Do You Need An In-House Copywriter?

You already know the benefits of great content: increased leads, higher search engine ranking, an enhanced reputation and much, much more. Not-so-great content? Well, you can only hope for positive results. So, it’s settled. You need a writer. But this is where the dilemma lies: should you recruit an in-house copywriter or outsource it?

That depends on your answer to the following questions…

Do you have the capacity (or need) for a full-time copywriter?

Let’s start with your needs. What would your in-house copywriter’s workload look like? Here’s where it helps to do a bit of a sense check – for instance, how much content do you publish a month? If it’s a few blogs and a couple of emails here and there, it’s unlikely you’ll have enough work to keep someone busy. This means you’re essentially paying for someone to twiddle their thumbs until new work comes in.

Enter the outsourced copywriter. When you partner with a content agency, not only will you have someone to create your content for you, you’ll also have the expertise of an experienced team who can create a detailed content plan outlining what you’ll publish and when. Another benefit of an outsourced content agency is that they can work to the needs of your business, scaling their service up and down as your business grows and evolves.

That said, if you constantly need content and often at short notice (for example, multiple pieces of copy daily) then at least one in-house writer is essential. The good thing is you can still draw on the services of a content agency for support if any of your team is at full capacity.

What’s your budget?

Wondering how much hiring a copywriting professional will set you back? This goes hand in hand with experience. For an in-house writer, you’re looking at upwards of £27k (unless you opt for someone junior, but then you’ll have to account for training costs too). That’s before you’ve even calculated additional costs like National Insurance, holiday and sick pay, and recruiting them in the first place.

So, consider the goals for your content and the investment you’re willing to make to achieve them. If it’s relatively low, and you don’t have the capacity to support a junior team member, think twice before hiring.

You may think that appointing an agency would be more expensive in terms of their hourly rate, but bear in mind that you’re investing in an efficient team of writers who bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. Even better, you can engage with them on a retainer basis or as and when you need them (there’s that scaling we talked about earlier), and retainers can start from as little as £750+VAT per month.

The most important thing is not to write off any options right away. Be honest about your budget, and assess how you can sustain your copywriting costs.

What sort of expertise are you looking for?

When we talk about experience, we’re not just talking about copywriting proficiency – any copywriter you hire should also have experience writing for your sector. The problem is that, unless you poach someone from a competitor, they’re probably not going to have it.

On the other hand, copywriting agencies consist exclusively of talented writers who’ve turned their hand to all sorts of industries. Nine times out of ten, they’ll have an understanding of the subject matter as well as the skill to quickly mine large swathes of information for the content they need. The result? More specialist knowledge and less onboarding time.

What’s more, a content agency’s offering often goes beyond copywriting. They can deliver a diverse range of services on a pay-by-piece rate, assisting with strategy as well as delivering content to your audience with design and social media management. This can prove particularly advantageous if you’re tightening your budget belt – with drip-fed content allowing you to grow your investment as and when returns come in. Senior in-house copywriters will also have these talents, but they’ll demand a higher salary in return.

How about Making You Content?

Having an easily accessible writer doesn’t mean having to hire the skill set in-house. When you partner with a content agency, you’ll get access to a team of specialist writers, ready to create impactful content that meets your objectives and effectively targets your audience.

Wondering how to get the best out of an external resource? Download our essential guide to discover how to pinpoint your content needs, pick the right agency, and much more.

Words by Miranda

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