In-House Copywriters vs Copywriting Agency: Which One Is for You?

March 17, 2023

An in-house copywriter is a professional who joins your marketing team to develop copy for your brand’s campaigns and advertisements.

On the other hand, a copywriting agency offers full service, from brief creation, drafting copy, proofreading and editing, to liaising with designers and developers.

An in-house copywriter and a copywriting agency both do the same job. They both create a wide range of content to promote your brand, such as blog posts, landing pages, product descriptions, and case studies.

So, if they do the same job, how do you decide who to hire? The answer lies in these three questions:

  • What is your budget for the hiring process?
  • What kind of content do you want generated?
  • How much control do you want in the writing process?

To answer these questions, we’ll walk you through what both an in-house writer and a copywriting agency bring to the table, and hopefully you’ll see who can better drive up sales and increase your ROI.

Is an In-House Copywriter Right for You?

two men typing on computers

Source: Unsplash

An in-house copywriter is right for you if you like interacting with your writer through every step of the writing process, and you’re willing to pay them a competitive salary.

Let’s look in detail at the good and the bad of hiring in-house copywriters.

The Advantage of Hiring an In-House Copywriter

They Are at Your Beck and Call

Generally, in-house copywriters are employed full-time unless stated otherwise in the employment contract.

That means you can call upon them whenever you need content, assign tasks, and monitor their progress. You can request adjustments where the content isn’t how you want it to be.

You also have more control over deadlines. If you need content to be finished earlier than agreed, you can casually stroll into the copywriters’ office for a briefing on the matter.

However, with a copywriting agency, you’ll have to make a phone call or send an email if you want an emergency fast turnaround. And with their tight schedules, you’re not guaranteed that your request will be met on such short notice.

Hiring an in-house writer is convenient if you like interacting with the copywriter throughout their writing to get updates on their progress.

Disadvantages of Hiring an In-House Copywriter

It Costs Money and Time to Find the Right Ones

Hiring an in-house writer may cost you more than a copywriting agency because there are other expenses beyond their salary.

Though every hiring process is different, hiring and integrating any new employee can cost up to $4,000 and take about 24 days, according to a Glassdoor study.

When hiring a copywriting agency, finding, testing, and training writers has already been done by the agency itself, but when hiring an in-house writer, you’ll have to bear both the cost and the time.

You’ll have to pay for advertising, and after finding suitable copywriters, it’s most likely that you’ll have to invest in their training to ensure they‘re up to date with your brand and current content production trends.

Besides their salary, other benefits such as health insurance and paid time-off are your obligation because they are your employees.

And even when your business isn’t producing content, you’ll still have to pay your full-time copywriter, unlike with a copywriting agency, which you set aside when you don’t need content.

In short, hiring in-house copywriters is a big investment, even when you can’t guarantee that they’ll stick with you for long.

Their Writing Lacks Diversity

You may reach a point when you notice that the content produced by your in-house writer lacks variety and seems dry.

It’s not that they aren’t good writers; the monotony sets in because you’re relying on the skills and diversity of just one or two writers.

Every writer has moments when they’re short on writing ideas. For in-house writers, it means they’ll keep writing anyway because there’s no one to pass the task to, resulting in bland content.

On the other hand, a copywriting agency has many writers, each with different writing styles. So, if one writer gets stuck, the task moves to another writer who will write it from a fresh perspective.

In-house writers may be familiar with how to write for their brand because they belong there, but when it comes to diversity, they are somewhat limited.

Is a Copywriting Agency Right for You?

employees working together

Source: Pexels

Hiring a copywriting agency suits you if your business is expanding and needs a higher volume of content, which in-house copywriters can’t handle.

Let’s see how a copywriting agency benefits your eCommerce store and what its shortcomings are.

Advantages of Hiring a Copywriting Agency

They’ll Scale Your Content Production

A copywriting agency will increase the volume and frequency of your content production. After all, as your business expands, so do your content needs.

The reason in-house copywriters can’t produce high volumes of content is because as the demand for content increases, the few writers struggle to keep up with the workload, creating the need to outsource some of the content to an agency, which has more writers.

With increased content production, you get a better ROI. Hubspot discovered that businesses that frequently produce content received 13 times more ROI than those who didn’t.

