How to Deal with Rejection and Turn that Into a Freelance Writing Job

Yes! You landed your first freelance writing job and turned in the best writing you can muster to your first client.

You can finally breathe.

Finally relax.

How to Deal with Rejection and Turn that Into a Freelance Writing Job

And congratulate yourself on this big achievement.

But, oh snap!

Three days later you get an email from your freelance writing client saying that they rejected your writing and will not publish that content.

A punch in the stomach.

How do you deal with rejection as a freelancer?

How to Deal With Rejection

Step 1: Remain Positive

It’s so easy to throw in the towel and forget freelance writing altogether.

Rejection stings and when you have your own business, it can cripple you. I get you! I was rejected early on and almost gave up on becoming a freelance writer. But, I had the support I needed to help me remain positive.

I realized that this one person couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t worth it as a writer. I needed to develop my own mantra and my own confidence that my writing was valuable enough to profit from.

Step 2: Assess The Situation


So your writing was rejected. You have a couple of things running through your head to help you learn how to deal with rejection:

  • Did my writing suck that much?
  • Did the client not like me?

Yea…your inner voice is harsh right?

In reality, there could be several reasons why your writing was rejected:

  • It did not reflect the brand and message of the business
  • The quality of writing wasn’t representative of their brand and message
  • The content (facts, stats, tips, ideas) did not reflect the type of audience the business had (i.e. information was juvenile or too above their heads)

Of course, there are other reasons like you turned in the project late, you asked the client too many questions (making them question your credibility as an expert writer), you oversold yourself and didn’t deliver on the project or the client was a poor client and wanted a free sample from you.

Go back and assess your writing and the business. If the project was a blog post, look at the client’s blog and see if they hired other writers.

If so, look at their writing and see how that differed from yours.

Did these writers use subheadings?

Did they have a conclusion paragraph that summed up the entire post?

Did they interlink?

Did they include case studies or interviews?

If you notice some discrepancies with your writing from theirs, maybe it’s time to improve your writing.


Step 3: Fail Fast and Move On

Learning how to deal with rejection means putting this behind you and learning to fail fast.

Don’t dwell on this and look to the bright side – that client saved you from a gig that probably wasn’t high-paying or respectful of your writing. It’s time to move on.

Now, let’s look at how we can profit from a rejection.

How to Turn A Rejection Into a Freelance Writing Job

You can definitely profit from a rejection. Let’s look at how.

1. Pitch Your Article Elsewhere

If the client did not accept your pitch or your article, just pitch it to another freelance writing job, submission or magazine.

Similarly, if you have other clients, and they are in the same niche, then pitch that rejected article to them. This is something I’ve done in the past and what’s not great for one client is perfect for another!

2. Turn that Rejected Article Into a Sample

That’s right.

You poured your heart into this article for a client and now they don’t want it. That’s fine – use it as a sample for your portfolio. This is the perfect type of piece to have for your portfolio as it showcases your BEST writing.

3. Break Up Your Article


One thing you can do is pick and choose pieces out of your rejected article and use that for other clients’ projects. For example, if the rejected piece was about keto snacks for new moms and one of your clients wants a post on healthy eating habits, you can use some of that information from your keto post for this new post!

4. Use It for a Guest Post

Guest posting is a great way to land a freelance writing job. Your writing is on another site with a bigger audience and one of those readers could be a potential client.

So, use that rejected freelance writing article for a guest post idea. Kudos to you if you pitch to guest blogs that pay!

5. Create a Product From It

Look – I’m all for diversifying my income streams! I have courses, freelance writing clients and dabble in affiliate marketing. Why not turn that rejected piece into an eBook or small course?

This can help you make a side income from your freelance writing! Sweet!

Learning How to Deal With Rejection Doesn’t Have to Be Hard


As a freelance writer, you feel that your writing is a representation of you. If the client doesn’t like your writing, then that means they don’t like you.

But, that’s not true. Your writing just wasn’t a great fit for the potential client…AT THAT TIME.

You don’t know if six months from now if your writing would be a great fit for them!

Now it’s your turn – have you ever been rejected from a freelance writing pitch or job? How did you deal with rejection? I want to hear from you!

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Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

Leave a Reply


Hi Elna! I found this post in the Write to 1k fb group – I just got informed that one of my clients finally decided to ditch my project (I assume she did not like my writing styles or ideas). I really loved your positive thinking here. Thank you for another great article!Reply to Nareiza
Hi! Sorry to hear that but what’s great about this is you can just hustle and pitch more to find even BETTER clients! I’ve got your back!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna! I have a question about writing samples: Can I someday pitch and sell my unpublished samples? I’m considering writing for some content agencies, and I have some samples that have NEVER been published. I would like to pitch and publish them for money–someday.Reply to Lynn
Hi Lynn! Sure! That’s totally fine!Reply to Elna
This is ringing very true! Thank you for sharing an experience that most of us just want to hide away.Reply to Grace
Hi Grace! You’re welcome! Glad you found some ways to deal with rejection as a writer!Reply to Elna