Content is something that every brand needs to be successful, yet few have the internal resources to meet the demand in-house. This creates a gaping need for high-quality, cost-effective content writers.
The question is, how and where do you hire the best SEO content writers for your business?
Content is the fuel to a marketing engine. It’s what makes the entire operating churn. And while most competitive brands understand the supreme importance of developing a high-level content strategy, few take the necessary strides to execute with as much precision and clarity.
A good content strategy is nothing without talented content writers who understand how to write with SEO and persuasion in mind. And if you don’t have the time or skill to handle the demands of copywriting within your own business, you’ll have to make some important decisions to obtain talented copywriters who can bring your brand’s voice to life.
Every brand is free to make their own choice about how to pursue content writing, but if you’re considering hiring an in-house writer, you’re making a costly mistake.
With very few exceptions, hiring a full-time, salaried content writer is way too expensive and very limiting. (And this has nothing to do with the size of your company and/or revenue. Even companies with several million dollars of revenue per year are often better off going another route.)
While it depends on location, experience, and a wealth of other factors, the average pay for a full-time content writer is going to land somewhere between $49k to $67k. And if you want someone with lots of experience and skill in your specific niche or industry, you could easily pay six figures. In-house workers provide more control, but it can be expensive.
At first, paying someone $50k to $70k per year to handle all of your content needs might not sound like a lot. But you have to consider what you’re actually getting from them.
The average copywriter is only going to be able to produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 words per day. When you take out vacation days, sick time, and holidays, that means they have the ability to produce somewhere around 480,000 words a year (at maximum capacity). If you’re paying that copywriter $60,000, you’re basically paying 12.5 cents per word.
But that’s just the start.
Consider that hiring a full-time employee also requires you to provide benefits, pay payroll taxes, provide software and technology, etc.
When you account for all of these expenses, the true cost ends up being more than 20 cents per word for an average content writer. (If you’re hiring someone with considerable experience and a higher salary, you could be looking at north of 30 cents per word.)
Maybe you aren’t well-versed in content writing, but you can get some really good copy for 20 to 30 cents per word. Hiring an average copywriter at this price point just doesn’t make any sense.
Another downside of hiring a full-time SEO content writer onto your staff is that you’re paying for the writer’s time regardless of how much you use them. Don’t have any assignments for two or three days? You’re paying the same rate as you would if the content writer were pushing out thousands of words of content.
To put it simply, this sort of setup doesn’t work in your favor.
The good news is that you have plenty of other options for hiring SEO content writers to execute on your content strategy. More specifically, there are two major choices:
Every business is going to have unique wants, needs, expectations, and budgets, so we’ll take the time to explore both of these options for you.
If you choose to go the freelance route, you’ll need to know how to find good options. And while there are any number of ways to go, these are the most common:
There might be some other niche ways to find good content writers, but if you cast nets in each of these areas, you’ll come up with plenty of options.
The biggest con to hiring freelance content writers is that it can take some time to zero in on the right person(s). You have to put out feelers and filter out the people who are unqualified. (For some reason, everyone thinks they can write.) Then you have to do test projects, build trust, and go through the process of explaining your brand style, guidelines, expectations, goals, etc. But if you know what to look for, you can streamline this process and get connected to the right SEO content writer much faster.
Here are a few elements to keep an eye out for:
There’s no such thing as a perfect fit, but if you cycle through these elements, you’ll know pretty quickly whether or not someone is a realistic candidate.
After hiring a content writer, you have to manage them to ensure you get maximum value out of your investment. Here are some helpful pointers:
Any time you hire a freelance SEO content writer, you have to operate under the assumption that they won’t stick around forever. Thus it’s always a good idea to have your eye on some other talent that you can swap in and out.
The other option is to work with a marketing agency. This is more of a hands-off approach – something many companies find attractive. (Having said that, you may lose a little bit of the control that you have when working with a freelance copywriter.)
Here are some suggestions for finding a good marketing agency:
You might have some other tried and true methods of finding good business partners, but focusing on these two approaches will typically yield enough options to choose from.
The good news is that there are a lot of marketing agencies out there. The bad news is that there are a lot of marketing agencies out there! Here’s how you can make sure you’re hiring the right one for your SEO content needs:
Not all marketing agencies are created equal. Some offer content writing services as part of their larger mix, while other marketing agencies focus on content as their core service. These latter agencies tend to provide better quality content.
Managing agency content writers is a little different than managing freelance content writers – namely because you might not be able to interact with them directly. Keeping this in mind, here are some suggestions:
If you follow these three tips, you’ll find it easier to get maximum value out of agency content writers. But don’t be too stressed about it. One of the biggest benefits of working with an agency is the fact that these writers have already been vetted and deemed to be quality writers. Trust the agency to do their thing and you should be fine.
There’s a saying in business that you should be slow to hire and fast to fire. This saying certainly rings true with SEO content writers.
Whether you go with a freelance content writer or an agency, you should do ample due diligence and research on the front end. Start off with a sample project and keep it focused. Then slowly expand as you get comfortable working with them. If there’s too much friction or the content writer ends up not doing what they say they’re going to do, don’t be afraid to move on quickly.
At SEO.co, we aren’t just another marketing agency that offers content as a service. Our entire business is built around the idea that content is king.
When you work with SEO.co, you get access to world-class content writers who are based in the United States. Our team has collectively produced tens of millions of words of copy for small businesses, startups, established corporations, and even Fortune 500 companies.
Want to learn more about how we can meet your content needs? We would love to hear from you.