Okay, I realize “outhouse” might not be the best term. But, hey … I’m from Arkansas. What do you expect?
Besides, you’re reading this, so …
Anyway, there are times when a business or organization needs to hire a writer or writers from outside their group.
There could be several reasons:
- Not enough inhouse staff writers to handle the work load
- Not enough staff writers that understand the product or service
- Not enough staff writers that understand how to write the copywriting format needed
- No staff writers … at all
Those are just a few reasons that you might want to look outside your organization for a copywriter or content marketing scribe. There are probably a lot more.
So, you go out shopping for someone who can fill your copywriting needs. And one of the things most people invariably look for first is price.
Not the only or even the best criteria … but it happens.
Bless their hearts!
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Sometimes the cheapest copywriting costs you the most.
Your 3 options for hiring outside writers
I’m not counting hiring your nephew or niece to write your vital business documents for pocket change or party money. You could do that, I guess.
But, the three real options for hiring outside writers are:
- Content farms or job boards
- Marketing agencies, digital or otherwise
- Professional freelance copywriters
The cheapest option – that one a lot of companies check out first – is the content farm or job board.
Makes sense, right?
You mean to tell me that I can get a 1,000-word
blog article for 10 bucks? Sign me up!
Now if that’s what you want, go for it. And more power to you.
I just think your product or services are worth more to you than that.
And to your ideal customers.
Honestly, it may be the cheapest way to get copywriting stuff done … but it’s also the most expensive in the long run.
After all, ten bucks spent on copy that doesn’t work is ten bucks down the … uh … drain.
How much money do you have to just throw away like that?
An agency will cost you quite a bit more than a content farm, but it’s a much better way to go. A lot of them are marketing gurus and know how to promote you and your business effectively.
Unfortunately, they don’t always know how to write what it takes to get the job done.
A lot of them are good storytellers, something crucial in today’s marketing world. But it’s one thing to tell a story right … quite another to tell the right story.
But wait … there’s more.
In reality … many are suffering some of the same problems you are:
- Not enough staff to write everything
- Not enough or any writers that understand your audience, product or service
- No inhouse writers that really understand the mechanics behind the copywriting you need.
- Possibly their SEO practices are decades old and they need someone who keeps up with that stuff.
How do I know that, you ask?
I’ve written for them.
I’ve had them come to me on occasion for one of the various reasons listed above. Mostly product knowledge and SEO.
I actually admire most of them. They faced their shortcomings, swallowed their pride, and asked for help. Their goal is to help drive their client’s success. In other words, they care.
I like that.
I dearly want to help them help you, if I can.
Other agencies, on the other hand … not so much.
In fact, if an agency asks for a price right off the bat, or grouses about my fees being too high, it’s
Adios amigos! On the way out, don’t let the
digital door hit you on your virtual …
They really don’t get it … and certainly won’t get me or most other professionals to write for them.
And they certainly won’t do you any good.
So, they go back to the content farms to troll for a cheap writer. Heck … you could’ve done that yourself and saved some money.
So, that leaves professional freelance copywriters.
And why they cost so stinkin’ much!
What’s really involved in professional copywriter’s fees
A lot more than you think, really.
Take case studies.
A professionally-written case study (from 2-4 pages) will run between $1,500 to $2,500.
Well, to begin with, there are a lot of moving parts:
- The initial conversation with you about the study
- The in-depth research about your product or service
- The interviews with your spotlighted “happy customer” which includes:
- The phone or video interview, which should be recorded
- The recording’s professional transcription
- The studying of said transcription to find the real story behind the story
- Additional communication with your SMEs, if necessary
- The writing of the outline and initial draft
- The internal, personal edits of that initial draft, often several of them
- Finally, the submission of the first draft to you, the client
Once that’s done, you’re still not finished.
After running the work past the happy customer and your legal department for approval, the copywriter will make the second, and sometimes, third round of revisions to get the final draft.
Think you can get all that for ten bucks?
Good luck with that.
Other copywriting projects follow similar patterns. There is more to writing quality copy and marketing content than just scribbling digital words onto electronic paper.
It’s not a job … is a process. It has an exacting methodology.
Processes take time, and methodologies require expertise to follow.
You won’t get that for pennies a word.
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
How will you spend your valuable marketing money?
Now I don’t want leave you on a sour note. So, I will say that there are times when the content farms and small agencies might be the better choice.
In fact, I’ve written a really long post about the pros and cons of all three options.
Yes, there are some cons to hiring a professional freelancer.
For example, I may not want to write for you, no matter how hard you try to entice me, because you’re way outside my niche or I don’t have time. Many of us are kind of picky about the clients we take on.
Particularly when we’re busy.
In the end, the choice is up to you and you alone. It’s your money … you choose how to spend it.
Do you want to roll the dice and buy a lot of really cheap words, hoping for the best?
Or do you want to invest in top quality copywritng over low-cost quantity … and get tangible results.
Your customers do …