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Outsourcing Your Content
vs.
Hiring an In-House Writing Team
A True Cost Comparison
Jon Bingham
Director of Marketing
BKA Content
How Much Content Do You Need?
29%
26%
Content Marketing as a % of Total
Marketing Budget
B2C
B2B
29%
48%
15%
% of Marketers Increasing Content Creation
Significant Increase
Increase
No Change
Decrease
Based on Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 survey, companies are setting aside nearly 30% of
their total marketing budget towards content marketing.
Also, 77% of companies plan to increase their overall content production from the previous year.
Companies that published 11 or more posts per month saw 3x the traffic of those that published 1
or 2 posts.
Pros and Cons
In-House Writers
Pros:
• Industry Experience
• Increased Control
Cons:
• Skills Gap
• Time/Resources
• Bias
• Fixed Capacity
Outsourced Writers
Pros:
• Process Expertise
• Ability to Scale
• Outside Perspective
• Resources
• Convenience
Cons:
• Lack of Inside
Knowledge
• Limited Control
The Cost of Hiring In-House Writers
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average
hiring cost is:
$4,000
We found 18 copywriting salaries from 7 different employment websites. The
average salary is:
$49,982
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits account for 30.2% of
compensation costs. In our example that equates to:
$21,625
Payroll taxes are around 8.24%, meaning the tax payout is:
$4,119
The cost of equipment/overhead is approximately:
$2,800
The total cost for 1 in-house writer is:
$82,526
The Cost of Outsourcing Content Creation
Self Service vs. Managed Service
• Order through online platform
• Select price or quality level
• Manage and quality check the
content yourself
• Interact with each writer and
give feedback
• Typically cheapest option
• Dedicated account manager
• Manager creates team of writers
for your project
• Most convenient and hands off
approach
• May require a retainer or
membership fee
• FREE with BKA Content
The Cost of Outsourcing Content Creation
Pricing
For our cost comparisons, we’ll be using 2 different products to compare costs.
Our scenarios will use 500-550 word blogs and 100-124 word product
descriptions.
Branded Blogs Product Descriptions
Product Descriptions
Words Price
25-49 $2.50
50-74 $4.15
75-99 $5.80
100-124 $7.45
125-149 $9.10
150-174 $10.75
175-199 $12.40
200-249 $14.10
250-299 $17.55
300-350 $21.00
Branded Blogs
Words Price
100-150 $15.00
200-250 $20.00
300-350 $25.00
400-450 $30.00
500-550 $35.00
600-650 $42.50
700-750 $50.00
800-850 $57.50
900-950 $65.00
1000-1050 $75.00
How Much Can One Writer Produce?
In 2016, Hubspot asked 4,000 marketing professionals how long it took to write
a 500-word blog post. They found that in-house writers could produce 1 article
in approximately 2 hours, which equates to:
.50 Articles /
HOUR
4 Articles /
DAY
20 Articles /
WEEK
87 Articles
/MONTH
At BKA, we surveyed our writers and found that on average, they can produce:
.94 Articles /
HOUR
7.52 Articles /
DAY
37.6 Articles /
WEEK
163 Articles
/MONTH
For our scenarios, we’ll take the average of these 2 numbers, which is:
125 Articles /
Month
Scenario 1: Small to Medium Size Business
• # of Pieces of Content Needed: 30 per month
• Article Word Size: 500 words
• # of In-House Writers Needed: 1
• Outsourcing Discount Pricing: N/A ($35 per article)
Cost of In-House Writer x1
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Salary $4,165 $4,165 $49,982
Benefits $1,802 $1,802 $21,626
Payroll Taxes $343 $343 $4,119
Subtotal $6,311 $6,311 $75,726
One-Time Costs
Hiring $4,000 $4,000
Equipment $2,800 $2,800
Total Cost $13,111 $6,311 $82,526
Cost to Outsource 30 articles/month
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
$35/Article $1,050 $1,050 $12,600
Total Cost $1,050 $1,050 $12,600
Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $69,926
Scenario 2: An SEO/Marketing Agency
• # of Pieces of Content Needed: 250 per month
• Article Word Size: 500 words
