There comes a time in the life of many businesses, where the demand for new content, from product descriptions and blogs to white papers and email, exceeds their capacity internally. At that point the decision between recruiting an in-house copywriter or copywriting team and working with a copywriting agency rears its head.

As someone who currently runs a successful copywriting agency I have to declare a bias, but I think there are some important issues that are often overlooked by brands and organisations when making a decision about their copywriting requirements.

In-house copywriters or outsource?

Putting the copywriting agency option to one side for a moment, when it comes to recruiting an in-house team of copywriters there are two main options: either run a team of freelance copywriters or recruit a full-time copywriter or copywriters.

Let’s first consider what’s involved in putting together a freelance copywriter team.

Recruitment is the first challenge – there may be a lot of freelance copywriters out there but it requires resources to find and assess the quality of candidates before letting them loose on your copy. Unless you’re experienced in this it may be a bit of trial and error to find the right copywriters for you. Even if you only want a single freelance copywriter, you need to over-recruit to ensure that when freelancers go missing (that flexibility is their privilege) you have someone else who can fill the gap.

You also still need someone in-house to manage briefing, editing content and maintaining consistency across several different freelance copywriters – that may well require an investment in copywriting training so you can judge the quality of work appropriately and make sure the technical requirements of the content (keywords, grammar, spelling, content structure) are up to scratch.

You could of course directly employ your copywriters. On the plus side, you have a permanent team of writers so you have security and consistency and can ensure that your content is always on-brand. Turnaround on very urgent jobs might be slightly quicker as you can reallocate resources immediately as you need them. You may also value the idea of building a team and developing personnel long-term within your organisation.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about this and why some of apparent advantages of taking on your own copywriter or copywriting team are actually serious disadvantages.

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