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Best Substack Newsletters for Every Type of Reader

Substack has quickly become one of the go-to places for everything from opinion pieces to reviews and even hard-hitting journalism. If you want to steer clear of the dreaded doom scroll and instead spend your digital time doing something worthwhile, Substack is the way forward. 

To showcase this innovative platform, we’ve compiled a list of the best Substack newsletters for business–minded people, foodies, book lovers, and more. 

what is substack?  

Substack is an American tech platform that allows anyone (yes, anyone at all!) to publish newsletters. It has been around since 2017 and has become a platform for hopeful and established writers alike to publish their thoughts and theories, either for free or as part of a subscription.

Conspiracy theories, business advice, and personal essays are all on offer. And, with at least a million paying subscribers (and plenty more who read original content for free), there is no shortage of familiar faces. Journalist Roxane Gay, food writer Jenny Hammerton, and prize-winning author S J Watson have all made a home for themselves on Substack. 

Four screenshots of Substack app pages.

best substack newsletters for tech trends

ByteByteGo Newsletter by Alex Xu, Sahn Lam, and Ali Aminian 

If you’re only interested in general tech news, this is not the newsletter for you. The ByteByteGo Newsletter covers specialized subjects centered around system design. The authors have written some of the best-selling books on the topic, so it’s no surprise that their newsletter has over 500,000 readers. 

Free subscribers get a newsletter every Saturday, but paid subscribers get that plus an extra deep dive on Wednesdays. The membership also enables them to suggest topics, giving them the ability to shape the direction of the newsletter. 

The Pragmatic Engineer by Gergely Orosz 

With a whopping 687,000 subscribers on Substack, there is no doubt that The Pragmatic Engineer is worth checking out. Described as “highly relevant for engineers and managers” in tech, this newsletter includes everything from actionable advice from experts in the industry to news bulletins on the latest tech trends. 

Software engineer Gergely Orosz previously worked for Uber, Skype/Microsoft, and a handful of other impactful tech startups. His work experience and flair for writing and reporting combine to create fascinating reads. He posts an article for The Pulse series every Thursday and long-form educational articles every Tuesday. However, if you opt for the free version, you’ll only get half of the long-form article every Tuesday. 

TheSequence by Industry Insiders 

Are you as fascinated by machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science as I am? In that case, this is one of the best newsletters on Substack for you. Join over 170,000 subscribers and get a Sunday Digest newsletter that summarizes brand-new research papers, tech releases, and AI investments in 5 minutes or less. 

There is plenty of free content, including TheSequence Chat every other Wednesday and TheSequence Guest Post every Friday. Premium members also get access to TheSequence Edge, a discussion of groundbreaking machine learning concepts published every Tuesday. There is so much content to explore that the authors have dubbed their newsletter “TheSequence Universe”, a name that shows just how wide and varied the content is. 

The GameDiscoverCo Newsletter by Simon Carless 

This newsletter covers one of the most popular aspects of modern tech; gaming. Simon Carless delivers unbeatable analysis, data, and insight into how people find and buy video games in the 2020s. The GameDiscoverCo Newsletter is essential reading for people who work in the data side of the gaming industry. 

Free subscribers get newsletters every week, but GameDiscoverCo’s Plus members get weekly insight-driven newsletters as well as access to eight eBooks, the Discord server, and the data suite, which analyzes and ranks all Steam games by popularity. 

best substack newsletters for building businesses

First 1000 by Ali Abouelatta 

First 1000 is a bit different from the other Substack newsletters on our list. It really hones in on how to create a successful company, focusing almost entirely on how founders got their first 1,000 customers. Every Saturday, subscribers are treated to a brand new deep dive into how founders from businesses such as Google, Bloomberg, and Business Insider made their brand stand out. 

Newcomer by Eric Newcomer and Madeline Renbarger 

Newcomer is named after the founder, Eric Newcomer. He teamed up with writer Madeline Renbarger to create “a deeply reported newsletter on the inner workings of the startup industry.” You can expect multiple posts per week, including a Friday roundup and analysis of the top venture capital and startup stories. Interviews, exclusive insights, and breaking news updates are all on the table. 

The free subscription gives you access to a snippet of all the available content, but it doesn’t compare to the paid subscription. At $19 a month (or $199 a year) this is one of the most expensive newsletters on our list. Regardless, it’s still rated as one of the best Substack newsletters for business-minded people.  

