Should you hire a freelancer or a content agency?

You know content is crucial for building your website, generating traffic, and ranking in SERPs. You might also need writers for just a few projects here and there throughout the year. But how do you get from where you are now to where you want to be, without hiring a staff of full-time writers?

A lot of entrepreneurs, and even larger businesses and corporations, outsource their content to online freelancers. While this seems like a reasonable solution, there are some risks with hiring freelancers directly instead of working with a content agency.

Pros of hiring freelancers

1. Freelancers are cheap

In general, you can hire freelancers directly for a lot less than it will cost you to hire a content agency. However, the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here. Freelancers who take a job for less than market value will deliver a product that will probably need some additional work on your end. Freelancers on average make anywhere from $15-$75/hour. The ones at the top end are worth it. Hire them if you need consistent quality content and don’t want to hire an in-house writer.

If you’re looking for somebody to deliver a very good draft that you can drive to completion, then a freelancer could be the route to go. If you want someone to deliver a polished final product and don’t want to hire in-house, then an agency or a top-end freelancer is the way to go.

2. Expertise

Finding someone who can write about niche topics to hire in-house can be difficult, especially if you write about several niche topics. Freelancers have a wide range of expertise, which means you can find expert writers to cover a wide range of topics.

The downsides of freelancers

1. Most freelancers aren’t full-time

Freelance work is a great way to make extra cash when you need it. Most freelancers only write part-time (less than 20 hours per week). Hours can be sporadic. It’s not uncommon for college students to freelance a lot in the summer to save up some spending cash for fall and winter.

The downside for businesses is that you might find a fantastic freelancer only to discover that they’re only available to work during certain times of the year.

2. You aren’t their only client

Freelancers generally work with several clients at a time, which means they aren’t always able to work exactly to your timeline. Depending on the project, you might be OK with getting things turned in a little late. But if your project depends on a specific delivery date, working with a freelancer can be risky.

To make sure you’re at the top of your freelancer’s priority list, pay a good wage and take steps to ensure you’re communicating effectively.

3. They don’t “get” your brand the way someone close to the company can

If you work with a freelancer for a long time and give them consistent work, they’ll start to get to know the company and understand your brand. If you hire freelancers inconsistently, though, they won’t have a chance to really get your brand. In-house writers will understand the nuances of your brand in a way that doesn’t translate outside the company. A content agency will also take the time to meet with you and understand your brand, which they can convey directly to their own in-house team of writers.

Why you should hire a content agency instead

Here at People First Content, we know how freelancing works because we’ve done it. We know that it’s easy to drop a project for a client when something better comes along or when it’s not convenient. We understand the value of good content and know exactly how to find the best writers for specific projects.

Here are some ways a content agency can work better than hiring your own freelancers.

1. An agency will understand your business

When you hire an agency, you get to tell them exactly what you need and how your content fits into your overall business strategy. The agency will take the time to understand your brand, your business, and your people. Your agency will only deliver content that meets your goals. They become your partner and have as much a vested interest in your company as if they were employed there in-house, but without the additional overhead of hiring a whole content team.

2. An agency has a host of tools at their disposal

We intensely understand SEO, and we also know that we need tools to track how our SEO strategies are working. That’s why agencies like People First Content pay for tools to track traffic and determine what content will work best to meet your business goals.

3. Agencies provide a reliable means of getting quality content

Agencies are businesses too, so they run just like your business. Unlike freelancers who might work part-time, this is our full-time gig. We’re committed to delivering quality content on your timeline.

4. An agency is a one-time hire

Hire an agency once and let them take care of the rest. If we need to outsource content to a freelancer, we’ll handle that. If we can handle the writing in-house, we’ll get it done on your timeline. We operate as an extension of your company, but without the hassle of HR. Hire us once and trust us to get the job done.

Does your business need content? Whether you have a one-off project or need a consistent stream of content, we want to work with you! Contact us today to see what we can do for your business.