Just as there is no single approach that’s best for everyone, so too are you free to choose the buffet rather than ordering off the menu. It’s important to remember that everything looks good on paper. Because of this, it’s easy to get excited about a particular approach to making money, only to find that it’s not as successful as you’d hoped.
The safest and most profitable bet is to mix and match, using every approach that you’re comfortable with to create multiple streams of revenue. If you have five things going and one of them doesn’t pan out, you’re still making money with the other four.
You’re also free to change the rules as you go. Your art, and your life, will change as the years go by. The world won’t stand still, either. Pick the options that work for you today and put your best effort into making them a success. Additionally, make it a habit to review what you’re doing a few times a year. Based on market conditions, the direction in which your art is headed, and the success or failure of your various ventures, you can always make corrections in the course you’re taking.
It’s never been easy making a living as a creative creature. This is due in part to supply and demand. When there are a lot of people creating, you’re working in a very crowded room. However, many people have difficulty paying the bills not because it can’t be done but simply because they never took the business of their art seriously. When you do, you’ll see a world of opportunity. You’ll also find that once you weed out the people who aren’t willing to approach the business side of art, the room isn’t nearly as crowded as you were expecting it to be.