing 308 - What Is It Like to Report Independently?

Daily Productive Sharing 308 - What Is It Like to Report Independently?
Photo by Thom Milkovic / Unsplash

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Casey Newton, a former reporter from The Verge, founded Platformer last year as a platform for independent writing and reporting. He recently shared his first year of building Platformer:

  1. when he started Platformer, he added his previous 24,000+ readers to the new newsletter, and two months later, readership had doubled.
  2. he found that the fastest growth in readership was mainly when he sent out exclusive stories, but the rest of the time, readership grew very slowly.
  3. despite the large readership he had when he started Platformer, the pay rate was consistently less than 10%.
  4. in addition to the low pay rate, 3-4% of subscribers unsubscribed every week, so he needs to keep attracting new readers to maintain the reader base.

These experiences are also very similar to ours:

  1. our paid rate has always been less than 10% for both Substack and Ghost (of course we are particularly grateful for these paid subscribers), and the conversion rate from free to paid subscribers is very small.
  2. the number of unsubscribers also remained stable, and even if they didn't unsubscribe, many of them stopped opening emails and became zombie readers. Since Ghost charges according to the number of email subscriptions, we have to clean up zombie readers regularly.
  3. The fastest growth of readers is often when people forward a particular share, so please forward more and help us continue to grow.

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What I learned from a year on Substack

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Casey Newton 曾经供职于 The Verge,去年创立了 Platformer 这一平台,独立创作,独立报道。最近他分享了这一年的单飞历程:

  1. 创立 Platformer 时,他把之前的24000多个读者加到了这一新电子报里,两个月后,读者数翻番了;
  2. 他发现读者增长最快的时候主要是他发出独家报道时,其余时间,读者增长地非常缓慢;
  3. 尽管他创立 Platformer 时就有很大的读者基数,但是付费率一直不到10%;
  4. 除了付费率不高,每周都有3-4%的用户退订,所以需要一直吸引新读者来保持读者基数。