David's Blog

How to Not Lose 97.8% of Your Newsletter Subscribers

4/17/2023 by David Smooke

Story Image

Feature Image: HackerNoon’s Kadinsky 2 AI image generation, prompt “Bully Monster eating up eggs of an animal”

There was a time when HackerNoon trusted Medium as a publishing platform lol. We amassed 469,335 Medium followers. In a reaction to the rise of Substack, Medium has been marketing that they are a trusted place to power your newsletter. Some data about how that went for us. When I exported my newsletter recipients from Medium, the resulting data was a plain text poorly formatted list of 10,422 email addresses, aka, 2.22% of the total 469,335 email addresses that subscribed to HackerNoon. When we removed the Medium CMS from HackerNoon, this was probably the biggest loss incurred.

That was 5 years ago. No idea how Medium treats their writers/publishers these days. We have more emails today than we did then, but it took years to rebuild. I’m still wide-eyed enough to build the product I want to publish with.

Today HackerNoon launched Subscribe, allowing any published writers to amass email subscribers via their stories and profiles. But the best part, IMHO, is that you have the right to bring these subscribers anywhere with you, however you wish, no questions asked. Simply, head over to the newsletter stats page, and export your subscribers list with you. These are the people interested in your stories, and whichever CMS or email providers you choose, rightfully should get content delivered by you, straight to their inbox.

So, publish a story today and gain a little “subscribe to this writer” box to collect emails. These emails, together with all your content on HackerNoon, are ready to be exported any time.

Cheers to the next reader✌️!


Bob Wright
Bob Wright 4/17/2023

This basic THEFT of MY contacts, my friends and followers list, is the basic stock in trade of a number of these shyster platforms. As a personal specific example I lost connection to a few thousand peeps when I determined to abandon Facebook and quit that platform. No friends and neighbors, in spite of what the liars and hypocrites that run Facebook may say, you can NOT actually download your profile data. That is merely horsemanure altogether typical of everything to come from Zuckerberg and his crew. All horsemanure all the time. And yet this swine profits from the data he steals.

My largest fault with Medium is the way they run the subscription model. If I basically gift their readers with my content I don’t think asking the readers for coin to read it is very polite.

Linh Dao Smooke
Linh Dao Smooke 4/17/2023

never give in to the bully!

Marcos Fabian
Marcos Fabian 4/17/2023

This story looks nice on my email too 🔥

Sylvain Saurel
Sylvain Saurel 4/18/2023

That was 5 years ago. No idea how Medium treats their writers/publishers these days.

5 years later, Medium does not treat its writers any better. I would even say that nothing has changed, or even worse. I was banned from Medium at the beginning of the year for obscure reasons, and I lost my 20K followers as well as a publication I had been working on for 6 years.

Olayimika Oyebanji

Thanks David!