I can’t believe we’re here, announcing our new ecommerce platform launch!
Specifically, our 3-in-1 launch just happened: a brand new, faster website with new design and UX implemented; a new ecommerce order platform that we’ve built; and finally, a new internal project management teamroom system for our writers and team.
Everything you see has been built by our company — led by Josh, our CTO, and his team of developers.
We had some consulting help in design along the way, and a great developer.
We began this journey of investing massively into developing a new system more than three years ago.
Over time, one of the biggest and only complaints we have had through time is the lackluster UX in our client account area. However, in my entrepreneurial journey I’ve learned the hard way that people come before platforms — and that’s why we focused first on building a team of the right people.
We know there are some hiccups right now… and don’t worry, our development team led by Josh, our CTO, is hard at work on all of them. We’re confident we’ll have the kinks figured out by end of week. (Input forms was one hiccup that didn’t work correctly on launch, and as of this morning, they do! 🎉 )
You could say we truly started on the trajectory nine years ago, when we began from scratch.
Read a summary of what’s new, and the short story of arriving at today’s launchpad below.
Our Brand-New Site, System and Content Shop at Express Writers
We’re so proud to announce the launch of our new site, system, and ecommerce Content Shop!
It’s taken years — almost a full decade to build this system.
This is our #1 goal with this launch:
Finally having an all-in-one system that talks to each side: the client side, the management side, and the team side.
This has been a dream of YEARS!
We’re also in a place where our clients have a better dashboard, with more accessible communication and project status updates. (After launch hiccups are smoothed out.)
Important: We plan to continue to develop the client account area, and teamroom, based on feedback we receive over the course of the next month or two.
Today’s version is called “MVP,” which you know if you’re in development at all.
MVP: “a minimum viable product is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development.”
We had to strip away other features to focus on building the systems, inner workings, code, and functionality of the core features we launched with today.
In the new Content Shop, it’s much easier for you as a client user to:
- Configure, see, and add the service you need to cart & checkout from the new ecommerce Content Shop.
- Our “industry services” are gone–you now simply choose the format or service, and then tell us your industry in the input form! 🎉 This removes about 15 “products” and an entire category from our Shop, making it simpler to choose and buy. This doesn’t mean our industry expert writers are gone; on the contrary, we’ve hired more this month! It means you simply tell us after you choose the format first (blog, web page, etc.) what your industry is.
- Know and see more detailed statuses about your project. (Assigned vs. Working, etc.)
- Respond to and communicate back with us in easier ways in your dashboard.
- Manage input forms easier.
Watch our client walkthrough video for our new system below:
FAQs for the New System
I don’t see my old orders. Where do I go?!
This is by far the biggest question. To access your orders from Friday, October 9th and backwards, from shop.expresswriters.com, go to Legacy Account Access in the menu. You can also save this link directly: http://legacy.expresswriters.com/
You’ll need to go there to access old orders from Friday, October 9th and going backwards. We weren’t able to import 20,000 projects into the new system — it simply wasn’t feasible. However, after the bumps in the road are over, we promise the new system will be much better. (It should take hours of error-prone manual work out of our workflow.)
Our Team is a Story of Hard Work, Passion, and Perseverance Despite the Odds
Many of you already know the story, so, I’ll keep today’s campfire tale short. ⛺️
In 2011, Express Writers was born. In 2012, my partner Josh joined my team, and the tech enhancements began. He asked why I was still sending PayPal invoices, and shortly after we began to build our own client platform. The first version of our ecommerce Content Shop launched in 2014, built from scratch in WordPress for a little less than $12k. Unfortunately, we had to have separate systems; the one we built in WordPress was for our clients, and for our team, we settled on a modified version of a CMS called Active Collab. These two systems didn’t speak to each other, but we had to figure out something to get off of email and miscellaneous invoicing — so we did.
Today, our new system is quite the massive endeavor. It’s taken over three years, and truth be told, more than $200k to develop. All of which came directly from our business revenue — we’ve never taken a penny in outside funding. It’s been my scrappy little team, all along. We’ve built everything. After testing out 50+ CMS systems, and realizing none of them would ever fit the content creation pathway we’ve built internally nor would it ever seamlessly talk to the teamroom and management side unless it was all one, we decided to build our own all-in-one writer teamroom.
And, of course, that meant building a brand new and improved Content Shop platform, too.
Which naturally led to “hey, let’s build a new site too”– so we built a beautiful, clean new site to go along with all of it.
All of this launched today. 🎉
It’s great timing, 10.10.2020 — because we have a truly amazing team. People that really care. A management and talented editorial staff I’m proud to have on our payroll — that 100% care about our clients and projects. Writers with talent.
Care is the secret ingredient, and people have always come before our tech for me.
That’s why I knew we had to have the right people before we could ever launch better tech and hope to be successful. While we have had the misfortune of hiring people in the past that didn’t care, thankfully, they don’t stay here long. Today, we’ve cultivated an awesome team. And every day, we strive to maintain our high standards — because we believe that success is never taken for granted, here at Express Writers.
People > platform.
Today’s launch is a beautiful addition and improvement to what we already have.
This goal of an all-in-one “workstation” for us has been years in the making, and multiple failure-after-failure in development and developers before today’s massive success shift. I’m glad we kept persevering, and didn’t give up too early. It reminds me of the diamond miner meme.
Final Thoughts as We Launch
You may be looking for some pithy thoughts on our ultimate launch-of-all-launches launch day.
But truth be told, I have none.
Put in the work and make REAL effort.
Care about your team and your clients.
Show up every day.
Put. In. The. Effort.
You will experience results.
Don’t expect it to be easy.
Just keep going.
It is that simple…yet, that hard.
So many miss this simple truth. It’s a 2+2 thing… you show up, work hard, every day — and don’t give up — you’re bound to get somewhere.
You try to shortcut; go around the goal; do everything but the actual hard work required, and you won’t get anywhere.
You don’t need to copy your competitor.
(Today’s shoutout goes out to all of our competitors and business copycats that like to constantly copy everything I do, good luck this time. 🥂 😂)
You don’t need to do anything other than be you.
Find what you’re good at, and love doing — persevere at it, and strive to be the best in your industry. Greatness will find you along the way!Try to do everything but the actual hard work required, and you'll quickly find you won't get anywhere. 💯 - @JuliaEMcCoy on the #launch of @ExpWriters 2.0 🎉 Click To Tweet Just be you: find what you're good at, and love doing, and simply persevere at it. Greatness will find you along the way! 💯 - @JuliaEMcCoy on the #launch of @ExpWriters 2.0 🎉 Click To Tweet
To your success (and perseverance!),
P.S. Don’t forget to go experience our new Content Shop.