How do I move from Ghost to Substack?

If you're brand new to Substack and haven't yet created a publication, you can start your move directly at https://substack.com/signup/import 

If you're ready to move from Ghost to Substack and experience growth with Recommendations, engage with your subscribers in Chat, or start a paid podcast, this guide will show you what you need to do to transition your members and posts to your new publication seamlessly.

In this guide, we'll explain:

What do I need to do on Ghost?

To get started, you'll need to export all Ghost members and export your content.

Exporting all members

On your Ghost dashboard, select Members. Click on the Settings icon at the top of the page and select "Export all members".

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A .csv file labeled Members and the date of export will be downloaded to your device.

Exporting all content

On your Ghost dashboard, select the Settings icon at the bottom of the page. Scroll to the Advanced section and select "Labs".

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In the Migration Options section, click on "Export" next to where it says "Export your content". All your posts will be downloaded into a JSON file.

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How do I get started on Substack?

Start your move to Substack here: https://substack.com/signup/import

You'll be prompted to import your Ghost members and posts.

How to import your Ghost members

Upload the .csv file of members you downloaded from your Ghost account and select "Import".

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Tip: After you've added your members, you can view their Substack status on your Subscribers page.

How to import your posts

You'll then be prompted to import your Ghost posts. 

Enter your Ghost URL and click "Get started". Once the Substack importer has found your archive, select "Import". If you have payments enabled on your Substack publication, you'll see the option to import the posts as paid posts. 

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Confirm that you own the publication that you're importing and agree to Substack's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Select "Next" and your posts will appear in your Home and Archive on your Substack publication.

Imported posts may appear with Ghost's subscribe options at the bottom of the post. To remove the unnecessary text, head to your Posts page and select the three dots next to your imported post.

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Delete the selected text or image and choose "Continue" to update your changes. Select your audience and if you'd like to send the imported post as an email to your Substack subscribers and the Substack app.

How to import your Ghost paid members

You can transfer your paid Ghost members and set them up as paying subscribers on Substack in one click.

When you're signed into your Substack account, head to your publication's Settings page. In the Payments section, click on the "Connect with Stripe" button.

Using this tool, you'll be able to connect your Ghost Stripe account to Substack and transfer any paid members.

1. Sign in to Stripe using the same login details you use for Stripe on your Ghost account and select "Continue". You do not need to create a new Stripe account. On the next page, select your Ghost Stripe account and then "Connect".

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2. Once connected, you'll return to your Substack account and be able to set up subscription plans for your Subtack publication as well as opt into other offerings such as Substack Boost and the referrals program.

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3. Select "Enable Payments" and we'll begin scanning your Stripe account to see how many paid subscriptions can be brought over to Substack.

4. Once the scan is complete, which can take up to 30 minutes, you'll receive a confirmation email letting you know how many paid subscriptions can be imported.  In the Payments section, you can begin the import process by selecting, "Import paid subscriptions".

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5. Before the import begins, you'll need to disconnect Ghost from your Stripe account. This ensures that your newly transferred Substack subscribers aren't double charged for their subscriptions.

In a new internet tab, head to the Installed apps page on your Stripe account: https://dashboard.stripe.com/settings/apps

Click on the Revoke access button and you'll see a confirmation that "Access for Ghost has been revoked".

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6. Once you've revoked Ghost's access to your Stripe account, return to your Substack account and check the box next to "I've disconnected other services from the Stripe account".

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7. Once the import is finished, you'll receive another confirmation email. You can now view your paid subscribers on your Subscribers dashboard.

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