Content marketing has taken the world by storm. Most businesses understand that having a website to build your brand persona isn't just enough. Your website should deliver your brand’s message in a compelling manner and attractively showcase your products or services.
But how do you go about doing that? The short answer is … quality content.
Quality content has always been and will forever be a crucial part of online marketing. It is the basic groundwork of an expanding business.
Today, businesses are constantly in search of website content writers who can produce tailored and easy-to-consume content. According to studies, 62% of companies outsource some or all of their content to agencies or freelancers.
However, the decision is not that straightforward. Businesses that need web content services may go for one of the two ways: a content writing agency or a freelance writer.
But how do you decide which to choose? It is always wise to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before coming to a conclusion. This blog will get your questions answered and your confusions uncluttered.
So, let's start with comparing the pros and cons of hiring an agency vs. a freelance content writer.
Option 1: A Content Agency
Despite the lack of hard data, it's reasonable to assume that the number of content agencies has increased in recent years. There has always been a need for high-quality content, and a simple internet search, such as “web content writing services”, will provide hundreds of results.
These days, content writing services range from three-person agencies to full-stack businesses with hundreds of employees working on several projects at the same time.
Content agencies comprise professional website content writers with knowledge in at least one or multiple forms of digital content, such as video scripts, ads, sponsored posts, etc. This means that there’s a good chance of finding an expert in the niche you need.
If you need content for particular geographical settings, hire an agency that works with local content writers and translators so that content can be adjusted for the culture along with the language.
Aside from expertise, agencies often have access to paid content writing and marketing tools, premium stock images, and data analytics tools.
Scope of Services
If you require additional services in addition to content production, agencies may act as a one-stop-shop for your content needs. These may include services like:
If you’re not short on budget, an agency may help you implement a content marketing plan more effectively and in less time. However, if not handled correctly, the cooperation of numerous agency staff members on projects may easily stifle ideas and collaboration.
Getting website content services through an agency is always more expensive than hiring a freelance writer. This is usually due to the agency's extensive overhead expenses, which are included in its price.
The majority of agencies demand a monthly fee. They also charge extra for planning, strategy, marketing, and analytics. If you're simply searching for professional website content writers, you may end up paying for things you don't need.
Most of the time, based on your knowledge of your audience and strategies, you may not need help with content strategies and recommendations.
Some agencies may take just writing projects, while others may not be able to deal with you without including a strategy component in their pricing.
Moreover, these agencies usually operate in rented spaces and hire specialists for different niches, all of which have a huge impact on their rates.
Lack of Control
One of the major disadvantages of hiring an agency is that you won't be able to choose who you work with. The content agency will randomly assign a writer to your project, depending on the scale of your job.
For instance, if you have a big project with an undue budget, you could be assigned a writer with more expertise. On the flip side, a low-budget project is more likely to be given to a newbie writer.
Also, individual website content writers working for an agency are not much concerned about the firm’s reputation, thus offering unparalleled web content services will not be their utmost priority.
A digital firm is swamped with projects, and they will be under pressure to provide results for large customers who are willing to pay big money. They will not value the smaller customers as much and may not pay attention to your business.
Lack of Flexibility
It's considerably more difficult to request an agency with which you've signed a contract to make changes to a work-in-progress.
Once you've paid an agency, they'll be less inclined to perform work outside of their contracts unless you pay them more. Even though you may guide their work on your project, communicating your requirements is a much slower process.
Furthermore, you are unable to contact a writing agency outside of normal work hours. As a result, if your company works on odd hours, an agency may not be able to provide the flexibility you need.
A content agency is flooded with countless writing projects and they usually don’t turn down a customer even if they have hundreds of projects in the pipeline.
Yet, they have a limited number of writers to cope up with these projects. In such instances, the website content writers work under pressure to provide quick results which can bring down the work quality.
