Beehiiv vs Substack: Which Is Better for Creators?

By Matt Giaro

Substack vs. Beehiiv

What’s the difference between Beehiiv and Substack?

I tested both platforms so that you don’t have to.

So instead of wasting precious time picking the wrong platform, let’s see which one you should pick.

Substack and Beehiiv: Two of a Kind

Hanging at a unique crossroad, both Substack and Beehiiv have found their sweet spot between a blog and a newsletter platform.

Yes, they’re birds of a feather.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog or sending out a newsletter, these two contenders should be on your radar.

They share a unique niche, blending blog features with newsletter utilities.

So, if you’re torn between Substack and Beehiiv, it’s no surprise. In a sense, you’re comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. And that’s what makes this duel interesting and, dare I say, a bit challenging. Let’s slice it open and see what each of these platforms brings to the table.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a head-to-head ride!

How to Get Discovered on Beehiiv vs Substack

The discovery game has different rules on Substack and Beehiiv.

Substack, similar to Medium, opts for a newsfeed. After signing up, you follow your chosen creators and bam! Their content populates your feed.

You can like, share, and comment – engagement at your fingertips. It’s like attending a party where the guests are the creators you admire.

Now, let’s turn to Beehiiv.

No newsfeed. Nada. Zip. Discovery on Beehiiv is a different ballgame. You still need to grow your list on your own.

The only way it can help you is with SEO. You can write your blog posts straight in Beehiiv. and apply your SEO magic, and wait for search engines to do their thing. In Beehiiv’s world, SEO is king. It’s like setting up your shop and waiting for passersby to peek inside.

If you know your SEO game, then you’ll prefer Beehiiv. On the flip side, if you need discovery, I’ll recommend Substack.

This brings us to another aspect – the SEO face-off between Substack and Beehiiv.

The SEO Showdown: Beehiiv vs Substack

Beehiiv, with its SEO-centric approach, offers more SEO options than Substack.

Substack, for all its charm, has one glaring hiccup: you can’t set the canonical URL. Which means that if you decide to remove your Substack account or want to repurpose your content on Substack… you won’t be able to get that nice SEO juice.

Ouch! You’d think they’d have figured that one out by now.

On the other hand, Beehiiv is all about options. Want to send out a piece of content? Decide if you want it as:

  • a blog post,
  • a newsletter,
  • or both!

Flexibility is Beehiiv’s middle name.

With Substack, your decision tree is rather bare. Publish it on the platform? Sure. But that same email gets repurposed on the platform automatically. Not much wriggle room there.

When it comes to SEO options, Beehiiv is better than Substack.


Let’s talk cash.

Substack and Beehiiv both operate on a “paid newsletter” model. It’s not my go-to for monetizing your newsletter for several reasons. But hey, comparing Substack to Beehiiv REALLY matters.

Substack is free, unless you decide to go for paid subscribers, at which it dips its hands into your pockets, taking a 10% cut.

Beehiiv? Zero. Zip. Nada.

But before you start cheering, remember this: Substack’s monthly price tag is a sweet $0.

Beehiiv can’t boast that.

For beginners, Beehiiv throws a bone with up to 2,500 subs for free. But don’t be fooled, the options of that package are limited.

On Substack, though, you could have a whopping 100,000 subscribers and still send out emails without spending a penny. Now, that’s what I call a deal! So when it comes to pricing, think twice, thrice even, before you pick a side.

If you want to start your newsletter for free and don’t care about the paid membership model, both platforms are similar until 2,500 subscribers.

Substack will be your go-to from there since it’s free.


Let’s talk APIs. Tech talk, but bear with me.

An API allows different software to communicate with each other, making your tech life a lot easier. It’s a must-have if you want to link up with other tools like your online course platform or WordPress blog.

Substack is playing hard to get. No API. No Zapier integration.

This sucks.

Beehiiv offers an API and even a Zapier integration. That’s like having a pocket translator, making it easier to connect with other software.

Beehiiv vs Substack Zapier automation

But keep your excitement in check. It’s still quite limited. I’ve laid out these limitations in my Beehiiv review, so give that a whirl for more details.

When it comes to integrations, Beehiiv is better than Substack.

Automation Agony

Automation in email marketing is like having an army of robots at your disposal.

These tireless bots send out emails, follow-ups, reminders – all based on triggers and schedules you set.

They work 24/7, ensuring your subscribers remain engaged, and your brand stays top of mind.

Important? Nope. Indispensable!

Substack and Beehiiv both fall short in this area.

Now, for automation. And here, folks, we hit rock bottom. Both Substack and Beehiiv trip up, leaving us hanging.

Substack’s automation? Laughable. You get one welcome email. That’s it. One. You’re left high and dry after that. Not the grand welcome you’d expect, right?

Bee hiiv? Slightly better. They offer automation options, but only if you fork out for their $99/mo plan:

Beehiiv automation vs Substack

And even then, the options are, well, pretty basic.

Nothing to write home about, especially compared to other autoresponders.

So, when it comes to automation, Substack and Beehiiv both fall flat on their faces.

I’d only recommend switching to one of those if you don’t need automations at all.


Knowing where your subscribers are coming from is like reading the secret clues on a treasure map.

It gives you insight into what’s working and what’s not. Which channels are your gold mines? Which ones are duds? This information is crucial. It helps you focus your efforts and resources on the channels that truly matter.

Now, how do Substack and Beehiiv hold up in this area? Good news – they both get a thumbs-up.

Both platforms give you a peek into your subscribers’ sources. It’s like having a personal detective tracking your subscribers’ footprints. Which blogs or ads led them to sign up? Which social media platforms do they hail from? Both Substack and Beehiiv let you in on these secrets.

In a world where smart marketing decisions often make or break your success, this subscriber source information is invaluable. It’s one area where both Substack and Beehiiv stand tall.


Substack vs. Beehiiv: The Final Verdict

Time to call it.

Substack and Beehiiv, they’ve been in the ring, and it’s been a grueling match.

Where both platforms stand tall is in their unique blend of blog and newsletter features. Plus, the insight they offer into subscriber sources is a saving grace.

Credit where credit is due.

But let’s face it, they’ve both taken some serious blows.

Substack trips over basics like SEO and API integrations. Substack will never replace the good old blog. Plus, its automation is just one pathetic welcome email. Not the stuff champions are made of.

Beehiiv, though better at SEO and having an API, is still a lightweight contender. Limited automation options and a pricing model that leaves a sour taste don’t do it any favors.

If I have to pick sides, I’d lean towards Beehiiv, especially if you’re serious about SEO. But make no mistake, Beehiiv’s victory isn’t a roaring triumph. It’s more of a default win because Substack just didn’t put up a good fight.

So, if you’re asking for a clear winner, there isn’t one.

Substack and Beehiiv need to up their game, big time.

If you want to grow your newsletter for free below 2,500 subscribers, both platforms can do the job.

No matter which platform you chose, this email course below will show you how to turn your email subscribers into profit:

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