• # of In-House Writers Needed: 2
• Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $34.30 per article
Cost of In-House Writer x2
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Salary $8,330 $8,330 $99,965
Benefits $3,604 $3,604 $43,251
Payroll Taxes $686 $686 $8,237
Subtotal $12,621 $12,621 $151,453
One-Time Costs
Hiring $8,000 $8,000
Equipment $5,600 $5,600
Total Cost $26,221 $12,621 $165,053
Cost to Outsource 250 articles/month
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
$34.30/Article $8,575 $8,575 $102,900
Total Cost $8,575 $8,575 $102,900
Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $62,153
Scenario 3: Large Enterprise Company
• # of Pieces of Content Needed: 500 per month
• Article Word Size: 500 words
• # of In-House Writers Needed: 4
• Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $33.95 per article
Cost of In-House Writer x4
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Salary $16,661 $16,661 $199,929
Benefits $7,209 $7,209 $86,502
Payroll Taxes $1,373 $1,373 $16,474
Subtotal $25,242 $25,242 $302,905
One-Time Costs
Hiring $12,000 $12,000
Equipment $8,400 $8,400
Total Cost $45,642 $25,242 $323,305
Cost to Outsource 500 articles/month
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost
$33.95/Article $16,975 $16,975 $203,700
Total Cost $16,975 $16,975 $203,700
Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $119,605
Scenario 4: Ecommerce Business
• # of Pieces of Content Needed: One-time, 20,000 SKU order
• Article Word Size: 100 words
• # of In-House Writers Needed: 5
• Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $4.84 per description
Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $65,452
Cost of In-House Writer x5 for 6 Months
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost 6 Month Cost
Salary $20,826 $20,826 $124,956
Benefits N/A N/A N/A
Payroll Taxes $1,716 $1,716 $10,296
Subtotal $22,542 $22,542 $135,252
One-Time Costs
Hiring $20,000 $20,000
Equipment (half) $7,000 $7,000
Total Cost $49,542 $22,542 $162,252
Cost to Outsource 20,000 SKU Project for 3 Months
First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost 3 Month Cost
$4.84/Article $32,267 $32,267 $96,800
Total Cost $32,267 $32,267 $96,800
Final Cost Comparison
Small Business Agency Enterprise E-Commerce
In-House Annual Cost $82,526 $165,053 $323,305 $162,252
Outsourced Annual Cost $12,600 $102,900 $203,700 $96,800
Annual Savings from Outsourcing $69,926 $62,153 $119,605 $65,452 (and 3 months)
In most cases, companies will save money by outsourcing. On the
other hand, in-house production might make sense for more
technical/specific content projects that don’t fall under the industry
averages like the scenarios we’ve outlined.
Also keep in mind other costs associated with running an in-house
writing team. You’ll need space, equipment, software and someone
to manage the writing team and their tasks.
• Founded in 2009
• Industry Leading Content Provider
• Service Agencies, SMBs & Enterprises
• Offer Account Management
• No Monthly Minimums or Contracts
• Hand-picked, Experienced U.S. Writers
• Dedicated Writing Teams
Who are we?
www.bkacontent.com
If you need custom content, come visit
us at Booth #320!
Thanks for listening!

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Outsourcing Your Content vs. Hiring an In-House Writing Team

  • 1. Outsourcing Your Content vs. Hiring an In-House Writing Team A True Cost Comparison Jon Bingham Director of Marketing BKA Content
  • 2. How Much Content Do You Need? 29% 26% Content Marketing as a % of Total Marketing Budget B2C B2B 29% 48% 15% % of Marketers Increasing Content Creation Significant Increase Increase No Change Decrease Based on Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 survey, companies are setting aside nearly 30% of their total marketing budget towards content marketing. Also, 77% of companies plan to increase their overall content production from the previous year. Companies that published 11 or more posts per month saw 3x the traffic of those that published 1 or 2 posts.
