Substack vs. Ghost vs. Revue: Which newsletter platform is best for you?

Comparing the various newsletter platforms you can use to communicate with your audience

Currently, plenty of platforms offer newsletter services for writers and journalists. But which one do you pick? 

There is no right or wrong answer for this, which is excellent! But you do have to keep a few things in mind when picking the right platform for you. 

  1. You can work with it long-term without any issues. 
  2. It’s what you’re most comfortable with
  3. It’s easy to use for you.

Writing is difficult enough as it is. You don’t have to make it even more complicated by opting for a newsletter platform that feels like solving a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle! 

The ongoing debate around newsletter platforms is Substack vs. Ghost. You can google just that and find a thousand articles putting them against each other constantly. 

Revue is reasonably new to the equation and has been well-liked by many talented writers.

Let’s go over some of the best and worst features of each newsletter platform!

car comparison

Substack

Substack is not new at all. It is feature-rich and provides everything a young writer may need to start building a writing portfolio. 

The features that Substack offers are:

  • Welcome page: This is what your viewers see when they first click on your profile. It gives the option to immediately enter their email address to be signed up for your newsletter, or they may skip it entirely. 
  •  Home page: Here, your readers can see your latest, top, and even featured posts that you pin up. The subscriber posts will only appear in a few sentences to give people a gist of what you are all about. 
  • Archive: This lists all your works that are public, private, and the ones for paying subscribers only. 
  •  About page: This is where your followers will learn about you. What your posts are all about, and why you post. 
  •  Leaderboards: This is a list of your top publications and top subscribers. And it helps you discover new writers. 
  • Customer support: If people encounter any trouble when entering their credit card information or logins, this is where they will contact you. 
  • Mailing list: Here, you build a mailing list with Substack; you can take it anywhere and even add a new mailing list from another platform. 
  • Subscriptions: These can be annual, monthly, a gift, or complimentary. These will offer significant discounts. 
  • Rich media: Drag and drop images or embed links easily!
  • Analytics: Although the analytics are pretty vague, they are helpful enough for young writers to learn to steer in the right direction. You can see your most active readers, how much money you’re making, and where your readers are from. 

This makes Substack a leading newsletter platform in terms of features. The question remains…

Is Substack worth it?

While Substack is new-writer friendly, it, unfortunately, lacks a ton of features that more experienced writers may need.

Substack would be 10 times better if it had customizable email features, shareable links, image captions, and an option to embed more media opportunities.

 So, while it may seem like Substack is outdated, it is the perfect place to start! Of course, you may need to switch to a more modernized platform after gaining experience, but at least Substack won’t overwhelm you!

Ghost

Ghost is an independent platform for writers. This is adored by those who want to keep their writing strictly business. It’s a modern and sleek platform with features that aid experienced writers. Let’s take a look at all those features!

  • Custom Branding: Manage your logos, icons, cover image, and accent color
  • Site Password: You can hide your website from the public by placing it under private mode!
  • Multi-Language: Publish in any language! This gives you more exposure since your readers can come from worldwide!
  • Custom Redirects: Make custom redirects to map out old URLs to a new location
  • Connected Social Accounts: embed your social media accounts to the site’s database! 
  • East navigation menu: Create and manage your site’s global navigation menu so users can easily navigate your website without much fuss
  • Fullscreen editing: Edit without any distractions on your screen
  • Custom URLs: Ghost automatically generates custom, readable URLs

Is Ghost worth it?

Ghost is pretty high up on the ranking scale! But there are a few assets that don’t agree with a lot of users, such as:

  • Limited themes are available. It’s difficult enough to not blend into the crowd!
  • It’s expensive to host
  • No native comment functionality 
  • Self-hosting requires technical knowledge

With that in mind, Ghost is definitely a platform for more experienced writers. Unfortunately, it isn’t the most accessible platform to get started with!

Revue

Revue is relatively new to the equation, but don’t hold that against this platform! It has seen rapid growth over the past few years and has been chosen by over 60% of people!

Revue is also pretty feature-rich. It hasn’t had any complaints that it hasn’t taken care of. Here are some features that we adore about Revue

  • You can link your Twitter: Your followers can easily subscribe to your newsletter, which helps you grow on Twitter.
  • Subscriber management: Import, update, or delete subscribers
  • Engagement insights: You can get a very detailed view of your engagement.
  • Scheduling: Probably the best feature of Revue! You can schedule your posts to be sent later during the day/week. Scheduling is excellent since, this way, your posts could be available in different time zones, and your subscribers have a set time they will be looking forward to for your email!
  • Browser extension: You can add links from anywhere on the web!
  • Custom Domains: You can make your profile page available on any URL you choose.
  • Cross-publishing: Post your issues to platforms such as WordPress!
  • Subscriber feedback: You can collect all valuable feedback from your subscribers, which will help you.
  • Support: Get help whenever you get stuck on something!
  • Subscriber forms: Use Revue’s embeddable forms.
  • Social sharing: Share your articles on different social media platforms!

So, is Revue worth it?

There hasn’t been any negative feedback on Revue as a whole till today. Other than that, there have been a few complaints about the lack of colors for a personalized website — but those have not affected the work of any writers!

Is there going to be a legitimate winner then?

As much as we love healthy competitions, the answer is no. Regardless of the pros or cons, if a writer is comfortable with the platform he uses, he will use it regardless.

But realistically speaking, we have to put them next to each other to figure out the best platform for you! So here is a short summary:

Substack: Feature-rich, old to the game, so everyone knows what it is. Substack is made for new writers. More experienced writers may find trouble since the features are a bit outdated.

Ghost: This one is for more experienced writers, especially those who like it modern and sleek! All the features are pretty upgraded and have consistent upgrades to date. The only downside is that it is a bit expensive and has limited themes. 

Revue: This one can be for newbies and those who have been in the game for a hot minute. The site is incredibly user-friendly with up-to-date features that can change your game! Especially the part where you can schedule your emails. The only downside is that users do wish they could customize their website with more colors. 

So, no, there isn’t any particular winner! 

Let us know what platform you want us to compare next!

And remember, whichever platform you choose, you can always use social media and Hypefury’s audience growth platform to scale up!

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