The List of Things to do for Setup and Smoking :
1) Properly Pack your Bowl.
Theres tons of videos / articles on the proper way to pack a bowl depending on what you have. (Egyptian / Mod / Phunnel / Vortex). Just make sure you're not overpacking your bowl and giving the moassel good room to breathe while smoking.
2) Proper amount of Heat
Two Coals, Three Coals, Windscreen, its all subjective to what you're smoking. Flavor is a biggie for most people over cloud size, so a little less heat might get you better flavor, but smaller clouds. Make sure your coals are properly lit, otherwise you'll be inhaling carbon dioxide and monoxide, bad for your health, and will make you have one stomping headache.
3) Cold Water and a Clean Hookah
Depending on the bowl you have, you might need to clean your hookah more often or less. Make sure your Bowl Port, Stem, Downstem, Base, and Hose ports are all cleaned on a regular basis. Buildup from old smoke will taste nasty, and standard egyptian / mod bowls tend to let molasses and glycerin drip down inside the stem. Get that funk out of there!
Also make sure you've got decently chill water in the base, it will enhance the flavor, and make the smoke cooler, causing less damage to your throat / lungs.
Get a good set of washable hoses. The cheapos are fine to start, but a good hose will be the best investment you ever make. It'll keep hose rot out of your smoking sessions, and you can wash out those especially strong flavors (Citrus Mist, Mint, Ect.)
Try lots of Brands / Flavors. Some get a better rep than others here around the forum, so experience a little bit of everything and find what you enjoy the best. Not all moassel is equal, and not all moassel is good
6) Drink a hydrating drink while smoking
Water, Gatorade, Powerade, anything that replenishes the water in your body. Smoking dehydrates you, so make sure you're putting liquid in your body to avoid getting sick.
7) Find a reputable vendor to buy from.
Theres lots of great online vendors, and chances are someone in your area will know a good local shop. A good vendor will steer you away from cheap accessories and moassel, and help answer any questions you have in person (in the case of a local shop). Plus they usually have better prices and will keep your hobby less expensive.
Thats pretty much my list of what I do / look for while smoking.