what's new in the content shop

What’s New in the Content Shop for 2020: Price Increase (& Why), New Features in Blogging Plans, New Products & More!

Last week, we rolled out several exciting changes to the Content Shop for 2020! 🎉

These changes included:

  • More word count ranges on most of our services in the Content Shop
  • A new content plan just for marketers launching new websites, brands, or software
  • Updated social media plans
  • Legal blog packages added
  • Rate increases on our expert blogs and packages to continue to help us source and retain the best talent

Read on to learn all about the improvements we rolled out that went live last week. Plus: a few words from yours truly on the state of content creation and hiring great content creators in 2020.

What’s New in the Content Shop for 2020: Price Increase (& Why), New Features in Blogging Plans, New Products & More

what's new in the content shop

Get to see what's changed in our Content Shop for 2020 in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy. 🖊️Launching a new killer website? Need expertly-written legal blogs? We can totally help you right now! See what's new. 🆕 Click To Tweet

Here’s the lowdown on the changes in our Content Shop for 2020.

1. Our content rates increased for 2020.

Not by a ton — by about $5-10 on our industry expert blogs, and $100+ on our blog packages and social media plans. We also added more word count ranges to our Content Shop offerings, which means you don’t need to get boxed in for large ranges. We noticed a need for customizing our ranges more.

We also added some new services and refined our packages! (See a shortlist of updated prices and offerings on our Pricing page.)

Why did we increase our rates?

Well, that brings me to what it takes to hire a great content creator.

Facts: Every year, recruiting content writing talent increases both in price and time. This is especially true for 2020.

The bar for great content has risen, seriously, in the past few years.

Just click to read more about my prediction for 2020 (and I’m not the only one predicting this): 1. Amazing, Niche, Expert Content Which Meets or Exceeds Google’s E-A-T Standards.

TL;DR — Content is a powerful tool today for online marketers.

  • Over 70% of ALL web traffic originates from a Google search, according to Backlinko/SparkToro. Your users are Googling for your content!
  • Publishing content generates 67% more leads than NOT publishing content, says a HubSpot study.
  • 71% of B2B buyers read blog content during their buying journeys (3-5 blogs is the norm).
Our content rates increased for 2020: about $5-10 on our industry expert blogs and $100+ on blog packages and social media plans. 📦 With this, you're paying for the work, time, and training required to deliver you high-quality content. 💯 Click To Tweet

But content is only powerful if you’re building amazing content.

More people, brands, and marketers in your industry are getting wise to how well it works, and so you’ll continue to have to hit a high bar to succeed in 2020. With the sea of content rising, the place to put your focus on is “amazing.” In 2020, it’s not just bad content that will fall flat. It’s mediocre content, the “not bad,” and the “good enough” content. To rank with Google and readers today, your content must go far into the “exceptional,” “amazing,” and “wow” territory.

When it comes to content you publish on your website today, Google actually defines what “quality” looks like.

  • Hit Google’s definition of quality. In their Webmaster Guidelines, Google references helping, being information-rich (comprehensive), and including the right words (optimization) in content.

Source: Steps to a Google-friendly site

Source: Webmaster Guidelines

Not only that, but Google says you must —

  • Prove you’re an expert in your industry and topic area. Google talks about the importance of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Google itself called these guidelines a good indicator of how they define high-quality (and low-quality) content, in an article from August 2019 on the Webmaster Central Blog.

  • Create & publish amazing-quality content consistently. Inconsistency in content is a recipe for catastrophe. Failing to update your content regularly (whether that means tweaking older articles or pages or posting new ones), as well as failing to maintain your quality standards, will ultimately hurt your search visibility.

When it comes to hiring writers for great web content, all of these guidelines — which is a big component of our values at Express Writers to uphold and adhere to (why else would you buy content from us?) — are very difficult to hire, train, and retain writers for.

I’ve found this true since the beginning.

One other barrier here is that people that we hire — freelancers, content writers — think that they can graduate college with these skills.

Writing skills that earn rankings in Google, engagement with online readers, and ROI from the business who hired you.

A growing number of entrants to the content creation industry are disillusioned. Sadly, this only grows the more the years go by and college doesn’t get reinvented on this point.

I have to un-teach many academically trained writers on how to be content creators. It’s one reason I launched an SEO writing course a few years ago.

Back in 2011, when I started out, because of the way content was (less competition, less intelligence in Google’s ranking AI), you could get away with an Upwork writer to write a darn good blog for the price of a takeout meal or two.

But not anymore.

The writers you need to find today must have these six characteristics to be successful at creating your online content:

  • Know the industry they’re writing for (now a requirement with Google’s E-A-T standards)
  • Know how to optimize for Google
  • Know how to write to engage online readers
  • Know how to skip the fluff (because that doesn’t get read)
  • Know how to find, source, and include the right statistics and competitor-free links
  • Be open to ongoing critique and mentorship
[email protected] says it takes these six skillsets for an online writer to succeed: 1. Know the Industry 2. Know SEO Optimization 3. Write to Engage 4. Skip the Fluff 5. Source and Cite 6. Be Open to Critique 🔥 Click To Tweet

I spend hours every week finding and retaining the right writing talent. We go through hundreds of applications to find our one to write your content.

The main area we’ve also seen that requires a need for rate increases include hiring more savvy proofreaders and editors that know content marketing standards (we go through about 150 applications to find one editor!) and continuing to select industry writers that are skilled at the craft of engaging content.

Not only do we hire writers that know all six skillsets, but when we bring new creators in, we train them continually on these standards. 

Facts: I write a lot of the team-only, internal training we give to our writers. We don’t send them to an outside class or school — we train them ourselves using my teachings. (And last year, I charged $10,000 for one workshop to a group of 15. This training and mentorship we give to our team are invaluable.)

Our Content Manager, Korilynn, is the bomb dot com at assisting me in this. She selects and refines writers for client accounts, and keeps them assigned to the same clients for content consistency, training them on your standards. 

It’s important that the expert writers we find are open to critique and ongoing training — and not many are! It takes a special writer. And those are the ones we work hard to find. Talent, knowledge of the craft, and a willingness to continually improve their trade.

By paying our slightly increased rates now live for 2020, you’re paying for our standards that we commit to without compromise, even when it requires extra time, investment, and work on our end. We never want to let you down by getting a poor-quality content piece. Our goal is quality content — at all times.

2. We’ve got some new Content Shop improvements and offerings!

Our new offerings are ready to rock in the Content Shop for 2020! 🎉

Here’s a short list:

  • Legal Blog Packages are here. Perfect for law firms looking for an expert attorney-slash-writer to craft monthly content for their blog! (Yes, we hire those!)

expert legal blog plans express writers

  • Our Social Media Plans have been brought back with a new structure! You get better content and the right prices to hire and edit social media writing talent. Get your social content created with our team. Previously, our structure of social posts inside of our plans didn’t make a lot of sense. Now, they do. You get a set number, per platform, and we make sure you have custom-made images for all your Instagram posts.

social media packages express writers

  • Website Launch Package – Have a new website, additional brand, or new software launching? You need our easy-to-use website launch package. I’m super excited about this new plan. We’ve had several people ask about this over the years, but I never got around to putting it together. For 2020, I changed that. This plan includes a content strategy call & editorial calendar; 5 web pages; 2 blogs; 3 social media posts; and meta content and titles.

website launch package

  • Our Expert Blog Packages (for any industry!) now include NEW services included in Levels 3 & 4. You’ll get a custom-made, designed WordPress blog header set now for both levels! See an example.

