1. Soft-push the lane at level 1.
Use your explorer ward to check for a level-2 jungle gank, and then keep river/tri warded starting a couple seconds before they could possibly gank bot after their second buff if they started topside. Then soft-push the lane so that you hit 2 before your opponents. What does this mean? Attack the creeps a couple times so that your creeps die after theirs do. If the support is ranged, then he can help the carry do this.
2. Buy a pink ward at level 1.
Deny lane-bush vision. Don't place your pink ward as the first ward into a bush unless the enemy support doesn't have a pink ward. The goal is for you to be standing in a bush that you have pink-warded in a dominant lane position.
3. Keep track of potions.
Know how many potions you have vs the enemy vs your lane partner, and try to trade damage when you have more potions than your enemy or your lane partner do, assuming you are still safe from an all-in and that the two lanes have comparable innate sustain.
4. Use the skills that you're leveling.
This isn't something you do 100% of the time. Soraka will almost always level her heal even if she's not using it frequently. But for the most part, you should use the skills that you're leveling and level the skills that you're using. A couple concrete examples are Sona (if you can never get in range to Q for some reason, start leveling W instead) and Nidalee (don't level your spears if you're running out of mana healing, and don't level your heal if you're just throwing spears).
5. Build to counter your lane in the early game.
The goal of the early game is to exit it stronger than your opponents. This can be because you're way ahead in kills, your comp is better, or you've taken so many objectives that the game is already essentially over. So buying only early-game items will hurt you in the long run if you don't capitalize on them sufficiently, but frequently you can capitalize on them. Also consider your goals in the lane when buying at level 1. If you're a hypercarry and they're a trading carry, don't start doran's blade. On the other hand, if you have lots of early-game burst and they're a trading carry, starting doran's blade can let you win the lane at level 1 by putting so much burst down.
I haven't forgotten about the posts I said I'd make...I've just been spending a lot of time organizing my tournament and so haven't had as much time to write long blog posts. I'll post them eventually, I promise!