Business cards really help you stand out in your community. It sounds like something from the 1980's that people would do to look cool but it is really effective. I'm sure you have seen flyers, ads, or other printed material from your local businesses that are horribly done. What they need is a good writer like you.
The best way to start in this way is to sign up for everything in your community you can. This can be annoying so getting a P.O. Box is highly recommended. Then you browse through the flyers, brochures, and other business documents you receive.
You will find many things that you can probably improve upon easily. This is when you make your move. Take that flyer to the business that sends it out and point out the mistakes and tell them what you think they should do to improve it. This will generate more business for them so they will usually listen.
Nice looking, professional business cards can help move things along. Even if they don't use them right away, eventually something could happen and they will reach for your business cards first.
This approach isn't for everyone. Many people stick with online jobs just to avoid a face to face situation. That's perfectly fine too! You can e-mail companies just as easily.
I will look into Virtual Business Cards as well and post my findings here.