Reasons You Should Turn Down That Freelance Gig

I’ve been a freelance writer for quite a number of years now. I’ve had mostly positive experiences with clients. I believe there’s just one exception to this statement and that’s when I attempted to work for someone who very clearly had been wronged by freelancers many times.

I ultimately realized that she wouldn’t be happy with anything I said to convince her that I was an upstanding freelance writer who wanted nothing but to try to work for her and regain her trust in freelancers.

She eventually blocked me after I refunded her payment, and it sucked to have the situation end in that manner but I firmly believe everyone has to do what they feel is right in a situation.

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I’m still not sure what I ever did to get blocked, but I can say that this woman certainly had some bad experiences with previously hired freelancers which left me feeling the brunt of those negative emotions from her.

It quite honestly left me sad and confused for a bit of time.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about saying no, placing limits on how many freelance gigs I’ll take, using contracts for certain freelance gigs and what type of clients I can handle working for.

As an example, I used to write for a variety of recipe bloggers. I enjoyed writing SEO content for food bloggers for months until I just got burnt out. No longer was this writing of high-quality because I started to feel that dread of having to write SEO recipe content.

I slowly removed all recipe content from my freelance writing workload and starting to feel better logging into work each day.

Now that I’ve shared a little bit of my freelance writing history, I want to help other freelancers learn more about when and why they should turn down their next freelance gig. I completely understand that when you’re working as a freelancer, every gig can be precious for your income.

However, some freelance gigs are truly not worth your time and can hinder your overall productivity or income.

This is something not many people realize when they’re working on their own, and it can be really helpful for beginners and experienced freelancers to be able to have in mind.

Reasons You Should Turn Down That Freelance Gig

Here are some important signs and reasons you should turn down that freelance gig.

Past Hiring History

If you’re offered a gig, look at the history of the freelancers they’ve hired before going forward. If they’re a website hiring writers, see if you can tell what writers they’ve hired previously through their website and if those freelancers have stuck around for multiple gigs or not.

If the company isn’t able to keep their freelancers, there’s probably not so great of a reason behind that and you should be wary or do more looking into it.

Consider Your Reputation

You probably don’t want to do certain topics that may sully your reputation, so think about that when offered a gig. Regardless of the pay, ask yourself if you would want that work to show up as written by you on Google or be a part of your reputation.

Some topics may be things you aren’t comfortable associating with, and that’s important. Your reputation has a lot to do with your values and your future work, so take it seriously.

Attitude And Energy

The vibe that you get from your client is pretty important for how successful the gig may be and how draining working with them could be for you. You don’t want to drain your energy or be surrounded by negativity in life, so why do it in your career?

If someone or a company is giving you a bad vibe or seems to disrespect you, be really pushy, have unreasonable expectations, give a bad attitude, or anything else; you’re better off without the gig.

Talking You Down

Don’t ever let someone talk you down on your rates or pricing. No matter the excuse, or story, it’s not worth it unless you’re really willing to work for that lower rate. You may have your own package rates for bigger projects or something that you could offer, but someone that’s going to hassle you over your rates isn’t going to be worth it.

You should be paid your worth for your job and time, and nobody except you can determine that.

These signs can help you to recognize a freelance gig that won’t be worth it for you, which can help reduce your stress and improve your income. It’s totally okay and normal to have to turn down gigs you get, and it’s actually something that helps you a lot when done in the right instances.

These reasons to turn down your freelance gig can help you to know which jobs to pass over and which ones to actually consider more.


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19 thoughts on “Reasons You Should Turn Down That Freelance Gig

  1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience. Working with people is hard. These are really great tips!

  2. Writing is really a job that requires lots of effort and yeah, doing freelance is somehow good. Thanks for sharing, this is a great help

  3. I agree with you as well. Sometimes you just have to turn something down. I have considered doing freelancing myself, but haven’t fully decided yet.

  4. I totally agree with you. I have started turning down opportunities that aren’t a good fit or wouldn’t meet my price.

  5. I haven’t done freelance writing in a while, but it definitely has to be worth your time and energy!

    1. Freelance writing has become my main income source. This is why I have to be very mindful of what I accept for work or not. As a blogger since 2008, I understand having a low budget and so forth, so I’m not always the right fit for people’s budgets. This is why you have to be very mindful of accepting and declining freelance gigs.

    1. I used to have such a hard time saying no, but I’ve learned that saying no is just setting healthy boundaries. This is something that we all must be more confident about in all areas of life – just say no 😉

  6. This is a great post – I think sometimes it can be really hard to say no to people especially when it means turning down an income as well. However, we all need to learn to say no.

    1. It’s so true! I also have a hard time saying no to long-time bloggy friends who need a little help. I’ve connected with a large group of bloggers since I started in 2008 and I want nothing more than to help them succeed, but sometimes I have to decline as a means to stand up for what I’m worth and protect my mental health.

  7. I agree! Some people have pitched such low prices that I have declined. Or if it’s not a subject I’m comfortable with, I’ll pass.

    1. The low prices can drive me batty, but I get it, we all have a budget to think about 😉

  8. A few things I have found about writing is that you should stay firm on your price. I do not write for products I don’t use. I have been asked to write about products that are in poor taste a real no no.

    1. That’s a big thing I’ve learned since starting blogging in 2008, to stop writing for products that you don’t currently use OR wouldn’t purchase yourself.

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