The first rule in working with editors is to be honest about your capabilities and keep any promises you make. Editors have schedules to keep and "editorial holes" to fill with content. Making them wait can disrupt their schedule (they call it a slate) and lose you an editor's appreciation fast. If you're having trouble meeting a deadline, let the editor know as soon as possible so the editor can put a Plan B into action, usually involving pulling up other content. Editors loathe a lack of transparency, as they should.
As someone who has worked with dozens of editors over the years, I can affirm that some are easy to work with and some are not. They are people, after all, and while some might be pleasant and easygoing and chatty, others may be all business and quite demanding and unforgiving of even the slightest of mistakes. The bottom line is that nobody is forcing you to work with a particular editor, and vice versa. Try to find and work with editors who mesh with your style. But you need to be professional, always, which means collaborating in good faith with the editors you choose to work with.
Don't miss deadlines. It gets you in hot water. Do communicate all information relevant to your assignment. And if you like the editor and the work conditions (such as the pay), keep pitching that editor new ideas. Editors always look to build relationships with writers who produce good content and whom they can trust. I've been fortunate enough to work long-term with four terrifically-supportive and wise editors, and it would be hard to express how much they gave to me as a writer.
How should you pitch editors? Well, you should explain how you are qualified and prepared to write about the topic. And the topic should obviously be relevant for the editor's publication. Attach similar clips if you have them, and ask the editor to give you the assignment. If you don't hear back, feel free to politely follow up via email. By the way, pitching editors on the phone is a non-starter. These are busy people who just might hang up on you.
As for editorial revision, try not to defend every request for change as an attack on your person and western civilization. No editor enjoys working with a prima donna. Calmly analyze the requested revision, and if it makes sense and doesn't alter your meaning or voice, strongly consider making the change. You can always choose not to work with editors who you feel "kill too many of your darlings." But a flexible, professional approach always works, and will find you continued work as a writer.