Stu’s Shed Dweller

For a while now, I have been giving some serious consideration to the concept of a Stu’s Shed Dweller card.  I have some particular concepts around this site, not the least of which being that the content on this site remains open for everyone – I don’t want to have exclusive areas or anything.  I also have another about the presence of pure advertising on the site, and to date I have been able to resist trying to source an income stream through that path.

So to the card.  The concept I am working on is a card with a nominal fee (say $10/year to cover admin costs only), which you will be able to use to get discounts from various woodworking stores (the more the merrier, internationally as well) which I’m envisaging to be around a 5% discount.  It could be across the store, or be a larger discount over a limited time for items specifically featured on the site – details of offers being in the control of the participating company, and how much or little they want to be involved.  It could also be like extra editions added to magazine subscriptions if they choose to partner with the site, or a non-cash based bonus (such as an optional accessory) for Stu’s Shed Dweller members for purchasing a particular product.  (Even the fee might be covered by the a particular store for their customers perhaps).

Discounted entry to trade/woodworking shows, giveaways to Shed Dweller members, the possibilities are awesome.

For the companies, the reason to be involved is that it is a very targeted advertising but instead of paying for advertising and hoping for a difficult-to-quantify return, this is paying for advertising only once it has proven successful.  (And in saying that, the obvious implication is Stu’s Shed would receive a remuneration for the sale).  I have made clear on many occasions that the principle behind the site is the person reading it, seeking out information or whatever reason you visit should not cost.  The cost should only be borne by those who gain a financial benefit from the site, which comes back to the concept of a payment only once there has been a proven benefit.  The discount/offer is not made to all and sundry, but only to bearers of the annual membership card.  There will be an area on the site set aside to mention (and link) to companies involved in the scheme (separate, and in addition to any companies interested in becoming a sponsor).  At this stage I imagine a simple list down the left hand column (which appears on all site pages), so the place does not become yet another banner farm.

So what do you think?  A good idea, a value-add to dwellers of sheds, dwellers of Stu’s Shed? Or not?  The impact on what you already get from Stu’s Shed as I see it is only going to improve – no restriction on you if you choose not to participate, and a value-add if you do.  The more members, the better which will then result in more industry participation, and therefore more benefit.  Also, the more financially viable the site becomes, the more I can concentrate on it, improving the quality, and quantity of content (written and video).

Anyway, I’ll throw it out there, and see what you think.  If you are a business, and are interested (in principle), then please do contact me off-line (email etc) too.  The concept will only be advanced if there is adequate buy-in from both sides, and obvious benefits to both.

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