Producing quality content for your business can be challenging and expensive. You have many available choices. For instance, you can hire employees to generate content for you. But this may only be worth it if they’re also committed to other marketing efforts within your company. Having many commitments detracts from the time they have available to work on content writing. If your employees don’t have time to commit to content marketing, hiring freelance content writers or a content writing service may be a great option. Pricing can vary considerably, however, for quality content. So, how much does it cost to outsource content writers? Read on to find out!
How much a freelance content writer can cost
Freelance writing costs vary wildly. It depends on whether you’re contracting with an individual or a third-party vendor, such as a content marketing agency, that offers writing services. Content creation takes many forms, and you need to know what’s best for your organization’s purposes.
How much do freelance content writers charge?
If you are hiring a freelance content writer directly, you should inquire up front if they charge hourly, by the project, or by the word. You will need to determine which works best for your needs and choose the freelancer that best aligns with your budget.
Hourly rates can range from twenty-five dollars an hour up into hundreds of dollars per hour. Per-word rates can start at pennies per word up to one or two dollars per word. It depends on the complexity of the project, how many team members are involved in the work, and how much editorial work goes on behind the scenes.
If your projects are large, it may be best to establish a flat rate for each project. If you have several smaller writing jobs, an hourly fee may be more beneficial. Gig sites like UpWork can give you a sense of what individual freelancers may charge.
Content writing agencies can offer you package rates depending on what services you need and how much quantity you plan on producing. Many agencies offer discounts for bulk content.
Be sure to clarify up front what the writing services include. If there are a lot of unnecessary add-ons, a package may not be worth the expense. However, if you find a group willing to contract with you on an ad hoc basis, it could be a good investment.
Besides the fee a content writer charges, what costs can you incur when hiring a content writer?
A lot goes on behind the scenes if you hire a content writing partner. Not only are you hiring a writer to get words onto the page, but you may also be hiring an SEO team in charge of generating content ideas that will add the most value to your marketing strategy.
Along with a writer, you are likely hiring an editor or a team of editors as well. A top-notch content writing service should provide quality control on their product. A good editor is invaluable to ensuring the final draft aligns with your company’s voice, tone, and expectations.
In addition, many partners offer proofreading services as part of their packages. A proofreader will clean up any spelling and grammar issues and make sure the deliverables are pristine before you ever even see them.
Content writing can be an ongoing cost for your business. Depending on how much content you need, you can hire a writing partner on a contract basis (monthly or yearly). Having a content marketing partner on retainer will enable you to scale high-quality writing very quickly.
What factors can affect the total cost of hiring a freelance content writer?
Many factors can affect the total cost of hiring a freelance writer. These can include:
- The length of your writing project(s)
- How many stakeholders will need to check and approve the work
- Whether multiple rounds of corrections are expected
- Whether you’ll require ongoing writing services as part of your marketing strategy
You can also consider if you have existing content that you can build off of, like older blog posts or website landing pages. Or are you starting from scratch? If you are creating content from the ground up, the freelance writing rate is certainly going to be higher when outsourcing content creation.
What is included in content writing?
Content writing includes several steps. Ideally, your chosen content writer or writing partner will work in tandem with you through every step of the process. It’s best if the partner is involved from selection of topics and ideation of the projects all the way through delivery of a clean final draft.
What are the responsibilities for a content writer job?
Content writers have many responsibilities when it comes to producing quality work. These include the following:
- Meeting with you or your team to understand the goals of your project
- Creating a content brief with the outline of the draft
- Conducting research to gather information for the project
- Writing the actual deliverables
- Spell-checking and fact-checking the draft before submission
What are the essential skills of a content writer?
Excellent content writers tend to be smart people with varied backgrounds. A good writer will be able to adapt their voice and tone to fit your organization’s style. They should also be able to write competently on any topic you throw their way.
Check out these essential content writing skills:
- Exceptional writing ability
- A wide knowledge base in varied subject matters
- Strong research skills
- A knack for adapting their “voice” to match your company
- The ability to distill broad messages into punchy soundbites (especially important in social media writing)
- A thorough understanding of SEO content
Why are content writing services valuable?
