Hidden and not so hidden functions
How to Preview Your Newsletter
SubStack's process for previewing your newsletter is a bit awkward:
1. Click Settings at the bottom of the screen.
2. In the Post Settings screen, scroll down until you reach Secret Draft Link.
3. Click Copy Link.
4. Paste the link into the address bar of a Web browser.
5. To exit the Post Settings screen, click the X in the upper right corner.
How To Move a Paragraph
Hold down the Ctrl key and then double-click the paragraph. Notice the blue border that surrounds the paragraph. Drag the paragraph to a new location.
How To Add Captions to Images
Click the image. In the upper-right corner of the image, notice the big blue dot with three little white dots.
- Click the blue dot.
- Select Edit Caption.
- Below the image, replace "Caption..." with your caption text.
To distinguish caption text from regular text, SubStack centers it and renders it in a small sans serif font.
When the Newsletter Gets Too long
Although SubStack claims no limits to their service, there is in fact a limit -- the length of the newsletter in bytes. I sometimes produce long-form articles, and eventually this orange warning alert appears at the bottom of the screen:
Gmail will truncate emails that are more than 102KB. We display a warning after you've exceeded Gmail's size limit.
The 102KB limit includes text and images. When you have more images, then less text is allowed. To eliminate the warning, remove one image at at time, or else cut and paste text for use in another issue of the newsletter.
Working on Multiple Newsletters
I often work on two or more newsletters at a time. I keep each one open in its own tab of a Web browser. In other tabs, I keep a copy of my newsletter's template and the dashboard. In this way, I can add text to any draft newsletter as I come across new and interesting information.
Create a Template for your Newsletter
SubStack does an excellent job when you copy text-figures from one newsletter to another. It does not lose any formatting.
So that I don't have to type things repetitively, I have created a template for my newsletter, which is just a draft one that I have named "Template." See the screen grab below for some of the elements I have in my template. When I start a new edition of my newsletter, I copy the entire template and paste it into a New Post.
Best Time to Send Out a Newsletter
This is a bit of info I learned when I still was with MailChimp. It does an analysis of email opening times to determine the best time to send out your newsletter. "Best" is defined as getting the most opens for each issue. For me, it was 7am in my time zone, Pacific.
To set the time for your newsletter:
- Click Publish at the bottom of the screen.
- Click Schedule for Later.
- Choose the date and time at which to have SubStack send it out.