When a Post Launches on Substack (and no one reads it)
Even crickets go quiet.
But, say you, surely there is nothing easier than for me to imagine trees, for instance, in a park, or books existing in a closet, and nobody by to perceive them.
The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived; the trees therefore are in the garden... no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, published in 1710.
Sometimes I feel like a lounge singer with a mic that’s not plugged in. No one can hear me. I don’t think I’m the only one.
As I get ready to post this Note I wonder who will respond, if anyone. I’m not deploying it to my 150-some subscribers. They hear me. No, I’m sending it out over Notes, Substack’s answer to Twitter. Typically, when I post there even crickets go dumb.
Can I really be a tree falling silently onto the forest floor unnoticed and if so, why? Are the algorithms repetitively unkind to me here? Or worse, is it me?
I’ve been on here for going on a year, working hard to make a go of things. I’ve changed my name and focus several times in order to more accurately reflect what I’m about. I’ve spent just short of $1,000 learning about Substack and how to grow an audience. I feel good about my newsletter in content and execution. I am consistent. It should be progressing. It’s not.
The conclusion I didn’t want to entertain (but now do) is that aside from my subscribers, friends, and family, I do not exist. Not on Substack.
But I want this to succeed so here’s a solution. You. I need you to be there to hear me in the Substack forest. Will you do that?
Let’s test it. Do you hear a noise when I publish a Note and re-stack? If so, let me know that you heard it. Click on the little heart at the bottom of this post and/or re-stack it with your comments, especially if you are experiencing the same thing. Post your handle below too. I’ll follow you. I’ll hear you.
And for those of you whose posts land well, give us little guys a hand up. Consistently. Love, comment (hopefully with encouragement), and scroll through the handles below. Find a few to recommend to your subscribers with specific words of praise. Help us be heard. Exist.
“Testing, testing. One-two-three-four.” Tapping the mic. “Can you hear me?”