Bird Watcher’s Digest – From Living Room to Worldwide Reach in 35 Years (Niched Out Magazine of the Month)

Each month we highlight a great niche magazine. This month’s Niched Out Magazine of the Month is Bird Watcher’s Digest. Bird Watchers Digest coverThis birder’s bible is a true family business – Bird Watcher’s Digest was started in the living room of the Thompson family in Marietta, Ohio in 1978. Their initial direct mail effort netted a 30% response!

Today the magazine and its many birdy tentacles deliver content to bird lovers all over the world in a tremendous variety of ways. Its menagerie of bird-based products could fill an aviary: the flagship print magazine (conveniently pocket-sized for taking into the field), newsletters, books, booklets, digital editions, an app, websites, e-newsletters, e-blasts, podcasts and blogs, custom content, and special birding events. Talk about reaching readers, and finding new ones, through every medium they can! (Niche publishers, take note! Using multiple media channels – and having specialized, branded content for each channel – is the future of magazines.)

The Thompson family still runs the magazine, and if you call the office Monday through Friday, chances are your call will be answered by Founding Publisher Elsa Thompson, who’s been at BWD since Day 1. Elsa’s sons Bill and Andy, and daughter Laura are part of the management team at BWD. Bird Watcher’s Digest was the proud recipient of a 2013 Nichee Award for The Best Niche Business-to-Consumer Hobbyist Magazine – now that’s something to crow about!



Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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