The barrier to entry is extremely low for artists releasing music today. Many artists have seized this opportunity and proudly title themselves “DIY artists” (although, the number of “DIY artists” would drop quickly if they were each given a second option to choose from).
To truly earn the “DIY” badge, though, there is an implication that you are independently applying even the slightest bit of business principles to advance your career.
The true DIY-er understands that there is more going on here than music.
A great first step in this direction is to begin measuring your activity, and then learning from what you find. Without measuring, analyzing, and learning from your failures and successes, how can you genuinely say you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed?
Take a moment to find the analytics/”insights” for your YouTube channel, Facebook page, website, etc. Look at this data, understand it, and continually check back in to find trends you can learn from.
The best thing data can do for you is tell you who does not like your music. No music is made for everyone. In fact, the majority of the world will not like your music. This makes it very important to identify those that do. But it is very hard to know this without any form of measurement.
Finally, the perfect vehicle for measurement is a music release. As I mentioned at the start of this post, it is (relatively) easy to create something and upload it to Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Those who want to succeed must go a step further.
Without measuring your activity, you are blindly moving in a not-necessarily-positive direction.