One thing that selling your art does, I've found, is it connects you with more a loyal and responsive audience. The people who have bought one of the three albums I have for sale have generally bought all of them. The music that I've given away for free has gotten a lot more listens and downloads over the years, but I have no idea who most of them are or what they thought of the music (and no doubt many of the downloaders are those weird MP3/spam bot sites). The people who tend to give me feedback on anything I do are also the people who tend to buy the commercial works.
I agree with the DIY approach rather than waiting on someone else to take up the cause for you. My experience with working with others is that the most successful endeavours are with people I've developed a relationship with over time. Cold contacting various labels, radio services, blogs or promoters seems to pan out for some folk, but for me it rarely has, and the few times it has, the relationship kind of went nowhere.
Doubtful you'll get rich going DIY, but it's also doubtful that you'll go broke or get ripped off. Just based on what people have said around here over the years, it strikes me that Taylor has most successfully turned music and art into a career (makes sense since he is also our benevolent host) but I gather that he has multiple sources of revenue to get by, that it's a tough slog, and that he's been building the necessary reputation and relationships for a good 15 years.
Hmm, interesting, I haven't thought it that way, but it sounds very reasonable. I mean, it's so common - people buy the cd's that they like the most, otherwise they just download them. That is a good point. I think I'll be now more hard-working with record labels, maybe the traditional way - releasing physical commercial CDs via a record labels - is the best way. I just had to check all the possibilities.
But hey, can someone clear this to me: I'm not sure what do you mean with DIY here. I know DIY is Do It Yourself but I'm not sure what it means here - do you mean I shouldn't ask anything and just do something? I mean: "Stop relying on others and DIY". I don't understand - how have I relied on others? This may be just language thing.