five pieces of advice for writing a fashion newsletter
if you're starting a substack in 2024...
January is prime “I’m starting a Substack” season. I published my first post in December 2021, two years ago, with a glossy-eyed excitement towards what a new year could bring, where this newsletter would go, where it would bring me. The Molehill is two years old but I still feel like it’s a new adventure. It feels like the golden age of Tumblr where you would develop random kinships with people on the internet who like the same stuff as you, who hunt for the same eBay deals and obsess over the same Sandy Liang wedding details.
If you are starting a fashion newsletter in 2024, I imagine you’re wondering how to navigate Substack…how to make sense of the writer-reader relationship.
I’ll let you in on a distasteful habit of mine. I look myself up on Reddit every once in a while. I have this fixation on Reddit over other forms of social media because there is unique brutality to Redditor comments; they are a hard crowd to win over. But when a comment is NICE? Wow. It just means a lot to me, even though it probably shouldn’t?
I’m not saying we should chase any external validation, but I can’t deny it makes my armpits dampen with dopamine. I’m human.
Freelance writing/Substack doesn’t get easier but like anything else in life you just try. You end up surprising yourself with your capabilities. You build emotional resilience by going through Humblings of biblical proportions. You take some big L’s. You learn that dealing with trolls and bigots really sucks and all you can do is stick with your values and believe that it will all work out.
Lesson #1: Readers will come with consistent posting.
This is a graph of my subscribers starting from the day one. Some insights:
It took me 3 months to publish my first post!
I started posting very casually in 2022, maybe once every 1.2 months.
Not every piece is gonna be good but the most important factor is consistency.
2023 was the year I developed the confidence and skills to write more regularly. I started to really understand my own creative process and goals for my newsletter.
Lesson #2: Unsubscribes are totally normal—good, even.
More of my subscription stats: