Content: To Outsource Or Not To Outsource

By July 1st, 2016


Whether you need new pages written for your website, blogs on the latest industry trends, or want to refresh the content you already have, choosing who should write it can be difficult.

You need content that is appealing and readable, but this is usually not the first priority on the finance team’s checklist.

Choosing between outsourcing content or writing it in house usually comes down to a few major considerations, and sometimes there is no clear winner. Even with a strong in-house communications department, their time may be best spent elsewhere.

When you’re choosing between outsourcing content or writing it in-house, consider these factors.


Price is almost always the number one deciding factor when content writing is concerned. Is it cheaper to have it outsourced, or have a team member write it themselves? This actually is a more difficult answer than just the overall price offered by your network of freelancers.

Consider the time spent on the resources your team will create to provide freelancers with enough information to write the content; this may come in the form of a content calendar, client brief, or handwritten instructions to the writer. Next, think about the time your communications department will spend editing this work, sending it back for revisions, and making it publishable.

For example, say your in-house team’s hourly rate is $150, while a piece of content written by a freelancer costs you $60 flat.

Though the $60 flat rate seems like a better fee, your in-house team still needs to dedicate time to outsourcing, editing, and sending it out to various parties for approvals and revisions; all this time costs you money. At this rate, your own team could have written the piece of content themselves for a similar price, if not less.



Creative Commons – WebDonuts

When looking to create content, another main factor is the difficulty of the content itself. Consider how difficult the content is to write from both an in-house and outsider’s perspective.

If you need content written about your company, industry, or workforce, this content demands to be written by a professional in-house. The writer needs to have a strong grasp on what they’re talking about, and be able to write it in a way that keeps information accessible for readership of any customer level. Vagueness is unwelcome in content of this type, so ensure an industry insider is taking charge of this.

On the other hand, if you need content written for regular blog posts, social media posts, or other general content, outsourcing content may be a simple choice. Using content management platforms like Zerys, Scripted or even Fiverr can give you immediate access to professional freelancers across the globe; and you often have full power to review content and ask for revisions before paying for it.

Quality vs Quantity

Quality and quantity are two characteristics that very rarely go together, and this is still true in terms of content production. When you need high quality content, your in-house communications team is the team you should trust. You can be guaranteed that this content will be written well, and if you or your clients want something altered this can be fixed immediately. You can rest assured that the utmost care is taken when it comes to spelling, grammar and syntax, as this is what communications professionals specialize in.

If your goal is simply to have content up on your website, be it blogs or vague web copy, outsourcing your writing can get the job done. Though the quality of outsourced content will always be lesser than that of an in-house team, you can get a higher volume of content at a lower price point.


When considering outsourcing content, take into account the time your own team has to invest.

The more specialized the topic, the harder it may be to outsource content to a general freelancer.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, via

About the Author:

Hollie Whitehead is a Content Coordinator at Search Engine People, where she utilizes her skills with the English language to write, edit, and publish engaging content. In her downtime, Hollie’s interests include readings, cats, and all things pumpkin spice. Connect with Hollie on Twitter!


Content: To Outsource Or Not To Outsource

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