A copywriting agency gives you access to a large team of writers with diverse backgrounds and expertise, which caters to the evolving content needs of your growing business.

As the agency creates your blog content, your blogs get published more often since the copywriting agency is generating content at a larger scale than in-house copywriters can.

When you hire CopySmiths to write your content, you simply tell us how often you want us to publish, whether daily, weekly, or fortnightly.

Customers expect high-quality consistent content in order to be able to trust you and build a relationship with your brand, and with a copywriting agency, you’ll witness firsthand your content production scaling in quality and quantity.

They Are Experts at Content Marketing

A copywriting agency knows the ins and outs of marketing. They know how to create content that achieves specific goals, such as generating leads, increasing traffic, and improving conversion rates.

Copywriting agencies work with multiple companies from various fields. They have vast knowledge of content marketing strategies compared to in-house copywriters who work for only one company.

When these strategies are applied, your customers become aware of your products in depth and engage with them, which helps them in their buying decisions.

Aberdeen conducted a study which found that conversion rates are six times higher for those who adopt content marketing than those who don’t—2.9% vs 0.5%, respectively.

A copywriting agency will do a great job of marketing your content because they:

  • Understand buyer personas and will research the needs of your target audience to tailor content specific to that audience
  • Will optimize your content for SEO by creating content that is optimized with the right keywords, meta descriptions, graphics, and links
  • Will conduct data analysis to measure the effectiveness of their content strategies to know which metric needs to be improved

CopySmiths understands deeply how to create valuable content and promote it to the right audience using the right strategies.

The One and Only Disadvantage of Hiring a Copywriting Agency

Their Turn-Around Times May Seem Slow for Some People

A copywriting agency’s turnaround time isn’t as fast or flexible as that of in-house copywriters.

The reason is, a copywriting agency trains its writers to produce valuable content, and for that to happen, time is required to conduct proper research, while also not forgetting proofreading and editing.

When turnaround time finally comes, and you unveil the content, you get sparkling writing worth waiting for.

Secondly, a copywriting agency has many clients, and therefore, it’s understandable that they have to schedule their work to cater to every client’s needs.

But that doesn’t mean they are completely inflexible. Of course, if the need arises, they can rearrange their schedule to accommodate a faster turnaround than agreed earlier.

So, Who Will You Hire?

Ultimately, your decision to hire an in-house copywriter or a copywriting agency depends on your content needs, budget, and how much control you want over your content production.

The table below summarizes our comparison between in-house copywriters and copywriting agencies:

 In-House CopywriterCopywriting Agency
CostHigh costs for recruitment, training, and benefitsLow cost
Marketing expertiseLittle marketing expertiseThorough knowledge of content marketing
ScalabilityLimited in content creationScales content creation quickly
Diversity of writingLimited to one writer’s creativityA whole team of diverse writers
Turnaround timesQuick turnaround for urgent projectsRequires more time to complete projects

In summary, hire an in-house copywriter if you(r):

  • Budget can afford to give a competitive salary, including benefits
  • Business is small, and an in-house writer can handle the small projects
  • Want to interact one-on-one with your writer and the writing process

Hire a copywriting agency if you want:

  • A variety of writers to bring diversity
  • A team experienced in content marketing
  • Your content development to scale to greater heights

Though hiring a copywriting agency may seem more expensive at first glance, it’s more cost-effective when you factor in the time and cost to recruit, train, and maintain in-house copywriters.

The good thing is, if you decide to settle for in-house copywriters, you can still outsource to a copywriting agency once in a while when your in-house copywriters have more work than they can handle.

Business owners were asked why they outsource content. The highest percentage—51.6%—of them said outsourcing scales their content production.

statistics on outsourcing content writing

Source: Semrush

CopySmiths Copywriting Agency Will Scale Your Content Production

CopySmiths is in the business of ensuring you scale the heights of content production by producing SEO-optimized content and publishing often.

“We have used CopySmiths on several occasions. Their approach is strategic and SEO results-driven, which is exactly what we needed.” — Chris, Red Kite Design

You’ll experience diversity from our writers, some of who are marketers, retirees, engineers, teachers, stay-at-home moms, and more.

Reach out to us and let us do everything for you, from content ideation, article writing, images, quality control, search engine and compliance, right through to publishing.

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Katrina McKinnon


I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.