It’s worth spending time working out your own hierarchy of reward.
It will help you to decide where to apply your efforts.
Think about why it is that often you can earn more from what you don’t have published than from work that is published.
The secret is that in the instances where you are working for a customer you are often very focused on your audience. You know what your readers want. You have spent time finding out what they need.
Sometimes, when writing for a publication, this just isn’t the case.
Writers sometimes have only a vague idea of who will read their work and who will like it.
Ask yourself: Who would pay to read that I am writing?
This will help you to start to shape your own hierarchy of reward.