-Try making your first mix volume automation and panning only. If parts are uneven sounding, automation is always preferable to compression. A little practice with this will yield superior results sooner than you think.
-EQ and Compression and other processing should be used first to only correct problems, not create vibe.
-As much as possible, mix all the instruments the same between songs. Especially Vocals, drums and bass. Electronic artists may find it challenging, but try to create the same tonality with each of these core instruments. All other instruments can usually be tweaked to create “vibe” while leaving these instruments consistent between tracks.
-Wait until after you have made a basic mix with all the songs in the project and they all sound essentially the same to start creating a sense of space and vibe with reverb, delay, compression, distortion, saturation, modulation, etc. This takes discipline and resolve since it is usually the funnest part of the mix. However, it is more enjoyable when the song is already essentially mixed properly. You will also end up with sessions that are less "messy."
-When you find an effect on a track that you like, a good practice is to bring it where you like it, then dial it back a bit. The accumulation of individual tracks being characterized can lead to an overwhelming and messy sounding mix.
-“Experimental” mixing should be used sparingly: there is very rarely a frequency or instrument that drives a song more than the typical arrangement. 95% of the time a tasteful and judicial balance of frequencies and instruments best represents the song.
-Learn how to automate the volume of vocal tracks instead of resorting to compression. Automation + Compression produces the best, most natural sounding results.
-Be careful of how processing may change the loudness or perceived loudness of an instrument. Be sure to toggle the effect on and off and use the effect's internal gain to match the processed and unprocessed signal.
-Try to avoid being prideful or stubborn. Second and third sets of ears are very helpful if you can find someone you respect as a critic and/or mix engineer. I am happy to help with any production issues free of charge with no obligation to hire me for mastering. Keep in mind that my expertise is in mastering and I may approach problems from a technical perspective.