I consider myself still relatively new to freelance writing, but one thing I am learning about quickly is the importance of a good marketing strategy. I know that a lot of writers got their start, or sustain themselves, with freelancing sites like Elance, Guru and Get A Freelancer and others. I tried Elance once but it didn't work out for me personally. What has worked for me is to regularly apply for jobs listed on job sites, but if I want to reach my monthly income goals, I need to kick it up a notch.
I have begun to take the sage advice of a freelance writing expert I admire, Yuwanda Black of Inkwell Editorial and actually put some time and effort into marketing my services on a regular basis. If you're not marketing your services no one will know what you have to offer. Marketing should be an ongoing process – even when you're swamped with six months worth of work. You never know when the work load will slow down as it inevitably does from time to time. A consistent marketing plan will give you visibility so that others can utilize your services.
I've learned this the hard way. I had really gotten comfortable and content with the clients I had been working with for the past few months, until the good times with one client came to an end. I should have expected it and prepared myself better. I should have taken a few minutes a day or during the week to do some sort of marketing. It could be anything from the dreaded cold calls to social networking. This is not an area where I can afford to be lazy. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. Just a commitment to be consistent in my efforts.