How To Celebrate 8,000 Subscribers
8 lessons I have learned on the way to 8K
Comrades: Thank you for helping this samizdat reach 8,000 subscribers!
I started How To Subvert Subversion almost two years ago with no previous experience in media, marketing, or publishing. Before adopting the Yuri pseudonym, I never wrote anything publicly or used social media under my real name. Gratitude to Substack, the real Yuri, and readers like you for making this possible. Please consider an upgrade to commissar:
Here are 8 lessons I have learned as an amateur anon writer at the 8K milestone:
1) Establish a unique voice
Start with WHY. I launched this Substack because I saw a market gap. Class traitors are a rare breed who are forced to keep quiet for professional reasons. I felt that I could offer a fresh, spicy perspective from the deep inside the bowels of institutional rot. On paper, I check all the commissar boxes: Millennial, “person of color”, graduate of a demoralized DIEvy league university, resident of a progressive FUPAZ city, former employee of the WEF Wehrmacht. Writing as an anon opens up full creative freedom to subvert subversion in ways that authors using their real names might shy away from.
2) Experiment and embrace serendipity, while remaining consistent on principles and production
My commitment to you is to deliver a high quantity of high quality content, while respecting your time. I have posted every Sunday and Thursday at 8AM with Tuesdays as a bonus: ~100 weeks x ~2 posts per week = 200 posts. The average post can be read in ~5 minutes, though I provide links if readers want to go deeper. My goal is for you to learn and laugh in every post. I have tested a variety of styles including podcasts, fiction, and even poetry. I have covered many topics including homeschooling, history, and business. The tone ranges from comical to serious. Memes, sarcasm, and data are the spice of life sprinkled in every entry. I enjoy the serendipity of learning from all of you through your comments and feedback. Above all, I will always speak my mind and speak the truth. I will continue to cover patterns and stories that have been neglected, elevating the heroes while shaming the demoralization agents.
3) Substack’s flywheel accelerates growth
Substack is the best platform for writers. Light years ahead of the rest. I respect, , and the entire team for empowering creators while protecting free speech. I wrote an open letter to the Substack team about how to win by standing strong and created memes about its unique culture. Recommendations, Notes, Threads, Restacking, and Commenting generate network effects. I echo the attestations of many other writers that there is no need to use other platforms to grow your audience. According to my reader survey, 90% of you found me through Substack.
4) Make it social, online and offline
The most fun part of writing on Substack is interacting with readers and other writers. It is wonderful to know that there are 8,000 people around the world from all backgrounds with whom I would have an instant rapport. We would hide each other under the floorboards and bunk together in the gulags. I am quite fond of bantering in comments sections. Unsurprisingly, only leftists lock and block commenters who they disagree with (i.e. Colonel Cringeman Vindman).
However, nothing beats spending quality time with quality people in person. I have enjoyed hosting readers at meetups who have become lifelong friends. Every one of my Substack Recommendations is written by someone who I have broken bread with, except the two gents who live abroad. There are ~40 readers who know my real identity, most of whom I have met after starting this Substack. I trust you all and will protect the privacy of my readers. While I will continue to shield my identity by paywalling podcasts and more revealing personal stories, I have made peace with getting doxxed as this samizdat attracts more attention. Hope it happens after the juncture where I’m “too big to cancel”.
5) Make it personal
Every writer is a multifaceted human being first. Our life experiences shape our perspectives. I share personal stories to help explain why I believe what I believe and better connect with all of you. We gain a more fulsome understanding of each other and ourselves through reading and writing. I am the proud father of Baby Yulia, husband of Mrs. B, and the son Yuri Sr who escaped the CCP Cultural Revolution. Even lefty/NPC writers who I disagree with are much more interesting when they write about their lives outside their Orange Man Bad regurgitations.
6) Humor and documentation are therapeutic
We are living through absurd times. Lying, gaslighting, hoaxes and memory holing are rampant. Writing helps me answer the vital questions: Am I the crazy one? Does anyone else find this absurd? How can we have a laugh at the clowns and turn this around? This samizdat will also serve as a time capsule to educate future generations about the insanity of the early 2020s. I want to be able to look back on this era and say that I not only saw through the madness, but also built great relationships and effected change that will benefit my daughter.
7) Virality and paid conversion are a riddles wrapped in enigmas
Growth spurts and upgrades remain mysterious. My trajectory has been a steady and accelerating. The subscriber base has been doubling every 6 months. In 2022 I averaged ~50 new subscribers per week, in 2023 I am seeing ~100 new subscribers per week. New posts average 6,000 views and bangers reach well over 10,000 views. It is difficult to predict which posts will turn into bangers. I paywall several posts per month, but they don’t lead to spikes in upgrades. 27% of readers said more time was the biggest factor in upgrading. All I can do is remain dedicated to the craft and give you all my best. Let the internet gods and memetic magic take care of the rest. Every product needs good distribution to succeed, which includes all of you!
8) The best time to start was 10 years ago; the next best time to start is now
Like many things in life, I wish I had started this samizdat sooner. My first ever post was about preventing a booster mandate. After being forced out by my previous employer due to that mandate, I hope that I will be able to reach a point where I can generate enough independent income to never rely on a paycheck again. Everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for all of us. Everyone has something interesting to bring to the table. If you have been thinking of starting a Substack, jump right in. The water is warm, the beer is cold, and the party is just getting started. I am happy to support any way I can.
What would you like to see more of from Yuri? What would you like to build together? Sound off in the comments.