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DT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're always on the lookout for reviews of new products - locos, rolling stock, scenery items and control devices.

The big manufacturers are still not sending us anything - preferring magazines with nice full page advertising that hey can touch and feel. It will take time, but hopefully one day they will see the value of Internet based sites like ours.

In the meantime, if you buy a new model and if think that others may appreciate your opinion and thoughts on it, then please consider writing up a small review for us. Take some pictures and send them in to me at [email protected]


I'll format the review and resize photos as required and post it in our reviews section.

So if you are keen to go out and get the latest release, it may be the first review on the web. Send it in and get it published
 

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QUOTE The big manufacturers are still not sending us anything - preferring magazines with nice full page advertising that hey can touch and feel. It will take time, but hopefully one day they will see the value of Internet based sites like ours. I guess when the manufacturers do start sending stuff you will be buried under the rush of people wanting to do reviews.

Maybe if some other people start doing them they will appreciate how much time and effort goes into preparing them and be less critical of those who currently take time out do them.
 

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QUOTE The big manufacturers are still not sending us anything - preferring magazines with nice full page advertising that hey can touch and feel. It will take time, but hopefully one day they will see the value of Internet based sites like ours.

The British magazines have circulation figures of 30000 and more with much larger figures in the USA and Germany. I have yet to find a single stand alone model railway website worldwide that receives review samples from manufacturers. Does anybody else know of any? Those that do have owners that have links with commercial publications. Pat Hammond for example is a magazine editor of the largest circulation British train collecting magazine worldwide as well as being a prolific author and writer.

The real question is what is it going to take for a model railway website to be considered as a contender for a share of the limited marketing budget of a manufacturer or a stockist?

Its probably a numbers game and independant monthly visitors that match magazine circulation numbers would be a good start. This would have to be independently audited for figures to have any meaning. So how do you get there?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE The real question is what is it going to take for a model railway website to be considered as a contender for a share of the limited marketing budget of a manufacturer or a stockist? The only thing I can really think of is that on a website you cannot have a full page advert like you do in the mags. You are restricted to a banner at the top or side which may be unappealing to the potential advertiser.
 

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Looking at it analytically.

It does seem that 3p per view is an acceptable rate for advertising for those who are responsible for advertising spend. Talking ball park figures a full page add in a mag is about £900 with readership of 30000 which equates to 3p per reader. Google charge 3p per click through for Adsense. So 3p seems to be a key viewing charge rate in the specialist market advertising industry.

A review loco costs the manufacturer say £60 including admin and for that they get 1 to 2 pages of editorial space in a magazine which equates to 0.02p per viewer if say the review has 30000 readers. This assumes all magazine purchasers read the review.

If a review on a website receives 1000 independent views then that is £2 in terms of its relative value compared to the exposure in a magazine where the value is £60 (or 30 times the benefit in favour of the magazine).

Should you place a higher or lower value on website viewings relative to magazine viewings?


Really the way forward for any website review writer who harbours ambitions to obtain review samples from whoever is to provide reviews on an agency basis and to circulate those reviews to 100's of websites to ensure that the review is read by the 30000 readers that manufacturers deem is an acceptable level of circulation meriting the supply of review samples. To limit the coverage of a review to one website is probably a mistake as that only captures a fraction of the total potential audience which is extremely diluted on the web due to the numerous (1000's) of websites.

If a review writer was to offer the reviews to magazines on a freelance basis to generate revenue for the work that way surely the magazines would be uncomfortable if exactly the same work was circulated free of charge on the web?


Clearly everybody has to start somewhere and the web does offer review writers instant exposure for their work. It also provides for feedback on that work which enables "trainee" review writers to hone their review writing skills.

So Dougs offer to publish work here is a good one especially for those who have a camera and can write prose but are clueless when it comes to the technology behind website publishing. All you need to do is take a few (good?) pictures of your latest model, put together a few interesting words on your latest model, pass the info onto Doug, and he will format it and publish it.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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I'm not sure of the maths there - I don't get the same numbers.

One thing that I'd like to add is that we get around 1,000 visitors per day. Many more readers and visitors than actual members so you may not immediately see the true numbers. Over the last 3 months, 25% of those visitors have been unique new visitors. That shows good growth. Sure we have had show reports and the aftermath of Christmas which is always busy, but there is a steady growth all through the year.

