I get this question a lot about how I balance my time from week to week. And people ask me “Walt, what’s more important? Writing new music, staying in touch with your community, or finding new fans?”
Well, if I had to pick only 1, it’s writing new music (although this is true for any art form). Here’s why:
Great art is proliferative. It spreads by itself because the world is so thirsty for it, yet it seems it’s also starved from it because everything is good instead of great.
So if you create a great product, and you care, then the community comes naturally over time (be patient!).
As for building out your fanbase - strength doesn’t refer to the size of the community, it refers to the tightness of the community. The only way you’ll get that is if you’re authentic, passionate, fun, and constantly keep in touch.
So concentrate on the product first because the product isn’t for you, its for everyone else who isn’t you. It’s for the people who want to support you and care about what you do. So when people start to tweet or comment about something you’ve done, then reach out to them because 90% of the time they’ll be unfamiliar with you, your website, product, community, etc. (since people discover through friends they rarely check the source before talking/reblogging about it.)
For musicians there’s a lot more that people don’t see: editing video, graphic design, web design, networking, keeping up with trends, studying to keep perfecting your craft, etc. But that’s the fun of it - the craziness is what stirs creativity.
So just make the work you love, constantly, obsessively, and make it great. To the point that others will naturally love it and spread it.