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.
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?
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:
- 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
It’s time to put this behind you and 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
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!
Dealing 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? Tell your story in the comments! I want to hear them and more importantly, how did you move on from rejection?