Offering my own tips on successful freelance writing would effectively be like the incredibly short-sighted leading the blind. So instead, I will offer up a few little gems I picked up whilst in attendance of an excellent Freelance Writing Seminar run by the Queensland Writers Centre.
Thanks to Tiana Templeman, Phil Brown and Amanda Horswill for an very informative evening.
Know Your Market
Your story ideas should match your chosen publication - borrow copies from the library to get a feel for the tone and the house style of the publication.
Know WHEN to pitch an idea - avoid busy production times when replying to emails from freelancers maybe at the bottom of an editor's list of things to do.
Attend events and seminars, especially in your chosen field of interest or expertise.
Give out business cards and samples of your work at seminars - follow these up with an email a couple of weeks after the event.
Develop an online presence - a website or blog is essential showcase of your work when pitching ideas.
Join writers associations and relevant trade associations.
ALWAYS be professional.
Make sure you know the correct person to contact.
Use a catchy story title in your subject line when emailing - use block capitals for an eye-catching effect.
Include a short, brief biography as an introduction, providing a link to your website or blog for further information.
Never send more than 5 fifty-word pitches at a time.
Always be succinct - don't waffle.
Remember, the first few words are VITAL.
Excellent advice, I think you'll agree. I for one will attempt to put these into practice over the next few months.