20 Comments
Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

This is great, Paul. As a former journalist and editor in a previous life, I was more or less trained in these practices. I apply them now to "Quoth the Maven." Headline writing is an art, as is layout. Unfortunately, Substack's design tools and layouts are limited. Such is the nature of this beast ...

However I'll confirm ...

* Headlines are probably the most important part of publishing

* Using eye-catching artwork as the lead-in

* Subheads also help enormously to break up the body of your piece

* Like subheads, use photos and artwork to break up the body and enhance a point

* Pull quotes work great, too

* Better to break up body into shorter, more readable paragraphs. Write like it would appear in a newspaper

* Link key words that you think your audience may not know a lot about, or might be interested in further exploring.

Key: Avoid huge blocks of type. I've seen way too many Substack pieces that have 250-word paragraphs. Many readers use their phones. Reading long paragraphs is an instant turnoff

Good stuff. I have a growing collection of Paul Makko bookmarks. -- Jim

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Jim ... love this confirmation post ... curious though about "bookmarks" ... is that something on Substack I've missed or do you have a special process for bookmarking?

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Not a Substack bookmark. I don't know that such a thing exists. Just a browser bookmark in a Substack folder.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Thanks. Now I actually want a Substack bookmark! ;-)

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author

You can make a folder, then keep them all in there...

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deletedJul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞
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Thanks, Mitchell ... Readwise is one of my favorite apps but I hadn't thought about using it with Substack. Off to check it out!

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author

Thanks for the thoughtful comment! (as usual), Jim!

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Thank you. Such a lot of great information to work through!

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

So funny, I was just writing about “above the fold” this morning in reflecting on the death of a famous person years ago and the newspaper on that day.

Rich post! Love the ideas and breakdown.

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author

Love serendipity...thanks for the comment!

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Great, useful metaphor: Above the Fold, combined with clear examples make this a high-payoff post and I look forward to more. I'm on a similar path of putting together examples from Substack and will be following your lead and referring back to your posts. Thanks!

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author

Thanks for commenting, Joyce!

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Paul ... I'm still curious about your name ... when I use the Substack search bar, your name doesn't show up. Perhaps related to the graphic rendition? Thanks for all the value you share.

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author

Hi Joyce. I have been branding "Deplatformable". My name won't mean anything to anyone regarding the newsletter.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Thanks. It seems like Substack has a dual branding bent: name and Substack title ... do you think new writers who haven't already branded their names should also focus primarily on their title? I'm flip flopping around on this one.

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author

Because a title is descriptive, it is something other people will remember more than a name. But either will work for a newsletter. For a company name, then you absolutely should use a brandable name and not a person's name.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞

Excellent pointers Paul. Thank you!

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deletedJul 17, 2023Liked by 🅟🅐🅤🅛 🅜🅐🅒🅚🅞
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