Can I make a private Substack publication?

A private Substack is a publication that you can host alone or readers can request to subscribe to read your posts. As a writer, you can choose to approve or decline each subscription request.

The option to approve or decline a reader's request to subscribe to your publication is only availalbe for private Substacks. If your Substack is public, any reader can subscribe to your publication.

To make your Substack private, head to your publication's Settings page. Under "Import your email list", look for "Private mode".

Click on the toggle to the right and your publication will immediately become private i.e. readers won't be able to see any posts.


Things to note:

  • Although set to private, your publication's Welcome page may appear in a web search. The Welcome page is indexed in search engines but no posts will be for a private Substack.
  • Like any post that’s emailed to subscribers from a Substack publication, the recipient may forward this to someone else even if your Substack publication is private.

How do I approve or deny a subscription request?

When a reader requests to subscribe to your Substack, you'll receive an email notification with their details.


To see your requests, head to your Subscribers page and click on approve or deny next to each request.


If the reader does not have a Substack profile, an email address will be displayed instead of their profile name.

If you approve a request, the reader will be automatically subscribed and sent a Welcome email.

I want to stop receiving these email notifications– what can I do?

On your publication's Settings page, head to the "Notifications" section. Next to "Subscription requests", click on the toggle to the left. Moving forward, you won't receive any subscriber requests emails.


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