Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
Gregg

Model Cars Magazine, The Future

Recommended Posts

So, with all that has happened in the past couple of weeks, it's time to look forward.

One thing that I started going over was of course money. A lot of talk has been said for years about web site page views, unique visitors, analytics, etc, and although I have a negative 25 IQ (I spelt my name wrong and put down the wrong date on the test), I'm a fairly good study when it comes to the certain things, when I can sit up and study.

After doing research on the sites (modelcarsmag.com and the forum), I found that it has impressive numbers. For the months of January 2017-March 2017, there were 700,000-800,000 unique page views (my misteak, I wrote unique visitors the first time) to the site, per month. This blew me away. I have known that the site had over 1.4million views a month, but the unique page views is what got me. That's a lot! So, with this many unique page views, why aren't those unique visitors converting into subscribers? Is it time to set up a paywall for non-subscribers to access all this great information on the site? Or, is there something else that can be done?

With those numbers, there is definitely something that can be done about this. But, alas, it's above my negative 25 IQ. 

If anyone has some insights into this, I mean actual working knowledge of how to turn the numbers/unique visitors into conversions/subscribers, please let me know. I don't mean to sound harsh, but ideas or Google search results are not what I need. I need facts. What actually works, what has worked for you, or if you have done similar projects, any help would be greatly appreciated. Yes, the Google Ads bring in some money, and honestly, it pays the server bills, and upkeeps, but it could do so much more.

Please send your thoughts/ideas/proposals to me by email: gregg@modelcarsmag.com

Mahalo nui loa

 

ps. The new visitors are 55,580, returning 103,459 per month of March.

Thanks for pointing this out JB

 

Edited by Gregg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gregg,

I honestly don't see many ads on this site so perhaps get more aggressive with Google Ads?

In terms of magazine subscribers as I'm assuming that's what you want more of, well I still do see a lot of ppl at book stores.  They just want a place to go, read some stuff, have coffee perhaps etc...

So perhaps look into print circulation?

i personally come here for the forums and have never been a magazine subscriber kind of person no matter the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe I can tell you why more site viewers don't subscribe, and it's pretty simple. There's SO much information available here for free that there's no real need to subscribe...other than people making a gesture towards fair behavior...(I buy the mag on the newsstand just to help to support the site).

The old saw about "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free" still holds true, all across human existence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my opinion of course, but putting up a paywall would be a bad idea, and I see it doing more harm than good, it would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face, I really cant seeing even half of the current user base paying to access this site, reason being, everything here, can be found on elsewhere for free, namely other forums and Facebook and all the modeling groups.    The only thing that forums have over Facebook is threads that keep the info easier to find.

If you went to a paywall, you would need to provide content that can not be found anywhere else to make it worth while , of course, strictly my opinion.

My suggestion is this,  many forums have the availability for their members to contribute to the forum,  one forum I am on has it set up as yearly thing, and they offer a private area only for paid members , and everyone that takes contributions has a little bar underneath the users avatar that shows that have contributed to the forum.

Food for thought.

Edited by martinfan5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe I can tell you why more site viewers don't subscribe, and it's pretty simple. There's SO much information available here for free that there's no real need to subscribe...other than people making a gesture towards fair behavior...(I buy the mag on the newsstand just to help to support the site).

The old saw about "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free" still holds true, all across human existence.

This is my opinion of course, but putting up a paywall would be a bad idea, and I see it doing more harm than good, it would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face, I really cant seeing even half of the current user base paying to access this site, reason being, everything here, can be found on elsewhere for free, namely other forums and Facebook and all the modeling groups.    The only thing that forums have over Facebook is threads that keep the info easier to find.

If you went to a paywall, you would need to provide content that can not be found anywhere else to make it worth while , of course, strictly my opinion.

My suggestion is this,  many forums have the availability for their members to contribute to the forum,  one forum I am on has it set up as yearly thing, and they offer a private area only for paid members , and everyone that takes contributions has a little bar underneath the users avatar that shows that have contributed to the forum.

Food for thought.

I totally agree with both of these statements... I believe that getting it for free is the reason they come here... But I also believe a paywall would ultimately run them, plus several longtime members away...

