The recruit also grants the recruiter levels, with the latter gaining one level for every two levels the recruit gains. There are a lot of rules and restrictions to that, however. It all basically boils down to leveling alternate characters together. The recruiter can even earn epic mounts and battle pets if you stick with the game for a couple months.
Research instances appropriate for your level online. Running instanced content is the single most important thing you can do, at least up through level 85. Instead of focusing on questing, focus on dungeons. A quick search for “WoW dungeons by level” or similar will help you find the right instances for your level. Keep in mind too that many instances are faction specific, so make sure to check Horde or Alliance specific lists!

Obtain your heirloom rings. Ghost Pirate Rings can be obtained via Shipyard missions. You can equip one ring from this category. A Dread Pirate Ring can be obtained via placing at least second in the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, which on many realms is a very competitive event. Note that to obtain the Ghost Pirate Rings, you will need a max level character with a garrison of at least level 3. You you will also have to develop your Shipyard to the appropriate level to receive the mission. Your other heirloom gear will still give you a big boost if you choose not to go for these.