Why Shouldn’t I Handle My SEO Copywriting In-House?

question markAs someone who offers online SEO writing training courses, you may think that I’m all about DIY SEO copywriting, all the time.

But that’s not quite true.

Recently, Mike Moran wrote a great blog post titled, “Why shouldn’t I do my search work in house?” In it, he listed some very specific reasons why outsourcing makes good sense for some companies.

I would argue that it’s the same for SEO copywriting. Yes, it is very possible to keep your SEO copywriting in house. Yes, good copywriters can be transformed into excellent SEO copywriters.

But sometimes, it makes more sense to outsource. Here are six of those times.

  • The SEO copywriting project would fall to you, and you can’t stand writing. You may be passionate about your business – and equally passionate about the fact that you hate writing. If that sounds like you, writing your own copy could be a huge mistake – you won’t like the writing process, you won’t write well, and you’ll end up hating what you create. Believe it or not, SEO copywriters love writing. It’s fun for them. And they can easily translate your business passion into really fantastic Web copy – and do it in about 1/4 of the time it would take you to create a first draft.
  • You’re in a time crunch. The only thing worse than bad SEO copywriting is text that’s been written fast – too fast. Hey, we’ve all been there. We have 50 pages to write in two weeks. We know that means working after hours to get it all done (or cramming it between other obligations.) We imbibe a lot of coffee to make it happen. And we write until our back starts to spasm. The problem is, the final 35 or so pages are going to sound like utter crap. If that’s the case, it’s better to bite the bullet and hire a SEO copywriting firm that can meet your deadline. Yes, it’s money out of pocket. Yes, it’s going to cost more than keeping it in house. But at least you can finish your site and get some sleep at the same time.
  • When you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. It’s not that you don’t want to learn SEO copywriting – you do. But right now, you have no idea what you’re doing and you need Web page copy sometime yesterday. Rather than torture yourself, burn the midnight oil and try to find time to learn the SEO copywriting ropes (hint: you won’t find it), make your life easier and outsource it. It will be much easier to learn SEO copywriting when you’re not facing an immediate time pressure and you have some breathing room.
  • When no one on your team would make a good copywriter. Once upon a time, I worked with a group of lab technicians. These folks would talk about recombinant DNA like it was yesterday’s sports game and were incredibly brilliant beyond compare. But they weren’t copywriters.  In fact, everything they did was so technically brilliant, they couldn’t “dumb down” their writing and discuss concepts in a way that “normal people” could understand. Good SEO copywriters can be trained, but there has to be a spark of something to train.  If your team members aren’t writers – it’s better to outsource.
  • If this is your one shot, and you need to generate conversions quickly. Many businesses are in the position of needing to generate leads (or sales) fast. It’s tempting to go the DIY route in this situation, but this is one time when hiring a professional is in order. An experienced SEO copywriter knows all the powerful direct marketing response tricks that can send your conversion counter clicking. It doesn’t mean that you can’t learn these tricks eventually – you can. But it may make more sense to learn a new copywriting skill after you get some cash through the door.
  • If you just need to see a couple “example pages” to get going. You’ve read the SEO copywriting books. You’ve been trained. And now, you’re sitting in front of a blank page wondering how the hell to start. Sound frustratingly familiar? Relax. Some folks are incredibly visual. They need to see a finished product before they can wrap their heads around what to do and how to proceed.  If this sounds like you, consider hiring a SEO copywriter to create one to three pages for you as as a template. Those pages will give you an idea of how to start – and you’ll have the jump start you’ll need.

Photo credit:© Risto Hunt | Dreamstime.com

6 replies
  1. Claire says:

    Yes agreed, doing this, the SEO copywriter will look at the business objectively and write what the customer needs to hear. You as a business owner may have so much floating around in your head, there is no good putting it all in writing as you may baffle people with content they do not want to hear. As you have said SEO copywriters actually enjoy what they do, and do not see it as a chore. They will write something fantastic, too the point, search engine friendly, in half the amount of time.

    • Heather says:

      Claire, you’re exactly right! I’ve worked with so many small business owners who spent hours trying to come up with just one Web page. The hated the process, they hated the page they wrote and they hated the fact that they’d have to pay to have one written. :)

      Then, when they see their new copy created by a SEO copywriter (created in just a few days rather than a few weeks), the owner is blown away. It’s exactly what they wanted – or close enough to that we can easily tweak it. And THEN they see the value of outsourcing! ;)

      Great comments. Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Exactly! I understand why companies want to keep their writing in-house. Heck, I train in-house writers all the time and hear all the reasons about “why in-house is better.” At the same time, these are folks who want to learn SEO copywriting and have a talent for it.

      People who don’t like write or who don’t have the time to learn the craft (and it does take time to master) should outsource their SEO content, plain and simple. It will make their lives much easier – and they’ll be uploading quality pages that they couldn’t write themselves.

      Welcome to the SEO Copywriting community, Tara! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Louise Ralph says:

    I agree. Many people think, if they just had the time, they’d be able write it themselves. So they resent paying for it, and meanwhile that writing project keeps dropping to the bottom of their list.

    Enter the (external) copywriter: highly skilled, objective, focused on achieving the goals the client wants, able to create clear copy to deadline.

    Cheap at (almost) any price! :)


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