Ultra Successful by Dr. Julie Gurner 

This Substack newsletter is a welcome breath of fresh air. Dr. Julie Gurner uses her experience as a doctor of psychology and an executive performance coach to bring you the best advice from successful people. 

Ultra Successful is a combination of thought-provoking essays and advice on how to reach your potential. Topics include self-motivation, retirement planning, and the corporate ladder. You can glean insights from the free content, or pay $9.99 a month to receive advice from an acclaimed performance coach. 

best substack newsletters for literature lovers 

Craft Talk by Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg is a New York Times bestselling American fiction writer who created Craft Talk as an all-encompassing pitstop for amateur and professional writers alike to hone their skills. Once a week, Attenberg publishes a newsletter that covers all sorts of offshoots of writing. The content is free, but if you want access to subscriber-only discussion threads and archives, you have to pay $5 a month. 

Subscribers are also invited to take part in the #1000wordsofsummer project, which encourages a growing community of writers to write 1,000 words a day for two weeks. Craft Talk is one of the best newsletters on Substack for writers who want to be part of a community. 

Compendia by S J Watson 

Literature fans will recognize S J Watson as the writer of the best-selling psychological thriller Before I Go to Sleep. Watson created Compendia when he became frustrated by how risk-averse the publishing industry has become. It’s a place for him to publish news, personal essays, book recommendations, snippets of work in progress, and even advice for aspiring writers. The Guardian described Compendia as “A peak under the literary cover”, which was tantalizing enough to convince me to subscribe! 

You can be a free or paid subscriber, but of course, paid subscribers get access to all the available content, including the full archive of Watson’s writing advice. 

Salman’s Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie 

If you are searching for the best Substack newsletters, there is nowhere better to start than here. This Indian-British novelist reached critical acclaim when he published his fifth book, The Satanic Verses. In Salman’s Sea of Stories, Rushdie shares his thoughts on “true stories, tall stories, stories about me, and some I just made up.” 

Right now, Rushdie is publishing installments from his next book. Episode 48 of The Seventh Wave has just hit Substack, but it’s only available to paid subscribers. Still, you don’t have to pay for all the content, so it’s worth subscribing!  

best substack newsletters for culture vultures

Blocked and Reported by Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal 

In Blocked and Reported, journalists Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal report on all the most interesting stories from the internet, including everything from #MeToo to content creators visiting the Taliban for internet clout. If you like a bit of intrigue and outrage with your internet news, this could be the best Substack newsletter to subscribe to. 

Blocked and Reported centers around a podcast (known as BARPod among fans) that is free to anyone. However, for just $5 a month, subscribers can get an extra three episodes a month as well as many more fun features. 

Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith 

Don’t let the name fool you, this is an opinion-based newsletter that probes into all the gooiest parts of modern culture through the lens of diet culture. Virginia Sole-Smith created Burnt Toast to analyze anti-fat bias in relation to health, fashion, and parenting. Recent newsletters include “Is it diet culture to want a breast reduction?” and “What’s your fat song of the summer?” so there’s a combination of hard-hitting conversations and more casual ones. 

Sole-Smith publishes either a personal essay or an Ask Virginia column every Tuesday and releases a podcast episode every Thursday. This Substack newsletter is entirely reader-funded, so be prepared to part with a few dollars. 

The Audacity. by Roxane Gay 

Sometimes, the best Substack newsletters are the audacious ones. Acclaimed author Roxane Gay has made a career out of being what she calls a “bad feminist” which, incidentally, is the title of her New York Times bestselling book. 

In The Audacity., Gay uses her platform to interview and showcase the work of emerging writers. She also hosts The Audacious Book Club, where paid subscribers are invited to join Zoom calls with authors when possible. This community is more centered around discourse rather than original content from the author, but subscribers can still enjoy interesting, engaging conversations for just a few dollars per month.  

House Inhabit by Jessica Reed Kraus 

House Inhabit is a true labor of love; Jessica Reed Klaus has been a blogger for over a decade, and now she shares all her thoughts with an audience of thousands. Topics include Ghislaine Maxwell, Kanye, The Diddy Files, and, more recently, coverage of the upcoming presidential election. If you want a combination of all the most recent news complete with all the grisly pop culture bits, this is one of the best newsletters on Substack.  

