I began freelance writing in earnest in the summer of 2005. I strategically designed query letters, subscribed to numerous print magazines, and learned the names of magazine editors by heart. I polished my article ideas, sent out the above mentioned query letters, and eagerly awaited acceptance letters. They never came.
It goes without saying that I was greatly disheartened. I had done everything by the book and had absolutely no results. Being the ever impatient person that I am, I decided to seek out other ways of earning an income writing. It was at this time that I was introduced to web writing.
I wasn't extremely optimistic, but didn't exactly have much to lose. I devoured freelance writing and work-from-home forums. I felt enough confidence in myself to take the next step. I gathered the names of various ezines and developed query letters.
One of the great things about web writing is the rapid response you get from editors. You don't have to worry about remaining a starving artist from buying all of those magazine copies. Back issues are usually online just waiting for you to view them. They don't often pay as much per word as their glossy counterparts, but ezines are typically less competitive and offer a nice per-word-rate.
How you can get started:
Decide what type of writing you want to do (web writing has many facets, including, SEO content writing, PR freelancing, website copywriting, article marketing, and more)
Google the phrase "ezine directory," or similar.
Make a note of the internet magazines you are interested in writing for, their rate of pay, special instructions, contacts, etc.
Read over some of their previous published material to find out what tone of writing the editors prefer.
Write out those query letters! You will find many online resources dedicated to this topic. My only advice is to K.I.S.S. (keep it short & simple). Email makes the ezine world move much faster, which means editors don't have the time to read an overly-detailed query. Spare them and yourself the trouble. You can find a good email query letter template on Anne Wayman's site.
As the Nike commercial says, "Just do it." Create a plan and jump in. If you need more help getting started with freelance writing, online and off, you should really read Anne Wayman's ebook, Getting Started With Profitable Freelance Writing. She has a wealth of experience and her advice has gotten me more than a few freelance writing jobs.