Access better word ranges now in the Content Shop. We used to offer 5-8 ranges on our Industry Expert Blogs. Look at the difference now! You can order more customized ranges in our much larger and expanded word choices:

We've done a lot of changes in our Content Shop to serve you better! 🥧 More word count ranges, a content plan for new site launches, better social media plans, legal blog packages, and rate increases in expert blogs and packages. -… Click To Tweet

Content Works — Our Proof is in Our Pudding

Not many content agencies can say they were solely built through what they sell — content.

We can.

At Express Writers, we consistently rank at the top of Google because of our commitment to consistency and quality in content.

Case in point: For nine years (yes, years), without missing a beat, we published one blog/week.

We’ve stuck to this rigorously, and it has paid off. Today we rank for over 23,000 keywords in Google, and 99% of our prospects come to us through organic search.

In 2020 and beyond, content isn’t going out of style. (Never.) Great content is going to come out of heightened knowledge, expert writers, and a better understanding of what it takes to rank in 2020.

Need help learning how to write SEO content that ranks in Google and earning your reader’s attention? Grab my free SEO cheat sheet below. ⬇️  

seo cheat sheet awesome cta

That covers the majority of our Content Shop changes so far!

Questions? Want to invest in one of our new or updated packages?

Send us an email, start a chat with us now with the little green button on the right, or click below to see our prices.

See you on the content flip side (… yes, that means real ROI from your content)!

– Julia & Team

content creation report

2019 Content Creation Report: A Year in the Life of A 500,000+ Word/Month Content Production Team

To wrap up 2019, we’re giving our Write Blog readers one of the most intensive insights we’ve ever put together on our internal content production: a real look at the content creation our team undertook for our clients over this year with an income and content creation report.

We’ve never done a transparent income report before on the Write Blog, but I’ve been wanting to create one for years. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments—did you find this useful? Insightful? Let me know.

All of the data below comes from our e-commerce Content Shop. The month-by-month data is generated from inside our own platform as over 50-60 monthly clients order from us.

New here? See the story of how Express Writers was founded.

Last year, our consistent top selling service was general blogs, and our team was producing over a million words per month.

This year, our top seller was industry expert blogs.

We saw a major transition in demand from general writers into expert writers th­is year, comparatively from 2018 to 2019.

Across even our highest-volume client accounts, industry expert writers are now becoming a “must-have” over a more generalized, non-expert voice. I’m glad to see it, with the growth of Google enforcing E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and Y-M-Y-L (an even higher level of quality needed for Your Money or Your Life industries) in ranking good content. Expert authors that know the industry are absolutely a must for brands and publishers today.

Without further ado, let’s get into our 2019 content creation recap!

500,000+ words written per month? 😱✍️ It's true for an agency with 90 writers on staff. Read @JuliaEMcCoy's first-ever income and production report for @ExpWriters in this Write Blog. Click To Tweet

2019 Content Creation Report: A Year in the Life of A 500,000+ Word/Month Content Production Team

content creation report

Our Top 6 Hottest Content Creation Service Offerings for the Year

  1. Expert Blogs
  2. Custom-Quoted Projects
  3. Expert Web Pages
  4. Custom Images
  5. Product Descriptions
  6. Blogging Plans

3 Content Creation Insights from Our Year of Content Production in 2019

I founded Express Writers back in 2011, eight years ago. Read my story here, and if you want the FULL, unabridged story (including how I escaped a cult!), sign up for my memoir on my entrepreneurial journey launching in February of 2020.

I’m thrilled to see our company continue to stand and grow in the industry, and 2019 was another great year for Express Writers. We had the opportunity to partner with and collaborate on some incredible content projects, serving clients all around the world with fabulous written content for their blog, site, PR, social media, advertising, and other copy needs.

1. Quality Over Quantity in Team Size

Jeff Bezos said it best: “Every internal team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas.” (He continues to apply this rule in Amazon’s upper management.)

After surviving eight years of HR trenches, I’ve found that my leadership runs best when it’s a small, productive team of people. We don’t have crossovers, we avoid ‘too many cooks in the kitchen,’ and everyone works together incredibly well.

[email protected] says a small team is best. 'You don't need a massive team to produce amazing content. After surviving eight years of HR trenches, I’ve found that my leadership runs best when it’s a small, productive team of people.' 💥 Click To Tweet

You also don’t need a massive team to produce amazing content. We have 90 writers on staff, and 30-40 are always busy full-time—several of whom work and train directly under me. The others remain on-call for various niche project. One writer only writes content for a luxury yachting brand; another only writes content on outdoor sports, fly-fishing and hunting. One is a retired J.D. that writes copy for legal websites and blogs. Those are just some examples of the niche writers we’ve head-hunted to add to the team.

While our writing and editing team stays around ninety people consistently, our leadership team has stayed small this year. Our management and leadership team is less than six people. Korilynn (writing/editorial team management), myself (marketing/HR), Josh (our CTO), Lorien (client onboarding and assistance), Kira (scheduled for calls by appointment, on-staff Content Strategist), and Danielle (our content and editorial specialist, as well as support for my courses).

2. Higher Word Count Doesn’t Always Mean More Revenue

High revenue doesn’t always correlate to a high volume of words and production, as you’ll see from the statistics below. In fact, many times, it’s quite the opposite for our team. For example, a general blog can cost $45; a single 500-word page of a case study by one of our top-tier marketing writers can cost $150. Typically, the higher the quality desired, the higher the price; and less words can end up being involved in a project like that as opposed to a lower-quality, higher-word count project.

So, this has pushed me towards ways we can work smarter, not just harder.

Higher 'production' doesn't always equal more revenue. 💰 Work smarter, not harder. This and other lessons from @JuliaEMcCoy's year-end report for @ExpWriters 6 MILLION word/year: Click To Tweet

Our lowest-revenue month was a month where we were completing a big general content project for a client, and our content creation was ridiculously high-volume. But our income was low. Since general content is one of our lowest-priced services, that was a low-revenue month.

3. Evergreen Business Growth is the Best Growth

The biggest catalyst for our growth continues to be our own Express Writers’ Write Blog, which is a “slow and steady” race—reminiscent of a turtle plodding forward, day after day. We haven’t taken a vacation from blogging in eight years. I’m three months ahead with the content schedule, and we publish a blog once every Tuesday. I also publish a YouTube video every 3rd Monday. After eight years, our blog is now at 100,000 visitors/month.

Slow and steady growth is the best growth, @JuliaEMcCoy says. It's taken them eight years to grow the Write Blog to the presence it has today -- nearly 100,000 visitors per month. Click To Tweet

Some of the catalysts for our continued growth I can trace back to my most massive projects I launched. Back in 2016, I wrote and published my first book; in 2017, I published my second book and my first course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course, that went hand-in-hand with the book as a video curriculum. Today, we still receive forms and inquiries from prospects who were first readers of my book and even students of my courses. Creating and launching such massive “content projects” in our industry has given our brand a terrific boost. These projects were not easy—to launch them, I did most of the work myself and pulled many 90-hour weeks. It was slow, rough, and hard going. But I look back and know today that the hard work was completely worth it.

