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The Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Outsourcing Your Content Creation

By: Geoffrey Scott   September 20, 2017

Content marketing has evolved into an industry that is both demanding and costly. Large companies and corporations can painlessly funnel money into their digital marketing strategies, while small to medium businesses (SMBs) struggle to meet their short- and long-term goals due to a serious lack of resources.

So what’s the solution? Many SMBs have turned to outsourcing their content, be it through freelancers found on job boards, or content marketplaces. These platforms help marketers with tighter budgets achieve their content quotas at an affordable price.

How do I know if outsourcing is right for me?

In most cases, SMBs that choose to outsource do so because they lack the manpower and/or budget to cover all their content needs. They are either spread so thin that the quality of their content suffers, or they produce quality content at an insufficient rate. In short, supply doesn’t meet demand, creating a content bottleneck that prevents them from reaching their goals.

Most SMBs with a limited budget can’t justify hiring on full-time in-house marketers, so they turn to outsourcing, which is both affordable and efficient. According to Curata, “over 60% of companies are now outsourcing content creation to freelancers or agencies.” This trend is only expected to increase in the foreseeable future.

If this sounds like you, then you should consider outsourcing. To help you better understand the ins and outs of outsourcing, we’ve compiled the advantages and disadvantages below. See for yourself why outsourcing is the ultimate method to achieving your content objectives.

The Advantages of Outsourcing Your Content

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#1. Outsourcing saves you money

The most compelling reason to outsource your content is the fact that it is significantly cheaper than hiring a team of in-house writers. According to BKA content, the average annual cost of hiring just one full-time writer adds up to $74,607 – that’s excluding overhead and payroll.

Now, let’s take a look at the annual costs were you to outsource your content via a high-quality content marketplace: say you want to outsource anywhere between 15-30 500-word articles per month, the cost per article averaging around $49.95. Based on these content standards, the total cost of your annual content output would range around $8,890-17,982. You would save a staggering $56,000+!

Bear in mind that the above estimates are just an example. Your content strategy may require less than 15 articles a month, so your annual cost could be much lower. No matter what your budget is, outsourcing is the right decision: not only will you get quality content at a much cheaper rate, you can spend the money saved on other aspects of running your business.

Big Tip
Is your content strategy not producing the results you want? Learn more about how you can improve your strategy to achieve your goals by avoiding these five common content strategy myths.

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#2. Outsourcing saves you time

Producing quality content that will achieve your marketing goals is no easy task. If you don’t have the manpower to handle it in-house, the onus falls on you to produce engaging articles for your target audience. This is precisely why many SMBs opt for outsourcing their content: by delegating it to a third-party provider, they can focus their time and energy on higher level aspects of their content strategy.

It should also be taken into account that the time spent strategizing, writing, optimizing, and marketing your content so that it maximizes outreach and effectiveness is an exhausting, time-consuming task. By outsourcing to qualified writers, you spare yourself the stress of handling your content needs alone.

On that note, outsourcing also means you don’t have to spend precious hours recruiting talent and sifting through reams of applications. Quality content marketplaces provide clients with a pool of pre-vetted, highly specialized writers that can deliver state-of-the-art content as needed.

Big Tip
 To maintain a consistent flow of fresh content, many SMBs take advantage of external sources. If you lack the resources to tackle all of your content goals, or you are spending too much in-house on a failing content strategy, then you should consider outsourcing.

#3. It grants you access to specialized writers

Do you need a longform article about landscape photography? What about a piece highlighting the negative effects of global traveling and trade on the environment, or an in-depth product description for boutique bicycle parts? No matter your niche or topic area, finding a qualified freelancer with the industry expertise you need has never been easier: Over the last few years, the U.S. gig economy has grown to 53 million freelancers – or one in every three working Americans. That means there are more specialized, niche-specific writers available now than ever before. Should you decide to outsource your content, you’re more likely to land a specialized writer that understands your target audience and product.

No matter your niche or topic area, finding a qualified freelancer with the industry expertise you need has never been easier.

Aside from possessing a mastery of the written word, these writers often come equipped with other essential skills, like proficiency in WordPress, basic to advanced HTML literacy, or a firm grasp of SEO. Writers of this caliber will optimize your content so that it pleases search bots, engages and retains users, and increases conversions.

