So, as an artist, the hardest thing I find is to actually sell my work. Laying yourself open to comments and yes, people really can be as indiscreet to say things like, 'oh, I really don't like that piece' or 'wow, that's not worth that price' right in front of you, knocking your confidence down to below ground level! On the plus side, there's nothing like people telling you they love your work or that you're really talented or a myriad of other compliments. And there's really nothing like someone buying work off you and spending their hard earned cash on something that you have created.
But how to actually start selling enough to make a living? Exhibitions are the most obvious, but these require a pretty big outlay in the first place in terms of printing and framing costs not to mention potential venue costs, advertising costs and the stewarding you may have to do depending on the venue. But, they can be really enjoyable especially if you can share the load with some other artists, but I think I might do a blog post on organizing exhibitions another day.
There are a myriad of on line selling sites now that don't even require initial submissions to get you started although it can be very time consuming getting your name out there because it's very easy to get lost on sites such as Etsy due to the sheer numbers of people selling there.
But Rome wasn't built in a day and nor will your art empire! It takes time, dedication and a lot of work. Leave no stone unturned. Follow every lead. Support other artists. Look for local press opportunities to get your name out there, consider doing a press release. But, above all else, never lose faith in yourself and keep going.