Substack vs Ghost Competitor Page Teardowns

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Offensive Marketing Strategy

One of the great ways you can clearly communicate your unique value proposition is to address how you’re different from competitors. 

Ghost is one of the platforms I saw heavily invest in competitors’ pages as their main acquisition strategy. This is a very good offensive marketing strategy: Ghost wants to capture some of the market shares by attacking competitors’ weaknesses.

Ghost focuses on their fee structure as their main differentiator — mainly because it directly relates to the pain point of Substack writers who have paid subscribers — having to pay percentages instead of fixed fees.

They also target features Substack doesn’t have. And how they can deliver superior experiences compared to Substack.

They also give a clear example of how you lose money with Substack when your subscribers scale:

They also have a great interactive tool for readers to play with. 

They spray their social proof throughout this landing page. Mostly via Twitter. Twitter has a huge community of bloggers and this might also be one of their main acquisition channels as well.

Famous bloggers have a distinct section throughout this competitor page. I think they could improve this teardown further by asking bloggers who switched from Substack to Ghost why they switched. This will make this competitor page even more tailored and specific.

Another differentiator they focus on is a powerful publishing experience. But it no longer directly compare Ghost vs Substack. The further down the page, the less unique value proposition between Substack and Ghost and more about the general feature Ghost has to offer.

They also have competitor pages for all sorts of other blogging services like WordPress, Tumblr, etc. 

Is seems like they spend a lot of time and resources into these competitors’ pages. This makes sense – It’s so much harder to convince someone to start blogging and pay $29/month for blogging. But much easier to tell existing bloggers to switch to Ghost.

Lessons

Other businesses that have a lot of similar competitors should dedicate their time to these competitor pages like Substack, since competitors’ users offer a huge customer base. If only 1% of other competitors’ users switched to Ghost, it can bring huge revenue growth for them. 

Having competitors’ pages also offers an opportunity for your business to communicate your unique value proposition more clearly. Each competitor has their strengths and weaknesses, you gotta have some combating strategy to earn market share – stealing users from your competitors.

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