4 Ways to Grow Your Marketing Agency With Content Writers

by Christina Hooper.
Last Updated on September 27, 2020

You started your marketing agency, and now you're struggling to grow your business. One of the easiest things a marketing agency can do is hire content writers to create content for your agency and your clients. With this simple move, you can begin growing your business instantly. 

I know you are asking yourself why you would need a content writer or what a content writer is going to bring to your table. 

Picture this - as an agency owner, you do many jobs, especially if you are working as a one-person operation with minimal employees. Your employees each have their own set of tasks, and adding more to their plate is going to spread them thin. Spreading others thin can lead to shoddy quality work, and that is something you don’t want. 

Agency owners can’t grow their business effectively without being able to delegate work in a way that allows them to meet strict deadlines and adhere to their standards of quality. Content writing takes a lot of time and leaves you little time for other tasks — such as planning marketing campaigns and strategizing, or tracking ROI with data and analytics. 

So, what happens when you’re not delegating work? You end up overextending yourself and can’t handle many clients at once. The quality suffers because you’re stretched too thin and making careless mistakes. 

Delegating content creation to new hires or outsourcing to freelancers, content mills, or content agencies frees up a ton of your time, so you can focus on making your clients happy to retain them longer vs. always working on landing new clients.

This article will cover the different places you can hire content writers, starting within your firm. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each so that by the time you reach the end of this article, you will be able to quickly decide which option will work best for you and your marketing agency.

If you’re considering outsourcing, Content Ninjas can help you meet your clients’ content demands so you can focus on managing your marketing agency. You can get your first article free for your agency — no strings attached

1. Hire Writers In-House

One option to grow your marketing agency is to hire writers in-house. This means you hire someone to be a part of your team and work in the office with your staff. 

You might be worried about outsourcing work to someone else, and you think it’s better to hire someone you can train to do things the way you want who will work closely with you part-time or full-time.

As with any business choice, there are pros and cons, and hiring a writer in-house is no exception. Hiring a writer in-house has some advantages like controlling the work they do and making sure they work a certain number of hours (part-time 20-30, full-time 40+), but it puts many restrictions on the writer.

Hiring a writer who knows the industry can work to your advantage since they understand your client base and needs. But, you may not find one writer with experience in each of your client’s industries. 

You’re responsible for covering their salary — regardless of if you have enough work to cover their wages or not. You always have things like workers’ compensation you have to think about, and you are liable for a lot more stuff than you would be if you hire someone as a 1099 contractor.

“According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost-per-hire (CPH) for hiring in-house writers is $4,129. Comparing salaries drawn from seven different employment sites for multiple writing job roles, it was found that the average base salary figure came to $49,982.

Adding benefits and payroll tax takes the annual cost of hiring an in-house writer to  $79,726. Holy moly!”Buzzvalve

Forcing a writer to write on a set schedule vs. allowing them to work when they’re at their most productive can have you paying more for the same amount of work someone else could do much faster with more freedom over their schedule. For some writers, forced creativity isn’t their strong point, and you could be missing out on some great work by establishing the traditional 9-5. 

As a marketing agency, you will have a team in-house that is working on other projects. Writers can be distracted and unable to concentrate on their tasks, which can take more time for them to write, costing you more money in the long run. 

2. Hire 1099 Contractors

You’ve decided that hiring an in-house writer isn’t the way to go for your marketing agency from the get-go. Maybe you’ve already ruled out in-house writers for the reasons mentioned above, so 1099 contractors are your next thought.

Now you’re wondering where you can find writers. How do you know you’re going to hire the right person for the job? You can find freelance writers on job bid sites like Upwork, or service offering sites like Fiverr. 

Sites like Fiverr or Upwork are an excellent place to start when searching for freelance writers; they’re affordable. However, it’s still a lot of work to find someone who checks all your boxes.

Contractors need to be self-starters who are easily self-motivated and can write on the industries you target. SaSS, tech, engineering, medical, or other highly technical industries with insider jargon and technical terminology are hard to find good writers.  The best writers will have personal experience in the industries you need content created for.

