(I warned you that this site doesn't allow long responses ... so here's the remainder of my post!)
But I AM interested in learning more about people who are discovering a new lifestyle in lovingly maintaining older rigs ... those folks who, like me, accept the shortcomings and appreciate the rigs anyway.
I thoroughly enjoy the Good Old RV's site, and a magazine or email blog which takes on that particular flavor, is one I would read regularly.
6. PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS
Because we own older rigs, we tend to be a thrifty group. If I had a digital magazine or blog or website which excited me a lot, I'd pay a small subscription fee. But I suspect you'll find that the wider distribution of a free digital magazine would lead to more advertising revenue, and more than pay for the loss of what little money you'd make on the subscription fee.
I would thoroughly enjoy a weekly subscription to a relevant, interesting, well-written email blog ... though I would read a monthly magazine as well, if it were top-notch. I would even enjoy reading write-ups and recommendations on parts suppliers, etc., and relevant advertising.
I would prefer a mix of travelogue and general well-written essays, and would skip over any tech-advice columns. I would also enjoy interesting articles on better living in the full-time lifestyle.
I hope I haven't been too critical; I'm simply trying to tell you my particular preferences.
Here's my feedback. I'm not a professional; you are. But maybe there's an idea or two you can grab.
1. END-USE DEVICE
I read an article last week which indicates that over half of the internet bandwidth is now consumed by smart phones. Living full-time in an RV, I prefer to read articles via my Android, and not drag out this laptop. To reach the maximum audience, I'd suggest being obsessive about the ease of access via a smart-phone. Too few people are designing web-sites, blogs, email lists, etc., for the smart-phone market, in my opinion. The person who does will be one step ahead of the competition.
I personally prefer a once-weekly shorter article, than a once-a-month magazine format. I also prefer the more informal email blogs. I enjoy opportunities to give my feedback on the articles, and to discuss with other readers our thoughts on the article.
For technical advice, I never read the magazines. I prefer to post a question on "Good Old RV's" and receive almost-immediate personalized response.
The idea of a feature article on classic RV's is good. I've always wanted to "see inside" other full-timer's RV's -- to have them open their cabinets, and snap pics of their storage and organization solutions. To have them open the basement doors, snap pics, and let me see what toys/tools they are carrying with them. To see how they've remodeled the interior (which I enjoy very much on the site Good Old RV's). I like to hear about their successes and frustrations in dealing with an older RV. To hear how they've survived the cold winters or hot, humid summers.
I enjoy seeing pics of the old RV's set up in campsites around the country. I would also enjoy having a rally held reasonably close, within a 5-6 hour drive, which I could attend once or twice a year. I would definitely pay $100/day to attend said rally. Recently, I've had a lot of interest in the annual "Burning Man" events. Not specifically WHAT those folks are doing, but the sense of community they achieve when folks get together for several days, to create Art and have fun.
I'd like to read about how to "live greener" -- but not the standard crap about conserving water, reducing packaging, and turning off lights. How about alternative options for heating the unit, or the new tankless water heaters, or ventilation solutions, or which direction to park the rig for best ventilation?
There are several RV parts suppliers on the internet, but some of them have very bad reviews. I'd like recommendations on who to contact for replacement parts. (And maybe even a 10%-off coupon code!)
I do enjoy the travelogue-type articles, but most of them are in places I'll probably never visit. But they're fun to read anyway.
What I enjoy most are the general short essays. My favorite blog-type writer is the FaceBook page "Ready to Go Fulltime RV'ing." You might want to friend those folks and read some of their articles. Very general, random, off-the-wall stuff.
I also enjoy the FaceBook page "Adventures Unlimited" which details the experiences of a couple who are beginning a life of full-time RV living in a Class C motorhome. Although I'm already a full-timer, I enjoy reading their experiences.
Also on FaceBook, check out the "Robbers Cave State Park" page about an Oklahoma park. And the "Guadalupe Mountains National Park" page about a Texas park. Both pages regularly update with very interesting short articles about the goings-on in the parks, as well as the natural history. I realize an article this specific will not work in a general publication magazine, but I'm sharing with you what I enjoy reading, and what I simply ignore.
Speaking of that, I don't read most of the Good Sam magazine ... it's basically useless, in my opinion. Those guys are more interested in selling products, than in providing interesting material to their readership.
I understand that advertising pays the bills, and I would have absolutely no problem with responsible, relevant advertising. I'd suggest researching your advertisers ... most of us readers will tend to trust the advertisers you choose, and will be disappointed if we do business with a crook that we first found in your magazine.
What I DO NOT enjoy is a magazine which is 75% advertising and 25% watered-down generic articles. I simply won't read it. And the Good Sam magazine, where the articles are essentially advertising for various Good-Sam products, is even worse, in my opinion.
I believe you are right, in trying to define your audience narrowly. I hold absolutely no interest in reading what amenities the half-million dollar new coaches are offering this year. I also don't have much interest in the folks who take their rigs to the lake two or three weekends a year.
But I AM interested in learning more about people who are discovering a new lifestyle in lovingly maintaining older rigs
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