When to Seek New Freelance Writing Opportunities

It can be easy to get comfortable in a routine as a freelance writer. And sometimes that means we don't continue to market our services as much as we should -- something we should do even when our schedules are full.

So today let's look at some signs that you should seek out new freelance writing opportunities. Some are signs that you've waited too long and need to kick your marketing into high gear, and some are simply signs that you might be due for a change.

You lost a client.

I know this one is obvious, but it doesn't always seem that way. Instead of seeking new opportunities you might just fall back on other clients and look for an increased workload. While there's nothing wrong with that, don't forget that an opening in your schedule is the perfect opportunity to try something new.

Find a new client or type of client. Pursue a new kind of service you've wanted to offer. Just take that time to do something you've otherwise been putting off.

A client decreased their regular orders.

Sometimes clients have to cut back on regular writing services because their business needs change or they can't afford to continue. This is another great opportunity to try something new. Besides, how good will it feel when they come back for more later and you have to turn them down because you're already booked with another reliable and well-paying client? It's nice to have options.

You've outgrown an opportunity.

Sometimes you'll feel as though you've outgrown a client. There's nothing wrong with this. It happens a lot. Over the years you'll gain experience and your skills will improve. Your compensation and projects won't always account for that. You can try to renegotiate with a client, and some will be happy to do so. But if not, it might be time to amicably part ways and focus on finding new clients and projects that are a better fit for your current situation.

You become uncomfortable with a client.

Sometimes client relationships don't progress as well as you'd like. A client might disrespect you in some way. Or they might simply make changes to their business that you're not comfortable with (like expecting you to go from writing unbiased posts to undisclosed posts for their sponsors). If something makes you uncomfortable, take it as a sign that you should start looking elsewhere. This way when you're ready to leave, you'll have other opportunities lined up.

There is an increased demand for your services.

Moving on to new opportunities doesn't always result from bad situations. You might be perfectly happy with your current clients and workload, but suddenly you're getting more inquiries than usual. If you see an increased demand for your services, it might be the right time to increase your rates and move on to clients and projects that will take you to the next level of your career. Again, just make sure you part with existing clients amicably. You never know if you'll want to work with them again in the future.

What other things tell you it's time to look for new freelance writing opportunities? What do you do when you're ready to take your career up a notch? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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13 thoughts on “When to Seek New Freelance Writing Opportunities”

  1. Hi Jenn,

    I’m always on the lookout for new freelance writing opportunities. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, I do my ‘Tuesday/Wednesday’ markets. I don’t think it’s a good to quit sales and marketing and PR just because you have a full client load. You never know what opportunities could be right for you.

    I love networking and being helpful. I look at queries from Reporter Connection and HARO to see if there’s a query or two that I can answer. You never know where it will lead you. 🙂

  2. “There is an increased demand for your services.” –I love that you included this. It’s a great reminder that freelancers can and should seek out new opportunities even when their business is not on “famine” mode.

    Like what you said, “Moving on to new opportunities doesn’t always result from bad situations.” Right on.

  3. Whenever I lost a client, I’d rather seek a new one than ask for more workload from my present ones. I’d like to try different clients and seek new opportunities rather than settling for what I have in the present.

    • That’s a good perspective Sarah. You never know if there’s something better out there if you don’t give new things a try. And it’s always better to diversify your writing income. Relying on fewer clients puts you at a bigger financial risk.

  4. Jenn, I’ve had all of the above happen. I think the one that’s toughest to get over is outgrowing a client it it’s a client you like working with. I had one that I’d worked with for four years. I was trying to find ways to transition out of their orbit because they work, while sporadic and paid well, was almost always “Need it today.” When I first met them, I could easily fill that order. But as things got busier, I was struggling to keep them happy (and they paid my invoice without ever questioning, including rush fees).

    Luckily, they did it for me. Long story short, they haven’t called in a few years and while I miss them as people, I don’t miss the rush jobs at all.

  5. Hi Jennifer
    Thanks for these tips! I’m trying to startup as a freelance/blogger writer online.
    Your blog is awesome.

  6. Agree with all of the above. I try to get out LOIs every week, no matter how much work is on the schedule, just to keep options open.

    I’d also add “when you burn out or get stale” on a topic. I write on a variety of topics, but every now and again, I’ll have a patch where I’m landing more work in a particular area, and, if I feel I’m getting stale, I switch it up a bit.

    I was with one company, writing for them for 16 years. I’ve taken a 6 year break, and now we’re talking about working together again, because I’ve had time to learn new things in the area.

    • Great tip Devon. Whether it’s clients or topics, switching things up from time to time can certainly help. This feels like a good time to remind folks that specialization doesn’t mean you’re limited to just one niche or just one project type. You can have more than one specialty, and you can choose specialty types that leave room for a diversity of projects (like client types or project types rather than a niche focus). Very little sucks more than burning out. Anything we can do to avoid that is A-OK in my book.


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