How is your 2021 going?
Over here in Texas, we just experienced a weather event affectionately nicknamed by locals the “Texas snow-pocalypse,” otherwise known as Winter Storm Uri.
It shook up our state, and left millions without power. Thankfully, we all survived, and now we’re super grateful for the simple things, like a light switch that turns on the light. (First world gratitude!) And de-iced roads. And now that we’re post-event, we can laugh at memes that were all too real for Texans this February, like “What if 2020 is just a trailer of 2021?”
Jokes aside, I’m constantly thankful we run a global, work-from-home team at Express Writers. Most of our talent is in the United States, but we believe talent doesn’t just reside here in the U.S. We believe it’s worldwide. And that’s why our team includes a European writer, and an African copy editor. (Both of whom are amazing at what they do.)
When the power was out in Texas, our team around the world was still working, lights on.
That’s a good thing, because we’re getting ready for 2021 to be an incredible year for our clientele — the top marketers and agencies we serve.
Google searches surged to double over one month last year. From 3.6 billion searches per day, to more than 6.8 billion, a number which still holds strong today.
Here’s a lowdown on what we’re up to this year, and how we plan to make this a great year for YOU, our client.
What’s New at Express Writers — Tied Into Decade-Strong Values
This May, we turn 10 years old.
Our business was started way back in 2011, when I was a new content writer forging my path on the internet.
I had a simple set of core values when I started Express Writers, which you can still read about on our core pages today:
Hire passionate writers, and together, create the best content on the web.2021 is going to be an incredible year for our clientele — the top marketers and agencies we serve. Read the lowdown on what we're up to, including fresh updates to the Content Shop 🎉 Click To Tweet
Like a team of Avengers, but content writers that cared enough to create better content than the average crap posted by the majority of marketers back then on the web.
This would be the skill I would sell our clients at Express Writers.
Boy, little did I know just how badly marketers needed this skill set.
We’ve done it, and we’re continuing to do it.
I’m a big fan of Jim Collins (BHAG, Good to Great, Built to Last). What he documented and witnessed in top corporations that withstood the tests of time revolved around something quite simple.
That simple thing was a core set of values that allowed the corporation to breathe, thrive, evolve, but never change on core beliefs.
He said oftentimes those core values could be counted on one hand.
We have a set of values that hold strong and firm. From there, we pivot and build and launch new offerings, new solutions, hire new writers, on the regular. In fact, you could say something new happens at Express Writers every day, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
For example, when a client in a specialized industry needs ad copy, and we don’t have the writer yet — we go and headhunt. Hire. Train. We actively pivot to solve content writing problems that our clients have. I lead that initiative, and we never stop — the Content Manager and I put our heads together on reviewing new samples from writers all the time. It takes time, energy, and effort, but it’s what we love doing. Content is our world. And that world is evolving, constantly. If we aren’t ready to meet that evolution, we’ll quickly fall by the wayside. (I firmly believe that.)
Our entire set of services in the Content Shop was born from direct clientele needs. What our clients needed, we produced as a solution. I’ve built internal training for everything we offer, that equips the rare talented writer we do find and hire to learn how to write for all the formats we offer. (Today, at The Content Hacker™, I teach students and now take my training outside just our team. Because everyone in marketing should know how to do content well.)
And offering all of this as a done-for-you service has worked extraordinarily well.
Here are the four biggest updates for us so far in 2021.
1. New Industry-Specialized Writers
Last month (January), we brought in fifteen new writers in these industries:
- Marketing (Digital/Social/Content) & Advertising
- Health & Medicine/Medical Industries
- Law & Legal
This month, we brought in another fifteen in the same industries, to serve as additional writers due to the demand we’re experiencing. We’re also training several of these new hires how to be what we call “all-industry” writers, writers with the ability to deep research and write on industries that are still deep and complicated but not quite law, tech, or finance (which we’ve found requires specific industry experience).
