4 Ways Freelance Writers Can Overcome Anxiety When Sending Out the First Pitch

You’re almost there;

You searched for freelance writing jobs, found a great ad and you’re ready to send that pitch.

But, wait.

4 Ways Freelance Writers Can Overcome Anxiety When Sending Out the First Pitch

Suddenly, you can’t. The thoughts of not being perfect, of not having a journalism degree and feeling like an imposter floods over you.

There’s no way your pitch will get a response and there’s no way that company will hire you for their content. Now, you’re not sure if you’re cut out for all of this.

Having anxiety over sending out that first pitch is real. For a lot of writers, the online business marketing world is new. Selling yourself is foreign.

So, how do you make that first step easier? Here are four ways you can overcome anxiety if you are sending out your first pitch!

1. Honor the First Pitch

Congratulations! You spent hours creating samples and searching for a freelance writing job and now you are ready to draft up that pitch.

Instead of hyperventilating, give yourself a high-five! Cross that off your to-do list and count that as a success. Sending it shouldn’t be the biggest thing to remember; remember the journey of getting to that point in your business.

Honor it.

2. It’s Not Personal

Look, writing is a creative process and it’s personal. You pour your thoughts, passion, time into your writing and fear comes to play. You worry that all that effort and love you put into your writing isn’t seen that way from a potential client.

You fear that they take one look at your writing and will say to you that you can never be a freelance writer ever again!

Of course, this will never happen. Most likely, you’ll never hear from a prospect, but the fear is there.

Just know that your pitch is not personal. This is a business and prospects are getting pitched to daily. As a freelance writer, you may not write on topics you enjoy.

But, you get paid and that’s all that counts if you want to make a living as a freelance writer. Within this business, you can get paid right away, every week and consistently.

As a fiction author, it’s not that consistent, right? Even as a magazine writer, it might be months (or years) before you get paid for an article you wrote months or years before.

So, remember that your writing isn’t personal. The pitch you send isn’t personal (but it is personalized!).

3. Build a Metric Around Pitching

Do you know the #1 thing I tell brand new freelance writers? If you want to get paid to write, make it your job to find your first freelance writing client.

As the saying goes, if you don’t have a job, it’s your job to find a job.

To make it easier for you, start building a metric around pitching. In reality, pitching is a numbers

game. The more your pitch, the greater chances you have at landing your first gig.

Give yourself goals or metrics to hit every day as a way to take action and not really think about what you are doing.

I like to tell new writers to pitch 10 times a day for 2 weeks. That’s the metric you hit every day for 14 days. Whether you cold pitch, warm pitch, use job boards or not, your metric is pitching 10 times a day.

So, instead of wallowing on that ONE pitch, just get a template ready, personalize it and send it off. Boom. You’re done. Move on.

4. Always Be Hustling

This is what happens to new writers:

You scour the net for a potential freelance writing job and then spend hours drafting your pitch. After two days of analyzing, editing and changing your pitch, you finally send it.

But, wait! You just wasted two days on one pitch. By then you should have pitched 20 times! So, don’t dive into one potential job. You should always be hustling and looking for more jobs to pitch to.

I’m sure you’re thinking, but what if I land all those gigs I apply to? The likelihood of that happening isn’t very high (even for professional writers!), but if it does, now you have the power and position to set your rate and pick the jobs you want!

If you need to get clients, then you need to set your week as a hustler! Write down all the marketing things you need to do in a week so that you can land gig after gig.

Don’t Let Yourself Be In The Way of Your Success

We are always our worst enemy, right? And it’s no different when you want to pursue freelance writing. You will always find doubt in your abilities.

But you know what? That doubt goes away or at least quiets for a long time. I’m in a position now to pick and choose my writing clients. I pick my rate and sometimes my deadlines too! I have no doubt in my ability to deliver top-notch content for my clients.

You will get to that point. With hard work and networking, you will achieve success as a freelance writer.

Over to you – what’s the one thing holding you back from sending that pitch?


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.

