5 Reasons I Didn’t Accept Your Freelance Writing Assignment

Angela Tague
4 min readOct 19, 2023

Each week, I collaborate with marketing agencies, in-house marketing professionals and businesses that need help from a freelance writer to meet their content creation goals.

Most of these partnerships get an A+.

But, sometimes an email from a new prospect triggers red flags for me, and I ultimately decline to work on their project — even if the topic and content needs are in my wheelhouse.

But, why? Let me share.

Why I Said No to Your Freelance Writing Project

Not all marketing clients are ready to bring a freelance writer on board, and we can sniff them out a mile away. If any of these things happen during our first interaction or two I’ll likely step away from the offer.

1. You Don’t Have a Content Plan

Don’t reach out to a writer until you have a clear roadmap of what you need and expect from them. A content plan includes a content strategy and how the freelance writer will fit into your workflow.

In our first few conversations, I’ll ask how many pieces of content you need per month, how the deadlines are staggered, what the revisions process looks like and how we will collaborate (shared cloud documents, via a platform, etc.) Be ready to answer these basic questions.

Learn more about content plans in this in-depth article I wrote for ClearVoice’s blog.

2. You Don’t Have a Budget

Freelance writers don’t work for free, so be ready to discuss fees, payment style (per word, per hour, per project) and payment methods. If you’re not sure of your budget, or how payments are processed for your freelance partners, figure those things out before you start a conversation with a contract worker.

I am much more likely to accept a writing project if the person contacting me offers budget information upfront. I can then quickly tell them if we’re in alignment, or not. I don’t want to waste my time learning about your project only to discover your budget is half my usual fee.

Freelancers: Learn more about calculating fees in, “Freelance Writer Rates: How Much



Angela Tague

Angela Tague writes marketing content for businesses and feature articles for magazines. Learn more at WebWritingAdvice.com.