Someone who is good with words is a huge asset.
Because content is a significant business differentiator, finding a company for content writing (reliable, good quality, responsive) is imperative.
Why not just hire a freelancer?
Why not just go to a content mill?
Those are both viable options.
As is partnering with a copywriting agency that specializes in words that work.
Let’s look at those options, because there are a few ways to skin the copy cat.
First, you can always look for a freelance content writer. We love Upwork and use it all of the time to find various freelancers for things like web design, graphic design, dev projects, etc.
We also hire writers for one-off projects from time to time, so we have the inside scoop on writers on Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
First, you get what you pay for. Because freelance writers are “on-demand,” the rates of good ones can be crazy high. Like we’re talking an individual out there solo (no resources, support, infrastructure) commanding triple digit hourly rates. You have to really like them and get some real quality work for it to be worth it.
The flipside is true too: the rates of unqualified writers are super low. So it may look like you’re getting a killer deal. But be careful with that. You’d probably be better off using ChatGPT or Jasper or something and then editing it.
Bottom line: freelance writers are almost never a “good deal,” financially speaking. There have to be other value drivers behind hiring this way for it to be a smart business decision.
The second “buyer beware” moment we encounter when we hire freelance copywriters is skill. Unless you are a professional writer, it can be hard to evaluate a writer’s skill, even with a test or trial. We’ve had prospective writers get through a few rounds of our process and not make it.
There are almost no standards in place when it comes to copywriters. They can have any degree (or not), any experience (or not), and, let’s face it, they can fudge both of those anyway.
At the end of the day, a skilled copywriter will make you money and an unskilled one will be a colossal waste of time and energy.
Your standards should be high. But you may find very few candidates when they are. To put this in context, when we put up a job posting for a writer on Indeed or something, we’ll get anywhere from 400-600 resumes. Of those, maybe five are worth talking to. That’s a real stat.
Let’s call them habits. One of those habits (unfortunately) is they are creative, free-spirited individuals. We’ve discussed this a ton at HAW. Because we tend to hire from this or an adjacent pool.
What makes someone want to freelance for a living?
Well, they want to be free.
When autonomy is at the top of the priority heap, it can make someone a less dedicated team member. We’ve personally gotten ghosted by tons of freelance writers. They show up and then one day, they don’t feel like showing up. So they don’t.
As long as you’ve done this the right way with a contract or through a platform like Upwork, you probably won’t get too burned - but it’s a huge pain and obviously a setback to the work.
You need to really vet a freelancer and keep them accountable and on task.
Alright, so those are the things to watch out for and weigh as you make the writer hiring decision.
If you’re wary of the freelance route, you can go the copy mill route.
Companies that contract writing work at a high volume are often called “content mills.”
Almost always, the company is structured with leaders at the top and then a bullpen full of freelance writers. You buy work (usually at a SUPER low rate) and then that work gets tossed into the bullpen. A freelance writer will claim it, create it, and send it back. It may or may not get edited and then it will come to you.
The quality of this work is… rarely good. The writers are not vetted or trained. They’re often complete novices. They may not be native English speakers (which, BIG CAVEAT, is not a disqualifier AT ALL, unless they are also not trained… in which case, it’s problematic).
Because we are like the opposite of a copy mill, it’s hard to put this decision in front of you without a little bias.
Truth is: you may be able to use a company for content writing that operates like this and get fine work. If you want to investigate: Hoth is one of them. Scripted is another. We don’t mind linking to them or telling you to scout them out because what they do is not related to what we do. At all. ;)
Every decision has pros and cons, but the one that’s going to be best for any business serious about quality and professionalism is a content writing agency.
You may think: isn’t that a digital marketing agency? No. Digital marketing agencies are typically full-service and will often have writers on staff.
A content writing agency is hyper-specialized. It’s what Hire a Writer is. In other words, we only write. We are all professional writers and we write for a living. All of our training is around the craft of writing and creating copy.
The value of this for a business is manifold:
Great content is a premiere currency for business growth in the digital age.
If your business doesn’t have a reliable, efficient, effective way to produce it, you must find that way and find it fast.
If you want to investigate our company for content writing, contact us here.
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