Furthermore, agencies prioritize clients who pay big money and they will most likely be assigned, competent writers. They do not value the smaller projects as much.
Option 2: A Freelance Writer
A freelance writer is a self-employed individual who writes articles, ad copies, or other types of content. They may write for news outlets, magazines, businesses, or other customers.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the number of freelancers, including website content writers, is increasing rapidly.
Freelance writers are easier to find and cheaper to work with. They have more extensive exposure as they work with multiple clientele, which means they are proficient in their specific skills.
Therefore, a startup can get its work done in a much well-organized and improvised way owing to the specialized expertise of freelance writers.
Hiring freelance writers for website content is far more cost-efficient than hiring a content agency. Freelancers don’t expect a full-time salary and instead charge on a project or hourly basis.
One of the best things about hiring a freelance website content writer is that you can often negotiate on the pricing directly.
Because freelancers typically charge by the length of the content, it’s simpler to specify the conditions of your contract and the services you'll get. They're also more flexible when it comes to making modifications to a contract.
When choosing freelancers, make sure to ask the right questions to evaluate how well they fit your requirements.
Access to Global Talent
When you look upon a freelance platform, you’ll see hundreds or maybe even thousands of freelance website content writers from all around the world.
This means that you can leaf through their profiles and choose the ideal candidate who has the potential and skills to complete your project.
Particularly, if you’re not into burying yourself in applications and proposals, you must use a freelance platform like TaskShift. This marketplace focuses on providing a fast hiring experience by letting you examine the freelancers’ portfolios and approaching only the best candidates.
Hiring freelancers allows you to get web content services at odd hours because freelancers from all over the world are ready to handle your projects. They may also often fulfill last-minute changes and react promptly to inquiries.
You may easily alter content subjects, timeframes, or amount more readily with a freelancer than you can with a content agency, and a freelancer is always eager to fulfill demands.
Not only that, but freelancers often work with a wide network of other freelancers, so your freelance writer may be able to recommend you a competent freelance graphic designer when needed.
Additionally, when a project is over, you may simply put off with a freelance website content writer, which is not possible with a full-time writer.
You may even employ a number of freelancers for a major project and then stick with a handful for smaller tasks afterward. There are no ties connected, no hassles with monthly payments, and no room for discrepancies.
The freelancers working on a platform are mainly specialized in one niche. You can choose a writer based on your required niche, unlike an agency where the writers serve as a jack of all trades and master of none.
For example, suppose you need an expert in blog writing so you won’t be searching for technical writers.
In the same way, a writer with expertise in healthcare will not write for technology. Freelancers who are experts in niche-specific writing can assist you in obtaining high-quality content in their respective fields.
The Hiring Process
There are hundreds of thousands of options when it comes to hiring freelancers, so it may seem that the hiring process is time-consuming.
But this is only the case if you look for a freelance writer on an open platform or a marketplace that enables the freelancers to bid and flood in proposals on your project postings.
On the flip side, if you use the right freelance platform, you’ll only have to check out their portfolios and previous clients’ feedback, and you’ll be good to hire the perfect resource for your project.
Freelancers often operate on a shoestring budget and they only invest in the tools and software that are most relevant to their area of expertise.
A blog writer, for example, is unlikely to pay a costly monthly subscription to advanced design tools. A visual designer, on the other hand, would have no need for SEO tools.
Hence, while choosing a freelancer for website content services, make sure they work in your required niche to avoid problems faced with limited tools.
The Final Verdict
The decision between a content agency and a freelance writer is based on your specific content requirements. Going with an agency may be a smart choice if you're willing to spend a lot of money for content production and don't require it to match your company's distinctive voice.
Professional freelance writers for website content can be the best option to fulfill your content needs if you need large volumes of targeted content on a tight budget.
However, the growth of the freelance economy indicates that content agencies are losing the client fight.
Because freelancers have chosen to work as a separate brand, they care about their reputation and are also enthusiastic about what they do.