Recent newsletters include “20 Questions With Sean Spicer” and “Zodiac Reading: Donald J. Trump As Classic Gemini,” titles that perfectly represent just how engaging Kraus’ content is. Most of the content is free, but paid subscribers get exclusive posts and access, podcast episodes, commenting rights, and access to the full archive of content. 

best substack newsletters for history buffs 

Letters of Note by Shaun Usher 

Ever since Shaun Usher and his wife began writing letters to each other in 2002, he has been obsessed with handwritten communication. Letters of Note is an ode to his obsession. He describes it as “nothing but the most interesting letters from history” and that pretty much perfectly sums it up. Each Friday, subscribers get a roundup of interesting letters and, for just a few dollars per month, you can get a couple of extra emails a week. 

The Martyr Made Substack by Daryl Cooper 

The Martyr Made Substack is an offshoot of The Martyr Made Podcast. Host Daryl Cooper tells stories of significant historical figures and interesting times in history, and occasionally just posts old-timey chit-chat. Subscribers can access the podcast itself on Substack as well as Marytr Made Unscripted and various Q&As with Cooper. Recent topics include Israel vs Palestine from 1948 to 1982, antisemitism, and the link between racism and American identity. 

Most of the content is available for free, but subscriptions are available for just $4.17 a month. Considering all the effort that goes into the podcasts, this is one of the best newsletters on Substack in terms of value for money. The paid subscription is well worth the price! 

Footnotes by Jemar Tisby 

Bestselling author and historian Jemar Tisby talks about race, faith, and social issues in his Footnotes newsletter. He has carved out a niche for himself by intersecting all these issues with a well-informed historical perspective. In the last month, Tisby’s content has understandably revolved around Juneteenth. His essays are interspersed with sobering nuggets of truth, including, “You can’t appreciate the joy of Juneteenth unless you understand the sorrow of slavery.” 

Footnotes promises intelligent conversations about current events from the perspective of someone who cares about the historical context. You can sign up for free for general content or pay $5 a month for subscriber-only posts. 

History, Etc by Dan Jones 

Dan Jones is a firm believer that history is “the greatest subject there is”, and History, Etc is his homage to that. He has written several books, including Power and Thrones: The Kings Who Made England and Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty. He’s a true history buff, which makes this one of the best Substack newsletters for listeners who want their information to come from a bonafide source. That said, Jones tends to focus on medieval history, so if that’s not your bag, keep scrolling. 

Subscribers get at least one email per week from Jones, which could take the form of a short essay, an interview with an acclaimed historian, a new piece of historical research, or whatever else catches his eye. Free subscriptions are available, but paid subscribers get access to an archive of all the articles.

best substack newsletters for food fanatics 

A Newsletter by Alison Roman 

American food journalist and chef Alison Roman has taken her skills to the digital realm, offering recipes interspersed with anecdotes, Q&A threads, and occasional interviews. Just last week, Roman interviewed Delia Cai as part of her Unsolicited Advice series. In it, the pair talked about the dos and don’ts of throwing a party. Amid the more hard-hitting newsletters on Substack, A Newsletter is a welcome tonic. 

You can read A Newsletter for free or subscribe for just $5 a month!  

Murder, She Cooked by Jenny Hammerton 

Writer Jenny Hammerton lifts the veil on one of the more niche aspects of the entertainment industry; in Murder, She Cooked, she shares what the characters on Murder, She Wrote ate and drank. Each post includes a recipe, ingredients, and a rundown of whichever episode it focuses on. Better yet, it’s free! 

This is a long-running obsession for Hammerton, which makes the newsletter all the more fun and unique. If you’re a fan of the show, this is definitely one of the best Substack newsletters for you. 

Restaurant Dropout by Zoe Barrie 

Whereas most foodies focus on the recipe itself, Zoe Barrie focuses on the prep. Fueled by her time as a restaurant cook, Barrie created Restaurant Dropout to share her love for prepping food. Ultimately, this newsletter seeks to make your life easier. 

Barrie guarantees readers a weekly menu, grocery list, and prep list with all the tasks they need to complete before the week begins. But beware, free members are only privy to the occasional public post. To access recipes, prep guides, and instructional videos, you need to pay a few dollars per month. 

What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking by Caroline Chambers 

This aptly named newsletter is self-explanatory. What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking guarantees one complete meal delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning, though this privilege is only available to paid members. Free subscribers only get one recipe per month. 

Author Caroline Chambers promises minimal plates and maximum taste. She is a professional recipe developer and cookbook author, meaning she’s got the credentials to back up her newsletter. Over 175,000 subscribers agree, so she must be doing something right! She even has a podcast called “So Into That”, where she invites interesting guests to discuss their love of food, parenting, and more. 

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