  • 3. Pros and Cons In-House Writers Pros: • Industry Experience • Increased Control Cons: • Skills Gap • Time/Resources • Bias • Fixed Capacity Outsourced Writers Pros: • Process Expertise • Ability to Scale • Outside Perspective • Resources • Convenience Cons: • Lack of Inside Knowledge • Limited Control
  • 4. The Cost of Hiring In-House Writers According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average hiring cost is: $4,000 We found 18 copywriting salaries from 7 different employment websites. The average salary is: $49,982 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits account for 30.2% of compensation costs. In our example that equates to: $21,625 Payroll taxes are around 8.24%, meaning the tax payout is: $4,119 The cost of equipment/overhead is approximately: $2,800 The total cost for 1 in-house writer is: $82,526
  • 5. The Cost of Outsourcing Content Creation Self Service vs. Managed Service • Order through online platform • Select price or quality level • Manage and quality check the content yourself • Interact with each writer and give feedback • Typically cheapest option • Dedicated account manager • Manager creates team of writers for your project • Most convenient and hands off approach • May require a retainer or membership fee • FREE with BKA Content
  • 6. The Cost of Outsourcing Content Creation Pricing For our cost comparisons, we’ll be using 2 different products to compare costs. Our scenarios will use 500-550 word blogs and 100-124 word product descriptions. Branded Blogs Product Descriptions Product Descriptions Words Price 25-49 $2.50 50-74 $4.15 75-99 $5.80 100-124 $7.45 125-149 $9.10 150-174 $10.75 175-199 $12.40 200-249 $14.10 250-299 $17.55 300-350 $21.00 Branded Blogs Words Price 100-150 $15.00 200-250 $20.00 300-350 $25.00 400-450 $30.00 500-550 $35.00 600-650 $42.50 700-750 $50.00 800-850 $57.50 900-950 $65.00 1000-1050 $75.00
  • 7. How Much Can One Writer Produce? In 2016, Hubspot asked 4,000 marketing professionals how long it took to write a 500-word blog post. They found that in-house writers could produce 1 article in approximately 2 hours, which equates to: .50 Articles / HOUR 4 Articles / DAY 20 Articles / WEEK 87 Articles /MONTH At BKA, we surveyed our writers and found that on average, they can produce: .94 Articles / HOUR 7.52 Articles / DAY 37.6 Articles / WEEK 163 Articles /MONTH For our scenarios, we’ll take the average of these 2 numbers, which is: 125 Articles / Month
  • 8. Scenario 1: Small to Medium Size Business • # of Pieces of Content Needed: 30 per month • Article Word Size: 500 words • # of In-House Writers Needed: 1 • Outsourcing Discount Pricing: N/A ($35 per article) Cost of In-House Writer x1 First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost Salary $4,165 $4,165 $49,982 Benefits $1,802 $1,802 $21,626 Payroll Taxes $343 $343 $4,119 Subtotal $6,311 $6,311 $75,726 One-Time Costs Hiring $4,000 $4,000 Equipment $2,800 $2,800 Total Cost $13,111 $6,311 $82,526 Cost to Outsource 30 articles/month First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost $35/Article $1,050 $1,050 $12,600 Total Cost $1,050 $1,050 $12,600 Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $69,926
  • 9. Scenario 2: An SEO/Marketing Agency • # of Pieces of Content Needed: 250 per month • Article Word Size: 500 words • # of In-House Writers Needed: 2 • Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $34.30 per article Cost of In-House Writer x2 First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost Salary $8,330 $8,330 $99,965 Benefits $3,604 $3,604 $43,251 Payroll Taxes $686 $686 $8,237 Subtotal $12,621 $12,621 $151,453 One-Time Costs Hiring $8,000 $8,000 Equipment $5,600 $5,600 Total Cost $26,221 $12,621 $165,053 Cost to Outsource 250 articles/month First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost $34.30/Article $8,575 $8,575 $102,900 Total Cost $8,575 $8,575 $102,900 Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $62,153
  • 10. Scenario 3: Large Enterprise Company • # of Pieces of Content Needed: 500 per month • Article Word Size: 500 words • # of In-House Writers Needed: 4 • Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $33.95 per article Cost of In-House Writer x4 First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost Salary $16,661 $16,661 $199,929 Benefits $7,209 $7,209 $86,502 Payroll Taxes $1,373 $1,373 $16,474 Subtotal $25,242 $25,242 $302,905 One-Time Costs Hiring $12,000 $12,000 Equipment $8,400 $8,400 Total Cost $45,642 $25,242 $323,305 Cost to Outsource 500 articles/month First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost Annual Cost $33.95/Article $16,975 $16,975 $203,700 Total Cost $16,975 $16,975 $203,700 Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $119,605
  • 11. Scenario 4: Ecommerce Business • # of Pieces of Content Needed: One-time, 20,000 SKU order • Article Word Size: 100 words • # of In-House Writers Needed: 5 • Outsourcing Discount Pricing: $4.84 per description Annual Savings from Outsourcing: $65,452 Cost of In-House Writer x5 for 6 Months First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost 6 Month Cost Salary $20,826 $20,826 $124,956 Benefits N/A N/A N/A Payroll Taxes $1,716 $1,716 $10,296 Subtotal $22,542 $22,542 $135,252 One-Time Costs Hiring $20,000 $20,000 Equipment (half) $7,000 $7,000 Total Cost $49,542 $22,542 $162,252 Cost to Outsource 20,000 SKU Project for 3 Months First Month Cost Ongoing Monthly Cost 3 Month Cost $4.84/Article $32,267 $32,267 $96,800 Total Cost $32,267 $32,267 $96,800
  • 12. Final Cost Comparison Small Business Agency Enterprise E-Commerce In-House Annual Cost $82,526 $165,053 $323,305 $162,252 Outsourced Annual Cost $12,600 $102,900 $203,700 $96,800 Annual Savings from Outsourcing $69,926 $62,153 $119,605 $65,452 (and 3 months) In most cases, companies will save money by outsourcing. On the other hand, in-house production might make sense for more technical/specific content projects that don’t fall under the industry averages like the scenarios we’ve outlined. Also keep in mind other costs associated with running an in-house writing team. You’ll need space, equipment, software and someone to manage the writing team and their tasks.
