As I near 500k I think back on how this all started and how much I've learned. The things I sell, the way I sell, the way I used my professions have all evolved to meet both a changing market, a changing expansion, and a changing attitude towards gold making.
Some things were very important to me in the early days but I have strayed from them as my capital grew, but the practice still are not terrible ones, and I even find myself returning to a few. Here are a three of the earliest "tips and tricks" that I came up with or used to help me gain my initial golden foothold and, for the most part, I still stand by these goals on a regular basis.
1. Every Character. Every Day. In the Black.
It's easy to feel like you're spinning your tires in the sand, especially when your bank account doesn't seem to budge when people are talking about nearing 500k! As you play your characters and repair, buy upgrades, enchant gear, etc. you spend gold and it's possible you're not realizing how much you're spending on them each day.
Each day you log onto a character take note of how much gold they have. You can do this "manually" or by using an addon like Auditor. Be sure that every day, when you log off a character for the final time, that that character is "in the black" and has earned more gold than they spent. this is a really easy way to stop "gold leaks" that you may not notice.
This doesn't work so well when you move up and start making large investments on things like crafting materials that pay off more in the long run and may not show an initial gain, but doing this sort of thing helped me significantly when building my seed money. You can also set a "quota" per day. Rather than having each character be in the black, instead say that each character has to be 100g up. You can quest, farm, whatever you prefer to reach your quota set, and you'll see the gold begin to add-up!
2. Don't be afraid of farming.
Auction House Junkies talked about this in their most recent episode (5), in fact. Many bloggers will either specifically say farming isn't worth it or at the very least say that farming isn't a huge part of their routine. This may be true for them, but for fledgling gold makers it's a great way to make starter cash.
When I first began I did not buy any materials. If you have a good amount to invest in ore or herbs or something of the sort then invest away, but often the new gold-maker doesn't have the luxury of being able to tie up thousands of gold in a single investment for long-term gain.
This is largely similar to the previous point. Back in Wrath if I needed to make flasks for raid I would get on my herbalist and herb Icethorn until I had 20 Frost Lotuses. Lotusi? Loti? No idea. Did I need all that Icethorn? Not at all. But by the time I had my 20 Frost Flowery Things I also had several hundred gold worth of Icethorn to craft with or sell. Just by going the extra mile to farm my own materials I was able to also make gold.
This isn't the greatest tip for those with limited playtime, but if you have the time (They should have a command similar to /played that tracks how much time you sit in SW doing nothing . . .) it's a great way to get what you need and make gold rather than spending it!
3. Set short-term goals. And stick by them!
Most people who get into the gold-making mindset have a goal. Usually it's to buy a specific item, such as a Vial of the Sands, or to hit the game-defined goldcap. Therefor most usually start with what they consider an "end point" at which point they will consider themselves to have "finished" accomplishing their original plan.
1,000,000g. That's a big number. When your goal is to climb a mountain in a day it can be very intimidating. Your breaks for a snack or a breather can cut into your time because, afterall, it's a whole mountain in a day! Instead, think of your goal as climbing 1/24 of the mountain an hour and it can suddenly seem much easier to wrap your head around and manage.
When my goal is to make 1 million gold it's hard to see how a 500g day differs from a 1,000g day in the long-run. I'm still a long way from the top of the mountain, regardless. Instead I would set short-term goals, usually weekly or by an abstract date, such as "before x patch." When your goal is much more immediate it's much easier to discipline yourself. If I want to make 10,000g this week making 1,000g in a day instead of 500 suddenly becomes much more substantial and something much more important to hit.
Setting reachable short-term goals will also give you a sense of accomplishment when you're able to hit them and even surpass them. It really helped keep me enthusiastic about my goals.