A magazine may sell 30,000 copies per month. Our site had 27,976 visitors (26 January 2007 to 26 February 2007). Not much in it.

A magazine may charge £900 per page per month, to be read once stored on the shelf and then perhaps referred to a couple of times in the future. How many times do you thing a review on a web page is looked at over the months and years after it is put up?

For example our DCC Back to Basics page has been seen 306 times (26 January 2007 to 26 February 2007) and that was written in September 2005. Why? Because there is interest, we link to it often (like now) and people search for the info on Google and find it again and again. This is the power of the web.

On a site like ours, a couple of well place banners, a bit of static marketing, perhaps on sponsored models, could be a very good investment for a manufacturer or retailer. For more than 25 times cheaper than a magazine.

Visitors come back if there is good content to be found. A review is good content and visitors like too see this.
 

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QUOTE For example our DCC Back to Basics page has been seen 306 times (26 January 2007 to 26 February 2007) and that was written in September 2005. Why? Because there is interest, we link to it often (like now) and people search for the info on Google and find it again and again. This is the power of the web.

It is statistics like this that is of interest to those responsible for marketing spend. Link "How too" articles like this to "Buy the parts right here by clicking this button now" and everyone is a winner. It makes it simple and easy for the reader and opens a new advertising avenue for the sponsor. A stockist could supply an item for review and have such a button built in as part of the review. Even better if there is a special deal linked to the "Buy it now" button for Model Rail Forum members. I am surprised that these opportunities are not of interest but there we are.

Good editorial and good reviews will attract an audience throughout the year and beyond.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 27 Feb 2007, 09:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Talking ball park figures a full page add in a mag is about £900 with readership of 30000 which equates to 3p per reader.
Happy modelling
Gary

Where do you get that figure from Gary ? or are you talking about the inside front cover,inside or outside rear cover in colour ?

We were quoted approx' £300 for a full page add in one well known mag, less for a more specialised mag. These rates are more than open for negotiation depending on how long you place the adverts for.

Working on generally accepted business (especially with the lowish mark up in the models trade) you have to quadruple in extra sales your outlay to break even. Therefore, someone who places the £900.00 (your figure) add has to take £2,700 in extra sales for each month the add is placed to "stand still". Over the course of a year that equates to £32,000 !

IMHO, if advertisers actually took the time to research their extra sales brought in by the adds the magazines would be a bit thinner (& more expensive).
 

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>if advertisers actually took the time to research their extra sales brought in by the adds the magazines would be a bit thinner (& more expensive).
A couple of years ago, I was in the room next door to the guys who set up www.trustedreviews.com. The chap doing the selling made a big play of the fact that with a website you can show the advertisers what they are getting - all the statistics on what the readers are doing is there. You can tell your customers exactly what they are getting for their money. Print magazines can't do that.

David
 

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Just another thought as regards reviews, on a web based medium you could have clips of the train running and hear the sounds it makes which you cannot do in a magazine. Actually seeing a model in action is a very convincing selling point. I beleive Doug has done this with some of his reviews. This gives on-line reviews an edge over magazine reviews.

Obviously another fact is that the reviews on this particlular site are very well done......
 

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Just curious but where did you get those advertising rates from? £300 for a full page add seems very competitive relative to the quotes that generally come my way. I was quoted £240 for a 1/4 page in a leading mag. The £900 was for the colour inside front/back etc used by the big boys.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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I suppose they all claim to be leading...

To put it in perspective, albeit perhaps a weird perspective, when I was working for an Internet company in the late 90's and early 00's, we paid between 30,000 and 100,000 Francs per page and we did this in up to 6 magazines every month! 100,000 Francs was about £10,000.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 28 Feb 2007, 08:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just curious but where did you get those advertising rates from? £300 for a full page add seems very competitive relative to the quotes that generally come my way. I was quoted £240 for a 1/4 page in a leading mag. The £900 was for the colour inside front/back etc used by the big boys.

Happy modelling
Gary

It was from the one that's currently getting a bit of stick for being "behind the times". Maybe our Pam is very persauvive
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 28 Feb 2007, 15:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It was from the one that's currently getting a bit of stick for being "behind the times". Maybe our Pam is very persauvive


Or if MMAD is to be believed has yet to grow up?

Regards

John
 
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