August 25, 2020 Last updated August 26th, 2020 1,027 Reads share

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Outsourcing Content Writing

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Quality writing is essential to success. Yet, 60% of businesses say they find it tough to produce content on a consistent basis and, when they do, even more agree that it’s challenging to make that content engaging. 

So, what is a business to do? More and more agree that outsourcing is the answer. Not only will it save time, it can reduce costs and — more than anything — lead to better content by giving you access to specialized writers who are passionate about their craft.

How Businesses Solve Their Content Needs

Basically, there are three ways a business can handle their content needs, and they are:

  1. Strain your existing resources: Make someone on your team handle your writing tasks, which diminishes their own productivity and puts a super important job into the hands of someone who didn’t sign up for it (and, honestly, probably isn’t great at it). 
  2. Hire an in-house writer: If you have the budget, businesses can take the strain off their team by hiring a dedicated writer. The downside is the expense of doing so. The average salary of a Content Marketer is over $53,000 per year.
  3. Outsource to a professional: The best option, by far. Outsourcing to a professional is the most cost-effective option and it keeps your in-house team focused on what they do best, all while giving you access to top writing talent. 

Whether you’re looking to stretch your budget as an SMB by hiring a freelance writer or joining the big leagues by outsourcing to a content writing agency, outsourcing is almost always the right way to go. 

The Benefits of Outsourcing Content Writing 

Nearly 60% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce costs, and it’s truly a no-brainer decision when it comes to writing and marketing tasks. 

Producing great content that’s engaging and search engine optimized requires a great deal of specialized knowledge, and it’s simply not a task you should be placing on the shoulders of anyone other than a dedicated writer.

With all of that said, here’s a quick run-through of all the benefits you should expect when outsourcing to a freelance writer or writing agency.

  • Cost Savings: The $53,000 salary of a content marketer is only the beginning. Factor in the cost of hiring, training, benefits, and other employee costs, and some studies show you could be looking at over $74,000 annually. Compare that to a $250/month subscription from a full-fledged content marketing agency like WriteUp Studio or ContentFly, and you’ll quickly see the value of outsourcing.
  • Flexibility: When you outsource your content creation, you only pay for what you need and the service scales with you. Going back to the examples we just gave, a subscription to a service like WriteUp will score you 2,500 words per month to use however you want. Plus, you can add more as needed at a reduced per-word rate.
  • Higher Quality: Choosing to outsource to a writing agency means you’re getting access to an entire pool of pre-vetted writers, and you’re not stuck using just one of them. The platform will help match you to the best writer for every job. In the case of ContentFly, they have an AI system to do that automatically based on writers’ specialties. 
  • Time Savings: If you choose a full-fledged agency like WriteUp to produce your content, you’re not just hiring a writer. You’re getting an account manager who will work to understand your brand and then pass that info along to content marketers who will research your competitors, come up with keywords, and create a posting schedule for you before directing those projects to the best writers for the job.

Are you convinced that you should be outsourcing your content writing? If so, the next step is to consider whether a freelancer is the best pick or if you’re ready to outsource to a full-fledged content production agency. 

How to Outsource Your Content Writing 

Don’t think for a second that a small budget limits you to hiring a freelancer on your own. There are plenty of budget-friendly, scalable agencies out there. However, working directly with a freelance writer may still be a good choice. Let’s compare! 

Hiring a Freelancer

It’s not hard to find a freelance writer. In fact, there’s an abundance of writers in the gig economy. The challenge is finding a writer that has the skills and knowledge you need to write great content that fits your brand.

  • More Time: There’s a major time investment when hiring a freelancer directly, from screening and selecting to briefing them on your needs and communicating throughout the project. 
  • Lower Cost: On average, native English speakers offering freelance writing services charge anywhere between $0.03 and $0.10 per word. Niche specialists may charge more.

There are pros and cons to working directly with a freelancer. The biggest pro is the flexibility as you’ll get by being able to select any writer you want from a huge pool of freelance writers across any platform you choose, whether that’s someone on Fiverr, Upwork, or another platform. 

The biggest con of working directly with a freelancer is how much time it takes to find, screen, and collaborate with one. When you work with an agency, you’ll gain access to a pre-vetted pool of writers and your account manager will take the legwork out of finding and briefing the right person. 

Hiring an Agency

An agency doesn’t always mean hands-off content production. There are dozens of writing agencies you could hire and it can be tough to compare apples-to-apples. 

In general, we suggest working with a bigger name and choosing one that offers essential services, like a managed account. They should ideally also be able to help with keyword research and content ideas. 

  • Less Time: When you hire the right agency, an account manager should do the brunt of the work for you. That means they’ll get to know your brand and help you plan keywords and ideas accordingly. 
  • Scalable Pricing: Some agencies charge a membership fee in addition to per-word content fees, while others wrap everything into one low monthly rate. With so many options, you can undoubtedly find a pricing model that fits your business. 

