I will admit that I am a little biased on this subject since I happen to be a professional copywriter. That said, the question of whether to outsource writing writing or not is a valid one and it’s definitely one that has to be approached in a certain way.
Why You May Want to Outsource Your Writing
There are really just two reasons to outsource your writing work:
1. You can’t write it yourself. Those who want to run a successful web business understand when they are in over their heads. They hire a professional web designer to help them create a web site if they don’t know what they’re doing. Ditto for an SEO specialist. Those who truly understand the web however also hire a professional writer.
The reason is quite simple – the better your content, the more likely you are to get people to visit your web site and to purchase your products. There is no shame in not knowing how to write. Some people just aren’t very good at it (though many people claim that they are even though they’re not).
2. You don’t have time to write it yourself. In this case, your writing skills may be adequate, however you are busy running your business (whatever it is) and you simply haven’t got time to write content for your website.
Why You May Not Want to Outsource Your Writing
Okay, so much for the reasons why you would outsource. Let’s talk about why you wouldn’t want to do so. You wouldn’t do it if the service you are selling is your writing (i.e. a copywriting service generally should be able to write their own content). Nor would you do it if you need to have a highly specialized idea conveyed that only you understand.
While you may be able to have the work ghost written (i.e. your name goes up in place of the writer), you need to balance that with the question of whether or not someone else can write in a way that reflects your personal interests and values (any good writer has a signature style which is noticeable even if their name isn’t mentioned).
What to Watch Out For
A final note of warning: assuming you’ve made the decision that hiring a professional writer is the right choice for you, you need to be careful when hiring someone. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people claiming to be writers out there who really should be doing something else (anything else) with their time. Here’s a quick checklist:
Do They Write Their Own Work? You’d be surprised how many people engage in scraping (i.e. copying content from other websites) and claim it’s their own. Just check the work through CopyScape to make sure.
Do They Know How to Write? You can hire people to write a 500 word article for $1. Unfortunately, this is the result:” I provide good writings for yur needs. I no wat to write when yu ned it.” I’m not kidding – this is similar to work I’ve seen put out by some writers of this ilk (I’v e changed it a bit to avoid copyright infringement).
You need to ask for samples and check them thoroughly to see if the writer really knows how to write. Otherwise, you’re wasting both time and money.
How Expensive Are They? You don’t have to spend as much as Playboy Magazine (they pay $1 per word). However, a reasonable fee for a 500 word article written by a quality copywriter should range anywhere from around $20-$50 if there isn’t too much research involved. More in depth projects obviously will cost more money.
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your writing needs – as long as you clearly understand what’s involved and how to pick a professional writer who will do the job in a reasonable time period for a reasonable sum of money.