A Look at Our Month-by-Month Content Production

January:

  • $78,466.10 in revenue
  • 212 orders placed
  • 605,000+ words written

Top Seller: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom-Quoted Projects, General Blogs

This was our lowest-margin month of the year. We had heavy staff turnover, starting with Hannah, our former Content Director, who resigned from the team and quit the first week of the month. After she left, we discovered a great deal of holes in the team including poor deadline management, quality dropping, writers allowed to be consistently late. All in all, out of 90 people, 40 were either quit or were let go this month. It was an unexpectedly crazy month for us.

February:

  • $95,772.65 in revenue
  • 223 orders placed
  • 601,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Expert Web Pages, Social Media Posts

This was a busy month for me. We hired 45 people in total by the end of February, filling our writer and editorial gaps. We got back on track and fixed the issues in our consistency with deadlines and quality holes. Korilynn, a writer and expert remote worker who has been in my team since the very beginning, joined as Business Development Manager in January when Hannah quit, eventually transitioning into a full-time Content Manager role she has as of today. Korilynn has been an extremely efficient, go-getter manager, who can be trusted to get everything done with quality and speed while working from her home office. To date, she’s one of the best managers I have ever worked with.

March:

  • $96,002.05 in revenue
  • 253 orders placed
  • 537,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom Services, General Blogs

March was a solid month. We had a consistent amount of orders and hired a few additional writers and editors.

April:

  • $93,904.75 in revenue
  • 277 orders placed
  • 560,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom Services, General Blogs

April was another solid month. We had few changes in the team and overall, stayed consistently productive.

May:

  • $90,662.90 in revenue
  • 213 orders placed
  • 660,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, General Blogs, Custom Services

May was another great month. We stayed busy all month working on content orders for reoccurring clients.

June:

  • $82,382.55 in revenue
  • 233 orders placed
  • 503,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Custom Services, Industry Expert Blogs, Expert Web Pages

During summer, we always experience a lull in orders when marketers take time off. It either hits in June, July, and sometimes in August. This was that month. We had a drop in orders, but still saw our consistent client accounts continue to order with us. Another change about this month was the amount of custom-quoted content projects. We handled the most we’ve ever done in this month.

July:

  • $98,756.80 in revenue
  • 278 orders placed
  • 595,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, General Blogs, Custom Services

This was another fairly busy month, especially for July. We came very close to the six-figure mark for the month and worked on quite a few expert blog writing projects.

August:

  • $101,580.40 in revenue
  • 285 orders placed
  • 628,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Custom Services, Industry Expert Blogs, General Blogs

In August, we had a catastrophe occur. Korilynn was called to the hospital with a family emergency and was unable to come back to work. The loss of a great manager so suddenly was felt most heavily in October, when the reverberations of pulling overtime hours on my part to both find a new manager and fill in actively hit us. I had quite a few moments this month where my head was hitting the desk. We went through manager after manager this month, unable to find a good fit for our team leadership position that Korilynn was so effective at. I even tried to go local, meeting and hiring a managerial candidate in a coworking location in Austin. That person did not last more than a week. With Korilynn managing a high volume of tasks so well for months, it was hard to find someone to replace her effectively and quickly.

September:

  • $91,478.19 in revenue
  • 229 orders placed
  • 513,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom Services, Product Descriptions

I can’t express how grateful we were to be able to re-hire Korilynn back to a salaried, differently structured management position. She came back as Content Manager later in August, and we allowed her to set her own hours daily to care for her mother that had suffered a stroke. Our team was thrilled to have Korilynn’s firm, experienced, organized hand at the helm.

October

  • $86,797.05 in revenue
  • 302 orders placed
  • 600,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom Services, Expert Web Pages

We had a slower month due to the management problems we’d experienced a few months ago. We got back on track with the team, our project deadline management, and pushed ahead.

November

  • $98,589.95 in revenue
  • 261 orders placed
  • 630,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Product Descriptions, Expert Web Pages

This was a good month. We had a consistently high amount of orders and return clients.

December

  • $76,997.30 in revenue
  • 199 orders placed
  • 200,000+ words written

Top Sellers: Industry Expert Blogs, Custom Services, Expert Web Pages

December is always a slow month due to the holiday weeks of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the upcoming New Year’s Eve and Day. Despite the lull in orders placed, this was still a solid month, with consistent clients returning for more.

Conclusion: 2020 Will Be Another “Year of the Expert Content Writer”

Content marketing is an incredible channel to build your brand name. It can truly do SO much for small and large brands alike.

  • Content taps into the major traffic potential that is Google search (70.6% of web traffic originates there, per Backlinko/Sparktoro).
  • Creating strategic content on your site generates 67% more leads than NOT publishing content, says a HubSpot study.
  • More than 71% of B2B buyers read blog content during their buying journeys (3-5 blogs is the norm).

If you’re on the receiving end of those stats, building amazing content to grow your brand, the rewards are huge. More people are getting wise to how well it works, and so we’ll see more content from more brands in 2020.

Read our case study of how to build content Google (and your reader!) loves.

To build great content, however, the word you need to focus on is “amazing.” Without that qualifier in your content, you don’t have a chance.

In 2020, it’s not just icky content that won’t work. Even mediocre, “okay” pieces will fail to land. To rank with Google and readers, your content has to go far into the “exceptional” — the impeccably well-written, expert-sounding territory.

The bar for awesome content keeps rising. Marketers who have been doing content forever know this now, so they’ll up their game in response.

The result: Content in 2020 will be better than ever – and more brands than ever will be embracing a consistent content presence.

How can you keep up with your content in 2020?

  • Hit Google’s definition of quality. In their Webmaster Guidelines, Google talks about just which benchmarks to hit. Help your user, include the right terms, offer high-quality content.

From Steps to a Google-friendly site

From Webmaster Guidelines

  • Prove you’re an expert in your industry. Google discusses the importance of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Google itself says this is an indicator of how they define high-quality (and low-quality) content, in an article published in August 2019 on the Webmaster Central Blog.

  • Create & publish amazing-quality content without stopping. Inconsistency in content is a recipe for catastrophe, both in rankings and in building up a loyal audience over time.
    • At Express Writers, we consistently rank at the top of Google because of our commitment to consistency and quality.
    • Case in point: For 8 years (yes, years), without missing a beat, we published one blog/week. Not taking a ‘vacation’ from content has paid off. Today we rank for over 23,000 keywords in Google, and 99% of our prospects come to us through organic search.

Ready to up your game in content in 2020?

Here at Express Writers, content is our speciality. I handpick and train each writer and editor myself. We have over 90 writers and a well-structured team, ready to take on your projects. Our marketing writers craft email copy; we have industry expert SEO writers that can tackle your blogs and web pages; and we also craft ebooks (fully designed and written from scratch), and blog writing plans where we create and post to your site, complete with images, meta descriptions, and a great headline. Get in touch with us today about your project.

content strategy services

Explaining Our Content Strategy Services at Express Writers (4 Ways We Can Strategize & Save You Time)

This blog was originally written in 2015 and updated in October 2019.

This will hardly come as a surprise, but we love content. ❤

Our entire business is built on content, but it goes beyond that – it’s in our blood.

We know that great content is one of the most powerful ways to grow your business, find new leads, and stand out among your competitors.

You don’t have to take our word for it, either, the numbers speak for themselves:

Great content gives your business the attention it deserves, but just publishing without a plan is hardly what we’d call a solid strategy.

