Say what you will about job bidding websites, but I think they are a great (and reliable) way for you to find new jobs and some quick sources of income when you are in a bind.
I’ve talked to a lot of freelance writers, and most of them tend to be on the same page. They prefer finding private clients because they consider private clients to be higher paying and more worthwhile. Now, I’ve had just as many friends who have taken on a private client that takes weeks upon weeks to pay or they get bitten when it comes to payments altogether. At least with a job bidding website, you are protect. I only take jobs on Elance when the client funds the escrow and I’m not afraid to dispute if the client tries to pull the plug and take the money and run. Especially, if I did nothing to merit that.
If you are looking for work, consider giving Elance a try. I highly recommend the site as a great place to find work. I have one client right now who has been ordering batches of $2,000-$4,000 worth of articles at a time. Naturally, I am not doing all the work on my own. I have been outsourcing it to some of my friends who write and a team I’m apart of. My point is, the work is there if you look for it. You just have to put an effort into looking for it.
Image Credit: Found on WikiMedia Commons (File:Backlit_keyboard.jpg)