  • 13. • Founded in 2009 • Industry Leading Content Provider • Service Agencies, SMBs & Enterprises • Offer Account Management • No Monthly Minimums or Contracts • Hand-picked, Experienced U.S. Writers • Dedicated Writing Teams Who are we?
  • 14. www.bkacontent.com If you need custom content, come visit us at Booth #320! Thanks for listening!

Editor's Notes

  1. Increased Control – Immediate physical access, no middleman to deal with feedback Skills Gap – Surge in demand for specialists with skills in SEO AND copywriting. Must be analytical and creative. Time/Resources – Recruiting and training new talent. Also need an employee to manage the writers Bias – Internal bias can be a real problem. When writing gets too promotional, readers won’t believe it. Fixed Capacity – No matter how many writers you hire, your volume will be capped. Resources – Content providers give you instant access to a large network of writers. May also offer editing, stock images, keyword research, etc.
  2. Hiring cost factors in both internal and external costs, including those spent on job posting, screening, interviewing, onboarding and training. Equipment cost includes $1,500 for cubicle/office furniture, $1,000 for computer and equipment and $300 for software like database programs, plagiarism services, industry journal subscriptions, etc. That annual cost does include the one-time expense of hiring and equipment. So after the first year it would be $75,726 in annual costs.
  3. If you’re a small business with low volume content needs, it doesn’t make much financial sense to hire an annual employee just for writing since we already know that one writer can produce well over 30 articles per month.   To even consider the idea of bringing your content writing in-house, you’d likely need to make sure this employee has a wider skill set than writing and can help in other parts of the business. Otherwise, you’d want to wait to bring a writer in-house until you have the equivalent of 125, 500-550 word articles for them to do.   Even at the maxed writing capacity of 125 articles a month, the outsourcing cost would still only be $73,264.80 (accounting for a volume discounted price of $34.30 per article), whereas the in-house cost would stay the same as what’s in the graph above. That’s still a savings of $9,261.57 when going the outsourcing route.
  4. With SEO agency services ranging everywhere from content creation to keyword research, PPC, SERP rankings, reputation management and more, the easier you can make the content creation process while keeping quality high, the better. From the cost breakdown above, it can make a lot of sense to purchase your content from a provider to allow you to focus your resources on other sectors of your service or product line.
  5. BACKGROUND: You already have a strong marketing department, but you need to up your content production to help fulfill ongoing campaigns across several different departments. Assume that you are looking to produce 500, 500-word blogs per month. Using the above rate of 125 articles per writer, you would need to hire four full-time content writers to handle the volume. This could be a scenario where getting some add-ons from the content provider (such as higher quality writing teams/editing/images/posting) could further increase the overall value of the service while STILL largely undercutting the costs of having in-house writers.   The tradeoff is that if you outsource to a content provider, you would need to make sure your brand style guide is very clear and that there are checks in place to ensure a consistent brand image. Depending on the provider, you can ask to have a dedicated team of writers that are trained on your specific projects – at no cost to you.
  6. BACKGROUND: Suppose you need 20,000 SKUs (100-word product descriptions or category pages) published on your website in the next 6 months. Adjusting the writing rate for product type, word count, and internal survey data, a writer could complete an average of 4.25 SKUS an hour, or 680 a month. To fulfill this, you would need to hire five in-house web content writers.   Obviously, you wouldn’t need a year-round content staff. The in-house figures below include hiring costs, prorated salaries/taxes/subscriptions, no benefits, and half of the one-time equipment expenses. We’ll assume that you can sell back your equipment at 50% once the project is finished. This scenario showcases the value of outsourcing when it comes to high volume, one-time/seasonal projects. Not only does outsourcing reduce the overall costs by nearly 40% (in this scenario), but you also must consider the potential revenue acquired from having your catalogue go live 3 months ahead of schedule.