RRCR - Read, Rate, Comment and Recommend
The eHow community is very friendly and helpful for a beginner freelance writer. I have found everyone here absolutely wonderful.
With the exception of a few people, most recommend supporting the community by Reading other members work, Rating the articles, leaving Comments and Recommending authors you enjoy or have been helpful - RRCR.
Although I have read this is not necessary, it is fun, a great way to meet like minded people and learn new things! As an eHow user for several years before contributing, I did base what articles I read and which ones I skipped based on ratings, recommendations and comments. When writing an article I always keep in mind what I was looking for, what made me keep reading and what enticed me to bookmark sites. I try to duplicate these scenarios when ever possible.
If you are wanting people to read and comment on your articles, the best way to accomplish this is to read, rate and comment on other contributors articles. (Sending e-mails with your new work is frowned upon by most veteran contributors.)
Some contributors will go to the comment section of their profile each day and return the favor to those who have stopped by to comment. Others will simply subscribe to the feed of those who stop by and comment. They are then alerted periodically by e-mail when you post new articles.
Usually busy writers will set aside one or two days a week to support their communities, join in on the forums and return comments.