While discussing social media and internet publishing, people often ask me how people make money off their blogs. The New York Times has a very informative and detailed article on this topic, entitled My Blog Is Also Paying My Bills.
My favorite quote in the article comes from a financially successful blogger named Steve Pavlina. His comment mirrors exactly what I tell people about being a professional artist: “I tell people if they want to start a blog just to make money, they should quit right now,” Mr. Pavlina said. “You have to love it and be passionate about your topic.”
In discussions about getting art out in the world and making money from it, I always end up saying exactly the same thing. In the end, an artist must be primarily motivated by the love of making art. There is a lot he/she can do to promote the work and bring it to the marketplace, but in the end, there are a lot of easier ways to make money than being an artist. In fact, almost any way is easier. Sensible people don’t choose to make a living as an artist. Art chooses you, and you learn to live with (and sometimes by) it.