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How Nicole Antoinette Grew Her Substack To 6,000 Subscribers

Reflecting on 16 years of writing online with Nicole

Nicole Antoinette is the creator of Wild Letters on Substack, where she has over 6,000 subscribers. She's also a long-distance hiker! Her book, How To Be Alone, documents her 800-mile solo hike on the Arizona trail, and has a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with 225 reviews.

One reviewer writes "Nicole's writing is different. She's very clear about the struggles she went through hiking this, which in reality, are struggles most of us will deal with on the trail. It's not glossed over for highlights of the trail like most other writers will emphasize. What's more, her writing is frequently frenetic, really zeroing in on the human thought process, all the ups and downs. It's enlightening, engaging, challenging, and humorous all at the same time. It's human."

She recently released another book called What We Owe To Ourselves, documenting her 500-mile hike on the Colorado Trail. That's out on Amazon,, and Barnes and Noble now.

Nicole is without a doubt one of the most honest writers I've ever read, a truly one-of-a-kind human badass who, despite accomplishing things most of us would only dream of, seems to value showing her warts more than her lofty accomplishments. We need more people like her on the internet. I can't wait for you to meet her.


0:00 Introduction to Nicole
3:07 Nicole’s 16 year history writing online
7:25 Why shooting for virality isn’t necessarily a bad thing
11:32 Define what your “enough” is as a writer
16:11 How Nicole came back from burnout in 2023
19:42 How Nicole doubled her paid subscribers on Substack
22:55 Why Nicole offers many different price points for the same product
24:30 How Nicole sold her first book with sliding scale pricing
27:47 Why you might not want to have a book publisher
31:08 Nicole makes $1-$2 per book sale
32:20 Why Nicole went on an 800 mile hike and wrote a book about it
38:35 A gut-check for wannabe terrified writes
40:37 How to be a better friend to yourself through the creative ups and downs
43:45 Nicole’s core values as a writer
46:42 What does “joy” look like for Nicole?
56:35 Don’t hold your happiness hostage until you accomplish a goal
59:12 The importance of knowing what you want as a writer
1:03:19 Will Nicole always be an online writer?

Useful Links

Wild Letters
How To Be Alone: An 800-mile hike on the Arizona Trail
What We Owe To Ourselves: A 500-mile hike on the Colorado Trail
Nicole’s Website
Tiny Biz Letters
Soft Ambition essay

Mind Of A Writer
Mind Of A Writer Podcast
A podcast about writing and how to grow on Substack, featuring interviews with Subtack's most popular creators.