The world of freelancing is filled with competition. Some of them will be better than you and some will be worse. Some will charge more and some will charge less. To be successful, you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be good enough to get what you want.
Successful freelance writers scope out the competition. They want to know where they are on the food chain and what the other freelancers around them are doing. Luckily, the nature of writing is the sharing of information, so freelance writers are a relatively easy group to keep track of. They’ll tell you how they deal with bad clients, they’ll tell you when they are out of work, they’ll even tell you what they charge. There are few industries as open to discussion as freelance writing.
If you want to keep an eye on your competition, use Google to monitor keywords such as freelance. Check it out here.
You should also take a look at Elance.com. On Elance you get to see what writers are bidding for projects and how much people are willing to offer. Be warned though, this competitive marketplace is open to all and some of the people looking for work are willing to charge next to nothing. It can be a little scary.
Check out the writing/editing section on Craigslist.org. Here is one for Orange County. Notice how many of your rival freelancers are taking advantage of this free service. Are they all making money, I doubt it, but they are putting themselves on the market.