One of the first things that needs to be done when soldering is to tin the wires or surfaces before hand. Get the wire or surface hot and touch the solder to the wire and it will melt. Next try not to move the wires while you get them hot. Once hot the surfaces will join then pull iron away keeping surfaces together.
Keep a cleaning surface for the iron damp so when you get junk on the soldering iron tip you can wipe it away. If you should get too much solder on your tip just shake it off on your work bench. In most cases your work bench is not a beautiful piece of furniture so don’t worry if the solder gets on it. In most cases you can just wipe it away.
Have a small fan handy to keep your work area ventilated and cool at the same time. This also aides in cooling the solder for a strong hold quickly. In case of smoking while soldering, a fan will keep those fumes out of your face.
It’s good to have a helping hand tool when appropriate. This tool helps keep one of the objects steady while your soldering wires to it. How many times have you wished you had a 3rd hand when doing something? Well, this is kind of like that.
Hope these tips help you out in your adventures in soldering. They are just basics but can go a long way in saving you time and soldering things correctly. Below is a pretty good video on tips on soldering.