16 min read

Beehiiv vs Substack: Pick the right newsletter tool (Oct 2023)

Substack vs beehiiv comparison featured image

If you are here, you are still undecided about choosing between beehiiv and Substack for your newsletter tool.

So, today I'll help you decide.

You'll learn about which tool is better for SEO, growth, customization, and monetizing your content.

Let's go!

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Beehiiv vs Substack summary

Beehiiv and Substack have some similarities, like:

  • Built-in monetization options via memberships.
  • Newsletter platform with an integrated blog;
  • You can use them without coding skills;
  • Generous free plan;

But similarities basically stop there, and an ocean of differences starts.

The main differences between beehiiv and Substack are that Substack takes 10% of the revenue from each membership, and beehiiv has better tools for pro users.

Beehiiv is my recommendation for creators who want to monetize their newsletter with memberships and ads while growing their newsletter fast and having good SEO and monetization options.

So, beehiiv is the better solution for users looking at their newsletter like a business.

On the other hand, Substack is my recommendation for creators who want to publish different types of content in the same place, want to chat with subscribers, and like the social features Substack is developing.

Best overall
  • Content creation: 8.9
  • Customization: 6.8
  • SEO: 7.8
  • Growth: 10
  • Management: 9.5
  • Monetization: 7.8
  • Overall Rating: 9.5
Free forever plan
  • Content creation: 5.2
  • Customization: 4.3
  • SEO: 7.5
  • Growth: 4.8
  • Management: 9.0
  • Monetization: 4.8
  • Overall Rating: 6.7
These ratings are based on a formula that considers feature existence (options), how they work (ease of use), and their importance (weight). The formula is based on what I consider more important in a way that's easy to understand strengths and weaknesses.

Beehiiv overview

Beehiiv is a newsletter tool with blogging capabilities. This means you can use it to publish different content in the same place.

Beehiiv is a no-code solution for creators who want to focus on writing without having to deal with technical configuration and is probably the best Substack alternative available.

Things I like about beehiiv:

  • Nothing to install;
  • Free plan (up to 2,500 subscribers);
  • 0% membership fees;
  • Do everything without code;
  • Works as blog + newsletter;
  • Good email analytics;
  • Amazing newsletter design customization;
  • Multiple newsletters in the same account;
  • Referral program;
  • Integrations;

Things I don't like about beehiiv:

  • The free plan is extremely limited;
  • Average website customization;
  • Custom domain only on paid plans;

Substack overview

Substack is mainly a newsletter tool, but they are trying to become a place to publish all kinds of content like a blog, podcast, chat with subscribers, and they even have a Twitter "clone" called Notes.

Since the platform was created in 2017, it has significantly impacted media by popularizing paid newsletters.

Substack is one of the main reasons for newsletters becoming so popular again, as they made monetizing content easy.

Things I like about Substack:

  • Free forever plan;
  • Do everything without code;
  • Good safety record;
  • Publish different types of content (newsletter, blog, podcast, and more);
  • Easy to use.

Things I don't like about Substack:

  • 10% in membership fees;
  • Bad SEO;
  • Custom domain costs $50;
  • No integrations;
  • No email sequences;
  • Awful customization;
  • Complicated content guidelines (you have to follow their rules or risk getting banned).

Keep up with tech for your blog and newsletter

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