You simply can’t be a self-serve menu, when you serve up content.
One size does not fit all.
We know this to be all-too-true, and it means that our Content Shop – and entire lineup of content services – change all the time.
And the needs of our clients drive these changes.
I love that this is one of our abiding principles, at Express Writers. We act when we see a demand – and learn, fit, and adapt to the changes necessary for progression in the industry, and to make sure the services that we sell to our clients are always one step ahead.
Behind the scenes, it means a lot of work for our boot-strapped business. I’m constantly working with Tara, our Content Development Specialist, Katria, Tamila, Hannah, and our CTO to map out, create, and plan the changes – and adapt our entire sales and editorial management team to the changes.
In the end: it’s more than worth it. We see real results from the hard work put into our improvements, and happy clients!
Keep reading for all the changes out in the Content Shop this April.
The Shortlist (TL;DR) of our Content Shop Changes: Biggest Changes, Biggest Benefits
Don’t have a lot of time? Here’s a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) list of the changes and the key benefits of the changes in our Shop. For a full in-depth list, scroll down for the per-product changes!
Blog Plans: We’ve heard for ages now that “that package just doesn’t fit me,” so we completely rehauled our preset, three blog packages. Now, you get to completely build your own, by: 1) picking your writer level, 2) word count, 3) one (or both) of two addons for images/topic and SEO keyword planning, and finally, 4) quantity (telling us how many posts you want per month). Hit “add to cart.” Congrats! You’ve just configured your monthly blog plan! (If clients aren’t sure what they want, we can build a plan for them, starting at $280/cart. See more details in the sections below.)
Content Planning: Biggest enhancement here? All blog titles are now analyzed according to Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, one of my favorite tools on this planet. (And to solidify that we’re on track, we use Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer, too.) When I implemented checking every headline on the EMV Analyzer by AMI, our blog shares and overall traction went up by 25%+ on every post with the analyzed title. In the planning service itself, you get a ready-to-go editorial calendar for the month, a list of best SEO keywords (researched using top tools), and a BuzzSumo topic analysis.
Content Consultation: For $350 (a low, low price, considering the value of what this could bring you), we now offer a content consultation with one of our highest-level, most experienced Content Strategists (his bio is below!). The session comes complete with a Discovery Report including an analysis of what you can be doing better with your content, and an SEO and topic analysis report, highly customized to the findings in the consultation call.
Price: The price of blogging plans and content planning went up a tad. (We discovered, especially in the blogging plans, after doing some math that we weren’t able to cover the payment for our high level, content-marketing minded editors and expert writers. The WordPress posting was far too cheap – below $10 per – in the plans. We couldn’t pay out at that rate.) But with content planning blocks still starting at $120, and blog plans as low as $280 at the first configuration, you’re still paying below average rates here – even after the small increase. Jump on our services! The industry keeps changing, and skillset expertise increasing. I’ll be upfront: we simply can’t retain quality or work at low rates.
And now for the in-depth breakdown.
1. Content Consultation Call with Reports
Built into the Content Planning service is a new variation: Content Consultation.
I’ll be real: content consultation was a long time coming.
There’s been a serious demand for it.
We hear this a lot:
- “What should I be doing with my site? Can you analyze and tell me?”
- “Can I get a dedicated consultation?”
- “Can I get some keyword reports and talk to a Strategist about what I’m looking for?”
- “I know I need content, but I have no idea what I’m doing.”
What’s more, we’ve noticed, for a steady eight months now, a major need in the content marketing industry:
All the way from quotes at a unique, per-word level, down to increased requests for a highly customized, per-site analysis – revealing exactly what you need, down to new site page recommendations, blog title and headline ideas, to the best keyword opportunities and what your competitors are doing that you could be doing better. Then, ongoing content publishing – a customized content recommendation at an ongoing basis.
So, FINALLY, content consultation sessions, complete with full content discovery reports, are live!
I just finished building a behind-the-scenes workflow that will ensure success at every step of the way, and hand-picked one of our most successful Content Strategists for the dedicated consulting call and report creation. Check it out:
I’ve even written the interview guide that my consultant will be using, with questions that are guaranteed to elicit the best information so we find your “sweet spot” in creating content that answers your audience’s (and customers’) biggest questions, and positions you as an authority in your industry.
Meet John G, our dedicated team member who will be working 1:1 with every client that needs a guided consultation:
John is awesome. He’s been such a team player at Express Writers, and I have no doubts that he’ll knock the ball out of the park handling our content consultations.