What you need is a sustainable, data-driven process, that can help you grow your business and keep giving you positive results over the long term.

You need a content strategy, and that’s where we come in with our expert content strategy services.

4 Highly Recommended Content Strategy Services to Help You Create Winning Content

1. A custom editorial calendar

2. In-depth keyword research

3. Topic planning for your blog and website

4. Expert content strategy consultations

We didn’t select any of these services at random. These are many of the same processes that we used to grow Express Writers to the point where it is today (I’ll talk more about this in a second!). Now that we know what works and why, we’re ready to share these services with you to grow your own business.

To have a working and winning content strategy, you need 4 components: a custom editorial calendar, keywords researched, topics planned, and expert guidance. Get these essentials with the help of @ExpWriters. 💥 Click To Tweet

Developing the Right Content Strategy Helped Us Grow — and It Should Help You Too

Here’s how I know just how effective a well-planned content strategy can be: it’s how we grew Express Writers to the point where it is today.

It took years to figure out and, more importantly, perfect the entire process, and I didn’t want to settle for anything less than perfection.

Within 2 years of implementing our content strategy, Express Writers boomed to 6 figures and then 7 in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

We weren’t doing all that bad before, but the growth was insane, and I can boil that down to two things:

1. Our content strategy. We’re not really into creating content for content’s sake. Instead, I developed a content strategy process that focuses on high-quality, authority-level content, guided by in-depth SEO research. Once I got clear on the six areas of content strategy we needed to clarify and implement, our real content success began to happen.

(My first foray into content strategy was when I built a simple team-only inner training on content strategy, as far back as 2015. Today, I’ve taken these cores and developed them into a $1,000 course with over 100 enrolled students, and a book that tops the charts on Amazon.)

2. The amazing team we have in place. FACTS: If you want to execute a winning strategy, you need expert, talented help in your corner. 💯

At Express Writers, we’re content experts first, a team secondly — not the other way around. We love what we do, and that has always come first.

We didn’t scramble for our expert hats and then market ourselves. We earned a real status by building real skills, and THEN sold services to our clients in our agency.

Read about our standards here.

I’ve talked extensively about the content strategy we implemented to grow Express Writers. However, if I had to sum it up in a few words, it would be these.

Stop wasting time with low-effort content. Instead, put real effort into high-quality pieces and SEO.

It sounds pretty simple when you put it like that. However, the amount of research, planning, and work that goes into executing a solid content strategy is mindboggling, particularly as your website starts to grow.

Remember how I mentioned it took us years to perfect the process? And that’s coming from people that do this for a living!

We have succeeded mostly because of the content strategy we've implemented throughout the years. The lesson: Stop wasting time with low-effort content. Instead, put real effort into high-quality and your #strategy. 💯 Click To Tweet

4 Ways We Save You Some Serious Time and Trouble with Our Expert Content Strategy Services

You already understand the sheer power of content when it comes to growing an online business, so let’s talk about how we can help you.

1. We Put Together a Custom Editorial Calendar that Fits Your Goals (📌It’s a Must-Have!)

You want your website to rank for as many keywords as possible, which means you need content.

A lot of websites focus on putting out as much content as possible at a breakneck pace, but that’s not a winning strategy. What you need is a plan and, as simple as it may sound, a calendar.

That means a week-by-week plan that outlines the content you’re going to publish. That way, you have a bird’s-eye view of what topics you’re going to target and when.

Here’s how it works: You tell us what your niche is, what your business is about, and what sets you apart. Our crack content strategists do their research, and here’s what you get:

  • A two-month editorial calendar, including perfect-fit keywords and topics your audience will love.
  • Tentative schedule dates designed to maximize the returns on your content.
  • An easy-to-understand report using an Excel template.

Those are the basics, but all our services also include plenty of extras. Our editorial calendars also include lists of influencers we recommend you engage within your niche, BuzzSumo content analysis reports, and an evergreen guide on the metrics we use.

Every single editorial calendar we send is put together by our team of content strategists. We use industry-leading software to help you make smart content decisions, but behind the curtain, it’s all humans.

Here’s a sneak peek at one we built for our clients in the clothing/retail industry.

Two months is the minimum we offer for our editorial calendar services because simply put, it’s the shortest period in which you can start seeing tangible growth. Content marketing is all about the long term, hence the calendar approach!

2. We Tackle Keyword Research for You (Using Industry Leading Software)

Do you want to know the secret behind websites that get dozens of thousands of visitors and shares on every article they publish?

Not a single page or blog goes live that doesn’t have a ton of research behind it.

If you want search engines to give your content the love and attention it deserves, you need to play by their rules. That means figuring out which keywords have the best potential ROI and using that information to drive your content decisions.

There are a lot of tools you can use when it comes to keyword research, and our team of content strategists uses the best software in the industry, including SEMrush and Mangools’ KWFinder. We spend the hours you don’t have to, to find amazing keywords that will help your content go to the next level.

Here’s what our keyword research services for blogs and websites get you:

  • Keyword research for blogs: You get a full SEMrush report that includes our top 15 keyword choices that can get you the best results for your blog. On top of that, we also include up to 200 additional keyword opportunities you should explore, as well as up to 3 headline suggestions for potential topics.
  • Keyword research for the web: Keyword research isn’t just for blogs, and our keyword research service for websites get you a report on 10 high-ROI keywords you should explore with your copy. You also get up to 200 high-potential keyword suggestions.

For both those content strategy services, you can let us know if you want your content strategists to focus on specific regions or audiences from around the world.

3. We Come Up with (and Plan) Topics for Your Blog and Website

If you like to keep things simple, we can start off by researching the best potential keyword for one (1) piece of content for your blog.

Our goal with this service is to find the keyword with the best potential ROI for your business. Then we come up with a killer content idea built around that keyword, including a headline designed to get attention.

One perfect topic at the right time can have a significant impact on your business. If you want to hire us to come up with multiple topics for your blog and website, we’ll put them together for you using one of our custom editorial calendars. That way, you can see how the whole content strategy comes together over the long term.

4. We Plan and Go Over Your Content Strategy (Via Live Calls)

A big part of a successful content strategy comes down to research and numbers.

We use the best possible tools and services to see where the data leads us, and we use our expertise to help you make the best decisions based on that data.

However, numbers alone often don’t paint a full picture. That’s why we’re also happy to hop on a call via Hangouts or Zoom to answer any questions you might have.

If you’re not sure where to begin, a call is a great place to start. You get to talk with one of our content strategists and ask any questions you might have regarding topic suggestions, concerns about your overall strategy, reviewing your content, and more.

I personally train every single member of our content strategy team, so when you hop on a call with one of them, I know you’re in good hands!

Let’s Implement a Winning Content Strategy Together

Creating and publishing industry-leading content is no small feat.

Now imagine how much work it takes to do it week after week, for years at a time.

It’s a lot of effort, but implementing a well-planned content strategy has the potential to elevate your business to the next level.

All you need is a great team in your corner.

Creating and publishing industry-leading content is no small feat. It’s a lot of effort, but implementing a well-planned content strategy has the potential to elevate your business to the next level. 💥 Read more about how we help: Click To Tweet

If you’re ready to start planning a long-term content strategy, check out the individual content strategy services we offer, and let’s get the ball rolling!

updates to express writers

Spring 2019 Updates at Express Writers: Team Additions, Social Media Copy & Image Updates & More

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

updates to express writers spring 2019

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.

