Thursday, January 10, 2013

Many companies are finding the value in outsourcing their writers to online forums instead of offering a position to in-house writers and translators. With the accessibility of eager, educated, and experienced writers that the internet can provide, it is helping many companies do away with their expensive contracted and salaried writers, all while still receiving the same quality of writing.


Through online writing agencies, while the cost upfront for a single article may seem astronomical in relation to a day's work done by an in-house writer or translator, many companies are now seeing the big picture in terms of cost. Think about the cost of an in-house writer. Once you count everything from their computer, work space, salary, health benefits, vacation days, sick days, company sponsored holidays! All of these factors should be taken into consideration. Often times, the cost of the tenderloin stake a technical writer would have ordered for the company Christmas party is more than to out-source a project. Also, many companies offer reimbursement for their employees to continue their education by taking online classes or courses from the local college, this is a cost that can be avoided for a position like a technical writer.


We all know where to find most of the office employees throughout the day... the watercooler or break room. While of course all employees need breaks, it's great to know that you're not paying for an outsourced writer's kitkat break, or ping pong tournament. An outsourced writing project means that you pay for the work by a specific time and there are very few exceptions in terms of tardiness on a project. Also you're not paying for your technical writer to be bored between projects, or to drag out simple projects to keep from helping different teams in other areas. You’re paying simply for the work done in a time efficient manner that will allow you to enhance your company with web content, documentation, grants, and proposals.


A common misconception with outsourcing to a writing agency or freelance writer that many companies have is that there is an eighteen year old sitting at home that is put in charge of writing their company’s valuable website content, documentation, or proposals. However, reputable companies screen their employees extensively, giving them intense grammar, writing, and sometimes creativity tests to evaluate their skills and determine if they are suitable. These tests are often much more extensive than those given by corporations for a technical writer and can quickly weed out amateurs. Many companies turn away those who score less than 92% on their evaluations! It is also great to outsource to specific types of writers. While you may have hired an in-house writer with a degree in English, he or she probably has no experience in grant writing or drafting proposals and white papers for major corporations. Companies that promote freelance writers will often match those with related and proven experience to the more complicated, and advanced technical writing needed.

Overall, it is simply a matter of cost, productivity, and quality that will help you make the best decision on whether to hire an candidate to work in-house, or to outsource to an online organization that provides quick and quality assured services to their clients.

Lucy Markham is an avid blogger and worked as a career and academic counselor for several years before returning to school to pursue her master’s in Education from the University of Utah.