 

I want to subscribe, and most likely will, as I'm sure alot of us do. The only issue I have is I'd like to visibly be able to thumb through it, to get a feel of what I'm buying, before I dive in. And I can't find anywhere close that stocks it. Barnes & Noble is an hour and a half to two hours away from me. And I don;t know if that one even stocks it. Where else would I find it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we need a renewable source of $$ ,....

The pay to play thing is good ,...maybe tips and tricks is locked until you buy in,...or Under Glass,...can't see the finished product,...or all pics, until you pay,...mmmm

kidding,  mostly

The Intraweb is a fickle thing ... everyone wants the info and pics, and / but, it is free,...

Gotta start humpin' the mag scrips,....

I for one will subscribe today,....do you ship to Canada?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many good arguments put forward here against at Pay Wall or what ever it may be called. I think I agree with them and also the idea of getting advertisers that would do business with the members here would be a better and more reliable revenue source. With the number of people visiting the site I would think that anyone serious about promoting their products would have to look at those numbers and realize the  potential. As for the subscription thing. You may not like this, but it is the elephant in the room. The issues have never really been timely. I understand that there have been an endless number of problems with printing and distribution. I have always bought every issue I could get at my local Model Shop, but with the uncertainty as to when the next issue will ever come out I have held off getting a subscription. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this feeling. If I could know 100% that every issue would be coming wither it was monthly or bi-monthly on an absolutely timely  manor then I would subscribe. I know you are having to make some hard  business  decisions.            

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my opinion of course, but putting up a paywall would be a bad idea, and I see it doing more harm than good, it would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face, I really cant seeing even half of the current user base paying to access this site, reason being, everything here, can be found on elsewhere for free, namely other forums and Facebook and all the modeling groups.    The only thing that forums have over Facebook is threads that keep the info easier to find.

If you went to a paywall, you would need to provide content that can not be found anywhere else to make it worth while , of course, strictly my opinion.

My suggestion is this,  many forums have the availability for their members to contribute to the forum,  one forum I am on has it set up as yearly thing, and they offer a private area only for paid members , and everyone that takes contributions has a little bar underneath the users avatar that shows that have contributed to the forum.

Food for thought.

I TOTALLY AGREE........I WOULD PERSONALLY GO TO ANOTHER SITE

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The paywall is a bad idea. As has been said, many won't pay for what they can find for free elsewhere.

However, a membership might not be a bad idea. I'm a paid member over at an overland exploration site. Anyone can join and take part, however, if you pay the one time membership fee, you get access to all of the article archives, special features, and you get a site tee shirt, emblem for your truck/SUV, stickers. Access to the forum and the info there is the same, but the non-forum extras are only available to paid members. 

I find this keeps the open info and discussion on the forums the same as it always was, but those who want a little/lot more get it if they pay. Personally, I think the one time membership fee was worth it for all of the extras you get.

I think you could easily do that here. Keep the forum open, but have a members only section with lots of how-to articles, picture posts, reviews, etc. 

I also think that moving the magazine to digital only would save costs. Instead of printing a magazine, pump those resources into an awesome paid online section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no experience with this so I can only offer a suggestion. Perhaps as far as the forum is concerned check with someone like Flory models in the U.K. and see how their system works. They're mainly plane/armour group but maybe they can offer input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just signed up for two years for  $40.00      The way I look at it is  .05 a day to support Greg, the mag and this forum.  Seems like a pretty good deal even if the mag comes slow.  

 

Randy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 We get copies at work and I read them there, but come up with a digital edition and I'll gladly subscribe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thing is, I'd gladly pay a minimum of $10 a year just to have full access to this forum. It's like an anytime-model-car-club, open 24-7, where there's almost always something worthwhile to look at, learn from, or be inspired by.

Too bad everyone doesn't feel the same way. 

Most free information is worth exactly what it costs, and the idiocy I hear being spouted daily that somebody got off of the internet is proof positive. This site, on the other hand, has rather a lot of factual and valuable knowledge presented by people who have been-there-done-it, rather than the endlessly repeated (usually unfounded) opinions and "my-wife's-dog's-trainer's-hairdresser's-ex-husband's-boyfriend's-lawyer said..." that you get most everywhere else.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

700k-800k is certainly impressive, Gregg. Just know that it doesn't mean 700,000 different people.  If I acces the website from my computer and my tablet and my phone Like i, for one, do, that's not three different persons.  It uses IP addresses to keep count.

