In-house copywriter or freelance copywriter?

Which is best for your business?

It’s inescapably true: every company will at some point need a copywriter. If that company wants to be competitive, market themselves or simply propose a deal, a professional writer is qualified to execute these tasks professionally. So should you simply hire a good writer? Is it much of a hassle finding one that offers his or her services on a freelance basis?

The answer is not black and white. While I would highly recommend that copywriters in South Africa work as freelancers because of the financial and time benefits, the fact is that permanent workers are still needed. So here are some questions to ask yourself about your company:


  • How much writing does my company need?

If your company doesn’t have enough writing to keep a full time copywriter busy for seven hours a day, it’s simply not worth getting one. If your writing needs are intermittent, consider finding a decent freelancer who is on call whenever you need him or her.


  • Do I have the time and energy to find the right person?

Finding employees that fit in with your company culture is hard. It takes time and money to find the perfect person, and even then you can be fooled into hiring a trouble maker! With freelancing, you have the option to not use someone again if they are not a good fit.


  • Will my company need many different styles of writing?

An in-house copywriter will have strengths and weaknesses. If your writing needs are diversified, you may find that one writer cannot do everything you need (unless you spend more money on training that person). Hiring multiple freelancers to work on your project is a cheaper, more effective means of getting your project off the ground.


  • Can my company provide outsourced copywriting services?

If you run out of work for your in-house writer, will you be able to offer copywriting services to your clients? If your business is structured in such a way (like a marketing company is), then an in-house writer is a great idea. However, if the writer is limited to your projects only, hiring a freelance copywriter is the way to go.


Answering these questions will give you a better idea of what direction you should take. Think carefully before making this decision. If it’s the wrong choice, you’re stuck with it.