Back to the Drawing Board

It had been two really enjoyable weeks since I became a part of the Substack community. I had the pleasure of gaining close to fifteen followers, including ten new ones. The platform introduced me to a world of exceptional writers and their captivating content, which truly enriched the overall experience. Each piece of writing filled my soul with inspiration and the joy to continue writing. 


 


On Friday, upon logging in, this message immediately appeared:

What? I was incredibly frustrated, and I couldn't figure out why they accused me of spamming and phishing.





After I was banned from their "Notes" section, I found myself unable to post anything. While navigating my account, I continued to receive numerous pop-ups, each time notifying me of additional violations.





Then this. 






The final straw was when they went ahead and deleted all of my subscribers.


Blogger has presented quite a few challenges throughout the decades. These challenges made me rethink my tendency to get frustrated and taught me the value of keeping my mouth shut when faced with the Blogger issues that come and go every now and then. 

Reminding me sometimes I don't know how good I have it until I try something else. 


Following this Substack experience, I did some research on this platform; something I regret not doing earlier. It's essential to thoroughly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a writing platform before committing to it. Fortunately, I did not have paid subscribers and a huge subscription list. 

I already knew this - It's important to note that Substack doesn't make any money from those of us who write for free. Instead, they take a portion of the writer's subscription money. Their platform fee is 10%, and they use Stripe for payment processing, which includes a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction and a fee of 0.5% for recurring subscriptions. 

Many (not necessarily all)  of those of us who have had problems, all wrote for free. 

Imagine logging on to your Blogger account one day only to find that you have been locked out and all your thousands of followers and content have been deleted. Now, consider the impact this would have on the writers on Substack who rely on these platforms for their livelihood, using them to share their writing and earn a living.

I came across a post on a discussion board - a similar experience that other new writers have had on the platform this year. It seems that there is a lack of customer service, with no courtesy email to inform you about the situation. Additionally, when you try to appeal, there is no confirmation pop-up or follow-up email to acknowledge that your appeal has been received. It's just a complete lack of communication and support. Most of the time, they never get back to you. 


I've concluded that the platform has a very sensitive algorithm that occasionally experiences glitches. It seems that adding my five readers who happen to be friends triggered an issue. If the added person doesn't verify their email promptly, Substack may mistakenly flag it as a fake email. Out of the five, three found their email in spam but were too late to verify it. The other two never received their email. 


From what I've read, it's recommended to establish credibility by writing for at least six months before adding friends and family to your list. It's best to encourage them to join Substack and sign up themselves as readers. 

I understand the reasons behind these measures. I just wish I knew before. 

I no longer trust the platform. Consequently, I have removed my content and deactivated my account. I've read that some users have had to open new accounts, but it's crucial to remember the email verification issue when doing so.

So it's back to the drawing board. I may or may not open up another account. I will now investigate other platforms. I remember years ago when many of the writing platforms were free. Now, many of them require a monthly or yearly subscription just to write and have access to authors and writers.

My friend recommended using this blog for writing, but I'm not comfortable with that. That is like a bait and switch - my followers did not sign up for that.  In the past, when I would write about something other than house and home, readership dropped to around 30. When I kept it light and fluffy, I got 200 reads. And most of them were just bots! I really miss my old blog, "My Morning Cup Of Coffee," which I had for years. On Blogger, I had 300 followers, and on Bloglovin, I had another 400. Unfortunately, due to an impulsive decision, I deactivated my blog after being targeted by a group of ten very mean commenters.

Ha, like what I just did on Substack. I definitely do not like being jerked around. I'm not good at soldiering through a situation; I take immediate action to be done with it. That can be a good thing, but many times it is just plain impulsive.


This blog was and is intended to focus on home improvement, gardening, and crafting. Every now and then, I do sneak in a post that has nothing to do with my intended focus. That is why I need a place...I want to keep things separate.

Now, I find myself at a crossroads, unsure of what to do. I feel the need to write about my life experiences and the lessons I've learned and see how God brought me through.  I don't have a comfortable and safe place to do so. I am feeling stagnate. My blogging to me has become stale and the same ole, same ole. I felt so alive on Substack - ideas were forming in my head and I was truly happy. 

In the grand scheme of what truly matters in life, my personal experience with Substack isn't a significant factor. I'll move on from it with a smile!


I do apologize for this post - 

I just needed to vent. 


Until next time, 

Debby


Substack is an American online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers. Founded in 2017, Substack is headquartered in San Francisco. 





26 comments:

  1. Wow..what frustration and gut wrenching activities. I don't know what your answer is but I do enjoy reading your blog and bits and pieces about your life, difficulties and testimonies.
    Keep it up if you can.
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue.
      Meanwhile I’ll still be here.

      Delete
    2. Good... I do hope you can find a place for your talents and skills.
      Sue

      Delete
    3. Hmmm..I just wrote a reply saying good for you to keep blogging and that I hope you can find the right outlet for your talents.
      Lets see if this goes through
      Sue

      Delete
  2. Dang, I thought on FindAGrave was that low-down, worthless and scummy like that! (They deleted my 12+ year account without warning & banned me?! Never said why!) So sorry that happened to you! You have the best attitude. Well, at least it didn't go too far or you spent any money. Now I won't trust them either. Substack will get a bad reputation if they keep that up and will go belly up. At least you'll be here. That makes me smile.
    You know, sometimes I want to drag out my old typewriter from the closet and go back to writing everything Old School what with all the banning, deleting, meanness, and so forth going on. Ain't I a rebel? lol
    Prayers for peace and healed hearts. 💙

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay you need to tell me about Find-a-Grave. I manage some of my ancestors memorials - my parents, my son, my sister and niece. What is it with some of these websites?
      Always going after innocents yet the pornographers and spammers they don’t do anything about.
      Like I said, Blogger isn’t as frustrating as other platforms.
      I’m not leaving here - it’s all I have for now.

