Using Substack

I’m a technical writer, and I enjoy writing documentation, so I’ve kept a lot of notes about how to use Substack well. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned, if it helps anyone else get up to speed more easily.

Office Hours survival guide

Substack hosts a weekly Office Hours session for writers. These tend to be really busy, and it’s not obvious at all how to best make use of the format. This guide has a number of suggestions for how to make the most of each Office Hours session.

Using Tags

This past year, Substack announced that they were introducing tags. On most platforms, tags are straightforward, and usage is fairly clear. Substack’s implementation is a bit different, and much less obvious how to use.

Feature requests

This is a short list of changes that would make Office Hours more enjoyable and manageable for Substack writers and staff. To their credit, Substack is aware of most of these issues, and are working on a number of fixes. Most of these things are a result of their fantastic growth over the last few years.

Substack’s Nazi problem

If you haven’t already heard, there’s been a lot of discussion recently about Substack’s content moderation policies. They have allowed actual Nazi content to be posted, and when called out on it they confirmed that they plan to allow it to stand. If you’re publishing on Substack, it’s probably a good idea to be aware of how this is playing out.