Check out the Content Consultation page for a checklist of the reports that come with a consultation.
2. Blogging Plans: Customized to Your Online Presence & Needs
Completely, 100% customizable, create-your-own blogging plans are now available!
Let me go back a little to explain why our reinvented blogging plans are so great.
For several years, we’ve had pre-packaged blogging plans available to our clientele. We had typical plan names: Level 1, 2, 3, or SEO / Guru etc.
Over time, we noticed a trend happening over and over again. Notes, from clients: “I don’t see the blog plan I need in that list.” “ I don’t want general or expert level, I want authority. But packaged as a plan. With content planning.” Or, “Level 2 is nice, but not exactly what I need.”
So instead of three pre-set packages, we are finally allowing the client to choose and build their own (or have one built for them, by one of our Content Specialists)!
In blogging today, the truth is that one size does not fit all, when it comes to the quality, expertise, and length your blog should be. Our new blogging format allows for customization at every level. Time to engage your readers and keep them coming back consistently with a fully managed blog, designed at the level you need!
How to Use Our New Custom Blog Package
Here’s how to customize and create your own blog package:
Start by selecting the level of writer expertise you’re looking for. See our Writing Levels explanation to know which level you fit into.
Choose the word count you want your monthly blogs to be, once you’ve selected what level of writer you need.
Choose from two available blog plan upgrades, at a flat, easy per-blog fee:
– Content planning, where our Content Strategists research and put together your best blog topics, with timely, hot topic research (BuzzSumo) and keyword opportunities (SEMrush). We’ll even analyze and include a top-performing headline. (Highly recommended for achieving the best results from your blogging!)
– Storytelling header sets are beautiful, feature images for your blog, that tell a story. Custom designed in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign by our lead designer, they are geared to creatively “tell the story” of your blog post. You’ll receive one header and one inset image, designed with the topic and your logo.
Here’s an example:
Choose your quantity for a final per-month amount and price:
You’re done configuring your custom blog package! You can now click Add to Cart, and checkout to secure your package!
Not sure what you need? Here’s some examples of pre-built carts with blog packages.
General Writer Packages:
- Starter Package: 4/month (1/week) on general, 750w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See pre-built cart. $280.
- Long-Form General Package: 4/month (1/week) on general, 1000-1500w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See pre-built cart. $500.
- Want some examples of add-ons to a general blog package? With Content Planning: $656. With Storytelling Images: $800
- Long-Form Content, 2/Week Package: 8/month (2/week) on general, 1000-1500w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See cart. $500.
Expert Writer Packages:
- Long-Form Content, Weekly Expert Package: 4/month (1/week) on expert, 1000-1500w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See cart. $980
- Long-Form 2/Week Expert Package: 8/month (2/week) on expert, 1000-1500w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See cart. $1960.
Authority Writer Package:
- Authority Weekly Package: 4/month (1/week) on authority, 2000w, includes all the basics (stock images, posting, etc): See cart. $1900.
Our team can build a package for you! Talk to us today. Also, we have custom coupon codes for our packages, with discounts starting around $500! Talk to us and see if you’re eligible to get a blog plan with a discount.
3. Content Planning Updates
Our Content Planning service now includes additions to the Editorial Calendar report: a Topic Scoring section. We’ll use the AMI Headline Analyzer and the CoSchedule headline tool to make sure the topic is proven to work well and rank highly!
For example, here’s a “highly-scored” headline with the AMI Headline tool (~40% means success):
Content planning is the perfect service for those who want to get the most out of planning blog content. Our Content Strategists build monthly editorial calendars that correspond to a month of blogging, with keywords, topic and an entire strategy planned for the month.
Each Content Planning block includes:
- An editorial calendar with full blog topics and details planned and dated out for a month
- In-depth, up-to-date SEO keyword research with a list of keywords and an opportunity report
- BuzzSumo content analysis overview report, revealing most recent top-trending content in your industry
2017 Is Busy, Exciting & Dynamic: More Changes Ahead!
So far, 2017 has been one exciting ride of a year.
We had the best and busiest month we’ve ever had since inception in 2011, this January.
Already, we’ve had tons of updates and upgrades (some major updates came out in February, too): and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with self-funded, slow-but-steady new development in the works and launching around summer.
We’re excited to share these changes with you! Let us know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments below.