I run a car and product review website and have done a bit of freelance work over the years. Regarding contacts, I'd say social networking sites can be massively important.
Build professional Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, and find the people you need that way.
Often, it is good to check who the people you 'follow' are following, or who follow them or 'like' their page etc. This can be incredibly helpful in finding a variety of new contacts, and a great way to introduce yourself too.
Hope that helps,