It’s a “buy one, get one now” for posts, clearly worded in the service. Or, you can package up into a monthly plan. No more confusing variations and choices.

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

Copy:

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

Copy: 

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

Copy: 

FAMILY TIME.

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!

social media services julia mccoy

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.

See more team faces on our About page. 

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!

alexa site traffic express writers

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!

 

 

 

 

 

cta social media

seo writing course julia mccoy

The Expert SEO Content Writer Course Is Re-open & Taking Enrollments!

I’m super excited to share the news that my intensive SEO writing course, The Expert SEO Content Writer, is officially open as of today, December 21, 2018, with a special Christmas offer!

seo writing course christmas offer

Back in September, we successfully tested the course with an epic beta launch. 101 students enrolled. My original goal for the September beta launch was 100. (For my courses, I don’t do free beta launches — I want my testers to have ‘skin in the game,’ and give me honest feedback. Free usually lowers someone’s expectation: but if they pay for it, they’re expecting good stuff.)

After talking to and listening to my beta students, I did some curriculum tweaks and added a new lesson to answer one more big, burning question. Today, I’m uber-101%-confident in offering my SEO writing course as an evergreen training course to the public.

Today’s blog about the relaunch is a FAQ of sorts. Inside, you’ll be able to pick my brain on the course reopening. Plus, a sneak peek at the current Christmas offer where I’m giving away a few special gifts to Christmas & New Year enrollees, the story of beta launch, what’s changed for today’s evergreen re-opening, why I don’t do open/close launches, who’s a good fit vs. not a good fit for the course, and more. Ready?

Check out the story of @JuliaEMcCoy's new evergreen training program, The Expert SEO Content Writing Course! #course #seowriting Click To Tweet

How the Idea For The SEO Writing Course Was Born

This subject I’m teaching in my new course — SEO writing — is one of my favorite subjects.

I’ve practiced the art of writing search engine optimized copy ever since 2011, when I was a fledgling, brand-new freelance writer.

Here’s the thing: I’ve always loved to write. SEO writing, however, was a disciplined skill that I had to teach myself. And I learned a lot of what works the hard way — by trying, testing, failing, trying and testing again to finally learn how to create SEO content that has ranked for over 18,000 keywords organically in Google and shot expresswriters.com to the top of search. See the story behind our rankings here.

express writers semrush

Current rankings for our site: 18,400+ keywords in Google. 100% organic SEO content.

This August of 2018 when I got the “lightbulb moment” to create my SEO writing course, it was a no-brainer. I worked hard to build an intensive but short curriculum, designed for busy professionals who only have a week or less to spare to devote to SEO writing skills and training.

For me, growing my SEO writing skills back in the day was just one of many hats I had to wear, along with marketing my business and running my team. So I focused on providing a zero-fluff, actionable curriculum that could be digested and learned in one week, or 5-6 hours tops. (You’re welcome.)

Read the full story of how I developed the course below:story behind the seo writing course

This blog post contains the full story of how I built The Expert SEO Content Writer Course from scratch.

The Story of Beta Launch for The Expert SEO Writer Course

After launching the finished course curriculum for a beta run in September, we had 101 students total enroll during my 10-day open period.

By mid-November, many of my beta students had successfully gotten through the curriculum.

I heard happy things from so many beta students. Did you see the student testimonials we added to the relaunched SEO writing course home page?  Holy success stories, Batman!

student testimonial gif

While I appreciate each and every one of my beta students, I think one of my favorite stories comes from graduate student Monique. SEO content works, and she has hit the ROI jackpot! It makes my day to hear success stories like this.

expert seo content writer course testimonial

 

Who’s A Good Fit & Who’s NOT A Good Fit for The Expert SEO Content Writer Course

I’ve had a few people ask me “what makes a great student for your new course?”

Great question.

This course is designed for online writers and marketers at all levels and stages — especially if:

  • You want to add “SEO writing” to your skills and expertise. This is the course for you, no matter where you’re starting from! You can be a total newbie or a seasoned writer interested in upgrading your skills or a writer struggling to create content that gets results in search engines. No matter where you’re starting from, this course will take you where you want to go in the world of SEO writing.
  • You’re a busy bee. It’s designed as a fast-paced, intensive, one-week program. It’s been built by someone who commonly wears five hats (CEO, content marketer, author, mommy, wife) on any given day, who can relate to your busy schedule! Structured for busy entrepreneurs, freelancers, and agency staff. You’ll be able to get through it easily inside a week or less.

Who is The Expert SEO Content Writer Course NOT For?

This program isn’t for “get rich quick” wishful thinkers. If you enroll in this course hoping to make a million dollars within a year, this program probably isn’t for you. You need to put in the work, fill out the templates, download and use the worksheets, and watch the videos carefully to see real results in your SEO content skills. Additionally, if you write for fun, but don’t care about earning income or growing a brand through your writing, this course probably isn’t the best fit for you, either. Sorry.

If you have no interest in learning SEO writing (at all), stop right now. Don’t take this course.

The best students are invested students. And real investment comes first of all from passion for and interest in the subject. My initiative-takers, my most successful students, are those that enjoy online writing.

SEO, keyword research and content optimization, all of which I teach in the course alongside SEO writing, is like a scavenger hunt. It takes interest and a perspective of “this is fun” to get the most out of it. In other words, if you’re a nerd, you’re a great fit. 😉

Why I Launch Evergreen Courses & Not Open/Close Launches

Someone recently asked me on Instagram, “Why don’t you close your course and reopen every year?”

Good question.

I thought I’d wrap up today’s announcement by sharing a few of my thoughts here.

It may be going against the grain a bit, although there are many other evergreen course creators out there, but I don’t do open and closed launches outside of beta launches.

Here’s why.

I build products and services that:

  • a) meet a real need in the market
  • b) can offer a solution to a wide amount of people in that specific market
  • c) will last and add value over time

I do hold open and closed beta launches to ensure I have a successful product (over 100 students have tested this course and said it is amazing!).

But in the long run, I build evergreen offerings.

To put it simply, I believe that evergreen products serve market needs best.

If you know me by now, you also know I’m not just about getting more sales. I’m about adding real value that complements a real need. And our customers’ journeys.

Why close a service if it adds a long-term solution to a market need, and if I’ve tested it and made 101% sure that it’s a product or service that will truly solve the end user’s need?

Why @JuliaEMcCoy doesn't keep doing launches: 'I'm not just about getting more sales from a product or service, I'm about adding real value that complements a real need.' More on the story of the SEO Writing Course Click To Tweet

And here’s one more note on this point.

Even though I launch evergreen offerings, I’m not (at all) a launch-it-and-forget-about-it entrepreneur.

I refine and improve every single service and product I’ve created, as time goes on. I listen to the feedback of my users, my customers, and we re-engineer if needed to meet their needs.

This is also how I’ve successfully ran and operated Express Writers. We never “close and re-open” our writing services. Ever since I opened Express Writers in 2011 and hustled for my first clients, our sales and client lists have been growing yearly from consistent progress in the industry, refining our services, and growing and improving our systems. Each year gets better and bigger. I believe if I’d been doing closed launches, we’d never be near the growth we have today going into our eighth year of business.

I believe in evergreen services and products all the way…with consistent refinement, growth and tuning along the way!

