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In-House vs. Freelance Writers: Which Is Best For Creating Content?

In-House vs. Freelance Writers: Which Is Best For Creating Content?

Most companies today know that you need to do more than just have a website that tells visitors what you do. You need to attract traffic, engage your visitors and convert them into leads. But how do you do that? The quick answer is... quality content. But where do you get all the content?


If you are like most businesses, everyone at the company is so focused on doing their part to keep the company operating that no one has time to write content for your website. in-house vs. freelance writers

At some point, every company that needs to create content for their website faces the same dilemma. Should I hire an in-house writer or outsource and pay a freelance writer to create my content? In-house vs. freelance writers | which is better?

I have freelanced and now I am currently working for an agency, so here are a few thoughts on the matter:

in-house vs. freelance writers

In-House Writers

In-house writers are great for companies who have deep pockets, sufficient time and can afford the costs of hiring a full-time writer.

In-house writers are salaried employees, not including the added costs of training, healthcare and insurance.

One of the benefits of hiring an in-house writer is the consistency of your overall produced content. Once trained, they will know how to target your company's message and tailor it to the right customer. In-house writers are also always available, ready to discuss changes and edits, as well as strategize the content message. It sounds great, right?

But, who is going to have time to train and manage this employee? Most likely, they will need to be trained about your particular business, your industry and your customers. Otherwise, they won't know what to write about.

Do you know about proper formatting, keyword targeting, search engine optimization, calls to action, buyer personas, and customer challenges? If you don't, then your writer will to know about them. Otherwise, you won't get the result you are looking for.

One major downside that many owners fail to take into consideration is the added expense associated with hiring and retaining an employee. The chart below shows not only base salary, but additional fixed expenses such federal, state and/or local taxes, as well as health insurance contributions, retirement plan matches, vacation, sick days, etc. This results in costing as much as 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary. Add in additional expenses, such as the cost of recruiting and training, and the total starts to escalate quickly.

You'll notice we added in "Hiring a Marketing Agency." Continuing reading to learn why.


in-house vs. freelance writers
*Based on estimates, may vary on job title and industry

Freelance estimates are not shown due to the fact that there are too many variables to consider...experience of writer, type of writing needed, number of articles per month, length of articles, etc. It's a fairly safe bet, based on our experience, that hiring freelance writers have a comparable cost comparison in hiring a marketing agency. However, you are only hiring a writer. With a marketing agency you are also getting expert services that include graphic design, web development, social media management and marketing strategists that all work together to help you reach your business goals.

Content marketing is young, moves quickly and needs to be targeted, so consult with someone who stays up-to-date with the latest developments in digital and inbound marketing before you start.

Freelance Writers

Are you up to your ears in responsibilities and the last thing you want to do is hire and train another employee. Well, another option is hiring a freelance writer. They are hired on an as needed basis, making them independent contractors - no need for training, healthcare or unemployment insurance.

Freelancers don't need to work on-site to do the job. A good freelancer will possess all the necessary skills to turn your instructions into a compelling narrative. You can make it even more of a success, by giving your freelancer access to you and your employees.

On the flip side, you've never met this person, they work remotely and potentially can disappear at any moment. So, you may ask yourself, are they reliable? Can I trust them?

Most are seasoned writers, doing what they love in order to make a living; they want your recurring business. Others that you may stumble across, may not have the experience in your industry, or talk a good game, but fail to deliver the final product. Finding the right freelance writer can take time and energy. How many times did you have to hire someone to find the right fit? Now try doing it with someone you won't even meet!

Hiring a freelance writer may seem like a more cost-effective way to approach the problem. However, when you calculate the time it will take for someone on your end to:

  • Research titles for articles
  • Provide an outline for the writer to follow
  • Edit the article once the writer has sent you the finished product
  • Format the final article for publication including internal and external links, images and CTA's
  • Publish the article on your website
  • Start the entire process over again 3-5 times a week

The labor cost for the person at your company that has to manage all of this can add up very quickly and also removes them from their normal job duties to handle the extra burden.


Top 5 Most Critical Lead Generation Mistakes Businesses Make

Have you thought about hiring an inbound marketing agency?

Marketing agencies are the whole kit and caboodle. And, most business haven't even considered this avenue! You get your content writer, graphic/web designer and someone to handle all your strategic marketing needs. What could be better than that?

Marketing agencies have the resources that you probably don't have to implement and manage your marketing plan.

But I can't afford a full-time marketing agency!

The table you just reviewed indicates that hiring a marketing agency is not only more beneficial, but a lot more cost-effective.

By working with an inbound marketing agency, all your content will be created, distributed, analyzed, and managed; that is one huge responsibility that you or someone at your company won't have to worry about. They will get to know your business in-depth and work with you through the implementation of a strategic marketing plan that meets your business goals.

For more information on hiring a marketing agency, check out our blog Why Should I Hire A Marketing Agency For My Small Business?

What’s your verdict?

What are your goals as a business? Who do you choose...an in-house writer, a freelance writer or a marketing agency to do your content writing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

Business Owners Guide in Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency

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