Can I sum up the year with two words?
It’s extraordinary here, daily. A team of now 70 writers, editors and staff come together and deliver content. Written words that impact lives as real people read them online. Blog posts, web pages, visual infographics, tweets, and so much more. Our writers create, our editors proofread; and our staff delivers the content on time, maintain relationships, bill, notate, confirm, contact.
It’s real. Our content is real, tangible, and written by real authors. Our writers have real expertise and diverse backgrounds that give an opportunity to our clients for content success. Our content is real in today’s SEO world. The biggest proponent of content, Google, doesn’t allow machines and spam to enter the world of highest-ranking content. No, the best ranking content must be real, genuine, well researched, and original.
And this year, we’ve had an amazing base of clientele to serve, in a variety of countries. We’ve delivered enough pages to drown a person (no one was harmed because they were published online, not printed, thank goodness); and we’re going to get ready for some hardcore growing in 2015, with the launch of our new Content Shop this Christmas.
2014 was our year. We said that in 2013; and I hope we’ll say it again in 2015. Content is a big need and a foundational point for online marketing. With the Internet only growing, I really don’t see that changing.
What Express Writers Was Up to In 2014
Here’s a short overview. This sums up what we were up to—we’ll explain more and give you some highlights below.
- Over 1.5 million words written
- 30,000+ combined pages (blog posts, web pages, press releases, brochures, ads, social media content, sales pages, product descriptions, etc.)
- 1,078 clients served in 35 countries
- 65 team writers, 5 staff members
- Developed new services content curation and auditing
2013 to 2014: How Much Did Express Writers Grow?
In 2013, we hired our first team manager, helping me take over some of the many hats I was wearing as company owner, manager, editor, etc. By the end of 2013, we had four staff members.
Staff: Today, we have the same amount of staff, which means these same wonderful people haven’t budged and are still with us today. We’re getting ready to add more sales people and a new hiring staff department in 2015.
Writers: Last year, we ended the year with about 50 writers. This year, we end the year with 65 writers, several of whom we hired for their specific expertise. We’ve added a writer who is an Attorney at Law; a writer with an MBA in Business; an author with a Master’s in Politics; a tech blogger and salesperson for Intuit and IBM; and other highly qualified copywriters with specific expertise.
Clients: In our client and content output department, we grew quite a bit. In 2013, last year, we served over 800 clients, and crafted over 23,000 pages for the year. This year, we served about 1,078 clients, and delivered over 30,000 pages (from press releases to blogs, marketing letters, brochures, whitepapers, and more) for the year. That’s over 1.5 mil words, my friends.
This year, our customer map looked like:
I was amazed when the data said we serviced 35 countries! (Yes, the map is a screenshot of our actual customer base.) This included 3 customer from Azerbaijan; 1 from Cyprus; 1 from Taiwan; 3 customers from Brazil; 6 from Russia; 46 from Australia; 8 from India; 1 from Uganda; 1 from South Africa; 48 from Canada; and over 1,000 from the US.
Express Writers: Biggest Moments of 2014
When I asked Annie, our Content Manager, to summarize our busy year, she gave me this beautiful letter. I don’t think she could have put it any better:
The biggest moments of the year? It is a very difficult task- to single out a list from a year that was filled with great moments. High-quality deliveries that made a client happy, new additions to the writers’ body that instantly became wonderful members of our team, unexpected thank you notes from a client or a helping hand from one of our writing experts on a difficult job- these were all moments that made me feel great about being a part of this breathing and kicking live organism that is Express Writers.
A content creating machine that became a way of life and a daylong friend for me- Express Writers stands for a group of people that have been brought together by a single common goal- to prove quality IS possible.
I cannot single out just one moment or ten. I am proud to say that I have had at least 365 such moments along the past year. Every day brings at least one- moments when I thought everything was lost, that an order was going to be late, or a client would be unhappy for some reason and one of my colleagues unexpectedly came out and said: let me help, I can do it and what they delivered was nothing short of excellent.
Moments where you open a document and have the surprise of discovering a piece of exquisite writing, where craftsmanship is doubled by wit and a professional voice. In those moments, you feel so proud for being a wordsmith, part of this organic and fully talented group of people that Express Writers is.
Besides Annie’s beautiful words, here’s a short list of some of our 2014 highlights:
- When our salesperson first hit a five-figure weekly goal (early in the year)
- We celebrated our 3-year-anniversary in May
- When our CEO had her first baby, on May 25
- We were pretty sad when Robin Williams died in August
- When we created our exclusive new services, content curation & auditing, and launched them November 25
- When we saw a steady traffic increase and ranking increase from the Penguin update in early November
- When Julia had her first podcast with SearchEngineLand in December
Content Shop Launch! And finally, the Content Shop will be out by the end of 2014, so every single moment of the Shop’s development has been a milestone towards this very huge moment. We are revolutionizing the way people will order their content online with a custom-built, custom-developed, exclusive content system that’s been underway for 12+ months. In 2015, we want our Content Shop to be the new way people get their online content: and we believe it can happen!
What’s Ahead For Us (& You)?
We made some predictions for content in 2015, and we expect the next year to be a big one—for us, and you who invest in content.
I believe content will be more important than ever, and the quality of content will be even more in demand. I think with the growth of content on the web will come the necessity of more tools, more structure to handle it all. How do you come up with new ideas for content in a world that’s full of them? Curate. Using tool like Scoop.it, SEMRush, and doing regular content audit and curating will be vital to keeping your content fresh and successful. Find a content strategist if you have no time to plan your content. It won’t be as simple as picking up a topic and writing on it, in 2015. You’ll have to plan, strategize, and create, to be outstanding in your content marketing. And if you’ll invest in us along the way, you know you’re investing in a team that will never let your content down. We are ever growing, always challenging ourselves, and our goal is succeeding—no shortcuts, the right way.