The nice odds about sending out unsolicited requests for work - full time, part time, freelance - is that they result in quality responses. Sure, the rate of those responses is low. But, but when we are looking for work we don't have much else to take our time but to look for work.
I was first clued into the power of the this kind of cold calling by that now iconic book "What Color Is Your Parachute." It gets brought up to date every year and still bears out the wisdom that the person who gets the work is the one best at going after it, not the most qualified.
Stuck in a university job that didn't pay the bills, I read "What Color Is Your Parachute," and I parachuted nicely into corporate executive communications at Chevron. That ticket was golden until the market for ghostwriting and speechwriting tanked after Enron and 9/11. But it's back and so am I in sending out unsolicited personalized emails to public relations agencies and corporations.
With the growth of PR up 21% (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics), it's no surprise that I am receiving a lot more than the average number of responses from those I am contacting. Yesterday, seven people emailed me back. Two called me on the phone.
Of course, it would dumb not to monitor the help wanted on Mediabistro.com, JournalismJobs.com, and Craigslist - Cities. However, in general those opportunities pay less than what we can pick up from organizations which don't openly advertise for help. They are used to folks like me and you coming to them.