If you have a blog that needs updating or a project that needs writing, you may be asking yourself, “Is it better to hire a freelance copywriter or an employee?”
When researching if a freelance writer would be cheaper for you, there’s a few questions you should ask yourself. I recommend doing the math using the first two points. Then, ask yourself the remaining questions to figure out which would be best.
1. What Would You Pay an Employee?
If you hire an experienced writer full-time, let’s say you’ll pay them at least $30/hour. That amounts to about $4,875/month plus any expenses related to health insurance. Keep in mind that many talented content marketers or copywriters will probably expect a higher wage.
2. What Rate Does Your Freelance Copywriter Charge?
Freelance writer rates can vary significantly. But let’s get this out of the way first: If you pay $10 for a blog post, it’s unlikely to propel your marketing efforts. Of course, that will be cheaper than hiring an employee, but on the same token, you’re also losing $10 every post you pay for because it’s useless. If you want to learn why, read WARNING: If You Use Content Mills, You’ll Get Crappy Quality Posts.
The rate a professional freelancer charges depends on their experience, niche and the type of project. To get quality content, you’ll want to choose someone with enough experience and who can confidently write within your area. However, these rates can still vary. For example, say you want a 1,000-word blog post. One writer may charge $100 while another may charge $400. Those prices probably seem expensive for one piece of content, but if you’ve ever researched, written and edited quality-content, you know it isn’t a quick process. While paying $100 may seem like the best choice, put yourself in a writer’s shoes. Which are you going to spend more time on, something that pays $100 or $400?
3. How Much Content Work Do You Need?
If you only need a blog post a week, you won’t have enough work for a full-time writer and your money will probably go to waste when they run out of things to do. On the other hand, maybe you have a massive content to-do list: multiple blog posts per week, an e-book, email newsletters, website content, marketing your content, social media, etc. If this is the case, a full-time employee can’t effectively juggle that many balls at once. If you’re looking to get things done more quickly, you could consider hiring multiple freelancers or one employee and one freelancer.
4. What Type of Content Work Do You Need?
You should also consider what type of work you need and how long it will take to complete. For example, if all you need is your website copy updated, a freelancer is the best decision because it’s short-term work. Maybe you need some blog posts, but they just consist of short company updates. In that case, you could hire a PR or marketing employee and have them take it on as one of their responsibilities. However, if you’re looking for someone with specific skills such as SEO for one task, it’s better to hire an expert freelancer than make it a responsibly of an employee with a different skill set.
5. Do You Have Physical Space?
If you want to hire an employee, you’ll need to consider if you have enough office space for them. If you can’t make room, you have three options: move to a bigger office, hire an employee who works remotely or hire a freelancer.
6. How Much of a Risk Do You Want to Take?
Hiring an employee typically is a bigger risk because you have to trust that the person will do good work for the duration of their contract. While a good freelancer will also have contracts, they are typically much shorter than an employment contract. This means that if you choose the wrong freelancer, you lose significantly less.
7. Does Your Budget Fluctuate?
Obviously, if you hire a full-time employee, you’ll need to make sure you have the funds to make payday each week. With a freelancer, you can tackle projects at your own pace according to what your budget allows that month. Maybe you start off with weekly blogging and when your budget expands, you ask the freelancer to help with web copy or an ebook. If you have a limited budget, tackling a task at a time with a freelancer is probably your best option.