Migrating A Media Operator from Substack to WordPress

Like many successful creators, A Media Operator needed a more powerful and flexible publishing platform to help them scale in a competitive space.

“ As I continued to think through what I was trying to build versus what Substack was supporting, I realised I was stuck...

...I would never be able to build an ultra-premium community, create categorised evergreen content, gated databases and an event page on the site..."

- Jacob Donnelley, Why I Decided to Leave Substack

Outgrowing Substack

 Substack helps new writers to establish an audience relationship, and requires minimal effort and technical investment. When A Media Operator first launched, Substack was an ideal solution.

Yet as the business evolved, they needed better ways to engage and monetise their growing audience.

Content-friendly web design

Default Substack themes are designed for newsletter-only publishers, so customisations aren't offered.

The Code Company's first task was to design and develop a custom layout, which educates new visitors about A Media Operator and prompts them to sign up for the free newsletter.

If an existing newsletter subscriber visits the site, they receive a personalised experience and are encouraged to upgrade, to access premium members-only content.

The layout was designed to encourage strong organic SEO, with the flexibility to add additional or bespoke content treatments if required.

Migrating all content from Substack to WordPress

Substack's limited exporting capabilities prevented a direct data import into the new CMS, so The Code Company developed a custom import process.

The bespoke process leveraged existing content from all previous articles and URLs so there were no broken links as the migration occurred.

The website now has a strong information architecture and will act as a solid platform for future SEO and campaigns.

Native newsletter creation within WordPress

A Media Operator wanted to re-create the effortless user experience of Substack when creating newsletters and articles.

We worked with our friends at Newsletter Glue to integrate their innovative WordPress plugin.

The result was a stunningly straightforward user experience that enabled A Media Operator to push content directly from WordPress block editor to their subscribers by simply ticking a box.



Screenshot of WordPress building a newsletter

“The nice thing about partnering with an agency that really gets digital media is that they understand what matters most to our businesses. Ben and the team were quick to identify the major priorities for A Media Operator and then present solutions to make the product as good as possible.

Although our project was not complicated like many of the larger ones, I never once felt as if we were less important.

- Jacob Donnelley, Founder, A Media Operator

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