It takes a lot of time and stressful interactions and situations to find the right contractors who are reliable and won’t disappear on you and provide high-quality work consistently and quickly.

Unless you’re lucky and find a seasoned writer who is doing what they love to make a living and want your recurring business, you could end up paying for work that you have to spend lots of time tweaking and fixing because they didn’t do it right the first time. 

“Hiring a freelance writer may seem like a more cost-effective way to approach the problem. However, when you calculate the time, it will take for someone on your end to:

  • Research titles for articles
  • Provide an outline for the writer to follow
  • Edit the article once the writer has sent you the finished product
  • Format the final article for publication including internal and external links, images, and CTA's
  • Publish the article on your website
  • Start the entire process over again 3-5 times a week” 

In Touch Marketing

3. Use a Content Mill

Now you’re on the fence; hire in-house writers or use contractors. Now let’s talk about another option for growing your marketing agency with content writers, using a content mill.  Content mills are writing services where customers (that’s you) who need content can order articles.

By now, you’ve probably realized how much of a headache managing in-house writers could be— not to mention, time-consuming with the hiring process and training. So, if you’re not hiring employees, how else can you delegate? 

Content mills are supposed to be the solution to this predicament as they do the hiring and the management of their writers. But, they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be. With content mills, you order-up content through the website of your content mill of choice (Verblio, RightlyWritten, etc.). 

From there, your content request lands on a job board where a pool of writers can choose your content and complete the work. Sounds manageable enough. 

But there is a downside to content mills.  Writers are contractors who may or not be knowledgeable about the industry you need content for — so your content can come out sounding like a high school research paper vs. an experienced insider piece (as intended).

“Content mills are also known for paying their writers lower than the market rate, anywhere from a couple bucks for short articles to $100 to $300 for longer pieces, as they need to make a profit out of the work.” - ProWritingAid

Writers could refuse the work, and your content dies on the vine by just hanging on the board — never getting written. That puts you in a challenging position and back to the drawing board to find a writer to write your content. This whole process could take months. 

4. Hire a Content Agency

If you’re still on the fence about hiring an in-house writer, hiring a contractor, or using a content mill to grow your marketing agency with content writers, there’s still another option; hire a content agency. Maybe you think these choices are poor options for your business, but you know you can’t scale your marketing agency successfully without someone to handle content creation. 

You know you’re going to have to take on more clients if you want to scale your marketing agency successfully and delegate some of the work. That’s where using a content agency like Content Ninjas comes in. 

Content Ninjas started to fill the market gaps so agency owners can successfully grow their businesses and help more small businesses grow. 

We know exactly what you're dealing with — because we’ve been there. 

I started as a website and graphic designer 14+ years ago and started a marketing agency 8+ years ago. I’ve tried all these solutions for my agency, and frustrated, I set out to invent a solution that would free marketing agencies from this vicious cycle — landing clients, getting overwhelmed with work, trying to outsource and being disappointed, losing clients.

With Content Ninjas, you get assigned to a Content Strategist with a background in marketing and SEO. Your Content Strategist works with you to learn you and your clients like the backs of their hands. They order-up the content you need to kickstart it into our system. 

From there, the researcher creates an outline. They collect all the information the writer needs to complete the work. The writer reviews all the information provided and watches a video walkthrough of the brief and draft where the researcher tells them everything they need to do to complete the work. 

Once the writer finishes, the article goes to an editor for a technical review (grammar, spelling, the accuracy of the information, and all instructions followed). It goes to a content manager with a background in marketing and SEO who give it a final check to ensure the content is SEO and conversion-optimized. It goes back to the content strategist who does the last check to ensure the content is what you requested. 

We’re the only content agency that puts our content through this strict and detailed process. Content mills expect writers to perform all this work themselves, leaving them not enough mental calories to be creative with the work, so the quality of the writing suffers.

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