Hiring content writers in the Philippines? Here are the things you want to know beforehand. Armed with this knowledge, you are more likely to find and hire the most suitable, capable, and agreeable freelancers while avoiding disappointments.
Outsourcing has its benefits, but it comes with challenges. The numbers, though, show that the pros outweigh the cons. For example, 84% of B2B and 55% of B2C companies outsource their content creation requirements (Stephanie Stahl).
Why do companies outsource to the Philippines?
- Cost reduction. The cost of living here is significantly lower than in North America, Europe, and Australia. For many Filipino content writers, working online is a chance to earn more money than working locally. On the other hand, clients benefit from paying less for the same service than hiring in their country. There is no doubt that outsourcing is mutually beneficial.
- The number of skilled workers. Outsourcing lets clients focus on their core business. By tapping into a much larger pool of talents, they can hire talented Filipinos to take their business to the next level. If they were to hire content writers domestically, there would be fewer candidates.
Why should you outsource content writing?
- 4 out of 5 B2B companies outsource, which means most of your competition already has one advantage over you – reduced content marketing cost. Less money spent on content also means more money for sales channels or having the ability to undercut pricing to drive away their competition – that’s you.
- If you’re in the B2C sector, outsourcing is an opportunity to get ahead of the competition. Remember that only half of your competitors are benefitting from hiring online freelancers. For sure, you want to belong to the upper half.
Should You Hire Content Writers in the Philippines?
Content marketing comprises doing social media posts, articles and blog posts, and newsletters, among others. These are jobs that many Filipinos can do exceptionally well. Granted that the talent level required to produce high-quality content comes at a price, their salary or compensation remains lower than people you can employ in your country. On this basis alone, you definitely should hire Filipino content writers.
Of course, reduced cost is not the only reason why you should go ahead. You are more likely to end up with disappointments instead of benefiting by going cheap.
The Cons of Hiring Filipino Content Writers
The gig economy refers to labor markets comprising independent contractors and freelancers using digital platforms (Mia and Habaradas). In the Philippines, between 1.5 to 2 million people are planning to or already working online. This figure has since increased due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The large pool of talent presents an exciting opportunity on paper. As many before you discovered, however, finding the right freelancer is a time-consuming and challenging process. Some clients, for example, need to hire tens of content writers (not counting the applicants) before finding one that has the requisite skills and attitude.
These are some of the top reasons that make hiring and working with freelance content writers challenging:
1. Lack of Familiarity with the Topic
“Jack of all trades, master of nothing.” Most content writers you come across, not only in the Philippines but also elsewhere in the world, are generalists. The articles they write are almost always summaries of similar pages published on other sites.
Example: a brokerage in the United States
Does experience and expertise in a specific field within the industry – sales, marketing, and more – matter? The odds of finding even one content writer with a background in real estate are slim. Suppose there is such a person. Can this writer navigate the intricacies and nuances specific to the client’s country?
The lack of familiarity with a topic is why writers need to research – as they all say. In this regard, the use of the word “research” is not entirely accurate. As alluded to, most articles are versions of other published pages, rewritten to avoid plagiarism detection tools.
It is not impossible, though, for a content writer to deliver an authoritative article – even if writing about a topic for the first time. You only need to find one with an analytical mind and high comprehension level to go along with adequate writing skills – that is, of course, easier said than done.
2. Understanding of the Business
For businesses, the goal of having a digital presence is to increase sales and revenue. Hence, the content writers you need preferably should have some degree of marketing knowledge. More importantly, they need to understand the nature of your business.
Example: a logistics company in North America
Suppose a company offers delivery services, and the topic is about different types of logistics warehouses. Writing about this topic, indeed, is not challenging for most freelance writers. Many of them, however, will make one mistake – failing to think about the client’s business and target audience. Yes, perhaps they can present each warehouse type’s advantages but not why it matters to customers needing delivery services.
Each article written for you should be compelling, informative, and in line with a predetermined content strategy. Finding content writers who can do that is difficult enough. But it gets even worse if you need highly technical content in a specific field. Once you find a suitable candidate, expect to pay a premium. You are not only paying for writing services but also their knowledge and mastery of the industry.
One thing you can do to overcome these challenges is to hire a competent writer full-time and provide training.
3. Questionable Availability of Freelancer
A common mistake among clients is believing they can pay cheap rates per article. For example, $10 per 1000 words is the absolute minimum and considered extremely low. Freelancers usually prioritize higher-paying jobs. Hence, you have to fall back in line or hire someone else if another client pays more money.
Hiring freelance content writers on a per-article basis makes sense if you only require a few blog posts per month. Do aim to publish 16 or more posts monthly to increase organic traffic (Kolowich). Besides new articles, you also want to update old posts to keep them fresh.
How many blog posts should you publish per month?
|Organic Traffic||Brand Awareness|
|Small Sites||12 to 16||4 to 8|
|Large Sites||16 to 20||12 to 16|
Example: 4 to 12 articles per month
Hiring a freelance content writer is advantageous. Although you pay more per article, the total cost is nowhere near paying full-time. However, a freelancer may not always be available. In that case, you would be spending time and effort finding someone else. Another concern is the ability of new freelancers to adapt to previously published articles’ style and tone for consistency.