That’s a total of thirty new writers in less than two months! And don’t worry, our old writing team is here and staying strong. You can still request previous writers and receive them. In fact, many of them rely on your repeat client orders for consistent work and income. A big thank you to our repeat clients! ❤️Simplified word count ranges, lowered meta cost, infographics added, and more — Read about all the changes at @ExpWriters for 2021 to simplify ordering and make your experience great 🎯 Click To Tweet
2. New & Updated Services: Meta Add-On Cost Lowered, Infographics Added
As of early February, our meta description and title writing cost has dropped to $10 instead of $20. The higher price didn’t make sense, if clients were able to order it as an add-on (we originally had it as $20 to protect our team from writing a $10 meta description as a one-off, standalone order — believe it or not, it was happening). Now that we have it as an add-on to our blog and web services in the recently-launched Content Shop, it made sense to drop the price.
You’ll see meta descriptions, headers and titles now show for $10 after clicking on the word count or service variation, on most of our web and blog writing services.
Additionally, we added another new service to our Content Shop:
Interestingly enough, infographics are making a comeback. (Perhaps it’s better said they never died out… but, they have been increasing in popularity.)
In 2020, more than half (67%) of B2B marketers published original infographics to build their brand. The simple element of adding custom colors into a design that incorporates targeted copy — can increase audience attention span by 82% (ResearchGate).
On our own Write Blog, we design quite a few infographics, and see them consistently rise to the most-linked to posts on our site. With infographic-savvy marketing writers (we’ve written internal training just on how to write infographics), and high-quality Adobe-friendly designers, we now offer full-service infographic creation from start to finish for our white-label agencies and B2C marketers/brands.
3. Client Account UX Issues & Notification Bugs Are Being Solved
We’ve been putting quite a bit of time and investment into having our developer improve minor UX areas in our client account area (shoutout to Julian Espinosa and Justin Staples for thoughtful client feedback that we are putting to good use!). We’ve made the project “Chat” buttons much more noticeable (previously, they were just little bubbles), and added more colors to CTAs and buttons that are important to our clients and their actions around the projects they order.
We’re also currently still fixing issues that came up post-launch around notifications. We are aware of notification issues, and our developer is working on it actively with us.
While we’re solving all the bugs, we recommend that you proactively log into your account once a day to check the Project Chat, which will show a new in-account notification, and your Project Details status, which goes from Pending to Assigned and/or Delivered, depending on progress.
You can also use the green chat widget on our site, powered by Drift, to start a chat with our friendly Client Specialists anytime. Please also use our chat widget or email us at email@example.com and tell us if you’re experiencing notification issues. Project update notifications should be hitting your account email regularly, but some clients have reported that this wasn’t happening. We’ve been, and are, proactively fixing it.
4. Exact-Math Word Count & Cost in the Content Shop Now Updated on Every Writing Service
We made another big change this February, which came directly from client pain points we’d heard from a while.
Our exact-math word count choices, which now replace word count ranges on every service in the Content Shop, were built as a direct answer to this question:
Client pain point solved: “Why doesn’t your 19 cents per word cost actually calculate on the 900-1,000 word range? And what of those two word counts am I actually getting, when I order?”
Woot! Now, you’ll see a word amount you can buy, and the math on our word count ranges works out to be exact-math. No more guessing what we’re charging for, or what you’re getting. 19 cents per word on expert content, for example, exactly equals to the cost of any range on that service.
(Wondering what the 19 cents includes? More here: How it Works)
Previous word “ranges:”
Current word count choices, which are more upfront on what you’re getting:
This solves questions we kept getting in two areas:
- Writer questions: what range is preferable to the client?
- Client questions: what word count am I actually getting?
For example, now when you order 500 words, you’re guaranteed that as a minimum. So, it’s much simpler now to know what you’re ordering when you order our word count ranges. 🎉
Are You Our Partner Yet?
We believe that 2021 more than ever will be the year of the content marketer.
The year our clients — YOU! — need us the most.
If you’ve been thinking about content…
Now is the time.
In 2020, search traffic rose by 3.6 billion searches/day to 6.9 billion/day — still holding steady!
Publishing quality, strategic content generates 67% more leads than not publishing any content.
And content is what we do.
Express Writers turns 10 years old in May.
30,000+ projects in, we’re not stopping.
Here’s to an amazing 2021!