      Delete
  3. I am sorry this has been such a frustrating experience for you. I believe writing should be enjoyable and something that gives us an outlet for creativity and "free expression". I enjoy your posts and our "friendship" here. I am not familiar with substack, but I think I just followed another blogging friend on her new journey there...and I was surprised about the subscription fee, etc. For me, when things start getting complicated like that, I back away. I want it to stay free and simple and enjoyable. I hope you can work out what you are really wanting to do. Meanwhile, I hope you will continue on here with us in blogworld. In my mind, our blogs are whatever we want them to be. I don't write to gain a big audience...I write because it's something I enjoy doing and when the joy of it goes away, then I will probably stop...but I don't have high expectations so that keeps me content. I love to meet new people here, but sometimes I find I just can't keep up with everyone and get behind in reading other posts. I do the best I can and just have to leave it at that. Take a breath and pray about your next step. God will lead you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I liked on Substack were the writers and I was I was more exposed to those who enjoyed my content. You search for the types of articles and interests. I don’t consider my blog, writing. Sure I write on a blog. I’m not producing anything that I can feel proud of. Just the same old boring stuff, day after day.
      I’ll continue blogging - because I have nothing else but I’m definitely in a rut. I’ll just have to accept it but doesn’t mean I feel satisfied. I just feel God wants more from me than just writing about my day. I have life experiences I want to tell. On Substack I connected to ten people who were actually interested in the stores I told and I that felt validating.
      My husband thinks I should just quit blogging. I think he’s tired of me talking about all of this. 🤔
      Oh this too shall pass but I’m definitely going through something that I haven’t felt in years.

      Delete
  4. Bloody hell, talk about frustrating and annoying to say the lease.
    Nothing to apologise for venting is good, if we don't vent our frustration and annoyance grows till we explode and that's not a pretty sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try not to vent here and the times I have, I get the “icks”. My other blog I could vent there and enjoyed it. No, I’m in a blog rut. Now I have to find a way to climb out of it.

      Delete
  5. Wow how frustrating that is!!!
    Could you just create another blog and use that one for your writing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried creating other blogs here on Blogger, but I haven't gained any readers. This is because Blogger lacks a database of blogs to follow or a platform to list categories. Writing platforms, on the other hand, have a vast network of writers to follow. When you write daily on these platforms, it naturally attracts others if there is a shared interest. As a writer, you are more likely to have a healthy readership on these platforms than on Blogger. Ultimately, every writer wants people to read their writing.

      I'll figure something out.

      Delete
  6. Oh my, I am sorry that this problem occurred. I will say however that I was locked out of my first blog and had to start another one. I lost many of my followers in that error. I still don't know why I was locked out.

    You could try WordPress as I know many a writer on that.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve tried Wordpress but may look into again.
      Yeah it’s quite a shock when that happens! 😲

      Delete
  7. This sounds like a nightmare. I would be so upset! I'm sorry you've had to deal with all that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could have been worse if I had a lot of content that I didn’t backup. Maybe it’s sign… lol

      Delete
  8. Wow, it should not be that hard to try to write your stories. Hopefully you can find another platform that works for you. Meanwhile I always enjoy your blog. One of the charms for me is that I know your area and can relate to some of things you write about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Oh Leslie, I do think of you when I post a scenic photos of the area. It’s fun for me as well to post photos for those who know the area.
      Oh well, it will all work out once I figure it all out.

      Delete
  9. For what it's worth, I enjoy everything you write, no matter what the subject matter. You might want to investigate in-person writer groups in your city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy!
      That’s a good idea. I never thought about that.

      Delete
  10. Well I never knew about Substack. Interesting. Many, many years ago I used to write content for a site as well, and it got to a point they wanted to buy out and so a lump pay, and no more daily earnings for views etc. I no longer write (that was over 16 years ago maybe). I hope you find a way to continue to write. What about an actual book? I used to belong to a local writer's group. We would edit each others work and have a discussion. I sort of fell out of all of that. I do have all of my materials for writing, and just the other day, considered going back to daily writing (other than my blog). I hope you find an answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m not interested in writing a book at this time. I did check into how much it costs to write if you self publish. It was in the thousands!

      Delete
  11. Sorry, this sounds like a frustrating experience for you. Yes, I like writing sometimes too, but mostly taking photos and sharing them. I have found that bloggers love to read posts about the home. I guess they are just curious as to the decorating and happenings of everyday life. If it gets to be heavy, it gets to be too much, maybe because we all have our own troubles. Also, I've noticed when we share much of our thoughts and opinions, people will weigh in, and tell us what they think, and it gets controversial, so maybe that's why you got many people sharing opposite opinions on your other blog. Too bad you can't create another blog just for your writing. But honestly, I think this blog is very charming, and I enjoy reading it every week. Hang in there. : )

    ~Sheri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frustrating but I’m over it. I vent and then I’m good.
      You are so right about bloggers and what they actually want to read.
      I will find my place to write -
      Thanks Sheri - you always share encouragement.

      Delete
  12. **Also, I liked the phrase you said.....

    "Now, I find myself at a crossroads, unsure of what to do. I feel the need to write about my life experiences and the lessons I've learned and see how God brought me through."

    That is a wonderful and important thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh so sorry to hear this. I get the occasional person who comments on my blog that is baiting me, so I just delete them forever. I do have to watch my blog account because I have had a few friends get hacked on Blogger too. I have been blogging for years and even Google has had many changes to it here as well. Guess nothing is ever free. Hope you stick to vlogging though. Janice

    ReplyDelete