- ContentWriters, a full-service content writing agency that specializes in providing high-quality content at scale to publishers, announced it doubled its tech investment and launched a new project management platform
ContentWriters, a full-service content writing agency that specializes in providing content at scale to publishers, agencies, and individual proprietors, announced recently that it is transitioning its platform into a more straightforward and user-friendly solution for simplifying project management for its customers who need high volumes of written content.
The company’s customers are able to manage all aspects of their project, communicate directly with all parties involved, organize, and track, all without leaving the platform. The approach — which is based on input and feedback from customers — allows the team at ContentWriters to focus development on providing a better fit for its clients’ needs without inundating them with tools they don’t need.
“This year, we came to the realization that customers were using our platform not just to order content, but to manage projects. So, it made sense for us to rethink our platform as a project management tool,” said Emily O’Connor, CEO of ContentWriters in a statement. “We doubled our tech investment in 2019, rapidly growing our team of developers to build out a software platform similar to the same project management tools our users are accustomed to. The idea is to seamlessly fit into their lives and not make our platform another tool they have to learn. Our competitors tend to have confusing platforms with too many bells and whistles that steer users away from the initial goal, which is to create and manage high-quality content.”
Often times, managing content can be a headache — which is why every decision to improve the platform is informed by real customers. And a dedicated approach to customer communication ensures development is based on requests and feedback directly from professionals who know exactly what they need, and sometimes more importantly, what they don’t.
With continued improvement, and listening intently to user feedback, ContentWriters is aiming to continue to provide high-quality, optimized content without breaking the bank or requiring users to learn a complicated new tool.
“Our customers use so many different tools in their work lives, that it can be burdensome to have to learn a new one. By keeping our content platform straightforward and user-friendly, we’re helping our clients do their jobs better without having to invest a ton of time learning a new tool for something as integrated into their jobs as content. Going back to the basics means keeping it simple,” added O’Connor.
To learn more about ContentWriters, I did a Q&A with O’Connor:
Amit Chowdhry: Could you tell me more about your background?
Emily O’Connor: I’ve always been a writer and editor myself; the type of person whose friends went to for help with their essays and cover letters. After college, I worked as a freelancer, working with a real estate company on its social media presence and then writing blog posts for a network of behavioral health sites. This turned into a full-time position, working to increase web traffic and lead generation for the network through SEO-minded topic development, engagement-focused social media strategy, and quality-centered writing.
Amit Chowdhry: How did the idea for ContentWriters come together?
Emily O’Connor: CW’s founders were looking for a personalized and high-quality writing service back in 2012, but only found platforms that didn’t vet writers, edit work, or match businesses with people who really knew the topics they were writing about.
After learning that other businesses were experiencing the same difficulties in finding good writers online, they came up with the idea to build a network of highly qualified, US-based writers specialized in specific topic areas. This led to the creation of our platform, which enabled us to connect businesses with those writers, and grew into the full-service content writing solution that we operate today.
Amit Chowdhry: What are ContentWriters’s core products and features?
Emily O’Connor: Our core features come down to three things: Our writer network, our software platform, and our approach.
We have a network of highly vetted writers and editors who create content for certain industries according to their specialties and expertise. If you need medical blog articles, for example, we’re going to hire one of our certified medical writers to create that content, and we’ll have it reviewed by a medical editor and proofreader. Additionally, our content creation and success teams will be there to train and support them every step of the way, so our clients don’t have to.
We’ve built an intuitive platform that streamlines tracking, managing, and ordering content. With built-in steps for editing, proofreading, and revisions – all of which our team has oversight into – the platform facilitates the creation of quality content at scale.
Ultimately, what sets us apart is our approach to content creation. Our agile team is able to supply blog posts, eCommerce content such as product descriptions or category pages, white papers, or even custom content that doesn’t quite fit into any one particular bucket.
We’re experts at managing content and have built the project and account management processes required to do this. Our key offering is Managed Services, where businesses are paired with an account manager who curates a team of writers and editors based on the business’s annual content strategy. The account manager pitches topic ideas, assigns work, ensures everything gets done on time, and works closely with our clients to understand their goals, evolving strategies, audiences, and content preferences, communicating that back to the client’s editorial team to ensure consistency month after month.
Amit Chowdhry: What was the process of taking the idea for ContentWriters to a full-fledged business?
Emily O’Connor: Step one was building the writer network. We created a simple application form and started interviewing and hiring writers one by one. Simultaneously, we built a software platform to allow businesses to submit requests for content and writers to be assigned to and submit work. Through word of mouth and direct sales, we got our first clients. We iterated on our processes and platform throughout – as we continue to do – refining the content creation system into a multi-step process with a hand-picked writer, editor, and proofreader, as well as a plagiarism scan and revision workflow.
