Archive for the ‘May 2016’ Category

Show Me How To…

A few years back an advertiser told me he wanted to buy the cover of RodMaker to highlight a new product he was introducing. When I told him I didn’t sell the cover for advertising he wanted to know why. He had, after all, bought the cover of other trade magazines. I explained that RodMaker isn’t a trade magazine for blank and component companies – it’s a consumer magazine aimed at the end users of the products he sells. The cover therefore, is reserved for custom rod work – art, if you want to call it that.

His request was but one of many in a long line of requests and suggestions from others in the blank and component making/sales field. Many would like to be featured in articles that detail their beginnings, rise to prominence, product offerings, etc., etc. But I’ve never done those type articles and never will. Why? Simply put – rod builders do not want to read that type of stuff. They could care less how company A started or what company B plans for the future. They’re satisfied with seeing that information in the advertising run by those companies. They don’t want to see it in the articles. It’s not what they paid a subscription fee to read about.

So what do custom rod builders want to read about? It’s very simple, really, and reflected in what builder after builder has told me hundreds of times over many years… “Show me how to do something.” It’s a remarkably simple equation for a successful publication. People buy “how-to” magazines for that reason – to learn how to do something. With that in mind, now as always, RodMaker remains the single best source for learning how to do something. Occasionally you’ll find an editorial (you’re reading one now) on some aspect just outside of actual how-to information. But overwhelmingly RodMaker has been built on teaching rod builders how to do things. Step by step, method by method, technique by technique. And this is how it will remain.

Volume 19 #3

The Volume 19 #3 issue of RodMaker will mail on June 1st. Most subscribers will receive it during the 3rd week of June.

RM19-3

The Custom Niche

Often there are arguments as to what constitutes a “custom rod.” Different people have different definitions and without any definitive definition from any sort of governing body or overseer, it’s fair to say that none of them are necessarily wrong.

There are however, certain examples of “custom” that tend to stick with me. It’s one of those that’s hard to describe but you know it when you see it. One good example are the custom rods being built by Bill Balou featuring his signature wooden fish grips. Could there be any more perfect match between what a fishing rod is intended to be used for and the grips fitted to it? The concept is obvious but not previously explored. It is at once novel and yet highly functional.

fishgrips

Custom rod builders seeking to gain an edge in the market and not wishing to simply compete with every “look alike” rod out there would do well to consider what Bill is doing. There is always a niche market out there – you just have to find and develop it.