5 Reasons Why I Don’t Use Substack (And Why You Shouldn’t Either)

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Some of you have reached out to me telling me you’d be happy to pay for my newsletter if it was on Substack, and I have considered it and decided against it.

1) I don’t need the money.

While I can easily make an extra $50k a month with Substack (LMM is big enough that getting 5,000 people to sign up at a $10/month price point would not be hard) – I don’t actually need the money.

Life Math Money is a hobby blog and is not my main business or what I do for a living.

Read: How Life Math Money Operates

While I do really well as far as blogs are concerned (LMM makes well over $250k/year), that’s a single digit percentage of my income. As you can tell, this is not a “for money” venture.

2) I want most of my content to be free.

While I do have paid products on sale that I want you to buy (and also buy for your friends and family), 99.9% of what I produce is free.

All my articles are free, all my tweets are free, my YouTube videos are free – you don’t need to pay me a penny if you don’t want to.

LMM’s goal is about helping young men get more from their lives. Sending the elevator back down. Telling you everything I wish I knew when I was 20. I had to figure out all this stuff by myself.

3) I’m playing the long game and it PAYS to own your own platforms.

When you build your entire business and audience on just one platform, you are subjecting yourself to “volcano risk”.

What does that mean?

Imagine living next to a volcano. You don’t control the volcano, and just because it’s calm today does not mean it will be calm tomorrow. All it takes is one unexpected eruption for you to lose everything.

What happens when you build your entire business off of Substack?

You are fine today. You are getting paid. Everything is well.

Then suddenly something unexpected happens:

I’ve been in the game long enough to know things like this happen often.

  • TikTok got banned in many countries leaving creators from those countries high and dry.
  • Reddit suddenly became extremely censor heavy and quarantined all the subreddits related to Red Pill (making them very hard to find and access).
  • Roosh suddenly deciding to become a Christian and shutting down RooshV forum – something a lot of people used as their primary medium. First he deleted all the content he didn’t like and made it “Christianity friendly only”. Then he killed it in its entirety. All the work and words people put on his forum – gone. Poof.
  • Young people stopped using Facebook. If your business is based off a Facebook group, it will eventually die.
  • Twitter shuts down Vine out of the blue. They also promoted Revue a lot and then killed it – leaving all the people who adopted it stuck.
  • Twitter started censorship free but then as ownership and employees became hardcore leftist – it became bannable to even “misgender” or “deadname” someone. After Elon’s recent takeover, things have improved significantly.

Just because a third party platform is good today does not mean it will always stay good. In fact, they go bad all the time. Just look at Instagram. Even saying things like “men and women are not equal” will get your account banned (yes it’s literally in their rules).

Note: Twitter/X is still the absolute BEST platform to start a business. It’s very easy to make short text snippets. X is the LEAST EFFORT AND HIGHEST ROI PLATFORM (despite volcano risk). Making videos and competing on YouTube is hard (unless you’re using Repurpose Pie).

4) Low SEO Potential

Substack makes it notoriously difficult to make articles rank on Google.

Most people who use substack are encouraged to use the “.substack.com” subdomain instead of a real domain.

Also, substack sites don’t look great. They are too plano and featureless. The design aspect is severely lacking.

This is terrible for SEO and you are forced to get readers from social media sites and recommendations from other Substack writers instead of getting them organically from Google Search.

SEO can be slow and it does take effort – but it is consistent. Over time your traffic goes up.

Every day, thousands of people find LMM purely from Google’s Search engine. I can get readers just by writing alone. I don’t need to rely on social media or other writers to find an audience.

Unless you already have a huge audience like BowTiedBull you are better off using SEO to get new readers.

5) Substack has crossed the slippery slope.

The censorship train on Substack has already taken off.

First a few leftist writers started asking for a “ban on Nazism”. To their credit, Substack initially refused.

Then as a few of these guys started leaving Substack:

The company caved under the pressure (they didn’t want to lose money) – so they started banning “nazi content”.

The founders of Substack gave a statement:

If and when we become aware of other content that violates our guidelines, we will take appropriate action. 

Relatedly, we’ve heard your feedback about Substack’s content moderation approach, and we understand your concerns and those of some other writers on the platform. We sincerely regret how this controversy has affected writers on Substack. 

We appreciate the input from everyone. Writers are the backbone of Substack and we take this feedback very seriously. We are actively working on more reporting tools that can be used to flag content that potentially violates our guidelines, and we will continue working on tools for user moderation so Substack users can set and refine the terms of their own experience on the platform. 

Substack Founders

The thing is – this is how censorship starts.

Facebook and Twitter went through the same trajectory.

At first they were relatively free speech friendly platforms.

Then under pressure from leftists and loud politically motivated employees, investors, and users, they started banning “nazis”.

Soon the definition of “nazi” was expanded to “anything the leftist groups don’t like”.

You have to remember that just because the dictionary meaning of the word “nazi” is a member of the fascist National Socialist German Workers’ Party – on the internet, anyone you don’t like or anyone who supports someone you don’t like is a nazi (according to leftists anyway).

First the censorship starts with dictionary nazis, then it spills over to everything. Soon anyone the left doesn’t like starts getting banned.

Then the platform is cleansed of dissenters when the opportunity shows up. Twitter did the same thing.

During COVID, it wiped out large swaths of non-leftists it didn’t like. Anyone who said anything remotely negative about the vaccine was removed from the platform.

They went from censoring Nazis and right wing accounts to censoring absolutely anyone who didn’t agree with taking experimental drugs so Pfizer could make a bit of extra profit.

They even banned prominent vaccine scientists along with anyone who said COVID was made by China.

Of course – the people who were skeptical of the “vaccine” were also overwhelmingly not aligned with the left wing. Coincidence? I think not.

Long story short – Substack has slipped from the slippery slope and it’s a matter of time before people who are not members of National Socialist German Workers’ Party also start getting their accounts suspended.

The precedent is set. Substack WILL police your words and ban you for your content. I don’t know how long it’ll take for it to get to Instagram level censorship but it’ll be there eventually.

Hope that explains it.

Your Man,

Harsh Strongman

P.S. Just to avoid confusion – I am not against using Substack as a secondary platform but it should not be your main platform. If it’s a secondary platform, then you are using it correctly. If it’s your primary platform – you are taking volcano risk. Not recommended.

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