Is It Better to Outsource Your Content or Hire an In-House Writer?

Content marketing is demanding. You’ll need to produce high-quality, original work on a regular basis, for your main site, for your blog, and even for external publishers. As an entrepreneur or marketing director, you likely don’t have the time to manage all this work yourself, so you’ll need to either hire someone (or perhaps an entire team) to handle these responsibilities in-house or outsource your work to a content marketing firm.

But which approach is better?

Advantages of a Content Marketing Firm

When you hire a content marketing firm, you’ll carefully select an agency to handle the majority of your content responsibilities on your behalf. Depending on the firm, you’ll likely pay a monthly retainer in exchange for a set amount of ongoing writing services each month, such as 5 onsite blog posts and 20 social media updates.

These are the distinct advantages to this approach:

  • More expertise. First, even if you hire someone with years of experience and a track record of success, they probably won’t be able to offer you as much expertise as a content marketing firm. Cumulatively, the staff members in the firm will be able to offer you decades of experience, and they’ll have experience working with a variety of different businesses.
  • A more robust staff. Additionally, content marketing firms give you access to more staff members. If you hire someone, they may be a generalized “content marketing expert,” but at a content firm, you’ll have access to visual content experts, publication experts, syndication experts, and analysts. Specialists often perform better than generalists at their respective functions.
  • Satisfaction guarantees. Content firms have a vested interest in keeping you happy, and will often “guarantee” some level of results. It’s hard to guarantee exact number increases, but if you end up unsatisfied with your results, you’ll likely be compensated in some way.
  • (Usually) lower prices. At first glance, you may feel that content marketing firms are expensive. Even basic packages can cost thousands of dollars a month—but realistically, that’s less than you would pay for a single full-time staff member (especially when you factor in benefits). For what you’re getting, content firm packages are usually a steal.
  • Customer service. Finally, when you enlist the help of an agency, you’ll get more customer service. If you’re confused about a tactic, if you have a problem with the work that’s been done, or you’re curious to know more, you’ll be able to talk to someone and work with them to get it resolved.

Advantages of Hiring an In-House Writer

You could also hire a full-time content marketer, writer, or team of writers to handle your responsibilities.

These are the advantages you’ll enjoy with this approach:

  • Immediate feedback. With a content firm, you’ll usually pass off specifications for the work you want to see, and won’t see it until it’s complete. With an in-house writer, you can monitor your work as it unfolds, giving you the opportunity to give and receive immediate feedback throughout the process.
  • More control. Most content firms have set packages, and set parameters for what they’re willing to do. They may accept some of your special requests and conditions, but they’re usually the ones setting the direction. Having an in-house writer gives you more control over the work you do.
  • Higher brand familiarity. Content firms often work with dozens of clients at once, but your in-house writer will be exclusively working with your brand. That may not make much of a difference at the start of your relationship, but over time, that brand familiarity may be able to give your content a stronger, more cohesive, unique voice.
  • More flexibility. Content firm contracts often come with minimum terms (such as a year or longer), so you’ll have more flexibility when you hire someone. You may also be able to patch together a network of independent contractors, which can give you many of the benefits of a full-time writer at a reduced cost.

Overall, there’s no clear superior strategy—at least in general. Your unique business needs will likely make one option better than the other. For examples, businesses with limited resources and limited expertise will likely benefit from enlisting the help of a firm, rather than hiring someone in-house. If you’re concerned about brand presentation, and want to exhibit more control, an in-house writer will be better. Think carefully and review your options before making a final decision—there’s no guaranteed “right” answer.

About Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

4 Responses to Is It Better to Outsource Your Content or Hire an In-House Writer?

  1. Tope Babs says:

    You nailed it on the head when you say “there’s no clear superior strategy”.

    I think everything depends on the resources you have at your disposal.

  2. Acadgild says:

    I think in-house writer in more comfortable situation because they got job security thing. but freelancers are dedicated. but at the end it all depend on quality content.

  3. leval says:

    Thanks for this inspiring and helpful article on is it better to outsource your content or hire an in-House Writer?. This is something that has given me food for thought .This article is helpful to me to make wise decisions. It will also be helpful to others. Warm regards

  4. Sandeep says:

    Great inputs.
    Must read.