I’ve been a publisher since 1999 and getting a new publication off the ground is equally tiring as it is exciting but Vintage British Bikes is a slightly new field for me.
Publishing in itself is a risky business. Many magazines published by extremely successful publishing companies fold after Issue One. Many more don’t even get to print the first issue due to advertising revenue being less that the set up and production costs.
The 18 years of experience gained to date gives us confidence that Vintage British Bikes will work but here is where I’m venturing into the unknown.
To date, all my magazines have been ‘trade’ titles as opposed to ‘consumer’, so you can’t buy my magazines in shops, we send them to subscribers via Royal Mail. The online magazines we publish are similar in that we have tens of thousands of subscribers who look to us for industry news everyday but those magazines are completely unknown to 99.9% of the population.
So the slightly questionable area for me is, how do we get advertisers on a site with no traffic (or subscribers) and how do we get traffic if there aren’t any advertisers? How did the likes of Amazon, eBay etc get started? Did the guys at Amazon say ‘Do we by a bunch of books and hope they sell, or do we wait for the orders to roll in and hope we can source the books?’
Of course, we’re doing all the obvious things, social media, google adwords, SEO and so on, but I’d still like your help if possible.
Just to rewind slightly, when I came up with this idea, one of my motivations was sparked by my memory of restoring a 1969 BSA Bantam D14/4 way back in about 1984. I had to find a few bits for it, not many, it was mainly wiring a the paintwork that needed most attention, the basics were all there. Apart from one piece, a back wheel adjuster.
Obviously back in 1984, there was no internet. It took me weeks to find one and remembering this made me think how much easier it must be today, but much to my surprise I couldn’t find any site (let me know if there is one?) that had plenty of retailers selling bikes, spares etc all in one place. It seems to me that nowadays although it must be easier to find what you’re looking for, you still must have to spend hours trawling lots of sites to find what you want, so why not have it all in one place?
So, this is where we need your help now and then we can help you.
If you’re a retailer, get in touch and I’m sure we can accommodate your requirements and if you own a vintage British motorbike, please would you be kind enough to tell your local dealer about us and spread the word on your social media feeds?
If you’re particularly proud of your bike or have completed a restoration project, we’d like to hear about that too. Just get in touch.
If you are a member of a club, go here https://www.vintagebritishbikes.co.uk/home/clubs-events-festivals as clubs get a free advert. If you’re organising some kind of public event, we’d be happy to help you promote it. If you’ve bought something and you’d like to write a review (good or bad), then send it.
Is there anything you dislike about the site? Is there anything you think we could do better? Got any ideas for features, news, reviews? Send them in.
Yes, I’m asking a favour, but in return I’m hoping that not only will this site be an excellent forum for people to source bikes, parts, accessories and any related services but that it will also develop and provide the same level of informative and insightful content that my trade publications do.
So I think it’s a bit of a two way street. If you can try and help us, you’ll be helping yourself in a way because we’ve got some exiting stuff planned for the near future and It’d be great if you were a part of it and benefited from it yourself.