My freelance field is journalism. I work in quite a specialised field where, while there are a lot of different outlets, they're all covering the same sorts of stories.

Up until recently, the editors I was working with were all asking me for quite distinct things and I never had any occasions where there were different people effectively asking me to do the same job. Recently, however, and perhaps unwisely, I've been picking up tasks from three different publications which all cover similar areas.

That worked out okay for me at first, but I've just had to turn down no less than three requests from my longest-running client on the basis that one of their competitors had got their first. I felt I had to work it on a first-come, first-served basis have already promised relevant articles to different editors. In all cases the editors had contacted me about the stories rather than the other way round.

I felt terrible about this, especially since I've been working with them for so long. They were very nice about it, but I can't help feel that my standing with them has gone down a notch or two and that it's something that'll be remembered next time there's freelance work going. I've also lost out on some work.

I presume anyone doing any sort of freelance work in a crowded field must deal with these sorts of issues from time to time. Is there any way these sorts of clashes can be handled better?

2 Answers 2


The fact that this situation is occurring more frequently means that your value to those organizations has improved. It's a flag that you might be undercharging for your work. Make periodic incremental increases to your rates until your average income levels off. Also expect a shift in the scope and quality of the assignments you receive during this period.


I've been in the industry 22 years and I can tell you from experience there's only one sure fire way to get around that and that is a mandatory either AM or PM meeting daily on where you're at and where you're going

  • Hi David, same comment as previously... Try to include more information into your answers, to better help the OP, and any future visitors that come here (say, from a search engine). Thanks!
    – Canadian Luke
    Jan 4, 2016 at 22:39

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