Pardon our dust while we do a little bit of spring cleaning.
I know, surprise email today and all, but I wanted to let you know about some big news that’s been in the works for a minute. I’ll get to the really important stuff first, and then if you want to read any of the self-indulgent media background stuff, well, I’ll include some of that at the end too.
Extra Points is currently hosted on Substack, a very popular newsletter hosting service. This weekend, I’ll begin the process to move Extra Points to a completely new service called Ghost. This domain will go offline this weekend and maybe on Monday, and then it will redirect to a new website. If I did everything correctly, it will look like this:
What does this mean for me, the Extra Points reader?
Ideally, things won’t change very much. Your subscription will carry over, so there is no need to re-subscribe or change anything in the billing department. Stripe is still processing the payments, so everything should still look exactly the same on your credit card statements.
I’m not going to be able to accept new subscriptions for a few days, but everything should be live and working again by early next week. If you’re reading this and want to be added to the free list and absolutely do not want to wait, just shoot me an email and I’ll add you manually.
What is going to change about Extra Points?
Right from the jump, the move will allow me to make a few changes.
The layout of the newsletter is going to be tweaked a little bit. The goal is to make it load a little bit faster and actually go to your email inbox a little more often, rather than ending up in spam or promotions.
Extra Points will now be a WEBSITE, not just a newsletter. There will be static pages for our merch options, podcasts, subscription discounts, sales information, and more. No more digging around for an old newsletter that has the info you’re looking for. It’ll always be there.
I’m going to finally have that FOIA directory I’ve been talking about for a year. It’s going to take some time, but the goal is to have all of the financial reports, contracts and various other documents I obtain to live in one central place, so anybody can access them. I will also upload documents that others share with me.
Ghost allows for way more integrations, so I’ll be able to create a better referral program, an easier e-commerce experience, and other quality-of-life improvements.
Ghost allows me to build out a better tagging system, so it will be easier to find older newsletters about similar topics, and will allow more folks to find Extra Points via search.
Is anything going away?
In the short term, yes.
At launch, commenting will be disabled, and previous comments won’t port over to Ghost. Based on the last year, this wasn’t a feature very many people used, as they were way more likely to comment in my email inbox, on Twitter, or on Discord. I do plan to eventually restore commenting at a later date, but that is a little bit of a technical lift, and I wanted to focus on other priorities first. I still want to hear from you!
I’m also updating my pricing system. Ghost does not immediately support tiered-pricing, so I will no longer offer the $150/year deluxe subscription package. If you really love Extra Points and want to help pay for someone else’s subscription, I’m working on an easy way for you to do that.
I’m also going to update my pricing. Starting next week, Extra Points will cost $8/mo, and will run $75/year.
Every single person’s current pricing will be honored. So if you’re on a $7/mo deal now, as I understand it, your rate should remain the same. Going forward, new subscribers will pay the new rate. If you’re on a university-related discount, I’ll have to create new discount codes for you when it’s time to renew, but I’ll make sure everybody has what they need.
If you have any questions about this, drop me an email. Matt@ExtraPointsMB.com.
Your subscription should carry over. You shouldn’t have to do anything. The email will still come to your inbox. It’s just going to look a little different, have some more features, and you’ll need to wait a few days before you can give me money.
Okay, I want the inside baseball media business stuff. Why are you leaving Subtack?
Here is the Honest To God truth.
I really do think there’s a lot to like about Substack. I personally like the people I’ve interacted with there. I really appreciate that it’s a company of writers, trying to create products specifically for writers. For a lot of writers, I still think this is a very good place to run your newsletter.
Specifically, this format is really good for two kinds of writers:
Technical novices just trying out the idea of a newsletter, or writers looking to experiment with the format.
Very established writers with large, built-in audiences.
If that’s you, perfect. If you don’t care about charging for your newsletter, in my opinion, this is the best in class publishing tool. If you don’t need to sweat new user acquisition and just need a format to quickly monetize that audience without fussing over the technical details, I think this is the place.
When I launched two years ago, I was absolutely in the first group. But now I’m not. My business overwhelmingly depends on subscriber revenue, but I also make money from ad sales, and merch, and a podcast, and even consulting. I do not believe that Substack’s current tech product is best equipped to handle publishers like me, folks with more diversified platforms. The tech simply doesn’t play well enough with others, and it gets expensive.
I talk to newsletter writers all the time, and am happy to share other positives, and negatives, about this tool or any other I’ve worked with. If you’re really curious about the real nuts and bolts, just drop me a line.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. With luck, this will be a quick and painless transition, and then we all get to enjoy a better product.