Here’s a Peek at What We’re Giving Away: The Expert SEO Content Writer Course, Christmas Edition

Just to give you a quick view at the relaunch Christmas giveaway we’re doing, here’s the offer I’m giving away with the course (total value over $690). 

You get ALL of this when you enroll today for $279.

  • The Expert SEO Content Writer Course: A Complete Course in Content in Just One Week. Freelancer, solopreneur, agency — you’re a busy person. That’s why I’ve distilled 7+ years of proven content writing strategies into a step-by-step system that will have you outpacing the competition on Google in just one week— no fluff, no filler.
  • The Only Industry Certification as an Expert SEO Content Writer. Our course is for professionals who are serious about their content careers. If you want to learn strategic copywriting techniques, advanced tools for high-ranking content, and the step-by-step formula for content success, this is for you. With the Expert SEO Content Writer Course, you’ll be able to earn official certification after you finish the course and show off your skills as a qualified SEO writer.
  • Exclusive Student Group to Get Coaching and Questions Answered. We know that networking and bouncing ideas off peers is critical to growth and success. The Expert SEO Content Writer Course has a private Facebook student community so you can connect with over myself and more than 75 like-minded peers for support, coaching, and encouragement.
  • Christmas Bonus #1: My two bestselling books, So You Think You Can Write? and Practical Content Strategy and Marketing are included in the Christmas bundle to increase your industry knowledge and give you even more tools to fine-tune your content for incredible results. You’ll receive FREE, full-length digital copies of both books, immediately available. Worth $50
  • Christmas Bonus #2: My complete content template library — get templates for long-form blogs, lead magnets, web pages, strong infographic copy, and even video scripts to NAIL your FB Lives or YouTube. Completely original (you won’t find these anywhere else, I’ve only used them to train my writing team) and customizable – yours to enjoy! Worth $150+
  • Christmas Bonus #3: Student-only partner discount codes — deep discounts on my favorite tools to help your content rank higher, including SEMrush, BuzzSumo, CoSchedule, and more! Worth $300
  • Christmas Bonus #4: My biggest discount EVER: $249 off a seat in my Content Strategy and Marketing Course! Combined with The Expert SEO Writer Course, this opportunity will skyrocket your results — and revenue — for the happiest New Year ever! Worth $249

seo writing course christmas offer

May Your Holidays Be Merry and Bright…And Your SEO Content Right!

Imagine what you could do with powerful SEO content?

For us, we’ve seen sales from brand new leads at $5,000+. These leads found us through ONE optimized blog post.

SEO content is a powerful tool to boost your brand online.

If you wear a lot of hats, and “online writing” is one of them — or if you want to give your office the gift of profitable SEO writing skills this holiday, this course is perfect for you.

See you on the flip side!

– Julia

seo content writing course CTA

content maintenance

Why Content Maintenance Has Become Just as Important as the Strategy Itself (New Product Announcement)​

This is a guest blog by John G., Authority Writer and Content Strategist at Express Writers.

Most people understand that successful content marketing requires high-quality content. Without this essential ingredient, your “marketing” won’t move the needle one bit.

Unfortunately, many marketers stop at creating high-quality content. They hit “publish” and move on to the next project.

At Express Writers, we are constantly updating our published content because we know that keeping it relevant and competitive is just as important as creating it in the first place. That’s why we’ve recently begun doing the same thing for clients with our new Content Maintenance Strategy service, which ensures their content never goes stale. Check out our new Content Strategy Maintenance service here (click the Options to see it).

content strategy maintenance

Introducing Our New Service: Content Strategy Maintenance

Subscribe to a monthly fee (no contract, cancel anytime) to have our Content Strategist set up ongoing tracking and keyword research every month, and check in on your rankings. We’ll build a report, look at your keywords, and discuss how you can improve your content strategy. Our new service includes a short call every month to discuss potential SEO and content opportunities with our lead Content Strategist, and we’ll use SEMrush to build and track monthly reports on your content rankings. Cancel anytime: we’ll send you a bill every month at the same time to order.

To find the new service, go to Content Strategy, then click on the menu under Options, and look for the second option:

The second option is our new service, Content Strategy Maintenance.

You might be asking, why should I care about maintaining my content? 

Good question.

Why Ongoing Content Maintenance Is Essential to Successful Marketing: 6 Critical Reasons

While there’s no substitute for well-written content about relevant topics that helps readers take action toward achieving their goals, maintaining that content has become just as important.

Here are six reasons why you must regularly review your content with an eye for how it can be improved if you want to see a consistent ROI.

1. You’ve Received Helpful Feedback from Your Customers

Successful content isn’t just about attracting people to your site. It should also start them on the path toward becoming actual customers.

Once your content begins delivering those leads, you’ll gain helpful insights from many of them about how your content could be improved.

Look at the questions you receive most often. Think about the pain points you constantly need to overcome. This is easy to do if you have on-site chat or if you get contact forms.

Here’s one question we received from a repeat customer that sparked an idea for an upcoming blog topic from Julia:

client conversation drift

Do you have popular posts where you can address these? That will make it much easier to convert more leads without doing more work.

2. Google Wants to Offer Its Users Fresh Content

Google only wants to show its users search results for content that is fresh and relevant. If your post contains advice that has become outdated or fails to reflect new information on the topic, Google knows users will quickly look elsewhere for help.

Google’s fondness for freshness goes back almost a decade, yet the vast majority of companies still misinterpret this requirement to mean that they must regularly produce completely new content. While new posts deserve a spot in your strategy, updating old ones is usually the more cost-effective way of keeping Google happy.

3. Competitors Are Catching Up to You

The joy I felt the first time I put a client’s site on the first page of Google was eventually overtaken by a sense of dread when, months later, their main competitor joined us.

It felt like in the movies, when the captain of a ship looks through his telescope to see a pirate flag coming over the horizon.

No!

On the high seas of SEO, there are going to be times when enemy ships begin catching up with you. That’s when you should immediately update your content to create a comfortable amount of distance.

Aside from the obvious benefits of doing this, feel free to take some pleasure in the fact that your competitor has clearly spent a lot of time and money creating content to close the gap and, now, because of your vigilance, all of that effort will not go to waste.

4. Improved Domain Authority Means Greater Opportunities for Keywords

Domain authority” remains a controversial topic, but it does seem as though Google “trusts” established sites more than new ones and, thus, makes it easier for those trustworthy sites to rank for high-traffic keywords.

That’s why, over time, you can get more ambitious about the keywords you target. When beginners start with content marketing, one of the biggest rookie mistakes they make is to go after keywords that see massive amounts of traffic but also attract lots of competition. At the beginning, ranking for those competitive keywords just isn’t possible.

However, as your rankings begin to climb for less-competitive keywords, it makes sense to look at those that were previously out-of-reach. That’s because you’ve built a certain amount of “trust” with Google and now have more opportunities to rank.

Don’t stick with the same set of keywords you originally identified. Ongoing research will show you when it’s possible to post content aimed at greater and/or more qualified traffic.

5. High-Ranking Webpages Are Good for Internal Links

In my experience, the most overlooked opportunity to improve your SEO is with internal linking.

Literally, all you have to do is include a link from one of your pages to another. It couldn’t be easier to do, yet it will help increase exposure across your entire site.

Better still, if you have a post on the first SERP of Google, it’s also an effortless way to pass along some of that “link juice” to other pages.

