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
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).
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
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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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. ⬇️
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