Cold calling or emailing prospective clients to offer your services can be an effective way to bring in business as a freelance writer. However, many writers are turned off by the idea because they lack confidence.
I haven't used cold contacting in quite some time, because I've been kept pretty busy with referrals and my own sites. I came across a company running a service I love, but their copy needs some major work - at very least with some proofreading. I have no doubt they would appeal to more potential users with some text touch-ups.
I'm going to send them a pitch email later today, with a sample paragraph or two edited, to see if they'll bite.
Consider this an early New Year's Challenge - Cold contact at least one potential client no later than the first week of January!
The worst that will generally happen is that they'll say no. Just be tasteful, and give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of people willing to pay for your services simply don't realize that they need you yet!