The results of our 2016 reader survey are in. Thank you to everyone who took part. Here’s how we plan to incorporate your feedback into the future direction of our print and digital media.
Earlier this year we undertook an extensive survey of our print and digital readers to find out how well we were responding to the needs of our readers, and in what specific ways we could improve our magazine and website.
One of the most refreshing findings in the survey was how fully engaged our readers are. Northstar Research, which conducted the survey on our behalf, reported that the average industry response rate is 2 percent – our survey had a whopping 21 percent response rate. This tells us that our readers are a dedicated bunch who care for our content a great deal.
Our survey also found that you’re a very loyal crew. Just under half of you have subscribed to our magazine for five years or longer. While the print version of our magazine remains the most popular medium, more than half of our subscribers also regularly access our digital library.
When asked which columns in our magazine you like the most, 84 percent chose “Know Your Tools”, 63 percent selected “Top 10″, and 60 percent like “Finer Details”.
Over half of you are between 40 and 69 years of age. Two-thirds have been working wood for more than 20 years and almost three-quarters rate their skill level as intermediate.
Ninety-nine percent of respondents have a woodworking shop – about one-third work in a garage attached to the house, with the balance split almost equally between a detached garage or a basement shop. Not everyone has the luxury of a large workshop – 44 percent work in a shop less than 300 sq. ft., 28 percent in a shop of 300–500 sq. ft., and 26 percent in a shop over 500 sq. ft. Over half of you selected home improvement as your main woodworking activity, while 45 percent indicated furniture making.
You read Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement because it provides great project ideas and plans (77 percent), interesting and informative skill building articles (74 percent), and is the best way for you to learn about new woodworking tools (66 percent). A whopping 94 percent used a tip or technique from the magazine. In fact, 76 percent of you rated Canadian Woodworking as ‘trustworthy’ in comparison to other woodworking magazines (61 percent) and woodworking and DIY websites (36 percent).
When deciding on what tools and equipment to purchase, you rely on information from our magazine and website – 56 percent have bought a tool or accessory after hearing about it from Canadian Woodworking, and 69 percent have bought a woodworking product advertised in the magazine.
You’re a tech-savvy lot – 66 percent use a smartphone and 59 percent use a tablet. The 12 percent of you who don’t have either of these devices plan to buy one in the near future.
When asked which topics you want us to provide more converge on, you responded:
While there was a fairly wide range of suggestions as to how we could improve the content of both our magazine and website, the most frequently mentioned requests were for more in-depth content, more techniques and tips, practical advice on home improvement, information on choosing and using tools, how to finish projects, tool comparisons, and skill-building videos.
Whether you’re beginning to learn the craft or are a woodworking enthusiast, we’ll continue to bring you projects that will enhance your skills and inspire you to create. And, beginning in this issue of the magazine, we’re introducing some new columns. Three of the new columns are home improvement-based, while the fourth focuses on wood finishing.
HomePage will be a one-page column that will have a wide range of short, informative pieces of home improvement information. It will keep you up-to-date on home improvement products, materials, tools, books, events and videos, as well as providing tips and techniques for maintaining and improving your home.
HomeInOn will be about two pages in length and will provide you with in-depth information about home improvement materials to help you make more informed home improvement decisions. For many of us, the home is our most important investment, so these are important long-term decisions.
SmartHome will provide information about smart technologies, products and services to help you enhance your home and work environments. Smart technologies are having a greater impact on both where we live and work, so sorting through what’s best for home owners will be our focus.
Finishing Touch will provide information to help you select and use the right finish for your projects. We’ll cover the most common types of finishes – what they are and how to apply them – and, we’ll look at a variety of specialty topics, including pore filling, staining, dying, toning, glazing, ebonizing, spraying, and French polishing. This will be a series of articles starting with the basics, and getting more in-depth as the series progresses.
All of us at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement are excited about the new content we’re preparing for you, and hope that it serves to enhance your woodworking and home improvement knowledge, skills and experience. We invite you to send us your feedback and suggestions to help us continue to improve our content.