Anywho, I agree on the with everyone here.  Having to pay will lower the amount of people visiting.  I also still agree with digital version of the magazine as an option.  Not only digital, but as an option. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion is this,  many forums have the availability for their members to contribute to the forum,  one forum I am on has it set up as yearly thing, and they offer a private area only for paid members , and everyone that makes contributions has a little bar underneath the users avatar that shows that have contributed to the forum.

I like this idea a lot!

Thing is, I'd gladly pay a minimum of $10 a year just to have full access to this forum. It's like an anytime-model-car-club, open 24-7, where there's almost always something worthwhile to look at, learn from, or be inspired by.

Maybe you could combine martinfan5 and Bills suggestions. I'd pay $10/year to continue to access this valuable resource. Maybe combine that with a digital only subscription to the magazine for an additional fee? Some recognition such as the bar or something else unique might motivate some to contribute if they see a lot of folks with those notations below their avatar. Tribal culture!

Edited by Miatatom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy the magazine every month issue. Common phone call, "Sherry (owner of shop), new copy of Model Cars in?  Great. Hold me a copy." I support my LHS and the magazine. I know subscribers are more profitable (I teach magazine business models). With 700K views, you should be able to get some advertisers but most people don't like that. I do think a minimal subscription/donation for support makes sense. Maybe disable PMs and searches for non subscribers. Make it cheap. We're a cheap group. Make payment convenient.... We're also lazy. 

The challenge is finding the price point where people will buy into it without debating its value. I'd suggest $10 which is half of one kit or about a can of spray paint. 500 subscribers would be $5000 which would go a long way to make hosting this site break even.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe disable PMs and searches for non subscribers.

Another great idea! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many good arguments put forward here against at Pay Wall or what ever it may be called. I think I agree with them and also the idea of getting advertisers that would do business with the members here would be a better and more reliable revenue source. With the number of people visiting the site I would think that anyone serious about promoting their products would have to look at those numbers and realize the  potential. As for the subscription thing. You may not like this, but it is the elephant in the room. The issues have never really been timely. I understand that there have been an endless number of problems with printing and distribution. I have always bought every issue I could get at my local Model Shop, but with the uncertainty as to when the next issue will ever come out I have held off getting a subscription. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this feeling. If I could know 100% that every issue would be coming wither it was monthly or bi-monthly on an absolutely timely  manor then I would subscribe. I know you are having to make some hard  business  decisions.            

to much other free sites available, Facebook, youtube, other forums ect. So charing probably wouldn't work. I buy every issue from my LHS but don't subscribe because of the timing also, could be the reason some companies don't advertise products. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gregg,

Maybe offer downloadable for a fee, pdf's (one pagers) of every kit review done by MCM?

and see what that brings in?.....

Luc

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real problem with charging for access to information on the internet is that most people don't know the difference between GOOD information and gibberish, and would prefer to take the latter for free rather than actually PAY for the former.

The depth of technical info available here is vastly superior to what's on most of the "plenty of other sites" that people are referring to, but a lot of folks just don't seem to get it.

There are some real-car sites that are full of good info (and gibberish too) that have a voluntary dollar-amount contribution that gets the "member" some sort of recognition alongside his avatar, and the feeling of pride associated with actively supporting the thing, and being recognized for doing so, appeals to a lot of people...and a lot just want it all for nothing, as usual.

When I personally go looking for informative posts on these sites, I'm much more inclined to believe info posted by guys who make the effort to pay-to-play, rather than the legions of freebie-seekers who've usually never done whatever they're expounding about as self-styled "experts", because they once overheard a conversation about the topic at a car show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I suggest making things as simple as possible ... have a small banner on every page with donation info ... $10 min ... PayPal/send check (no credit cards - too insecure) ... large print "Donate Here" 

then see what happens ...

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I suggest making things as simple as possible ... have a small banner on every page with donation info ... $10 min ... PayPal/send check (no credit cards - too insecure) ... large print "Donate Here" 

then see what happens ...

Probably the best idea yet...if you could add a flag under the avatar that said something like "supporting member" for people who coughed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what they do over at Britmodeller, where I pay up. The good thing is that it's a "pay what you feel" scheme, so it doesn't exclude members on low incomes. Personally, I'm happy to pay about half what a magazine subscription would cost over here -- which is about what my Hemmings Sports and Exotics (sniff...) sub cost.

best,

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...