One question that is often asked when it comes to mastering, “should I master my own music?"
The answer is NO.
I know a lot of people either do their own mastering or want to just because they go out and get some fancy mastering program. But the truth, is not even some of the best engineers in the world master the music they have recorded.
The reason why is because you will spend so much time sitting their listening to the music while you mix it, that your ears will eventually start hearing what they want to hear. This makes it extremely hard to make those very small much needed adjustments.
If you give it to someone else to master ( lets hope it’s a professional ) they will be hearing it for the first time and this means they will have a totally different prospective on what they are hearing. Frequency can be funky, especially if your just moving them a couple Khz to distinguish separation between two instruments. So why not let a fresh set of ears make these distinguishes.
If you don’t yet know what plug-ins you need to use such as: limiter/compression, eq etc. I suggest you don’t do it. Take it to a professional and stand in while he works; learn, read a book, take a class, but if you don't know what you're doing then you're better off not doing anything.
If you insist on taking on this project, the first thing you need to do is take a long break from the music. Doesn’t mater how good you are at mastering, take a day or two to let your mind and your ears reset.
The second thing you need to do is make sure you use your monitor speakers. Headphones can be used and can be good to reference what your monitors are doing, but for the most part you need to complete the mastering project with your monitors.
One last thing, before you try to master anything, it’s important to make sure you are completely familiar with the software/hardware you are using. This tip does not just go for mastering, but for every part of making music. What is the since of having an expensive music program if you only know how to use half of it's functions.