Pros: A variety of information
Cons: Articles can lack depth
Some repetetive themes
Better Homes and Gardens is the country's third largest magazine in circulation selling over 7.6 million copies a month, one of which is delivered personally by a USPS representative to Spud Acres. It is a down to earth, unpretentious magazine directed towards women readers who care about their homes and gardens.
So who reads Better Homes and Gardens and why is it one of the magazines to which Mrs. Spudman subscribes? And while I'm being interrogative, do you have any idea which magazines outsell Better Homes and Gardens? More on that later.
Just a cursory look look at the ads, subject matter, the models, and article photographs will give one a good idea about who reads this magazine and who is the target audience. According to an analysis authorized by the publisher, their magazine has a rate base of 7,600,000 and a readership of 39,018,000. With a male/female readership ratio of 80/20, their readers are predominantly women and I would guess that many of the men readers are married to subscribers or frequent waiting rooms of professionals who subscribe.
Meredith has also determined its readers to have: median age of 49 years, median household income of $65644, and home ownership rate of 78%. Better Homes and Gardens outsells by large margins such competitors as House Beautiful, Country Living, Architectural Digest, and Martha Stewart.
Better Homes and Gardens Nuts and Bolts
The magazine comes out twelve times a years and does additional business by selling occasional special issues and books bearing its name. Its areas of focus for the middle income housewife are: Decorating, Food and Recipes, Crafts, Home Improvement, Holidays, Gardening, and Health and Family. It's a great magazine for the busy mother or the attention deficit. The articles and features are not overly long or extensively detailed, and are usually broken up into segments and embellished with a generous amount of photographs.
Fresh idea - short snippets of detailing areas of interest to the readers
Style and Beauty
Letters to the editor
We like Better Homes and Gardens. It's not overly expensive, contains interesting and useful articles and content, and has lots of pictures. BHG is light reading, something you can pick up for five or ten minutes and easily pick up where you left off later. I generally flip through the issue after Mrs. Spudman has read it and usually finish the whole thing in 10 or fifteen minutes. Occasionally the issue contains little nuggets of information worth sharing, and Mrs. Spudman has already shared them with me before the magazine reaches my hands. If the article is really pertinent, like a gardening article, she'll just tear it out and hand it to me.
This is not a magazine we keep. When it's been read, I take it to work and either give it to someone or place it in our anteroom.
Sometimes it can be hard to turn the pages because a cheap, thin stock paper is used. But considering the content and focus of the magazine, these issues are not meant to be archival collectibles.
Anyone interested in BHG should definitely visit their web site to follow up on articles in the magazine and find additional information on numerous topics. On the site you'll find recipes to print out, articles to read, and videos to watch. If you register on the site (free) you get even more perks such as being able to design your own HBG cover with your own pictures and blurbs. Could be lots of fun.
We enjoy BHG magazine and will continue to subscribe to this unpretentious, reader friendly publication. It's not Breakfast at Tiffany's but the sit down ham and omelet special at Denny's. BHG is not Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive, but solidly Main Street. If you fit the demographic, you should take a ride some time down BHG's welcoming Main Street.
Note: So which magazines outsell BHG? I queried a few co-workers and they mostly guessed People Magazine. I was laughed at when I guessed Reader's Digest. Determined to find the answer I did some Googling and found the answers on a site by the Magazine Publishes of America. According to their latest figures, the top magazine is the AARP publication, followed by Reader's Digest, BHG, National Geographic, and Good Housekeeping. And there you have it.