We asked for it, and we got it. Almost 2,000 of you — the most knowledgable, opinionated readership in the gunblogosphere — weighed in when we asked for your opinions in our annual reader survey.
Most the comments could go toe to toe with The Count of Monte Cristo, both in length and literary mettle. But given our readers’ education level and the fact that over 70% of respondents said they’d been reading TTAG for two years or more, we expected nothing less.
Here’s a quick summary of what we learned:
Job one: “Don’t (screw) it up.”
Most of you used a different verb, but we hear you. Our priority is to retain your trust by not changing the things you like most about TTAG. Our gun and gear reviews will always be accurate, thorough and brutally honest. No punches pulled.
The full-page pop-up ads suck.
That was the second most frequent comment. The reality is, this is a business. We need to run ads to pay our writers and keep the lights on. That said, you may have noticed that the big, full-page pop-up is now history. Ask and ye shall receive.
We’re also working to make sure that any other ads we run are safe for work and fairly family friendly. Please email us any time you see one you think is over the line. As if we had to say that.
We received great feedback on our content.
As we expected, the results show that our core content (reviews, general news, gun and gear news, politics and gun control, op-eds) is also what you want to read most. We got an armful of requests for ever more reviews, thoughtful opinion pieces, and investigative journalism. We also got good feedback on some of our shorter, fluffier articles, and we will steer clear(er) of clickbait-y content.
You sent a raft of suggestions for article topics (e.g. more content for “gun curious” folks, more budget-friendly gear reviews, hunting tutorials, etc.). We got some useful feedback on the Daily Digest and other recurring content. We have plans to make our past content (especially reviews and “gun facts” articles) more accessible and searchable. Look for that in the next few months.
All in all, we promise to slowly begin adjusting our content mix and presentation based on what you said you like. And what you don’t.
We’re looking at ways to improve the tech behind our comments section.
We know our comments section functionality needs some work. We heard from a number of you that when you leave a comment, you’d like to be notified of a reply via email. Working on it.
Last but not least, we got plenty of suggestions on advertising alternatives.
First, we’re never going to put TTAG content behind a paywall. Period. TTAG content will remain free for everyone. If we do launch some kind of subscription program to reduce our dependence on ad revenue, the benefits of joining will be “perks,” not essentials. Like seeing a no-advertising version.
Lots of you — 20%, actually — say you’re interested in TTAG-branded swag; coffee mugs, t-sirts, hats…like that. That could be a great way to offset our advertising requirements and make funding TTAG a win-win. Call it a coming attraction. We’ll update you when we have some ideas.
In short, thanks for all of your compliments, criticisms, suggestions and brainstorms. We read every one of them and are working to implement as many as we can.
Thanks for taking the time to let us hear from you and, as always, thanks for reading.