Where do you find these writers? The two best options are to either write a killer job post that attracts the best freelance writers, or you can outsource through a reputable content marketplace.

#4. Provides you with ideation and a content strategy

Coming up with article ideas that resonate with your target audience takes a lot of time and research. Not only do you need to think of a relevant, interesting subject matter, you also need to write the content in an engaging, conversational manner that relates to your typical reader. Instead of mulling through ideas on your own time, why not hire a professional writer to do it?

All you need to do is inform them about your business goals, who your target audience is, and what you hope to achieve with your content. Once you’ve conveyed your content needs to your writer, the rest is easy. Take a deep breath and let your writer handle your content strategy for you; it’s an autopilot service you can rely on.

Of course, accurately communicating your content criteria rests on you, the client. Assuming you know your content needs, and how to communicate them effectively, your writer will be able to handle the most time-consuming aspects of your content strategy for you.

Big Tip
Finding the best writers is all a matter of communicating your needs effectively. Start by mentioning your business goals, who your target audience is, and what you hope to achieve with your content.

#5. It’s a flexible work arrangement

Your content demands might not require 15-30 monthly blog posts year round, and that’s normal; seasonal traffic affects website performance and analytics across the board. In those dry seasons, simply scale back on your outsourced content. The flexible nature of outsourcing always works in your favor.

One way to take advantage of the situation is to arrange a customized content schedule with your freelancer or preferred content marketplace that caters to your content needs. For example, if you need less content during the holidays, your writer – or team of writers – will know in advance. That way, your audience is still getting the attention they need, and you’re not paying for an unnecessary full-scale service when you don’t need it.

#6. You get quality work

There is a misconception that freelance writers are flighty, unprofessional, and sloppy. While there certainly are writers that fall into these categories, to assume that all writers handle their clients in such a manner is false.

As mentioned earlier, the best writers work through content marketplaces that ensure quality over quantity. The small percentage of elite writers that are accepted to write for these marketplaces understand the importance of crafting sterling content that satisfies the client. Because these writers are held to such a rigorous standard, the content they produce must be consistently top-tier and satisfactory, which rebuts the argument that all freelancers are willing to churn out slipshod content at a pittance.

The Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your Content

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#1. Collaboration with a third-party takes time

In-house writers are already acquainted with your product and target audience. When you outsource content, you have to make sure key details pertaining to your business and content needs are explained as explicitly as possible to your writer; otherwise, there’s a chance you won’t be satisfied with your content, which means you will require edits and revisions, both of which must be communicated again to your freelancer. This process will require more time, which can be worrisome, especially if you have pressing deadlines around the corner.

The best writers work through content marketplaces that ensure quality over quantity. The small percentage of elite writers that are accepted to write for these marketplaces understand the importance of crafting sterling content that satisfies the client.

#2. A third-party may have other clients

Quality writers may not have the time it takes to address your content needs immediately. Freelancers and content marketplaces alike can be spread thin, especially if they produce good work. Of course, there are ways around this. If you are willing to pay more, your content will be prioritized, especially if you’re outsourcing through a freelance writer.

Big Tip
 If you want to be successful in your content marketing endeavors, the goal is never to churn out as much content as possible; rather, you should focus on producing engaging, authoritative content that users trust.

#3. A third-party may lack industry expertise

You could rephrase this as, “You get what you pay for.” If you opt to use content mills, you can expect lower quality content. Freelancers that work through content mills are generalists in a pejorative sense, meaning they are paid a low rate to cover a range of topics they only have a vague understanding of. Specialized, in-demand writers won’t waste their time working for rates that are beneath them.

As a client, if you are looking to pay as little as possible for high-quality content, then you will inevitably encounter third-party content providers that lack industry expertise.

Conclusion

If you lack the resources to meet your content goals and quotas, then you should strongly consider outsourcing. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and there are plenty of platforms out there to find suitable writers.

Not sure where to start? We suggest giving our Compose.ly marketplace a shot. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can consistently deliver these advantages to our clients. Our attention to detail, our relentless standard of excellence, and our successful implementation of SEO best practices will make your content strategy unstoppable. Outsource through us and watch as you master your niche.

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