Best alternatives to Substack [2024]

Discover the best alternatives to Substack for your newsletter in 2024: detailed analysis of features, monetisation options and prices
Best alternatives to Substack [2024]
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In: Alternatives

Discover the best alternatives to Substack for your newsletter in 2024: detailed analysis of features, monetisation options and prices


Newsletters represent a powerful tool for content creators, offering a direct and personal way to communicate with their audience.

Substack, in particular, has significantly impacted the world of newsletter publishing, simplifying the process of sharing quality content with an engaged audience.

However, despite its popularity, many are seeking alternatives to Substack. Why this quest for different options? Is it due to features, costs, or the search for greater customization?

This article aims to delve into this question.

We will thoroughly explore and compare the main alternatives to Substack, thus addressing a wide range of content creators, from passionate food bloggers to e-commerce entrepreneurs seeking growth.

Our goal is clear: to provide you with the necessary information to choose the newsletter platform that best suits your specific needs.

What is Substack?

Substack image logo


Substack has quickly emerged as a giant in the newsletter universe. Its recipe for success? An extremely intuitive platform allowing content creators to distribute their content without worrying about technical complexity.

Substack has lowered the barrier to entry: no need for coding or design skills, just a passion for writing. Content creators can easily sign up, write, and send newsletters, while monetizing their audience through an integrated subscription system.

2.What are the advantages of Substack?

Substack's strength lies in its promise of an "all-in-one" platform for content creators.

It offers a sleek interface, simplified publishing tools, and direct access to the target audience while avoiding social media saturation.

Additionally, its monetization structure is transparent, allowing authors to earn income predictably.

3.What are the limitations of Substack?

However, Substack is not without flaws.

For creators seeking advanced customization of their brand and content, Substack may seem restrictive. While it offers ease of use, it lacks advanced features in design, customization, and audience engagement.

Proprietary Software
Substack is not open-source software, meaning its source code is not accessible to the public for modification or customization. Users cannot review, modify, or enhance the software according to their specific needs.

Substack charges a 10% fee per transaction. Stripe adds a credit card fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction and a 0.5% fee for recurring payments. These rates can be prohibitive for new creators, with a 10% commission on subscription revenue.

What factors should be considered when choosing an alternative?

1.User Experience Customization

One of the most critical aspects when choosing a newsletter platform is the ability to customize the user experience.

A newsletter should reflect your brand or personality. Alternatives offering advanced customization and branding options will help you stand out and create a stronger connection with your audience.


While Substack focuses on subscriptions, there are other monetization models to consider.

Some platforms offer the ability to integrate advertisements, receive donations, or sell products and services directly through the newsletter.

This diversity can open doors to additional or more suitable revenue streams for your content.

3.Engagement and Analytics

An often underestimated aspect is the ability to engage and understand your audience.

User engagement and analytics tools are essential for measuring the performance of your newsletters, understanding your readers' preferences, and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

4.Migration Ease

If you're migrating from Substack, the ease of transferring your existing content and subscriber list is crucial.

Some platforms like Ghost CMS offer simplified migration tools, reducing hassle and ensuring a smooth transition for you and your subscribers.

What are the best alternatives to Substack?

Our top picks

Platform Key Features Monetization Options Pricing
Ghost CMS SEO tools, open-source, customizable designs Subscriptions, product sales, affiliation Free (self-hosted), plans starting from $9/month
Beehiiv Intuitive email editor, analytics, subscriber growth tools Subscription-based Starting from $42/month with free plan
ConvertKit Email automation, landing page builder, direct sales tools Subscriptions, digital product sales Free up to 1,000 subscribers, plans starting from $25/month
Mighty Networks Community building, diverse monetization, integrated courses Subscriptions, courses, events Starting from $49/month with free trial

Our detailed comparison

1. Ghost CMS

Ghost cms Logo image

Key Features

Ghost CMS is primarily distinguished by its advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features. These tools enable content creators to enhance their visibility on search engines, a crucial asset for increasing organic traffic.

Furthermore, Ghost offers an impressive range of design templates. These templates are not only aesthetically pleasing but also optimized to improve user experience and readability.

Its open-source nature is another strong point, offering nearly unlimited flexibility for customization.

User Experience and Customization

As an open-source platform, Ghost allows users with technical skills to create a fully customized experience.

This is particularly advantageous for those looking to stand out in a crowded digital space. Users can modify the source code to adjust every aspect of their site, from features to the user interface.

Pricing Model

Ghost offers a free self-hosting option, meaning you can install and use the software at no cost on your own server.

