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Content writing for agencies – What are the options?

As an agency, you have a huge range of options for sourcing your copy. You can outsource to content mills, employ freelance writers, or even write it yourself.

According to Hubspot’s marketing statistic roundup, content marketing brings companies at least three times as many leads as paid search advertising, so it makes sense to focus on creating high-quality content.

As Google’s search engine algorithms become more advanced, marketing and digital agencies need to produce copy that’s not just interesting to read, but also able to produce those all-important conversions. So when it comes to content writing for agencies, what are the options, and their main benefits?

1. In-house content writing for agencies

Of course, in-house content writing involves hiring your own copywriting staff. They often work in-office to complete briefs created by you or your client to fulfil a content strategy.

Some of the main benefits of in-house content writing include:

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Consistent tone and knowledge

As a select number of people oversee all of your content, you are guaranteed consistency of style and tone. You can tailor the recruitment process to find copywriters with in-depth knowledge of your industry, and therefore expect a consistent level of insight in every piece of writing they create.

Employee investment

A writer who works for you in-house is fully integrated into office life and has a sense of brand loyalty. They have a stronger grasp on how your agency and clients function because they have experienced your services first-hand.

Faster pace

Generally speaking, in-house content writers have a quicker turnaround rate when it comes to one-off pieces or short projects. This is chiefly because you’re able to keep an eye on them, monitor their progress, adjust their deadlines and ask them to prioritise whatever job is most urgent at a particular time.

However, these benefits only apply if you need content on a regular, long-term basis. Otherwise, you may have to hire additional staff or pay your content writers overtime during busy periods, while during the lulls of slower weeks, your copywriters might be sat there twiddling their thumbs.

Not to mention, your agency will have to commit to paying for in-house writers’ recruitment, training, insurance, benefits, equipment and desk space, regardless of whether or not their services are actually needed. For short-term content needs, therefore, outsourcing is a much more scalable solution.

2. Outsourcing content writing for agencies

If you don’t have the scope or budget to make in-house content writing worthwhile, there are plenty of other external content writing services you can turn to.

The primary benefits of outsourcing content writing for agencies are:

Scalability

Outsourcing is effectively a ‘pay as you go’ option, as opposed to a fixed contract. It’s completely flexible to the quantity and frequency of your content writing needs, and there are no costs to pay during slow spells when you no longer need content.

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Range of writers

There are endless freelance writers looking for work, so you’re likely to find someone who is an expert in your chosen topic or field.

If you need a press release writing or an interview conducting, you can hire an experienced journalist. If you want to boost traffic to your own or a client’s blog, you can find a successful blogger.

What’s more, the benefits of in-house writing discussed above can be achieved through outsourcing, too, provided you employ the right techniques:

  • Make sure you maintain your own or your client’s brand voice when you outsource content writing by providing a clear copywriting brief which explains style, target audience and tone of voice (is it formal or informal? Commercial or conversational? Do you use the second or third person?). Where possible, you might wish to provide examples of previous pieces of copy for the freelance writer to emulate.
  • To guarantee you’ll receive your order on time, read up on a content mill or freelance writer’s turnaround policy. For example, Copify can usually deliver your copy in around 48 hours.

Where to turn when outsourcing your content?

Convinced of the benefits but not sure which outsourcing option is right for you? Here are the two main choices and the advantages they bring to the table.

Freelance writers

You can hire a team of regular freelance writers to create your agency’s copy. You may need to over-employ the writers in case of any emergencies or breaks in communication, but on the whole, this is a much more reliable option than many agencies give credit.

Freelance writers are a great option because:

  • Internal writers tend to write from an insular, company perspective, which could actually be alienating your readers. Freelance writers offer an outside perspective which has the ability to appeal more to readers, who like to skim through content and are put off by technical jargon.
  • You can ‘try before you buy’: if a writer proves to be the wrong fit for your agency, you can simply try another.
  • They may have a greater level of expertise when it comes to knowing how to utilise SEO skills, keywords, subheadings, backlinks, calls to action and social media to attract higher traffic and compel readers to invest in your client’s services.

The one drawback of using freelance writers is that you have to vet the writers before you select them, and thoroughly edit their work once it’s written to check it meets requirements. A content mill, however, removes both of these stresses, simply providing you with the finished copy.

Content mills or white-label copywriting agencies

A content mill is a company which generates high volumes of content for a wide range of clients by using a bank of freelance writers. It is a great avenue if you need to produce bulk content, such as product descriptions or web page copy, in a relatively short time frame, or if your team is under-staffed.

Here are some more benefits of using content mills:

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Flexibility & reliability

With this scalable solution, you get the peace of mind of knowing there is a bank of talented and experienced copywriters hungry for your work. And because of their size, they can typically turn large quantities of content around much faster than in-house staff – perfect for those last-minute projects.

Plus, while individual freelance writers may occasionally cut contact with agencies and abandon their jobs, content mills will simply pass the project on to another writer to guarantee it gets completed.

Internal vetting

You will find the writing process is more controlled thanks to a team of internal staff who proofread and edit your copy before it’s sent back to you. They thoroughly understand all the processes involved in creating effective copy, from compliance and standardisation to spellchecking, freeing up your time.

Templates and automated services save you time and effort

Instead of creating lengthy, detailed briefs for each individual job, a content mill often provides a variety of templates and services, such as allowing you to place bulk orders or even set up a monthly blog package. A steady stream of content matching your initial brief will be created with no extra effort for you, and when you use a service like Copify, your blog posts can even be automatically posted to your website to save you having to manually upload them.

Plus, the great thing is you can usually do it all yourself through their website – no need to scout out freelance writers and wait for them to get back in touch. And edits are included in the upfront cost.

Choosing the right option for you

Ultimately, whether you decide to outsource your agency’s copywriting or complete it in-house should depend on your goals for the content. If you or your client’s industry is highly niche and you need someone with a high level of technical experience to write a manual or guide, an internal writer may be more suitable.

But for the vast majority of content – whether it’s web pages, press releases, blog packages, articles, product descriptions or emails – outsourcing is a highly efficient and profitable method of content writing for agencies.

To find out more about outsourcing your content with Copify, get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

 

Main image credit: mohamed_hassan
Internal image credits: Free-Photos, SnapwireSnaps, rawpixel

Alice Hiley

Alice recently graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and joined Copify in 2018. You can see her writing on Clippings, contact her on LinkedIn or chat to her about books on Twitter.