We’ve written time and again that content marketing should be at the heart of your marketing strategy. From blog posts to targeted landing page and e-commerce copy – engaging content can inspire readers and boost conversions. As the digital sphere has exploded, there are more and more options to get your content written. Here at Copify, we’ve been servicing startups, small businesses and large enterprises globally for over ten years with our flexible content writing services. But if you’re still considering your options, what are the best Copify alternatives out there and where does Copify fit in the marketplace? Read on to find out, and determine the right content writing service for you.
Copify alternatives: What’s out there?
If you don’t want to hire an in-house marketing team or copywriter, you’ll need to outsource your content marketing. The three main avenues to get your content written are freelance writers, content agencies and content marketplaces. Let’s explore…
A step away from having your own in-house writer, employing a freelance writer means you don’t need to add them to your books and can send them work or contract them on an ad hoc or regular basis. Think of them as offering a specialist writing service without any of the add-ons an agency might provide, like SEO. That means they’re great for the occasional blog post, web page or press release.
Freelancers can be generalists but sometimes specialise in certain verticals, subjects or copywriting niches in which they may have first-hand experience. The major benefit of using freelancers directly is you’ll get a one-to-one service and be able to build a relationship with an individual who understands your vision and style.
However, getting to that point can require a lot of work on your part. You’ll need to find them, using search engines, finders (who often charge a fee) or online directories. Using local SEO to find a copywriter nearby might be a good idea if you want to collaborate in person or have the writer sample your products.
It’s also worth noting that quality can vary depending wildly and for the great writers you will be expected to pay above and beyond. In fact, many freelancers charge by the day and the other drawback is not every freelancer is insured so you will need to pay due diligence: check reviews, ask for insurance evidence and view previous work to help weed out the lesser quality writers.
The second option is a content agency. These are often more expensive than freelancers because you’re not just paying for one individual’s time and words but the overheads of a company, which includes a wider team of writers, editors and marketers.
On the plus side, you will be able to work one to one with an account manager to put together a content plan and they will share results with you on how your strategy is performing. However, since you will be working with larger teams, you may need to work within their briefing requirements, and last-minute requests may be difficult to incorporate.
There are small and large agencies, newcomers to the field and well-established companies. Some specialise in certain industries or types of copywriting, while others offer the full gamut.
Some work exclusively with brands on a project or long-term basis, where others may take on smaller assignments as well, which can be good if you’ve been landed with a last-minute task or a change to your content strategy.
Many content agencies don’t just provide copywriting but other digital services too, such as advertising, SEO and website development. This is great if you need the whole package and don’t know where to start, but it also means the cost can vary from agency to agency. Depending on your company, you may have to go through a time-consuming tendering, consultation and proposal process to contract an agency; make sure you check previous work/case studies and reviews too.
A third option is a content marketplace, where clients and writers are matched. This is a good option if you’re looking for the experience and flexibility of working with freelance writers who can do research-based copywriting on pretty much anything thanks to the vast network of writers on their books!
A simple Google search will provide you with a plethora of content writing marketplaces, including Copify and other Copify alternatives. The major benefit of using a content marketplace is the access to quick, quality copy – ideal for unexpected jobs. But some also offer regular packages you can rely on without having to source your own freelancer or sign up to a lengthy contract.
Most offer various pricing options and guarantee quality articles written primarily by a freelance writer basis under the gig economy model. The best marketplaces will vet their writers to ensure they only use native or qualified writers and continually quality check their writers on an ongoing basis.
Amongst the marketplace options, there are also bidding platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr, which may be attractive if you’re looking to review proposals before the copy is written, allowing you to select a writer and get it completed at the most competitive rate. However, reviewing applications before you even get the work done is time-consuming and can be dispiriting for the writers. Many companies already know what they want, in which case it’s best to have a watertight brief that can be given to a writer to ensure you get copy that meets your expectations as fast as possible, without having to seek prior writer input.
Where does Copify fit?
Copify began way back in 2010 as a content marketplace but over the years has grown to offer the best of all three options.
While we work with a network of talented freelancers, an in-house team of writers, developed in partnership with Lancaster University, allows us to pivot more easily than traditional agencies with lots of moving parts. Because of this, we can also offer greater security and accountability than working direct with freelancers, without the hassle of having to review proposals!
Able to provide ad hoc content as well as blog packages with SEO strategy, we offer a blend of account management and hands-off self-service, making us flexible, affordable and adaptable to the needs of small and large businesses alike.
Who should I get to write my content?
Knowing whether to choose a freelancer, agency or content marketplace will depend on what you need. Here are some things to consider:
Volume of content and time
How much content you need will vary the lead time. If you go direct to a freelancer, you may be looking at weeks or months to have a project turned around, whereas a content agency or marketplace has more staff available to get this completed faster. Similarly, if you want to hit the ground running, you don’t want to have to jump through lengthy hoops or review applications for writers on a bidding platform, so a content writing site might be the best solution.
Copywriters may charge either by the word, hour, project or by the day. They may even charge for edits, so make sure this is clarified before you agree anything. If you have a strict budget and don’t want to risk overunning, a content marketplace with no hidden fees may be for you.
Do you need research and rewriting?
If you have a defined brief or list of topics, you may be able to let an agency or marketplace run with your copy. If your content needs tweaking or you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, then you might want to hire an agency or hybrid agency/marketplace who can provide strategy and research too. Having a solid content plan is essential because you don’t want to find yourself repeating the same content over and over again. Sometimes you just need a rewrite or copyedit, which larger agencies won’t do, so a freelancer or content marketplace can come in handy here.
Do you require specialist knowledge or skills?
If your content is for general purposes, then you can afford to go for more affordable options. If you have a highly technical or niche brief, you may want to go direct to a freelancer in this field. You should always ask to take a look at the freelancer or company’s previous work before you agree to any work. You should also find out how they will provide the content to you. For example, an agency might work with other agencies to provide different skills and services so you don’t need to go elsewhere for expertise.
Are you looking for a long-term arrangement?
If you’re in need of the same voice who can continue to create copy for you regularly, you might want to consider working with a dedicated freelancer for consistency, but it will cost more and may take longer. If you work with a freelancer, you’ll also need a continuity plan in place in case they fall ill or go on holiday. However, the best content marketplaces will work with you to produce a sample as the basis for other writers to follow, so you receive the standard of copy you’re looking for at an attractive rate.
Whatever you do, don’t neglect your content marketing!
If you take one thing away from this article, it’s that whatever option you choose, you need to be investing in your content marketing now more than ever. The pandemic has pushed the majority of business online, and more customers than ever before are looking for quick, easy and informative solutions to their problems. Engaging copy is the best way to provide meet that need and set yourself apart from the competition.
If you’re struggling to find time to write your blog posts, this could come at the detriment to your online presence. Getting found in the search results depends on having well-written, high-quality content on your site, so make sure you invest in your content strategy today.