As with hiring a freelance writer, there are pros and cons of hiring a writing agency. The biggest pro has to be the mere productivity an agency will bring to your business. Instead of having just one writer that you have to direct, an agency gives you access to a whole team of professionals and the fee you pay puts all those people to work for your business.

So, what’s are the cons associated with hiring a writing agency? That depends on the specific agency you hire. If you don’t have regular content needs, a membership fee may seem unreasonable. However, if you’re following the best practices of content marketing, you should always be in need of great content (which is why subscription agencies make so much sense).

Choosing The Best Content Writing Agency

If you’re leaning towards outsourcing to a content writing agency, rest assured that you have plenty of options. This list breaks down the top three platforms that you should explore. 

#1 WriteUp

WriteUp (writeupstudio.com) is a content writing agency headquartered in the Heart of Texas. The company describes itself as a full-service content production agency, connecting clients with a diverse pool of professional writers, editors, and content marketers. 

  • Dashboard and App: Manage your projects with an intuitive dashboard or mobile app.
  • Fully Managed: An account manager will understand your brand and build a content strategy for you.
  • Done-for-You: Content marketers find the right keywords to target and come up with ideas. 
  • Magazine Quality: WriteUp promises “reader-ready content” delivered by a team of handpicked writers and editors.
  • Affordable: Scalable pricing with plans starting at just $250/month. Additional words can be added to any plan for extra cents.  

While most agencies today offer a sleek client-facing dashboard for the browser, WriteUp is the only agency that we know of offering that and a dedicated mobile app. Plus, they bundle all your writing, editing, and keyword research services into one monthly payment. 

#2 ContentFly 

Founded in Canada, ContentFly was one of the first agencies to take CaaS (Content As A Service) full-scale. 

They offer a subscription model similar to WriteUp’s, but your dollars will go a bit further here. Whereas the $250 WriteUp subscription scores you 2,500 words/month, you’ll get 4,000 words for the same price from ContentFly. 

One thing to note is that ContentFly is strictly a writing agency. That means they won’t help you research competitors, choose keywords, or do any of the content planning that WriteUp or some other agencies will. 

  • Online Dashboard: Convenient dashboard where you can request any content you want. 
  • Automatic Assignees: AI-powered algorithm that will automatically assign writers.
  • In Your Inbox: While you request content in your dashboard, written content is sent to you via email. 
  • Affordable: Scalable pricing with plans starting at just $250/month. Additional words cost $0.07 each. 

ContentFly calls themselves the “Uber” of content writing and they’re trying very hard to make that motto come to life through AI and other high-tech additions. If you know exactly what you want written and you just need someone to execute, ContentFly could be the perfect option for you.

#3 Scripted

Scripted is one of the largest writing agencies on the planet with over 46,000 customers and nearly 6,500 writers. With two pricing tiers, they try to make their platform accessible to businesses of all budgets, although their managed tier is definitely the most feature-rich. 

  • Online Dashboard: You can start and track projects all within your browser using the online dashboard. 
  • Large Pool: Scripted has more writers than any other agency with a long history of performance. 
  • Make it Perfect: You can request up to 2 rounds of revisions on the highest tier
  • Great Support: Every client gets access to 24/7 support through email or on the phone.
  • Multiple Pricing Tiers: Membership fees range from $199/month (self-serve) to $1,299/month. Note that this monthly fee doesn’t include the cost of writing or editing.

With its easy-to-use dashboard, Scripted is a popular place to start when businesses choose to outsource their content. However, the fee structure itself often chases away SMBs looking to stretch their budgets. 

Plus, if you choose a self-serve tier, you’re still going to have to deal with the management of your account, which means researching topics, selecting a writer, communicating requirements, and so on. 

Outsourcing Tips to Get Better Content

After reviewing all of these options, there’s no doubt you’ve come to conclude that outsourcing is the best option for your business. However, whether you choose a freelancer or an agency, make sure you keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Plan in advance: If you’re not hiring an agency that will research ideas for you, you should always plan out your content across platforms (blog posts, Facebook posts, etc.) before you reach out to a writer. 
  • Target the right keywords: Whether you’re a local business or trying to rank regionally, nationally, or globally, you can’t overlook basic SEO. If your agency doesn’t help with this, invest in a tool that allows you to research keywords. 
  • Check for SEO: Whenever you get a piece of content from a new writer or agency, you should check it against the best practices of SEO and make sure they’re following them. 
  • Educate yourself: Don’t blindly trust a writer to deliver great content. Educate yourself on not just SEO, but proper grammar, too. If you don’t have time, consider having a third-party check the content for you to ensure its quality. 
  • Stay in touch: Open lines of communication mean fewer missed deadlines and misunderstandings. Always make sure your writers are properly briefed on what you want and keep yourself available for questions throughout the writing process. 

So, where do you go when you need content written? Are you planning on making content marketing a bigger part of your strategy going forward? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Dmitry Kozlov

Dmitry Kozlov

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