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I Had the Urge to Merge...
and so I did!
Yes, I admit, it’s a really corny title. So sue me!
Okay, It’s getting pretty close to my two year anniversary being on Substack and in that time I have done alot!
Imported and moved my entire library of emails from Mailchimp to Substack.
Created a Substack.
Had a moment of genius (or madness) and created.
Wanted to share my thoughts on video games and created Bravebird, The Gamer.
Changed my main Substack name at least four times by this time. (Erica Drayton, Storyteller / The Storyteller / Pen to Paper Stories)
Started watching all of Star Trek and wanted to catalog that so, of course, I created.
Went completely off the rails and decided I needed to not only create 100 Word Stories (for others to write their own using prompts I provide) but also 100 Words Daily (my own 100 word stories I’m writing every day) just to confuse everyone.
I also created a Substack to hopefully (someday) bring back to life my dream online publication whose purpose would be to help fiction writers get further exposure, reach a larger audience, and become a collective of great minds all under Storyzine (a Substack) Magazine.
Because my Oz series went so well I wanted to do the same by reading only The Pickwick Papers by Dickens. Never started but I still have that publication ready to go, just in case.
I also have two other publications on Substack that I’m not going to mention here but were some other ideas I had before I cut myself off from creating ideas I wasn’t going to follow through on!
Phew! That’s a lot, right? Clearing the dust from my two year journey with Substack what it boils down to is this:
I had 8 Publications. 6 of which were active at one time.
Of the 6 active publications, I could see how three of them could easily be folded into my main Substack.
Now I have 3 active Substacks (not including a few that are for future use).
But you didn’t come here to listen to me go on and on about my creation madness. What you really want to know, I’m sure, is how. How did I manage to take all of these publications and absorb them into one?
DO IT EARLY
First, I need to preface this by saying my decision came at a time when 100 Word Stories, 100 Words Daily and Bravebird the Gamer were all in their infancy. Meaning, they each had less than a dozen posts to move between them. Honestly, the way Substack makes the importing process is fairly simple so the number of posts is irrelevant, though you’ll see why it could matter to you in the longrun.
I suggest that If you’re thinking about merging Substacks you created separately, chances are you should just do it now rather than wait till you’ve got a lot going on in both.
AVOID THE MESS
One hiccup you can encounter is if you have multiple Sections in the Substack you are trying to move. While Subtack makes importing easy (Dashboard → Settings → Import (side menu) → Import Posts Button → URL of your Substack) what can be tricky is that you can only import them into ONE Section. One way I think you can circumvent this is if you change the ability for the Section to be viewable on the Homepage. If you only make one section at a time viewable on the Homepage this should make it so when you import you’ll only do one section at a time. A bit time consuming to follow and keep track of, especially if you have multiple sections.
My suggestion is, whatever you’re moving, create ONE section on the main Substack side that you’re willing to move all of your posts to, regardless of section name and consider implementing Tags to better organize them after you’ve moved them all.
CHECK YOUR WORK
One thing I noticed after I moved the posts is a few things could be missing or just not what they were in their original location.
Check social preview image. Sometimes the image will be there and sometimes it isn’t. What is the determining factor? I’m not sure. I just know it’s usually 50/50 on whether or not the image will carry over.
Subtitles just don’t carry over at all. Instead, they are completely gone and the social preview will take a snippet from the body of text.
Section and Leave a Comment. For some reason, the posts will appear in the section you initially selected but when you edit the post the Section won’t be selected and you’ll have to select it again. Same goes for Comments. It won’t have any option selected. I think this might be a glitch so expect this check to hopefully be obsolete soon.
Comments/Likes. They will not carry over. If someone left you a comment it stays where it is. Same goes for open rates and any Likes that post may have received in its original home. This is why I suggest moving early. I had to leave one comment behind and it gutted me to do it.
Really make sure you’re going to be okay with your decision and not second guess yourself. It can be a daunting task to undertake regardless if it’s a handful of posts or hundreds. You want to make sure it’s a decision you’ll be able to live with and appreciate down the road.
ENJOY THE MERGE
Lastly, enjoy this massive move you just made. I assume once it’s done you’ll feel an enormous weight lifted. I know I did! It was really complicated and time consuming keeping track of 6 different publications at one time. Now I only have to really worry about two because the Oz series pretty much runs itself. Sure, the amount of writing I’m producing daily hasn’t changed, but where that writing is all going is pretty much localized and that is what was most important to me. No more sending people to 6 different places to get a feel for the type of writer I am.