Yesterday, our first article of the day went up at 6 a.m. That was our Morning Report, which is the first thing that goes up on the site every day.
By 1:30 that afternoon, we had five other features that had pushed the Morning Report off the top section of the site. An injury update on A.J. Schugel from Bradenton. A feature on Bligh Madris from Bradenton, and a feature on Taylor Hearn from Altoona. A column and an MLB article from Matt Gajtka in Pittsburgh.
It was the same story the day before. Prospect features from Indianapolis and West Virginia. Alan Saunders with a column and an MLB feature. By the time the 12:35 p.m. game started, we had posted six articles that day, and still had two more to go.
That’s why I re-designed the site to the current look before the season in order to help fit the inevitable overflow of articles.
It’s inevitable that we’ll have an overflow of articles due to all of the live coverage we have. We consistently cover games live in Pittsburgh, plus all four of the full-season affiliates. At just two articles per week per affiliate, plus a daily MLB article, and all of our other daily features, things can get really crowded.
To make it easier for you to navigate the site, here is a quick run through of each section, from top to bottom, and how you can stay up to date on all of our content.
The first section is the Featured Article section at the top of the page…
This section has our five most recent articles, although we update this section to keep bigger articles at the top of the page for a longer period of time. Generally though, an article that starts the day in this section will be out of the section by the end of the day. That’s where the rest of the site comes in.
Two other notes at the top: The “Trending Now” section includes our most read articles at that moment. The top menu also allows you to navigate the site’s different categories. Most of those categories are found on the homepage. The one exception is the Resources tab, which includes our payroll pages and links to the player pages. You can also click the site logo on any page to return to the homepage.
Next is the columns section…
Pretty straightforward here. We have three columns per week — one from myself, one from Alan Saunders, and one from Matt Gajtka. This section makes sure that each of our columns stay on the homepage for a week, so that you don’t miss them.
Next is the Daily Features section…
We have two daily features — the Prospect Watch and the Morning Report. The Morning Report starts the day with a mini-feature from either John Dreker or myself, and includes the daily schedule. The Prospect Watch includes a recap of all of the games in the minors each day. This section makes sure that the most recent article shows up on the home page. Click the individual categories next to “All” and you’ll see the two most recent articles from that category.
On the sidebar, be sure to follow our social media accounts. And of course, if you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here.
Next is the Pirates section…
This section mostly has features and writing from Alan and Matt. You can see the five most recent articles by default, or you can see the five most recent articles from each category. On the sidebar is the link to purchase the Prospect Guide. We still have a few paperback versions available.
Next is the Prospect section…
This is just like the Pirates section, where you see the five most recent articles, or the five most recent from each individual category. This section will be changing soon. We’re going to eventually have a category section for each team. This section will still show you the most recent prospect news by default, but clicking each individual category will show you the five most recent articles for that minor league team.
On the sidebar is the most recent Site Updates post. This shows up on the side of every page on the site, so that you can always see the latest updates.
Next is the amateur section…
This section features all of the latest draft and international updates from John Dreker. We do a Draft Prospect Watch every Saturday, and that article typically can stick around for a week or more. John also does an international feature every Sunday, which can stick around for a week or two in this section.
Finally, the archives…
This section allows you to see all of the articles in order of how they were posted, with the most recent at the top. There are nine articles displayed at the start, and you can use the navigation arrows and numbers at the bottom to work your way through the archives, allowing you to catch up on everything in one section.
With so many articles, the focus of the site is to make sure you don’t miss anything by keeping features on the site as long as possible. The hope is also to show non-subscribers the massive quantity of articles we provide, which displays the value of our low-priced subscriptions. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up and get all of this for an average of less than $3 per month.
The Pirates are off to a hot start in 2018, which has seen an increase in interest to our site. We’re already the top destination for Pirates coverage throughout the system, and the combination of the early success and our comprehensive coverage makes this an exciting time for the site.
To acknowledge the increased interest in the team, we’re happy to announce that we’re offering sponsorship opportunities for the site. If you own a business, or know someone who does, this would be a great opportunity to reach Pirates fans who may have an interest in your business by sponsoring a section of the site.
We’ll be offering corporate sponsorships, which will feature at the top of the site on every page. We’ll also offer sponsorships for individual columns and features, or for individual teams, with those sponsorships showing up in every article of their sponsored section.
I started this site ten years ago, building it up from an initial reader base of about twenty people, and with very few initial resources. This isn’t a big corporation. We aren’t affiliated with the Pirates. We aren’t a news outlet owned by a billionaire. We’re a completely independent outlet that has relied on our readers to help us grow into what we are today.
We removed ads from the site a few years ago for the benefit of the readers, since a lot of the ads were generic and not specifically targeted to our readership or the site. We’ve decided to add sponsors that can have a better connection to our readers, while joining us as a partner in helping to grow the site.
Our aim is to promote local businesses that also have Pirates fans at heart.
If you have a business or know someone who does, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.