To suggest that I didn't know what I was doing would be a tremendous understatement. For starters, I was completely ignorant to the concept of preamps. I didn't understand why plugging my guitar directly into the input of the Portastudio resulted in a wimpy sounding, twangy mess.
It wasn't until a friend of mine introduced me to Sonic Foundry's ACID music that I was truly introduced to the world of recording with DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).
While those tools inspired my love of making music, it was and continues to be a complicated art to perfect. The link below is from a great blog and it provides a step-by-step process for mastering your songs.