Welcome to Industry Outsider, 2018! The site has certainly evolved since that first post 11 years ago. And honestly, I had no idea it would still be around today. Some days I’m surprised I even renewed the domain name and hosting package. But we’re here, and we’re going to continue to do what we do.
First and foremost, that means honest reviews. We test the gear, and share our opinions. If something really disappoints, we contact the manufacturer first, to find out why. Over the years, we’ve had some pre-production gear fail on us. One of the first backpacks received for review had its stitching blow out quite spectacularly. Or we did something wrong, and broke a new product. I personally recall muscling a multi-tool to premature failure. After that, I read the instructions. But we do not compromise our ethics. We’re beholden to no one but our readers. It’s about giving you a balanced view of the stuff we all love and want.
We’re still trying to find the right balance of ads. No one, either myself or contributors, makes a profit from the ads. They generate just about enough to cover the cost of running the site. If you want to support us, use the Amazon links in articles or to the right of this text. Or check out our new Deals page, which keeps the ads from cluttering the site. They earn us a small percentage of your purchase. We have some Google ads too. Hopefully, you find them relevant enough to click on. If not, be sure to like, share, and comment on articles. More traffic will allow us to reach more readers, which hopefully results in more revenue. And we only need that because Outdoor Retailer is no longer a quick drive up the road. So we’ll have travel and hotel expenses for each trade show we attend.
More and better content is on the way! Due to staffing, we cut back to 3 articles per week last year. For 2018, we hope to get more content in more categories, and not just reviews. We’de like to get back to five or more articles each week. To that end, we welcome your suggestions. Last year, we added Disqus, making the site a bit more interactive. If you want to offer up some ideas, praise, ask questions, or disagree with what we wrote, you can do that at the end of each article. And myself or the author will respond.
On that note, we’re looking for more contributors. If you think you’ve got what it takes, send an email to Mrs. Outsider (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your background and interests, and we’ll see if you’re a good fit. No need for a resume’. Your Facebook or Instagram feed showing you having fun outdoors is always a good start. We’ll coach you with your writing and photos. And you get to play with some great outdoor gear. Help us grow!
I know that 2018 is going to be our best year yet, and I’m excited not just for us, but for our readers. This may even be the year we finally get a logo. Not sure if I should find someone to make one, or we should have a contest. Another topic you can reply to in the comment area below. Either way, we’re all looking forward to bringing engaging and informative content to our readers.
Brian & the Industry Outsider staff