I would go against the tide here. And this comes from my own experience.
Always, always write specs!
If you are starting out in freelance writing in 2018, you must remember that you are up against a sky-high level of competition. It’s actually very tough to set down your freelance writing business when almost everyone—and their pet dog, cat and even their grandma—is “writing”!
Don’t be discouraged yet. What you must rather do is, think like a businessperson. The only thing that should bother you is whether there is a ‘hungry’ market or not. If there exists one, all you need to do is cut through the competition and wriggle yourself into a particular niche…and shine.
But how? Good question.
Write, write, write.
It means you must always write even if you don’t have a client at the moment. Just keep writing where you sharpen your skills every day and yes, churn out yet another sample in the process.
Remember, these specs or samples that you write on a regular basis forces you to specialize in a few particular subjects over time and that’s what brings in money as a freelance writer, my friend.
Takeaway: Write samples every day. Become a specialist in a particular niche. Clients will throng at your door.