I know this post is kind of old, but I see the OP responded recently.
I work as a freelance writer. I browsed through the old posts and I do what many people also suggested. I write for others for pay and I also have my own websites and blogs that generate income. I like to mix it up. My days are usually spent half and half. Income from a personal blog can sometimes be spotty when you first get started; therefore, having paying clients in nice for steady income.
I got my started doing projects on Rent a Coder. I believe it is now Vworker. I haven't been back there in a long time. I always liked Rent a Coder because they did escrow so as long as you did the work and could show it, you would get paid.
While it is technically against their rules (they want you to keep using the site for your protection and so they can generate money from fees) if anyone wanted me to do another project, I would ask them to email me and then start working off the site. This meant I retained more of my money.
I am still working with a client I met there about 1 1/2 years ago. A few clients just ran out of work for me to do, but I worked for one for 2 years and another for a year with steady work each week.
So even those bidding sites have the potential to lead to long-term gigs. Just be sure to leave a "please let me know if you need additional article written." message after uploading a project to these sites.
Good luck! It took me about 6 months before I was able to get into a good groove with steady pay and clients, but it was worth it!