When it comes to outsourcing content writing services, you can add a lot of value to your organization. Keeping writing tasks with your internal team prevents employees from working on other tasks that are essential to your business. And the materials they do produce may not have any consistency to them.
Hiring a professional content writer will likely get you better results. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, a professional SEO writer knows exactly how to maximize an article’s value on your website. If you hire a writer to produce blog content for you on a regular basis, the writer will get to know your business almost as well as you do. The content will have a consistent voice and consistent messaging.
If you’re looking for a larger and higher-quality content project, like a research paper or white paper, a professional writer can take you to that next level. He or she will be able to apply proper academic styles to the article and ensure it is clean and publication ready.
How content writing services differ from other types of writing services
There are many different content writing services to choose from. You may be looking for blog writing, magazine writing, or even a ghostwriter for a book project. Or you may be looking for a content strategist partner to work with long term.
How is content writing different from creative writing?
Content writing is meant to achieve specific marketing goals for your organization. Meanwhile, creative writing is much more free form. Content copywriting often involves prescriptive titles and predetermined keywords that ensure high SEO value for the article.
Sometimes SEO writing may sound stilted, but there is a rhyme and reason to it. A quality content writer will make the prose sound natural, even while incorporating all the proper SEO components.
What is the difference between content writing and blog writing?
Content writing and blog writing have very different goals. Blog writing tends to be very informal and free in its structure. The writer can include their own ideas and opinions. Blogs are also shorter in length, ranging from three hundred to one thousand words. Although blogs can certainly be search engine optimized, the focus is on entertaining and “hooking” the reader.
Content writers, on the other hand, create content specifically for professional websites. The intent is to promote and sell a business’s products or services. This type of content is more formal, and the length can extend beyond one thousand words.
Why are there different kinds of content writers?
Writers specialize in many different areas. Some may have a background in newspaper or magazine writing and may prefer to work on bylined articles or special features. Others have spent their entire careers blogging. Still others have found their niche in social media writing, white paper writing, or technical writing. Maybe they specialize in writing email campaigns or scripts for podcasts.
Yet a good writer’s expertise can overlap in different areas. Once a writing partner understands your needs, they should be able to write for any type of media.
How to determine whether outsourcing to professional content writers makes sense for your business
Outsourcing writing work to professional content writers may not make sense for everyone. It depends on your business’s overall goals, strategy, and budget.
How do your business goals factor in to the decision to hire a content writer?
When making the decision to hire a content writer or content marketing agency, here are some factors to consider.
- If you need website content, it may be beneficial to have a writing partner on retainer. Website content can change rapidly, and a content partner can help you update your site on a moment’s notice.
- If you are looking for blog writing, it’s great to have a professional writer who knows your company’s style and will be able to churn out content on a predetermined schedule.
- If you need social media posts, this is a relatively easy task to outsource. A social media writing expert knows exactly what sorts of posts garner the most engagement and what hashtags to use. If you want to maintain tight control over your company social accounts, however, this may not be a good item to outsource.
How do you calculate the ROI your business will get from hiring a content writer?
Calculating the return on investment (ROI) your business will gain from hiring a content writer is a valuable exercise.
First, you must determine which types of content are the most time consuming for your organization to produce. If it takes a lot of time, it is likely the most expensive content to create internally.
From there, you can outsource the content that requires the most time and effort. For example, if your team can create blogs quickly and efficiently, but you need to create longer, well-researched feature pieces as well, then consider outsourcing the feature writing.
The advantages of outsourcing can be great. Outsourcing your text to a professional writer is a worthwhile investment if it saves your team time and frees them up for other vital work.
How do you evaluate content writers to find one that fits your business?
When evaluating which content writer or content agency is the best fit for your organization, it’s important not to engage in too much trial and error. Ramping up a content project takes a lot of time and effort, and you don’t want to go through the process multiple times. It’s vital to do your research first.
Talk with different potential partners. Get referrals and check reviews and outsourcing tips online. Speak with the entire team that will be working on your project. It is important to understand who they are, what they do, and what they guarantee in their final product.
Then, after weighing the numbers, select a freelance content writer who feels like the best fit for you.
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