Example: 16 to 20 articles per month
Consider hiring a full-time content writer, especially if you need someone with industry-specific knowledge. Besides completing the required number of articles, the writer can revise old posts to keep them fresh and updated.
For over 90% of Filipino freelancers, their most pressing issue is job stability. As a solution, 65% of them seek and work with multiple clients (Tayao-Juego). A full-time position gives a semblance of job security, which is why you are not as likely to lose a full-time writer compared to a freelancer.
4. Collaboration with Other Team Leads and Members
Another challenge with hiring a freelancer is collaborating with other teams within your organization. Usually, this is an issue that large companies may encounter. Over time, it is reasonable to expect a freelancer to gain familiarity with the processes and people in the organization. However, if the turnover rate is high, that also decreases the productive time of the key personnel involved as they have to bring every new freelancer up to date.
Unfortunately, this integration issue is the price to pay if hiring freelancers instead of full-timers. Remember, freelancers want job stability, and they do that by working with multiple clients and prioritizing higher-paying writing gigs.
The Pros of Hiring Filipino Content Writers
Do you realize that 3 out of 4 internet users research products online (Kagan)? 70% of consumers prefer learning about a company by reading articles instead of advertising. For this reason, you need a blog section (“Content Marketing Infographic”). Also, remember that 56% of people purchased something from a company after reading a blog post (Bump).
The person who can make that happen for you is a competent content writer who understands your business and the target audience. SEO, no doubt, is critical to success, but content continues to be the king.
Can Content writers in the Philippines help your business grow?
If one of the reasons for outsourcing is cheaper costs, then you are not alone. Many large multinational companies who outsource to the Philippine BPO industry also started the same way. As many of them would discover, the most significant benefit derived was scalability.
A solid content strategy and successful campaign increase quality traffic to your site significantly. Since a percentage of the audience converts to sales, more visitors equates to higher revenue. From one content writer, you can always add more Filipino staff to form a team of writers. You also have the option of creating an entire content team with an editor, proofreader, and project manager.
2. Cost and Time Savings
Some professionals, startups, and small businesses have salaried employees or virtual assistants writing content for their websites and social media channels. It is naturally cheaper than having to incur the additional expenses of paying a freelance content writer. Unfortunately, there are a couple of possible drawbacks:
- You are removing the employee or virtual assistant from tasks they can do well.
- Even worse, they cannot produce meaningful content that draws in an audience while also increasing your website authority.
The above option is a waste of money and time because generalists cannot solve the pressing concerns of content marketing specialists. A 2020 survey of content marketers revealed these challenges (Petrova):
- 51% are concerned with generating quality leads
- 47% are concerned with attracting more traffic
Although you have to spend more money hiring specialists, they can save you money and time because the content they create will have better chances than generalists.
3. Flexibility in Content Topics and Types
In the same manner that a VA can do a bit of everything, Filipino content writers are the same with one fundamental difference. A content writer may specialize in one or two types of content (e.g., blog posts and educational articles) but may also have familiarity with others (e.g., social media posts, newsletters, email campaigns).
Going back to scalability, you have the option of maximizing efficiency by hiring specialists in different niches as your organization grows.
Example: social media manager
On the surface, posting on Facebook or Twitter seems like an easy job for content writers. After all, it only involved writing a message. A person who specializes in a social media campaign, on the other hand, would also consider evoking an emotional response, the best time to post, and have metrics to analyze results.
As you look at the pool of content writers in the Philippines (and other parts of the world), most applicants are below average. Those who are competent enough have one common trait: the desire to excel and continuously learn. This attitude is what you can expect from truly talented content writers. If necessary, they will put in the time to acquire the knowledge and skills to do content types they have not previously done.
Should You Hire Filipino Content Writers Now?
Quite obviously, you can increase revenues by attracting more people to your website. One of the best ways to do that is to hire talented content writers in the Philippines who can create or improve website copies and landing pages. For the long-term, the benefits of maintaining a blog section are too tremendous to ignore. So, you have to decide – hire a freelancer for small projects or maximize your potential by hiring a content writer full-time.
Understand and anticipate the cons of hiring content writers and so you could avoid or minimize the pitfalls. More importantly, you can work around these challenges and position your company for success. As your business grows, you can add more people to the content team, including specialists in some content types. You can also take advantage of the talents available in the Philippines to enhance your business. Large corporations do that, and so could you.
One thing to keep in mind is that talented people are assets that you should keep because they are hard to find. You can do that by offering reasonable compensation, bonuses, and other incentives.
“Content Marketing Infographic.” Demand Metric, 2019. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Bump, Pamela. “Do Blog Posts Actually Lead to Purchases [New Data].” HubSpot, 25 Mar. 2021. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Kagan, Marta. “12 Mind-Blowing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know.” HubSpot, 25 Feb. 2020. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Kolowich, Lindsay. “How Often Should Companies Blog? [New Benchmark Data].” HubSpot, 3 Aug. 2020. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Petrova, Alina. “Content Marketing Statistics You Need to Know for 2021.” Semrush, 15 Jan. 2021. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Stephanie Stahl. “2020 B2B Content Marketing: What the Successful Do [New Research].” Content Marketing Institute, 22 Oct. 2019. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.
Tayao-Juego, Annelle. “Freelancers Seek Help Drawing up Their Business Plan.” INQUIRER.net, 21 June 2019. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.