When I look over a client’s content and see that one of their posts is performing well, I immediately think about how I can leverage that achievement further.

So, for example, if I did a Content Strategy Maintenance report and found that my client had reached the first page for a keyword, I’d either:

  • Think of a new piece to do that we could link to from the ranking piece
  • Find a preexisting, relevant piece that’s struggling and link to it from the ranking one

Either way, I’m taking full advantage of one page’s SEO success to help rank another for my client while simultaneously making it easier for their current leads to find new content.

6. Content Marketing Requires a Long-Term Perspective

Everyone loves the idea of a quick win – a blog that, upon publishing, hits Google’s first page right away.

While that certainly can happen – especially after you build up that aforementioned “trust” – successful content marketing requires a long-term perspective.

Part of this means regularly checking back on your efforts to see where greater opportunities now lie and where you need to do some work to improve past posts.

Prioritize Content Maintenance for the Highest Possible ROI: Introducing Our New Content Strategy Service at Express Writers

Creating high-quality content will always be the cornerstone of a successful content marketing campaign.

However, it’s just as important that you maximize your ROI from each piece by maintaining it, as well. Otherwise, at best, you’ll see limited success before it’s back to the drawing board to create more content, which will only have the same short-term result.

At Express Writers, we’ve created a new service – Content Strategy Maintenance – to ensure our clients receive the most from each post without having to take the time every month to go over everything themselves.

Instead, our content strategists will review your strategy and identify which posts need to be updated and where new keyword — and topic — opportunities exist. By doing so, you’ll know that your entire content marketing strategy is continuously improving and adding value to your company.

Check out our pricing for content strategy maintenance, or send us an email about your needs.

expert seo content writer course

The Expert SEO Content Writer Course Is Open! (The Story Behind the Course Launch)

Have you ever experienced one of those once-in-a-lifetime lightbulb moments?

You know, the moments you never forget about — ever? The ones that end up changing your life in incredible ways?

I can trace every big step in my life, from the launch of Express Writers to the idea for my first book, back to those flashes of inspiration.

And one of those moments is the reason The Expert SEO Content Writer Course is now open for beta enrollment, for the next ten days. (Code BETALAUNCH2018 saves you $100 – access the quick-link to the beta offer here.)

Keep reading for the story.

expert seo content writer course

The Story Behind My All-New SEO Content Writing Course

I vividly remember the day, time, and place that particular lightbulb lit up.

Early one day this August, I was sitting at my desk.

It was a typical August day in Austin — HOT. The sun was blazing. It was one of those Texas summer days where if it was any hotter, I might as well go and sit on the surface of the sun.

Grateful to be inside an air-conditioned space, I was reviewing a new writer’s sample piece, reading through it carefully.

Then, it hit me. This is probably the 11,000th writing sample that has passed through my hands.

It’s true. Thinking back, I realized that I’ve been assessing, interviewing, and hiring writers since 2011, when I started Express Writers.

(By the way — that’s why I believe ‘luck’ and ‘success’ never go together in the same sentence. It’s self-disciplined hard work, the constant honing of your trade for days, weeks, and years, that truly gets you off the ground. But, I digress.)

And then another flash hit me.

These are the same issues, again. I see them all the time.

I was in the middle of typing a note to the writer and passing her to the next phase of our interviewing process when I realized that what I was sharing with this writer was the EXACT SAME THING I’d told the last four candidates.

These issues are a training checklist.

I know how to fix them!

…Why don’t I create a course on this?

And, the entire idea for The Expert SEO Content Writer course was born.

This is the same pathway behind my first course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. The entire idea for that course was born after a client asked me to come down to their office and teach them content strategy and marketing techniques.

I’ll be honest: I usually don’t just come up with “ways to sell my knowledge,” even though I’ve had people offer in the past to pay me money if I would consult with them. To be honest, I don’t have the time — between running a biz, writing books, launching training courses — not to mention running after a toddler at home.

Sidenote: I think this is a fantastic way to build a course. Don’t go out and search for a money-making course idea. Instead, let it come to you as you work and gain cred and a place in the industry. This way, it’s much easier when it comes to the selling part, too.

But Can’t Anyone Read a Blog & Learn SEO Writing? 2 Reasons A Real Need for My Course Exists

The first big reason I think there is a serious need for this course lies in the actual pain points I heard of, real-time, from people in my audience.

After I had the idea to build my course, I used Google Forms to create a survey, which I kept open for a few days. More than 50 people that were in my target audience filled out the form, and the survey results were conclusive: people needed and wanted this training from me. They told me so clearly in the survey where they took the time to share a huge amount of pain points.

Once I had my survey results, I took to my office whiteboard and created a graph of my survey takers’ responses to look for commonalities and create a course outline.

Watch my time-lapse video on Twitter as I real-time built a survey chart from their answers:

The second reason can be found directly inside of SEO content writing itself, which I’ve been practicing for seven years now.

SEO writing isn’t easy.

To be perfectly honest… you can’t just read a blog and walk away thinking you know how to do it if you’ve had no real prior experience.

You need training, practice, and a guiding hand, if SEO content writing still feels like new or uncertain territory and you want to get to a “knowledgeable” level sooner rather than later.

A mentor who’s been there, done that can help you get there a lot faster.

I’ve spent the past 7 years perfecting the art of crafting content that wins rankings, traffic, clicks, and subscribers.

We’ve built our Express Writers presence to more than 1,000 blogs, and 16,000+ SEO rankings in Google after seven years of consistent SEO content creation.

express writers rankings

Our site is bringing in upwards of 2,000-2,800 visitors/day on average — 100% organically — without paid ads.

express writers google analytics

And our subscriber list grows by 5-10 people on average per day simply through the “upgrades” and correctly pivoted lead magnets I’ve created and attached to our high-ranking content.

We’ve been able to achieve this kind of SEO content success for many of our clients, too.

When I surveyed my list, validation for the course was there in black and white. One person said, and I quote: “I want to use SEO in my content marketing strategy. Get more traffic and conversions. Create a community using my posts, books, etc. Be more productive by using methods, tools, etc.”

THAT’S IT!

That’s exactly the kind of knowledge you should have after effective SEO content training.

And that’s what I want to leave my students with in my coming course. A lasting knowledge of SEO writing that will empower them to create content that reaches and builds a community through one of the most powerful routes possible — organic rankings in Google.

SEO content is more powerful than ever — and it’s poised to continue to dominate ranking methods for the forseeable future.

Now is the time for well-trained SEO content writers to succeed.

Ready?

Take the plunge and learn more about the course here. Don’t forget your 35% off code at enrollment: BETALAUNCH2018

I can’t wait to see you inside. I know you’re going to love this course, just as much as I loved putting it together — and I cannot wait to welcome you inside!  – Julia

CTA seo content writer course

seo content writer

The Expert SEO Content Writer Course Opens Up Soon for Beta Enrollment!

Super exciting news! 

We’re about to open enrollment to my NEW​ writing course, The Expert SEO Content Writer Course​!

The Expert SEO Content Writer Course site just went live, today. Read all the details about my new writing course here.

Today, the new site for the course is live… and in just a little while, the online course itself will open for enrollment, for a short time. Then, it will be closed indefinitely while I work with my beta students. 🎉

Check out The Expert SEO Content Writer Course, a new #course coming soon from @JuliaEMcCoy and the team @ExpWriters Click To Tweet

seo writing course is open

The Expert SEO Content Writer Course Site Launches Today!

