If you’re reading this line of text right now, you’ve found your way to the new Sage Advice blog. We’re thrilled you’re here!
This article will give you a few tips on finding exactly what you want and need on the Sage Advice blog, a go-to source of business support and advice for all types of businesses. Along the way, I’ll share some behind-the-scenes strategy on how we built the blog that may help your business fine tune your online publishing too.
Putting the audience first
With three million customers and many millions of businesses who are potential customers, Sage’s blog audience is vast. We build solutions that can help businesses from the very early days of starting up, all the way through their enterprise years—so business size also ranges tremendously. We had to find a way to be relevant to many businesses in a single piece of digital real estate.
Our solution and your tip #1: We created a way for you to filter the content you are reading based on your business type. Keep your eyes open for the filter panel, which looks like this:
As soon as a reader clicks on one of the boxes in the filter panel, the blog will only show the reader articles that our editors have tagged to fit one of the audience types: Startup, Small Business, Growing Business, or Enterprise. As you navigate the site, you will be reminded at the top of each page what type of content you are reading, and given a choice to change the filter:
Authors, you’ll get to know—and love!
Because “business advice” relies on the expertise of the author and the confidence the reader has in that author, we had to find a way to put our authors front and center and make it easy for readers to get to know them and start to look forward to their posts.
Our solution and your tip #2: Author-reader relationships are paramount and we’ve built functionality into the blog to help create this bond. Yes, a bond! You will easily know who an author is when you see their picture and name at the top of an article and have a chance at the end to read more of what they’ve written. Each author has a profile and image, along with their social media links in case you would like to follow them online.
Topic and industry hubs
We know that with a blog as big as ours, serving millions of readers, we had to find a way for readers to quickly sequester themselves in a section of the blog that would be of the highest value to them.
Our solution and your tip #3: We created topic hubs and industry hubs. Here’s how they work: From the main navigation of the blog, you can see articles listed by topic and industry. Let’s say you are really passionate about money matters and that is what’s keeping you up at night. One click on the navigation will bring you to a topic hub that looks like this and all the articles listed on that hub are only ones that relate to money:
Let’s say you’re in the construction field, and Sage is a place you’ve relied on to get news and advice on handling your construction business. And you don’t really care about the rest. One click on the navigation will bring you to an industry hub that looks like this, and all the articles on that hub are only the ones that relate to construction:
Social sharing is caring
How many times have you been reading an article online and thought ‘this would be great to share,’ but the publisher has made it nearly impossible for you to share it in just one click?
Our solution and your tip #4: We wanted to make sharing as easy as a single click. My advice to you is to put sharing at the top of your blog functionality list and make the process easy. That means putting sharing buttons handy, and have them “track” down the page as a person is reading. Our sharing buttons cover Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and will float in on the left once you’ve read the first paragraph of an article. One click on any of them and the title and link of the article is ready for you to send on that platform.
Make subscription easy
It can be challenging to drive subscriptions to a blog, especially when people are reticent to add yet one more email to their inbox every month.
Our solution and your tip #5: As a first step on the new Sage Advice, our subscribe button is placed in several places on every blog page, including in the top and bottom navigation of each page. This makes it easy and visible. We also trimmed down the information you are required to submit-we just need your email and country- the latter because we’ll be managing communications around the world and want to make sure the newsletter you are receiving is relevant to your interests.
We aren’t done with this yet, however! What we really need to know to make this even better is what would make YOU subscribe? Let us know what you find of value here in the site and we’ll make sure to deliver more of it.
There is much more to discover on the new Sage Advice blog, so please have a click around and keep an eye out for the five features I mentioned above. If you have feedback or questions, I would love to hear it in the comments below or email me directly at [email protected].
Thanks for being one of our “inaugural” readers; it means a lot to us. Don’t forget to subscribe before you go!