2.) Get your own recording studio - Get a PC or MAC (if you don't have one already) and recording software. I covered this in my blog "Why Going Independent is a Musician's Best Option," but reiterating is never a bad thing. You can either have someone who knows how to record do your recording for you or you can learn how to do it yourself. You can either get someone to teach you or you can intern at a professional recording studio to learn.
3.) Brand yourself! - This is very important. You'd be amazed at how many musicians don't properly do this. Besides being able to define what the exact style of your music is, you need to be able to define who you are. This is something that you want to continuously want to build on.
4.) Be real with yourself - Once you do this, you will be able to effectively connect with your audience. People will connect with your music better once they feel like they know the real you. Build a relationship with your fans and they will be fans for life.
5.) Promote, promote, promote - There are many ways to do this. You can go the grassroots route and put up flyers, stickers, and posters everywhere or you can get your own website with its own domain name. This is important because people will take you more seriously when you have your own website. All of your social networks should be linked to your official website and all of your traffic should be directed to that. Getting a domain name is easy. You can go to a site like http://www.networksolutions/ or http://www.godaddy.com/ to get a domain name. There are many web hosts that can host your site and there are many with cheap, affordable prices.
After you made sure your website looks professional and easy to navigate, make sure people know where to go to buy your music. Sending your fans newsletters regularly will remind them to buy your music whenever it's available. When your fanbase gets bigger, it'll be best if you had software that could send out newsletters for you. I'd suggest using Mailloop (http://www.internetmarketing.com/software-mailloop.html). This software has many features that'll make your life easier when it comes to sending newsletters to your fans.
Before you promote, figure out who your audience is. This is extremely important because you don't want to be a rock band who markets their music to rap fans and vice versa. Once you figure out who your audience is, try to get your music on the radio and on TV. If you can't do that, then go the internet route and put up your own videos on YouTube and get your songs played on internet radio. College radio will play your music too.
6.) Press up CDs and sell them - I have 3 computers and each of them have CD burners and I've used all 3 computers at one time to press CDs up. I know many musicians who go that route also. It's up to you if you want to do that. That's the low budget route, but if you don't mind paying a little bit to have a company press up your CDs for you, then that's good. There are many companies that will do this for you. This will obviously save you time. There are places like Disc Makers (http://www.discmakers.com/) or Disc Wizards (http://www.discwizards.com/) that will press and package your CDs for you. When your CDs are pressed up and packaged, they look more professional and people will be more inclined to buy from you. Besides music, think of other kinds of merchandise you can sell to your fans. This should all tie into your brand. You can sell T-shirts, hats, action figures, or whatever else will be a good representation of your brand.
8.) Build relationships with retailers and distributors - This is important because once you build a relationship with distributors, your music will be distributed to the retailers. Once you're able to get your music into the retail stores, you and the retailer can come up with ways for both you and the retailer to benefit from your album sales. These companies will need to know that you can sell a good amount of units in order for them to take you seriously and want to go into business with you.