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Bye, Substack 🖤
Why I'm leaving, and what will happen next.
This decision has been weighing on me now for weeks. Today, I finally forced myself to make up my mind. My Substack publication will be going dormant, and in this post I will explain why I’m leaving and what will happen going forward. Bear with me.
Let’s start by clearing away any misunderstandings:
If you don’t know what I mean by “Substack”, don’t worry. 😅 It’s just the platform I’ve been using to send newsletters to you. It has some additional functionality that you may or may not have used (the comment section for example). But if you’ve just been reading my newsletters via your email inbox - nothing will change for you going forward and you can skip this update if you want.
I’m not deleting or unpublishing anything. My whole publication and all of my posts will still be here. The achives are now open for anyone to read, paid subscriber or not. 🥳
I’m not unhappy with Substack. Far from it. My decision to stop publishing here is based on other reasons, which I will explain in a bit.
So… if I’m still happy with Substack, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing anyways…
Why am I leaving Substack?
Earlier this year, I wrote in a weekly letter about my desire to re-shift my focus from content production to art making. I had previously burnt out a bit, trying to keep up with my YouTube and writing publishing schedule. Overall, I felt like I wasn’t making nearly as much art as I wanted. I didn’t set out on this path to become an influencer. I did it because I wanted to make art, sell art, and help others do the same.
So at the beginning of this summer, I re-made my website to focus more on my art. And I decided to split my audience in two: those who mainly wanted to see my art (art lovers/art collectors), and fellow artists who were more interested in the behind-the-scenes, tips, and resources for creatives. For this, I needed to segment my subscribers and personalize my email content to be more relevant to them. And I wanted automation functionality to be able to offer you stuff like DIY Art School, which is an automated, 10-day email series.
I love Substack for many reasons: It’s free, it displays old posts/newsletters in a beautiful blog-style layout, it has built in community functions, monetization functions, has a super easy-to-use editor, supports all types of content. Its recommendation features has helped me grow my email list faster. Substack is amazing, and I’m a bit devastated to have to let it go. I can assure you that the moment Substack releases automation and personalization capabilities (if they ever do), I will be back here in an instant.
Substack is primarily geared towards writers and podcasters who want to monetize their content and build a steady reader/listener base. I’m trying to run an art business, and for that, I need other tools than what Substack currently offers.
I’ve tried using both Substack, and Flodesk (my other email software) in parallell now for a few months, and it’s increasingly confusing. 😅 Both to me, and my audience. It would be much easier to just use one platform. And that’s going to have to be Flodesk - a software I’m paying for, and needs to use for its automation and personalization functions.
I’ve also been kind of reluctant to let so much of my content live somewhere other than on my website. It doesn’t matter that Substack is a great platform, and that I can move my content off it whenever I want. It doesn’t matter that I can monetize my content here. It’s still not my platform, and I have no control over the rollout of new features, visual changes, monetization policies, et.c. Some people have complained to me that I’m being too pushy trying to get them to pay for a subscription. Well, it’s not me doing the pushing, it’s Substack. It’s all automated and beyond my control. And ultimately, what matters the most to me in my business in control and autonomy.
So that’s why I’ve decided to stop publishing here, and to continue publishing exclusively on my own blog and email list.
Will I miss some of the features and perks of being here? For sure. But I believe the trade-offs will be worth it. We’ll see.
What happens now?
I’ve copied all subscribers from Substack into my new email list, and tagged them as “artists”. This is to ensure that everyone who’s subscribed via Substack will continue to get my emails going forward. I am aware though that not all of you are artists. Some of you are writers, or other creatives, or you simply enjoy my art. You can choose what type of updates and content you wish to see from me going forward by signing up for my email list and checking the boxes that apply to you. (You can choose both.)
If you select “Art lover/art collector”, you will only get emails when I have new artworks or prints to show. You’ll get occasional discounts and digital art freebies, invites to exhibitions, access to commission spots, and stuff like that. And I’ll sometimes share tips on how to collect art, how to frame it, hang it, decorate with it.
If you select “Artist”, you will get the type of weekly emails you’ve been used to getting thus far: personal updates from my studio, links to new published content, and my “favorite things” list.
If you’ve already joined my new list, don’t worry, you won’t get duplicate emails or anything. Anytime you sign up with your email adress, for anything I offer, your details will simply get updated in my system. And you can change your content preferences whenever you like via the link “Manage preferences” at the bottom of my emails going forward.
Some of you might not want to stay subscribed, which is totally okay. The next time you get an email from me, simply use the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email and you will be removed. No hard feelings. 😊
If you’re a paying subscriber: First off, thank you. So much. Your support has meant the world to me. 🙏🏻 You will not be charged anymore though.
If you still wish to support me, you can do so by:
Purchasing a print from me, or even an original painting. My goal is to have something for everyone in my shop, from small and inexpensive prints to larger paintings. If you’re interested in my artwork, make sure you get on my email list and check the box for “I’m an art lover/art collector”, so you won’t miss out on special deals.
Buying a course from me, when relevant to you. I’m in the process of moving my art courses to my own website, while also updating and expanding them. I also plan on releasing a series of art business related workshops going forward. Email subscribers of the “Artist” segment will always get early invites and generous discounts to all new course and workshop releases.
Continuing to read and watch my content, and sharing it via your channels, forwarding it to friends, et.c. This is free, and it’s probably the most generous thing you can do for me. Helping more people find my stuff. 😊
It’s been a great 1 1/2 years on this platform. I’m so happy I found Substack and decided to give it a go. I don’t think my email list would have grown as quickly, or been nearly as fun for me, if it hadn’t been for Substack. And although my business has outgrown it at this point, Substack will continue to be the platform I recommend for those starting out. I’m planning a “Substack for beginners” workshop in the near future, to help other creatives start, and grow, their email list.
And who knows, I might be coming back here sometime in the future. There are exciting updates and additions to this platform all the time. I’ll have my eye on it, for sure. 😌