The Complete Miner's Guide by Halada12
1.3.4 Joining a Corp
Joining a corp is not mandatory, it is however very, very helpful. There is no valid excuse for not doing so. Many corporations will accept players with casual playing times, or newbies... there are so many corps out there, you are bound to find one that will fit your playing style. Worse comes to worse, just leave and find a new one ! If you don't know where to start, have a look at the recruitment forum, or join the in-game channel eve-university, which is a great place to ask questions and get help !
1.3.5 Selling your Ore
At the very beginning of the game, refining the ore you mine yourself would mean too big of a loss. Your refining skills will be too low at this point (if you have any). You could sell the unrefined ore, but I don't suggest doing that. Why?
Most buy orders on the market for ores reflect 90% of the time a much lower value than what your ore is actually worth. Those setting buy orders are well aware that some miners don't understand the system and will just sell at any price. The buyer will then collect the ore and refine it. It's not dishonest: it's a valid trading strategy. This however incapacitates your wallet as you are not getting the full value of the work you put in. Joining a corp helps here: there is probably someone in your corp that will be able to get a good (even if not perfect) refine.
If you insist on playing solo, get Refining 4 and it will already help a whole lot. The WORST thing you can do is just right click -> sell and accept without even looking at the price you are getting. This is the most common mistake. Open the market, look at the buy orders, don't be lazy ! Each mineral unit has a volume of 0.01 m3 (compared to ore, which take much, much more space) so they really are easy to move around ! Don't be afraid to stockpile and to make your trips more worthwhile ! Knowing the market is the key to make ISK as a miner or a trader, don't go blind-selling the ore you put so much effort to mine !
1.3.6 Your First Cruiser
So, you finally got Caldari Frigate 4 and Mining 4. The next step of the chain is to get a cruiser. Lucky for you, the Caldari also have the best mining cruiser, the Osprey.
The Osprey is a very nice ship, very affordable and also gets 20% bonus to yield per skill level. I suggest training Caldari Cruiser 3 immediately. Caldari Cruiser 4 will not be wasted time, but if you just started, you might want to invest the 4 or 5 days it would take you into other skills, like Engineering and Electronics for example.
As for fitting the Osprey, it is pretty straightforward. 3x T2 Miners in the high slots, you can fit a tank in the med slots if you want as the Osprey can handle itself in 0.6 systems with a heavy launcher and some drones. As usual in the low slots fit as many mining upgrades as you can. One will fit for sure, two will fit with good skills (Electronic 5, Mining Ugrades 4).
Next step is to get Astrogeology 4. It will give you another 20% bonus to your yield and is required for the next step of the chain, which is a Mining Barge (covered later).
After you reach Astrogeology 4, you will be faced with a choice. You can either get Caldari Cruiser 4 and/or Mining 5 (both will require about the same time to train). Mining 5 is a good investment for sure. If you plan to go for a Barge right away, than getting Caldari Cruiser to 4 is not necessary as you are not very far from your first mining barge at this point (5 or 6 days). If you would like to also train some PvP skills before though, than getting Caldari Cruiser 4 is a good idea as the 20% bonus it will give you is absolutely worth it.
The next step will be either a Battleship or a Mining Barge. The fourth section is dedicated to this important next step and will explain the pros and cons of both to help you in your decision.