Well, I'm a few months into this venture now so I thought I'd share some of my observations about being a full-time freelancer.
1. No pics, don't bother. Unless the story is, as the Great Bard once said, an absolute banger it's going to be hard to place it if there are no decent pics. I was aware that this was the case beforehand, but it has still been a steep learning curve..
2. Strange what makes. Some stories I've put out I thought would be slam dunks have been ignored, while others I was less certain about have been used. It means I'm constantly having to think about and second guess what I'm putting out there. But that's no bad thing.
3. Positive reactions. News editors I've worked with in the past have been very positive and helpful about my new venture. The majority of those I don't know have also been very receptive. A big confidence boost in an uncertain time.
4. Scrap, kick, bite, gouge. Don't get disheartened. I've had days where nothing has been picked up and it can make you question yourself. But then you keep going, get a great reaction to a piece and you're up and running again. I've had many excited conversations with my retired journo dad when a story is picked up.
Here's a couple of recent hits. Click on pics to read: