This is the Sixth Tee at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Oregon. I spend a lot of time here. . . but I’ll talk about that in another post. For now, let’s get to the point:
In a nutshell, BHM is going further into the digital age with the creation of a membership site on our website. It’ll be a button on the website that will be like a door in the back of the closet of the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” where the kids go into the land of Narnia. BHM’s closet door will open into a whole new world: a digital subscription, access to all back issues, blogs, special articles, behind-the-scenes looks at key BHM personalities, significant discounts from participating advertisers, and daily doses of new material.
We’ll try to launch the membership site by the next print issue, which is Issue No. 150, the Nov/Dec 2014 issue. We intend to leave most of the present website “as is,” but some of the blogs will be affected. Just how will be worked out with the writers over the next few weeks.
There will be no ads on the membership site. Cost of membership will be $1.99 a month, which will include a digital subscription to BHM. For $2.99 a month, we’ll probably include our new Kindle digital magazine, “Self-Reliance,” and for $3.99 a month we’ll probably include our new Kindle magazine, “Chickens and Stuff.” None of this is set in stone (we have to make sure the Kindle inclusions are ok via Amazon, etc.), but I wanted to throw this framework out for discussion and feedback from readers. The print issue will no be affected.
I’ve been considering doing this for at least a couple of years, have discussed it at length with key BHM players like Tom McDonald, who runs our servers, Oliver Del Signore, our webmaster, Al Boulley, our Technology Manager, Managing Editor Jessie Denning, Annie, Lenie, etc. I’ve sought the counsel of Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast (http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/) and James Wesley, Rawles of Survival Blog (http://survivalblog.com/) because they have successful sites.
Why are we doing this? I think it’s a matter of future survival. We’re fine financially now with the print magazine (and, again, the print magazine will not change at all with the addition of this “membership” section to the website), but the writing is on the wall for all quality publications who wish to go into the future. Most of the subscription money we now get goes right out the door to pay the printer and the post office. If we can convince a lot of subscribers to go digital (or attract new subscribers who are already digital), we can use the money we must now send to the printer and postman to pay writers of good quality articles, which I think is the future of magazines like BHM.
This magazine is 25 years old in a business that has a very high mortality rate. (Just this morning I learned that BackHome Magazine out of North Carolina has ceased publication.) We have to adapt to the technological changes that people are embracing. — Dave