Amit Chowdhry: How has ContentWriter’s technology evolved since launching?
Emily O’Connor: It began as a basic platform with writer and client accounts, an order form, and a submission process. Since then, we’ve added a revision workflow, editing and proofreading steps, an integration with Copyscape for plagiarism scanning, improved writer evaluation capabilities, a projects section to organize content and save style guide templates, and a fully transparent order history. We’ve added new products, such as white papers and product descriptions, expanding from blogs and web articles, though they’re still our bread and butter. All of our platform developments come out of input from our users – our clients, writers, and the internal team working on the platform every day.
Amit Chowdhry: What have been some of ContentWriter’s biggest milestones?
Emily O’Connor: When we first started, we didn’t have the editorial steps we have today. Building in an editor and then a proofreader were game-changers in 2015 and 2016. Even the best writers need a good editor, and to scale our capacity and ensure quality, we needed those steps to be built into the workflow.
Aside from many important features, website updates, new hires, and office moves, two other more recent developments stand out: the launch of our Managed Services offering in 2018, and the relaunch of our platform in 2019.
Recognizing that businesses needed more than just content on demand or a writer marketplace, we developed the Managed Services offering in 2018. This gives businesses a dedicated account manager, monthly topic ideation, a team of writers and editors, unlimited revisions, and more, all designed to power robust content strategies without needing to hire and manage an internal editorial team.
To keep those content strategies running smoothly, our platform got a face-lift in 2019. We improved feedback and rating processes, as well as content organization and status tracking, to keep up with the pace of our clients’ content production needs, and to make the UX seamless with other tools they use in their daily work lives.
Amit Chowdhry: Are there any specific customer success stories that you would like to share?
Emily O’Connor: Success comes in many forms. Most of our largest clients translate success directly to their bottom line through ad revenue from blog traffic, leads generated from white papers, or conversions on product pages, but our offering goes beyond that.
In addition to revenue, we’ve been able to simplify workflows and eliminate headaches by supplementing writing teams of overworked companies with huge volumes of content to produce. By providing one point of contact that manages a team of writers and editors for businesses, we help our clients’ content managers focus more of their time on strategy and other efforts.
Trust and authority are paramount in the content marketing world, and some clients prefer not to disclose that they are outsourcing certain types of content creation. That said, we’ve been able to successfully supplement the content and copywriting teams for companies such as Foot Locker, Turn5, Lands End, Expedia, Northern Tool, Motley Fool, and many others.
Amit Chowdhry: What has been some of the customer feedback that Contentwriters received so far?
Emily O’Connor: Most often, what we hear from both our clients and our writers is how great the team is with communication. We take pride in being highly responsive – as an online business, the importance of clear and swift communication can’t be overstated.
In general, clients are enthused on the service we provide, the expertise of the writers creating content for them, how we streamline their content management process, the quality we’re able to deliver, and our transparency.
Amit Chowdhry: What distinguishes ContentWriters from its competition?
Emily O’Connor: Our dedication to a personalized experience and the quality we put forth set us apart.
Most of our competitors have completely automated the writer vetting, onboarding, and assignment process, which we’ve found is unpopular with talented writers and harmful to the mission of creating quality work. Instead, we maintain a hands-on, personalized approach to hiring, training, and hand-selecting writers for projects. This facilitates high levels of writer engagement and retention. Our ability to retain top writers and keep them enthusiastic to work for us is something that we take pride in and is one of our pillars for sustainable growth. In turn, it’s the reason we’re able to maintain such a high standard of quality content at a large scale, which resonates with our clients.
As for clients, we utilize that same personalized approach to managing customer expectations and goals. With most of our competitors, you’re mostly interacting with software and only encountering a human if you have a problem. ContentWriters is proactive in being a customer-centric, people-first platform that enhances the user experience with software.
Amit Chowdhry: What are some of ContentWriters’ future company goals?
Emily O’Connor: We’ve always been focused on quality first. Our primary goal was to become the highest-quality content writing service out there. Since we feel a high level of mastery in that regard, we’re ready to expand our offerings to include more content strategy and SEO services. The content marketing landscape is evolving – there are improved methods of planning, tracking, and reporting return on content, and we want to help our clients in these areas. By the end of this year, we’ll be offering keyword research and topic development, SEO-based content audits, and content refreshes. This will lead us into the realm of content tracking and analytics, allowing ContentWriters to truly become a strategic partner for our clients.
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