On Freelance Writer Rejection: Sometimes It’s You, Not Them

September 5, 2017


When you’re a freelance writer, every new project that you take on can feel like your baby. So when a client doesn’t like your work or flat-out rejects it, it can be an emotional blow.


But sometimes, it’s not the editor who is the problem – it’s really you. Here are three reasons why your pitch or project may have gotten rejected.


1. The Great Wall of Text


Sometimes more isn’t always better. If you’re a freelance writer, sending a huge block of text in an email just makes you look bad. Remember, your email is an introductory sample of your writing, and if it’s not easy to read, you’re not going to get hired.


Break up your copy with bulleted lists and white space. Or better yet, keep it as short and sweet as you can.


2. The Copied-And-Pasted Pitch


This basically just shows how little you care about the editor’s needs and wants. Personalize the pitch as much as possible by including the editor’s name,  one specific compliment about their site, and a bit about how you would be an asset to their publication or company.


3. You Ignored Direction


As I said previously, you wouldn’t ignore application instructions when applying for a traditional job, would you? So why ignore a website’s specific instructions when pitching? If you blatantly ignore an editor’s wishes, they’re going to see that as a huge red flag. So just don’t.


Freelance writing is sometimes trial and error. You win some and you lose some. The most important thing is to learn from your previous pitching and writing mistakes so you don’t repeat them in the future.




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