It's great to talk about creative writing techniques and tools, but what about an audience? Everywhere I turn, I hear about how tough times are economically. I've also seen it proven in my own immediate family. How much good does brilliant prose do you if there's no one to read it?
Don't get me wrong; the better your writing, the better your chance of getting published. Still, in these times, it doesn't hurt to put the pedal to the metal (uh-oh, cliche alert!) and dig up some work for yourself. Here are a few websites that have helped me:
This site doesn't pay for articles, but it does provide exposure. There's a lot of trash on the site (in my opinion), but real quality will stand out. You may wonder why you'd bother if it doesn't pay. Remember...exposure! Mainly, it allows you to put links in your bio to direct readers to your website, if you have one, where you can sell them your services. I'm not actively submitting to ezinearticles.com right now, but when I did, I saw a real uptick in my web traffic.
This one is my favorite. Elance.com hooks up service providers with service seekers. It's a bit of a hassle to set up an account, but well worth the trouble. You can create a free or paid account. the free account limits the number of projects you can bid on, but it's good for a start. Yes, you have to bid on posted projects but, trust me, writing a good proposal will only sharpen your creative writing skills! You also get paid real money in a secure environment, since they offer an escrow service.
This one is new to me, and I haven't actually found work through them yet, but it looks promising. There is an application process. Try it out and tell us what you think.
Others may have a different opinion, but I wouldn't bother with this site. They offer a free membership, but most jobs seem restricted to paid members. If you have different information, please let me know and I'll be happy to put in an addendum!
Of course, you don't want to give up on the traditional creative writer's mainstays of literary journals--and tradition methods like finding them through the Writer's Market--but sites like these can provide a boost to your income if you're a struggling writer.
Best of luck!