I thought it could be useful for a sort of roadmap of what to do to get rich. Loads of players try their hand at goldmaking with little in terms of plans both for the long and short term.
Initial steps: increasing your capital
When you are starting out the biggest limiting factor will be your gold total. You can’t buy large number of materials when they are cheap, as you cant afford them. You can’t level professions and start crafting, you can’t do slow markets as you would just be stuck with a transmog piece for weeks.
Your first order of business is to increase your gold quickly. This is usually best done with a combination of farming and crafting fast-selling consumables. Cooking + a gathering profession can usually get the job done on retail. In Classic you can also flip materials at this stage which works amazing on the stack based AH, but not so much on the 8.3 one.
This phase will roughly last until you have about 100-200k on a regular basis.
Once you have the basis you can start scaling up new markets. Your goal now should be to add more and more semi-quick markets. This includes enchants, consumables of every type, gems, max level gear etc. Essentially you want to get every crafting profession going if possible.
Add more and more items to the AH so you can generate more sales. During this phase you will likely be stagnating at the same gold level for significant portions of time. This is normal as you should focus on scaling your AH value first and foremost. Sales will come once you stop growing the number of items you have out for sale.
If you find a specific market that works well you should of course keep going hard there, this will always be individual
Eventually your gold should start ballooning. Your sales will eclipse your costs in restocking and you start seeing your liquid gold increasing on a day to day basis. Enjoy this phase. At this point you can start entering slower markets if you like. Crafted mounts, transmog flipping, Battle pets and BoEs are the next frontier. All of them require capital and will lead to another period of stagnation as you build critical mass.
This phase will usually start when you start sitting at about 1 million gold regularly.
Once you pass 5 million you are in the goldmaking end-game. At this point you can do whatever you want and you will not really be limited by your gold in terms of market selection. Crafting, flipping, AH pvp, high end BoEs, resetting and everything else that sounds and looks extremely intriguing from the outside is now up for grabs. At this point you will have to start forging your own way. No one can tell you exactly which of these approaches will work for you, but you should now have the tools to play around with whatever you want to engage in and learn from your mistakes. ¨
This will last roughly until gold cap.
Beyond gold cap
If you want to go beyond gold cap you can expand to multiple realms. Battle pets, BoE flipping and building a larger empire is incredibly fun. At that point there is no one stopping you outside of what you can come up with.