For those preferring a less technical solution, Ghost offers hosted plans, with prices starting at $9/month. We, at Abstract27 propose a Ghost cms managed hosting solution that includes hosting, security, backups, and customer support.

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2. Mighty Networks

Strengths of Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks stands out for its robust community-building capabilities.

This platform not only allows for publishing newsletters but also actively engages subscribers through forums, groups, and online events.

It's ideal for creators and brands looking to build an interactive and engaged space around their content.

Diversified Monetization

A major asset of Mighty Networks is its flexibility in terms of monetization models.

In addition to traditional subscriptions, it offers options such as paid access to exclusive communities, selling online courses, and organizing paid virtual events.

This opens up new avenues for generating revenue while strengthening community engagement.

Adaptability and Usage

Unlike other platforms focused solely on newsletters, Mighty Networks caters to creators looking to establish a deeper and more interactive relationship with their audience.

It is particularly suitable for those who want to go beyond sharing written content and engage their community in a more dynamic and varied manner.


Mighty Networks offers a pricing structure starting at $49/month after a free trial period. This pricing grants access to most key features, with additional options available in more advanced plans.

3. ConvertKit

Automation and Emailing

ConvertKit is primarily distinguished by its sophisticated automation system.

This feature allows creators to set up personalized email sequences based on subscriber actions, thereby improving engagement and content relevance.

This automation makes it easy to create customized journeys for different audience segments, increasing the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

E-commerce and Landing Page Creation Tools

In addition to automation, ConvertKit offers an integrated platform for selling digital products and creating landing pages.

These tools streamline the monetization process for creators, allowing them to sell ebooks, online courses, and other products directly to their audience without leaving the platform.

Pricing Model

ConvertKit offers a free plan for users with up to 1,000 subscribers, making it an attractive option for new creators. Paid plans start from $25/month, with additional features and increased capacity as the subscriber list grows.

4. Beehiiv

Innovations and User Interface

Beehiiv, a recent entrant in the newsletter platform market, stands out for its intuitive user interface and innovative approach to newsletter management.

Designed for simplicity and efficiency, Beehiiv offers a refreshing user experience, with an easy-to-use email editor and powerful analytical tools.

Analytical and Subscriber Growth Tools

One of the most notable aspects of Beehiiv is its detailed analytical dashboard.

It provides creators with valuable insights into reader behavior, such as open rates, click-through rates, and subscriber growth.

This data is crucial for understanding content effectiveness and guiding growth strategies.

Competitive Pricing

Beehiiv offers a competitive pricing structure, with a free plan for up to 2500 subscribers and premium plans starting at $42/month. This pricing makes the platform accessible, especially for new creators or those with a growing audience.

5. Patreon

Focus on Membership Monetization

Patreon primarily distinguishes itself through its membership-based model, offering creators the ability to generate recurring revenue from their audience.

This is achieved through membership tiers, where subscribers pay to access exclusive content, special benefits, or direct interactions with the creator.

Community Building and Engagement

Beyond monetization, Patreon excels in creating an engaged community around creators' content.

The platform facilitates more personal and deep interaction between creators and their supporters, going beyond just newsletters to create a true community experience.

Pricing Model

Unlike fixed subscription models, Patreon takes a percentage of the revenue generated by the creator.

This ranges from 8% to 12% depending on the plan chosen, which can be advantageous for creators with fluctuating income, as the fees are proportional to earnings.

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6. Medium

Integrated Audience and Publishing Simplicity

Medium is renowned for its integrated and substantial audience. This feature allows creators to reach a wide audience without having to build their own subscriber base from scratch.

The platform is also appreciated for its ease of use, allowing for easy and streamlined publishing without worrying about the technical aspects of managing a blog or newsletter.

Engagement-Based Reader Monetization

Unlike direct subscription models, Medium compensates creators based on reader engagement from those who are Medium members.

This includes time spent reading articles and interacting with content. This model encourages the creation of high-quality content that captivates the audience.

Limitations of Customization and Monetization

While Medium is ideal for quickly reaching a large audience, it offers limited control over customization and monetization.

Creators rely on Medium's algorithm for visibility and must adhere to the platform's content policies.

7. Buttondown

Clean Interface and Ease of Use

Buttondown stands out for its simplicity and clean interface, making it an attractive option for those seeking a straightforward newsletter solution. It's an ideal platform for content creators who want to primarily focus on writing without worrying about technical complexities.

Markdown Language and Basic Features

A major asset of Buttondown is its full support for Markdown, making content formatting easier for creators familiar with this language.

Although the platform doesn't offer as many features as some of its competitors, it covers essential needs with basic analytics and simplified subscriber management.

