Content marketing is not an industry you can stand as an expert in without evolution, progress, and continual growth. I’m happy to say that this is in our line of vision at Express Writers: continual progress. It is a part of our mission at Express Writers to continually refine our services and offer the best in content creation.
This spring, we’ve made some changes at Express Writers to upgrade and increase the quality and uniqueness of the content services we provide for our clients.
In today’s blog, I’ve written a recap of these changes to keep you up-to-date with our changes and progress. Let’s dive in!Check out @JuliaEMcCoy's recap of our Spring 2019 updates at Express Writers 📝 Click To Tweet
Product Changes at Express Writers: Resurrecting Social Media Services: What’s New Today, & What’s on the Horizon
I’m really excited to share that our social media copy and plans got a major facelift in the Content Shop. Both internally, and externally.
Instead of the confusing buy-5-posts-with-variations, and Level 1, 2, and 3 pre-built without customization options, here are the changes that have applied to the social media services we offer at Express Writers.
- Standalone social media posts: pick the platform, quantity, and optionally, images: we simply write the copy and create images. See standalone posts.
- Social media plans have become build-your-own, instead of preset Levels: much more customizable! Just package up all the posts you need for a monthly total per-platform, per-piece quantity and price. See social media plans.
- Social media images got a major re-haul: our designer will use your candid selfies or photographs and design them inside a 1:1 design (super hot these days on Facebook and Instagram), hand-made in Adobe Illustrator. (Examples below!)
- Our social media experts will now include and suggest hashtags, the right amount and the right type per platforms, with the copy.
Here’s the before and after of our Social Media Posts page. You can experience the revamped page right here.
And, here’s the new look for Social Media Plans:
The quality and what you get in our written and designed social posts has changed for the better. As mentioned, we’ll research and suggest the best hashtags to use in your Instagram posts, as well as on other platforms.
Plus, our social media image design got a full-on major facelift. We no longer work with stock images (unless absolutely necessary on behalf of the client). Instead, we’re asking that you provide images for us in the input forms, and our designer will take that image and inspiration from our social media copywriter to design a hot graphic for your social media profile inside our popular, researched and strategic 1:1 sized square graphic.
For this fairly massive service change, I did some beta testing. Chris Strub was our beta client for the new services, as well as my own social media profiles. I worked with our designer and social media experts as we went through changing the internal process.
Here’s what our new social media posts and image deliverables actually look like (content written by our social media specialist and designed by our in-house designer):
Example social media post #1
Social media tip: The front-facing camera is the perfect metaphor for putting yourself out there on social media. Tap the little icon for turning your camera into selfie mode, and hit ‘record’ or snap a photo and make that the next piece of content you post on social media. 📸 Your audience loves seeing the authentic YOU shine through! For more social media tips, follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisstrub/
Example social media post #2
Are you writing emails and sending them regularly to your list?
If not, you SHOULD be! It’s one of the most effective ways to grow and nurture your audience. Hand-in-hand with email marketing is great content: a little secret I’m going to let you in on is that email content gets SO much easier if you have comprehensive blogs hitting your site on the regular.
If you need copy support, my content agency Express Writers can help. Our hand-picked email marketing copywriters have helped hundreds of B2Bs and B2Cs craft their message (and even helped me write the ones we send you!). Chat with us today to see how we can help you create great content! Link: https://expresswriters.com/content/email-copy/
Example social media post #3
One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur and content marketer is that I can, if I want to, take off a random Tuesday to hang out with my little. Or, get her early out of daycare for a special treat and some playground time on a beautiful, sunny day.
Do you get to break away for family time? It’s so important!
These improved social media offerings will definitely bring more ROI to our clients and what they get out of social media. We’re so excited about these improvements!
Also, we’ve added a new service to our social media copy. New: YouTube descriptions! I’ve found after optimizing and publishing consistent videos on my own YouTube channel, that the copy inside your YouTube description is extremely important to rankings and click-throughs from your videos to your site.
What’s On the Horizon: Improved Experience Coming for Our Clients at Express Writers
Also, PSA for our clients: We know our systems are somewhat messy, and we’re hard at work on a total solution to fix everything.
Navigation in the Content Shop, simply put, can sometimes be a bear. The products are too many, and confusing. The Client Account section needs more details, dates, and an easy reorder button.
We’ve got all these changes at heart, and for the past several years, we’ve been hard at work on what we call internally, EW 2.0: The Beast.
This is our brand new e-commerce system that is 100% customized and built from scratch, built for massive project management, speed, and seamless use by both team (internal) and client (external). It’s going to be good. That’s all we can say for now, and secondly, we can also say with confidence that we’re fairly close to a launch date, which will be revealed soon.
Management and Writing Team Additions: Timelines, Writing Quality, and our Mission Renewed
In January, you might have already been aware that our full-time content director of two years, Hannah, resigned and left our team. On average, we handle the creation of 200 pages in a given week, and handle dozens of full-scope, start-to-finish content projects — so as soon as I received her resignation letter via email on Saturday, I was under extreme pressure to rebuild the team, quickly.
The road to recovery began with finding a new, full-time business manager. One of our full-time writers since the early days, Korilynn, stepped up and offered her full-time assistance in my open call to fill the management role. I quickly found out in a preliminary call that this incredibly reliable writer, who I’d worked with for years, had all the expertise necessary to a management role. She’d ran her own businesses in multiple industries (cake/catering, office projects, and freelance writing), and handled all the administrative experiences for everything, for more than 12 years. As a full-time writer on the side for us, she handled a great deal of content writing with no quality loss. Along with that, she had a quiet home office in her four-story house, complete with multiple monitors, a full-speed customized computer system, and a treadmill desk! Great managers who work remotely need an optimized environment and great tech, and we soon found out that Korilynn uses her well-optimized home office to handle our content projects in smart, efficient ways.
