Freelancer or agency: Which is better for content marketing?

Posted on December 9, 2015

 

Once you’ve made the decision to outsource the creation of content for your website news feed, the next step is to actually find someone to outsource it to. You can take one of two basic approaches. First, you can hire a freelance writer to write news feed articles on a semi-permanent basis. Alternatively, you can commission an agency to do the work. Both approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to understand them all before making a decision.

Hiring a freelance writer

Freelance writers operate independently, so you will be dealing with the writer directly. This offers the potential to build up a good working relationship. There might also be a slight price advantage, because you only need to pay the writer for his or her time.

Finding a good freelancer is a different matter, however. While there are numerous freelancers around, there’s considerable variance in their writing abilities. At the top end, there are professional writers who also write less glamorous content to pay the bills. Next are the part-time writers who generally do not have a professional writing background. Some of these are very talented despite their lack of writing experience, but many others have average or even subpar writing skills. At the bottom end of the spectrum, you’ll find non-native English writers. These often work very cheaply, but the writing is usually of a very low quality. In the past, search engine optimisation (SEO) consultants used such writers to generate large amounts of content for backlinks, but this approach is becoming increasingly ineffective as search engines become more concerned with quality.

Unless you know someone who can recommend a freelancer, finding one can be an ordeal. You might need to try several writers before finding one who meets your needs. What’s more, you might still need to find a new writer later on. Freelancers lack the backup of a commercial organisation, so certain situations might mean they can’t fulfil their obligations on time. Your freelancer might also quit when a better job offer comes along. While dealing directly with a freelancer has its advantages, you should be prepared to invest some time in finding someone suitable.

Outsourcing to an agency

The main advantage of using a news writing service is that you get a turnkey solution. You simply give them your requirements, and they generate content for you. This naturally costs a little more, but you avoid the need to invest time in finding writers yourself, and can instead invest it in actually running your business.

There’s also a potential quality advantage to using a news writing service, because such companies usually employ editors to check their writers’ work. This rarely happens with freelancers, who often rely on proofreading their own work. This does not always work out so well, because many writers fail to notice their own mistakes.

Outsourcing is all about saving time, so dealing with a professional agency will be the most appropriate solution for many people, especially when they don’t have any experience of dealing with freelance writers.

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