Web Content Writing: Outsourcing VS In House / The Pros & Cons
Web content writing is certainly not the most exciting of subjects, though it’s paramount for running a successful online business. The simple reality is that if you want to succeed and establish yourself online as a leader in your industry, you’re going to need the content to back that up. This means regular blogs, articles, social media posts and more.
So, how do you go about meeting those requirements, establishing your authority and securing a good footing in the marathon that is SEO? (Search Engine Optimisation) Do you take the burden on yourself and try to find the time within your busy schedule? Do you hire an in-house writer to take care of it all for you? Or should you outsource your writing to an agency? In this post we’re going to explore the pros and cons of each in order to determine which is best (Pro Tip: Save time, don’t bother reading this article and outsource your writing to us;)
All joking aside, this post will invariably come across as a little biased in favour of outsourcing your content writing work. After all, this is what we do. That being said, the decision is (obviously) ultimately yours and its very much down to your own discretion. If you need us, we’ll be here. In any case, we hope that this post is useful to you and that it can help you make a well-informed decision as to how you’d like to proceed with this aspect of your business.
Do It Yourself
Web content writing can be fun, but only if you’re good at it. Have you ever seen somebody get excited about solving an algebra equation? It doesn’t happen often, though if you’re good at maths and you love a bit of problem solving, you’ll lap it up. The same applies to writing; some people are naturally gifted with writing and enjoy the process. – Whereas to other people, whose strengths lie in other areas, well, they couldn’t think of anything worse.
So, where do your strengths lie? If you are a decent writer and you enjoy it, then by all means you should get involved and create regular blog posts for your website. But, how much free time are you actually prepared to dedicate to it? Do you understand just how much content you should be pumping out in order to get ahead of the competition? Are you familiar with keyword research, how to place them carefully within an article and how many characters should be in a meta description? Do you know what a meta description is? – That’s not to sound patronising, but to highlight just how much there is to it (and that was only scratching the surface)
- Have full control over the content associated with your business, as you are the author
- You have insider knowledge regarding your industry and can produce well-informed writing
- Don’t have to rely on the punctuality or competency of others
- It will cost you nothing (money-wise)
- Sacrificing valuable hours in work or at home
- How competent a writer are you? Will a 500 word blog post take you longer than it should?
- Are you familiar with search engine optimisation and will you be able to comfortably create an ‘SEO friendly’ piece of writing?
- You won’t be able to write enough to make a serious impact on your competitors (not unless you’re happy to dedicate the large majority of your free time to it)
- Web content writing is boooooooooring
Hire an In-House Writer/s
Some people turn to hiring an in-house writer or having a dedicated team. This can certainly work at the higher end, particularly if you have the incentives in place to inspire your writers to earn their keep. But, consider this; can you afford to pay one or more individuals a full-time salary with all of the trimmings? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
- You can oversee your content writers in house and have more control over what kind of content you are associating your business with
- With a dedicated writer you can produce a significant amount of writing each month
- They can work closely with other departments for industry related information
- You only have to go into the next room to check up on progress
- You have to pay a full working salary, including breaks, holidays, pensions and other benefits
- Paid sick leave with no content writing is a potentiality (at which point other alternatives will need to be considered)
- Will your content writer use every given moment in work and go above and beyond to deliver as much work as possible? (Without incentives in place, you can’t guarantee that they’re going to feel inspired to work at their optimum)
- With little knowledge about SEO and content writing, you can’t guarantee that you’ll hire the perfect candidate for the job
Outsourcing to a Web Content Writing Agency
You might have already guessed that this article is being written from the perspective of an agency…so, yes, there is a little bias. That being said, we’ll lay out the pros and cons all the same. Let’s take a look:
- You can have full control over the content associated with your business, as you can ask for certain pieces to be amended if you’re unsatisfied
- It’s generally cheaper than hiring an in-house writer
- When you pay by the word, you won’t have to worry about time spent on a particular piece (provided you receive it in good time)
- You can generally negotiate terms based on ordering in bulk, allowing you to secure significant discounts
- An established web-content writer will have significant experience in a wide variety of industries, offering a unique insight to your content writing
- No hidden fees or extra costs; you pay for the writing and that is all
- Experience and expertise
- Discretion: a content writing agency will have a reputation to uphold. Therefore, you can rely on them to keep any sensitive information secure. A disgruntled, ex in-house content writer on the other hand…
- Punctuality can be a problem, there’s no guarantee that you will receive your writing on time (Most content writers are punctual, so make sure you roll with someone that you feel you can trust. If they drop the ball too often, bin them off!)
- They won’t have the same level of industry knowledge that you will (however, research is a big part of being a content writer)
- There is an initial risk when dealing with a content writer, though most are reasonable about the way that payment is arranged. In most cases, they will produce the work first and then invoice for it afterwards.
- You’re not their only client – this can sometimes lead to loyalty issues, particularly if you’re paying a lower rate and your work is ordered less frequently
If you’re conscious about managing your time well, then you’ll likely have settled on either outsourcing or in-house. If you’re torn between the two then what does your gut tell you? We’ve laid out the pros and the cons for the 3 options, now it’s up to you to decide how you want to proceed. Perhaps the best course of action would be to get in touch with a few reputable web content writing agencies and short-list the ones that you take a shining to. Any reputable agency worth their salt would be more than happy to write a trial piece for you.
Then, take a look at what is involved with hiring an in-house writer. Have a look at overheads and consider how much the process would set you back. Consider potential candidates and then compare. In any case we wish you the very best of luck and hope that you make the most suitable decision for you and your business.
If you have any questions regarding our services, then of course, please feel free to get in touch with us at your convenience.