Now that the site for our new writing course is live, here’s a sneak peek at what’s on the itinerary!

This month, we’ll open the course for an official launch. I will be offering one-time special pricing for beta students. We’ll only have this offer open for a short time so this first lucky class of beta students can successfully get through the training and curriculum! I will be working with them personally in the private student community attached to the course.

This is your special opportunity to get advance access to the course during this short window of time.

Taught by me, Julia McCoy, founder of Express Writers, with a few appearances from special guests including content marketers from publications like CoSchedule, this course teaches you every step involved in how to write successful, profitable SEO content. At the end, you’ll earn certification as an Expert SEO Content Writer after absorbing the course knowledge and training.

Let me be clear. This isn’t one of those programs that that claim to teach you SEO writing then offer you a badge after you read a few lessons.

Although the course is structured for busy people and is under 5 hours of total lesson content, it will take at least a full week to complete the curriculum and soak in the writing templates, live writing coaching demos, and the recommended software.

We’ve set up the curriculum so you don’t need access to paid programs (free trials are sufficient!) AND we’re even cooking up special money-saving offers for our students when the course opens.

We want every graduated student of the Expert SEO Content Writer Course to ​truly be an expert ​at the art of great SEO writing.

If you want to be on that list, now is your moment!

This is the only time your special, beta-student, one-time price will be available and we’re only accepting a limited number of beta students. We’re keeping enrollment numbers down on this launch so I can focus on working with our beta students closely.

If you’re ready to step up and be in the first class of this groundbreaking new SEO writing course, getting both a lower price AND personal attention, go here to sign up, and then just watch your in-box. I’ll be sending you more information in the days and weeks ahead.

Can’t wait to share when the course is officially open, and welcome you in as an Expert SEO Content Writer student! 😄 – Julia

expert seo content writer

So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing written by Julia McCoy

Book Review: So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing

This is a guest post by Matthew J. Gaydos, who read and wrote this review of Julia’s book published in 2016, “So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing.”

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin, p. 105. This is a very powerful statement. It comes from a mind who is very inquisitive and was involved in the written word. Ben Franklin is just like Julia McCoy – they both never give up. They are always thinking and moving their own mountains. I believe this quote sums up the whole book. Buy on Amazon.

'Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Ben Franklin is just like Julia McCoy - they both never give up.' Read a reader's real review of @JuliaEMcCoy's book, So You Think You Can Write Click To Tweet

 So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing written by Julia McCoy

Giving Value to My Audience Through Content

In order for your website to gain more visits, you must be a hub of information. This can be achieved by what Julia mentioned on page 20 of her book, which is “publishing great content that answers questions, provides useful information and is engaging.”

Learning the Basic of Search Engine Optimization

Julia made SEO (Search Engine Optimization) learning fun and easy to comprehend.

This is the first time I read a book dealing with this subject. I was not able to put this book down. It was intriguing and interesting to me. I was deducing and injecting all the material on the pages. I became like Ben Franklin – a detective, analyst, and researcher while reading. I took copious notes and became one with the author by writing in the margins.

I knew nothing about keywords before I read the Performing Basic Keyword Research section of this book.

On page 55-56, Julia made it so simple that I followed what she wrote. I used the Wordtracker tool and it was more engaging than I expected.

book sales julia mccoy author

Here’s Julia, holding a copy of “So You Think You Can Write?” (on the right)

Julia says, “Informational searches are a highly valuable tool for building brand loyalty and creating great online content” on page 87. I found this to be very true.

Creating Eye-Catching Social Media Posts

While reading the subsection dealing with How to Write for Social Media, Julia says “Social media content works best when it’s catchy, brief and engaging, and grabs the attention of the reader usually in tandem with the image, video or link.” Our brains can easily digest, sort, and comprehend information in blocks of time. Make the image match the writing so it’s easy to digest. When writing for print, always be straight to the point to avoid rambling.

Turning an Article to Additional Sources of Information

In the Repurpose Your Content section, I liked reading about turning my articles into infographics and presentations, as well as how evergreen content can be a timeless resource for my audience. I can use this information to make my own website engaging and informative to current and future visitors.

Continuing to Learn More About Content

I hope to read more about writing and optimizing content in the future, so I’m glad that I’m connected with Julia on LinkedIn where I can read her posts every day on this topic. I’ve always been an avid learner and the knowledge I just gained will surely make me go far in this field.

Keep up the good writing, Julia!

– Matthew J. Gaydos

Avid Reader, Writer, Researcher, Learner, and Book Reviewer

 So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing written by Julia McCoy

express writers 7 years in business

Celebrating 7 Years in Business, Our Story, & Announcement

This month marks the seventh year Express Writers has existed.

Back in 2011, it was quite the humble beginning for us. I was doing 90% of the work, all the way from writing client blogs to emailing and cold calling to find my next prospect.

In 2011, I quit nursing school to follow my dreams. Literally, one morning I woke up and asked myself, “what do I love doing?” I knew what the answer was, from the bottom of my heart. Writing. So, I took my passion online and started a freelance profile. Within three months I had more clients than I’d dreamed of, and I started a business. With nothing more than $75, Express Writers was born.

7 years later, we’re on our 14,185th project (that doesn’t even include 2,000+ of projects in the years prior to building our e-commerce content platform). If we’re averaging 10,000 words per projects (they vary from 500w – 50,000w per order), that’s over 70,850,000 words written! We’ve served over 5,000 clients, and our team is 75 people and growing. We grew 20% in internal support members (QAs and copywriters) to our team, just in the past two months.

Today, we’re celebrating this major milestone of our 7th year in business.

First, we have an awesome brand video to share with you. Bonus: we had a wonderful video producer help out with the production!

If you’ve been a part of our journey thus far: reader, subscriber, client, podcast listener, team member… thank you. 

It’s 100% true: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” (Michael Jordan)

Plus, we’re announcing something super special. Stay tuned below the video for an important announcement!

Celebrating 7 Years in Business: The Express Writers’ Story

Content Shop Major Change Announcement: We’re Now Taking New Clients By Invitation Only

At Express Writers, one of our highest priorities is focusing on quality, timeliness and creativity when we serve our clients.

We find that less clients means that we can focus on greater results for each one of those clients.

Many clients have been with us for years now, are increasing their order quantity, and we’re staying busier than ever because we’re focused more heavily on client support than simply sales. We greatly, greatly appreciate our clients’ loyalty.

We want to continue this direction: serving our loyal clients with our best.

So, after much deliberation, we’ve decided to make this happen:

We’re now taking new clients by invitation only.

Here’s what that means for our Content Shop usability.

If you don’t have an account, you will be able to view our services and pricing, but you won’t be able to buy unless you have an account.

Guests without an account will see this:

new client registration

Clients with an account will see the checkout options on services inside our Content Shop:

new client registration example

We’re taking new clients only after carefully reviewing their request to join our site as a client.

Here’s our New Client Registration form:

express writers client registration

Our ideal clients are seasoned marketers, agencies and business owners. 

If that’s you, we’ll review your account and if we are both a mutual fit, we’ll happily welcome you into our amazing repetoire of clientele.

If you’re ready to work with a team of capable content experts, fill out our New Client registration form, and we’ll get back as soon as possible.

We look forward to serving you!

Here’s to 7 years – and many more ahead!

– Julia, CEO