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Thank you for this blog post, Elna! I needed this since I’ve been hustling my behind off since Memorial Day. It’s been rough but one tip I always give other new freelancers is: the more you pitch, the better your chances of getting your first client. I’ve pitched almost 400 times already and I’ve gotten 4 clients out of it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Like you said, Elna, the worst that can happen is they don’t answer. If they don’t, then move your butt on to someone who will value your hard-earned time.Reply to Lisa
i am also a freelancer writer and the facts that you have mentioned in you blog i totally agree with that. nice job, keep writing blogsReply to rishabh
Thanks for the advice! I’m looking to do some freelance work but I’ve always been afraid of taking the first step. I plan on trying your system right away! This article very helpful me thanks for sharingReply to Denim
Nice blog with useful information.i believe it will help a lot for new writers and freelancer also. Thanks a lot for sharing your valuable information regarding Freelance.Reply to Marina
Hi Elna, Great post as always! Pitching is one thing you surely master! I’ve just read your post on low gas prices in Canada (the one you linked into this post; very clever by the way! so another tip for writers to make their work visible).Reply to luciano
Nice writeup Elna! I have learnt a lot about how to overcome the anxiety when giving first pitch. I think if anybody reads all the tips you have shared then he/she can surely overcome the anxiety.Reply to Marvin
I dominate over features and read drafts more times than I need. But I agree that having a template would cut this time in half. And of course, falling more often would do it manner and speed the process even more. Thanks for the inspirational postReply to waleed
Hey Elna, This was one amazing read as you have truly pointed out all the anxieties and excitement of the first pitch for every freelance writer. Indeed it is that moment when all your efforts are finally on web for anyone and everyone to access. The emotional value of it can be very rarely be expressed so precisely. This article truly made my day as I too went back to my first post. Keep coming up with more stuff like this.Reply to Debarati
Hi Elna, Your story is something worth reading. And I’m impressed with the quality of your content. I can recall vividly what my first pitch was. I was nervous if it won’t be rejected but I was also encouraged in the fact that the worse thing that will happen is that they will reject it. For those who tried and failed in their first attempt, I encourage them to keep trying and like you said, they shouldn’t take it personal. It’s possible the person vetting your content is not even good enough or just jealous of your content quality. No matter what happens, never be anxious. You are a good writer. Praise yourself too.Reply to Emenike
Thanks so much Emenike! Yes, you need to keep trying and put yourself out there all the time. It’s hard for sure! Thanks!Reply to Elna
Obviously it is hard to keep motivating ourself but it is require to make it happening. I must say that the tips are not for just a freelance writer but it will equally helpful to everyone working in writing industry. Can you share your experience when send the first pitch as a writer?Reply to Sophie
Thanks for the advice! I’m looking to do some freelance work but I’ve always been afraid of taking the first step. I plan on trying your system right away!Reply to David
O my God how funny I just commented about this fear of mine on your other blog so I decided to sign up for your free course and this is what I found as the answer. Thanks so much.Reply to Hena
Lol! Good to know! Thanks for signing up!Reply to Elna
Thank you very much for a very encouraging post, Elna. I am drafting my first pitch and all that anxiety you mentioned is so true. I have been putting this off for several days, coming up with one excuse or another. After reading your post I feel inspired and I am going to dive in and see what comes up.Reply to S.
Hi! I’m so glad you are putting this into action! Good luck on your pitch!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much for this blog post, Elna! It’s just what I needed since I just started cold pitching people last week. I’m getting ready to start another round of it so we’ll see how it goes. I get so wound up tight over how my pitch sounds that sometimes I realize I’ve spent up to 10 minutes hovering over the send button on the e-mail. I know that’s normal but it’s still kinda embarrassing, y’know?Reply to Lisa
Hi Elna, This is a great post for all writers. There is always the anxiety the first time. I wish I knew all these initially but it is still relevant today. Thanks for sharing your experience on overcoming anxiety while pitching for the very first time. I am sharing it.Reply to Charles
Thanks Elna, another helpful post.Reply to Colleen
Hi Colleen, Thanks so much! And thanks for sharing my posts all over Twitter <3 I see them!!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great post as always! Pitching is one thing you surely master! I’ve just read your post on low gas prices in Canada (the one you linked into this post; very clever by the way! so another tip for writers to make their work visible). So now it would be really interesting to know how to pitch for subjects you’re not an expert at 1st look and subjects you don’t particularly like. Indeed I assume we all try to land gigs in industries we like and know things about but how if we don’t but want to take the challenge? Thanks for all your good stuff!Reply to Céline
Hi Celine, For me, I would research competitive sites and see what blog topics they have on their site and research from there. You can also go to Pinterest and search for keywords for related content. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thanks for the post, Elna. I think pitching is one of those activities with which one gains confidence over time. Meanwhile, posts like these make the process more doable for people starting out in freelance writing. Great, actionable tips, as always. Learning how to do it right is always the best thing we can do in the beginning. Constant practise takes care of the rest.Reply to Maria
Maria, You’re right no that; it takes experience to really be good at pitching! Good luck!Reply to Elna
You have undoubtedly addressed the issue. I recall my pitching days, first pitch always remains close to heart, then follows a series of failures till you grab the opportunity that comes in basket. Using templates for pitching is what i do, and it saves hell lot of time that i can channelize into other work.Reply to Shivam
Hi Shivam, Good to know! Yes, I use templates and I have templates in my Writeto1k course!Reply to Elna
Just after posting this, and getting my template ready (again, I got sidetracked!) I was contacted for a gig out of the blue due to my writer’s site and LinkedIn profile. Just the boost I needed, but will get going on pitches too. I want to be able to pick and choose clients!Reply to Molly
Congrats!I hope you land the gig!Reply to Elna
Great advice. I got stuck in pitch mode just like you describe above… agonizing, self-criticism and simply not sending out enough of them. Very inspiring and I needed that dose of positivity, thank you!Reply to Molly
Hi Molly! Glad to know and I hope you overcome it soon!Reply to Elna
I obsess over details and reread drafts more times than I need. But I agree that having a template would cut this time in half. And of course, pitching more often would make it habit and speed the process even more. Thanks for the inspirational post, Elna. Perfect Monday motivation.Reply to Sara
Hi Sara! You’re welcome! Yes templates and a process will sort of remove yourself from pitching! It’s what I do 🙂Reply to Elna
Great information for new writers – actually all writers. I don’t think the anxiety ever goes away. It may lessen with time, but I know after years of freelancing I’m still anxious when sending out pitches. I don’t allow that to stand in my way. I tell myself the worst they can say is NO and if they do, it wasn’t meant to be. Thanks for another great post.Reply to Tina
I know right. This was really a polished work from her side. Now even I’m a subscriberReply to Ankit
Hi Tina, That’s a great way to combat anxiety! Imagine the worst thing they can say and it’s usually a professional sounding NO! 🙂Reply to Elna