Hannah sent her resignation letter in to me via email on Saturday, January 19. The very next day, on Sunday, January 20, I interviewed and hired Korilynn after sending out a “casting call” about an open management role. She was a perfect fit, and I’d known her for years, so I offered her the position. She started training on Monday, January 21. The long process of rebuilding everyone under our new management leader took a solid 45 days, minimum. Along the way, we improved and tightened up 100% of the processes, team rules, and policies, some of which had been left in the dust by prior management. Our editing process, which hadn’t been working for a while, was completely re-hauled, and Korilynn’s ideas for more effective editing were implemented slowly but surely.
Team rebuilding and recovery is not easy — I won’t lie. There were a couple of moments where I sat at my desk, ready to bang my head against the wall, in tears. It took a ton of hiring and firing to get everyone back on track with our renewed policies around maintaining quality and deadlines. We had to discover by trial-and-error who wasn’t fully on board our ship. I still remember when we hit day 45 of countless hours in improving our processes, hiring and firing, and rebuilding.
The improvements we’d made, after the initial growing pains, started showing in a big way. We were hitting 99.9% of our deadlines, early. We knew exactly which writers were going to be best fits for what projects, and we could guarantee quality within the intricate industries we were writing for. It was a big deal. Everything was finally, finally coming together.
Besides Korilynn, we have over 20 new writers that have joined us in the past two months. A few top profiles:
- Cornelius M., our new technical writer with years of experience in crafting unique tech content, from policies, procedures, plans, work instructions for engineering, to design specifications, software, user acceptance specs, training material, and user material. With Korilynn and the editors’ help, he recently successfully handled a new content project for a huge new technical website client. It was a hit — they’ve been thrilled with the results!
- Wendy T., a veteran freelancer with over 10 years of experience, digital marketing agency writer for medical marketing for 6 years, and lots of know-how in SEO writing (geolocals, etc.). She’s been successfully completing several top-tier content projects.
- Al T., former employee in IT with Microsoft, and consultant. He’s written books, articles, training development documents and more. Al has a high standard when it comes to content and has been shining on our projects.
Special shoutouts to our veteran writers, who have been with us for many years:
- Tami, our go-to press release copywriter, a gifted stay-at-home mom who uses her writing talents on the side with us.
- Joshua S., veteran team member of Express Writers, who has recently been trained in Authority content and our content strategy services.
- Mike S., technical writer extraordinaire and 1:1 dedicated project writer, who writes for one dedicated client.
- Randi N., our talented copywriter, Content Strategist, and SEO/Google nerd, who runs her own enormously successful niche journalism website on the side.
- John G., our on-call Content Strategist for client phone consultations, and full-time expert writer who handles every project with a high level of dedication.
- Nikki W., talented veteran copywriter who teaches writing workshops and travels on the side.
- Jillian P., our long-term copywriter who has taken on a dual role and has tons of experience and creativity in writing.
- Cassie B., our reliable, efficient copywriter who has also taken on a dual in-team role and is amazing at quality content.
I have renewed faith in my team, and I’m now confident we are close to 150% renewed, refreshed, and capable from where we were at the start of January post-management-changes. It’s a good feeling, and most of all, my heart is delighted to see what we are accomplishing for our clients with a renewed, fully-committed team of people.
Justin, a new client and the founder of local Austin agency JS Interactive, just gave us this testimonial a couple weeks ago in March about his experience with our new management and writing team:
As an entrepreneur in Austin with extensive knowledge and experience in SEO, I understand the value of having content that is unique & relevant to the customers I serve. Since my recent collaboration with Express Writers, I have felt extremely confident in the creativity & the quality of work produced by Julia and her team. I love how seamless their online operation is – from my initial request to the final deliverable. The nice balance of creativity with the technical writing has produced instant results for my business in search. The staff is super friendly and responsive. Express Writers is highly recommended for any businesses looking to ‘level up’ their content marketing strategy.
We’re increasing our focus for existing client accounts, and working on continually supporting their needs in an improved, on-time, high-quality manner. We’re also taking new clients on an individual basis going forward into the year. Sign up and request a client account.
Our Content Marketing is Being Refined, Almost Daily
Not that this directly affects our clients, but I wanted to share briefly that we’re working hard at spending 60% of our focus on resurrecting and updating old content on the Write Blog, while 40% of our focus is on producing the best (most epic) comprehensive guides and original, unique blogs that the Write Blog has ever published.
We have over 1,000 blogs live, and in the last month, we deleted more than 20 that weren’t serving any real purpose from 2012 and 2013. We’ll have a final report when the spring cleaning is officially over! In keeping an eye on our rankings, I noticed that this has only seemed to help our site overall in Google. We went up by 13k in overall domain authority!
So, you might see a lesser quantity of emails coming your way for new Write Blogs, but it will mean a heightened focus on quality.
That’s It for Now, Folks!
That’s a wrap on our Spring 2019 changes!
I’m so excited to share these with you — these are, overall, massive changes for our content writing agency that will result in serious improvements all around for our clients. And that’s not all. More are on the horizon that we’re really excited about. Can’t wait to share those with you, soon!
Here’s to amazing content!