Should You Hire a Freelance Copywriter or a Staff Copywriter?

For small businesses that are actively growing and striving for success, it can sometimes be difficult to know when to hire employees rather than independent contractors. Of course, this applies to any professional copywriting that may be done for the company.

Of course, the value of good copywriting to the success of your business is obvious. The ability to write great and effective content encompasses almost everything you do, from your website to your blog, from your marketing materials to sales presentations, and of course all the technical writing generated by your business. Top-notch copywriting is essential to crafting the right words to get the maximum return from use.

So the real question is, when do you hire a full-time copywriter to write, and when do you use a freelance writer? Let’s examine these two types of copywriting from the perspective of three key factors: cost, usability, and effectiveness.


Let’s assume the average price for a full-time or part-time copywriter is $20 per hour. We also keep it simple with 2,000 hours of full-time work per year and 1,000 hours of part-time work per year. Calculated at full-time or equivalent salary, we estimate it will cost about $40,000 per year, and for a part-time copywriter who only works half a week, it will cost $20,000. For a really effective person, this is quite a low to moderate cost.

On the other hand, freelance writers of the same skill level can spend more, such as $25 per hour. The biggest difference is that you only engage independent personnel when necessary. Even with lengthy hires, you can only limit your cost liability to the exact time it takes to make a professional copy. Since you are dealing with independent individuals or organizations eager to develop your customer base, reputation and income, you may be able to negotiate lower rates to allow more time.


Clearly, employee copywriting has a distinct advantage over freelance writers in terms of usability. If you hire a full-time person, you are guaranteed 2,000 hours of work, regardless of sick leave and vacation time. As an employee, they have to do what they have to do at all times.

While freelance writers are not directly “under your thumb”, they still have very good usability. This assumes that someone or an organization has a good reputation and enthusiasm for the job. If they also sign a long-term contract, you do have a direct say in their time. Not to mention that you can usually negotiate a lower hourly rate for batch work.

It can also be said that contractors who always pay attention to their working hours are more careful with their own time than employees who know that they can be assured of a fixed salary. This is not to say that employee copywriting will be lazy or inefficient, but that dealing with irrelevant issues is a natural part of any work environment.


This is where it is difficult to differentiate between freelance writers and full-time writers. If both parties are value-oriented and have good professional ethics, you can achieve the same productivity with both options. The obvious advantage of a full-time copywriter is that he or she is more available and in some cases can respond more quickly to requests and changes. The obvious advantage of freelancers is that because they can work freely in different industries, they can have a wider range of experience and greater skills.

Taking all these factors into consideration will help you determine how much professional copywriting you really need. If you don’t have enough full-time copywriting jobs, you will naturally be attracted to freelancers. While freelance writers may have higher hourly costs, they represent fewer logistical and accounting problems. There are no tax breaks, health insurance, paid vacations, or other employee-related issues. With a full-time copywriter, you can easily get dedicated and readily available professionals.

This is really a matter of choice and workload. The best way is to start with an independent copywriter and then move it up to a part-time specialized position, or hire someone if you really need to make a copy every day.


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