Using A Copywriting Service vs Hiring An In-House Content Writer – Pros and Cons

In an age where Upwork generates $150 million in revenue in writer costs, and the burgeoning of “Uber”-style platforms like ContentFly, it’s becoming increasingly tougher to decide which way to skew your content hiring.

While platforms like ContentFly are becoming all the rage, its not necessarily a cut and dry decision – hiring traditionally is still a good idea, depending on the situation.

We’ll go through some of the pros and cons in our (totally not biased) opinion, to help you make an informed decision.

Hiring In-House

Traditionally, if you wanted to get writing, you’d either hire someone full time, or get a contractor to work with you part time. Nonetheless, it’s typically a longer-term engagement, so it’s important to get it right.

Pros

Good for in-depth, highly-specific content. If you have deeply domain/company specific content that requires a lot of context, it’s better to hire and groom

Domain authority. Companies that rely heavily on being a domain authority need a specific voice. If you look at the Intercom Blog for instance, they have a very specific brand voice that they need to maintain.

Very high volumes. A full time, salaried writer is typically better for companies with immense scale – provided you have a writer willing to put out that much content (5+ a day)  at a rate!

Cons

Lack of variety. You’re stuck with one writer, and one voice – there isn’t an opportunity to get new ideas, and try new voices. Most top blogs have a team of writers, which is much harder to staff.

Expense. Hiring dedicated writers is extremely expensive unless you’re maximizing their time (see “Very high volumes”). For most people, a writer is only being productive 60-70% of the time – contracting makes you pay only for the hours you get work.

Hiring Copywriting Service

The new thing is on-demand copywriting services like ContentFly, or even engaging with large agencies that function in a similar way.

Pros

Cheaper. On demand services use economies of scale to bring you the lowest prices – you won’t have that when working directly with a copywriting, or hiring full time.

More scaleable. On demand copywriting is a much better option for places that need to scale up their demand past a certain point – particularly agencies, who represent multiple clients.

Variety. Whereas through the hiring route you might have 2 or 3 different writers writing for you at any given point, an on-demand service might have a dozen quality writers. The distribution of ideas and styles that bring is, in our experience, a huge plus.

Future-proof. Styles change, and your needs change. Hiring a copywriter means you’ll have that writer and their style the entire time. A copywriting service, on the other hand, will flex resources and adapt based on the times, so you always get the best quality.

Cons

Trouble with high specificity. If you have highly domain specific content, or technical content, an on-demand service can be more hit or miss. It’s probably still worth trying out since some usually have writers that fit the bill, but you’ll probably have to engage a contractor independently.

Engagement curve. With a writer that you hire, most of the work goes into the interviewing phase – once you’re set on one, there usually isn’t a huge adjustment period. With copywriting services, you typically need to go through at least 1 or 2 articles with revisions so they learn what you need and adapt the content distribution for you.

On balance, copywriting services are a better option for most people, however hiring in-house still has it’s place. The first step is to take stock of your needs – many people put the cart before the horse and hire a writer before they know what they need.

Take some time to actually figure out what the hell you want to write about – seriously, it’ll help!

If you need to engage an on-demand copywriting service, ContentFly isn’t the only game in town. Companies like BlogMutt, TextBroker and Scripted have been serving these needs for a very long time, so you can consider them as well.

But, obviously… we’re a lot better. 😉