Accessible Pricing Model

Buttondown is free for the first 100 subscribers, which is particularly advantageous for new creators or those with a developing audience.

After that, pricing starts at $9/month, making it one of the most affordable options on the market.

8. HubSpot

CRM Integration and Advanced Automation

HubSpot distinguishes itself with its integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and advanced marketing automation tools.

This combination allows for detailed management and tracking of interactions with subscribers, offering advanced personalization and a better understanding of the target audience.

Comprehensive Emailing Tools

With HubSpot, users benefit from comprehensive tools for email marketing, including the creation of sophisticated campaigns, advanced segmentation options, and detailed analytics to measure campaign effectiveness.

These features are designed to maximize subscriber engagement and optimize marketing efforts.

Pricing Model

While HubSpot offers a free version with limited features, paid plans starting at $15/month provide broader access to advanced tools.

This platform is particularly suitable for businesses and marketing professionals who require a comprehensive solution to manage their email campaigns and customer relationships.

9. Curated

Focus on Curation

Curated stands out for its ability to facilitate content curation for newsletters.

This platform is ideal for creators who want to share carefully curated collections of articles, videos, products, and more with their audience.

This allows for creating a rich and varied newsletter without having to produce all the content in-house.

Sleek Design and Ease of Publishing

One of Curated's strengths is its sleek design and intuitive user interface, making newsletter publishing as simple and elegant as possible.

Users can easily add content from the web, organize it cohesively and attractively, and send it to their subscriber list.

Pricing Model

Curated offers a free trial, after which paid plans start from $39/month. This pricing is justified by its advanced curation capabilities and ease of use, although it may be slightly more expensive than some basic alternatives.

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10. MailerLite

Intuitive Interface and Flexible Content Creation

MailerLite stands out for its simple and intuitive user interface, combined with rich features for content creation.

Its ability to balance ease of use and advanced options makes it attractive to a wide range of users, from beginners to experienced marketing professionals.

Design Tools and Automation

The platform offers a drag-and-drop editor for newsletter creation, making it easy to design custom newsletters without requiring technical skills.

MailerLite also includes sophisticated automation tools, allowing users to create personalized email campaigns based on subscriber behavior.

Accessible Pricing

With a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers, MailerLite is an affordable option, especially for new creators or small businesses. Paid plans, offering additional features, start at $10/month, remaining accessible for a variety of budgets.

11. Buy Me a Coffee

Unique Tip-Based Monetization Concept

Buy Me a Coffee offers a unique and user-friendly approach to monetization: subscribers and fans can "buy a coffee" as a tip, a simple and personal method to support creators.

This casual and accessible approach makes monetization easier and less formal than a traditional subscription or sales model.

Easy Setup and Direct Interaction

The platform stands out for its easy setup and use. Creators can easily create a profile and start receiving tips without the complexity of setting up a subscription system.

Buy Me a Coffee also offers the ability to share updates and exclusive content with supporters, facilitating direct interaction and strengthening relationships with the audience.

Advantageous Pricing Model

Buy Me a Coffee is free to use, with transaction fees on received tips. This fee structure is appealing to creators of all sizes, as it does not require an initial investment or fixed fees.

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Substack Alternatives

What's the best alternative to Substack for customisation?

If customisation is your priority, Ghost CMS and MailerLite offer excellent options. Ghost is ideal for those with technical skills, while MailerLite provides user-friendly customisation without demanding technical requirements.

How can I transfer my Substack subscribers to a new platform?

Most platforms, such as Ghost CMS and Mailchimp, offer import tools that make it easy to transfer your subscriber list. Generally, this involves exporting your subscribers from Substack in the form of a CSV file, then importing them into the new platform.

Which platform offers the best monetisation options?

For diversified monetisation, Ghost, Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee are excellent choices. Ghost and Patreon are ideal for membership-based models, while Buy Me a Cofee excels at direct sales of digital products.

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Finding the ideal alternative to Substack largely depends on your specific needs as a content creator.

Whether you prioritize customization, monetization, audience engagement, or ease of use, there is a platform suitable for every profile.

. For advanced customization: Ghost CMS stand out.

. For diversified monetization: Ghost CMS, Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee offer unique avenues.

. For audience engagement and analytics: Ghost CMS, ConvertKit and Mailchimp are robust choices.

Feel free to experiment with different platforms to find the one that resonates best with your style and aspirations.

Written by
Jérémie Raude-Leroy
Director of, we build and/or host your website / blog with Ghost CMS. Reliable, hassle-free and SEO optimised, perfect for bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and SMEs.
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