If your plan is to go for a Demi but poe currency can not or do not want to play 24/7, do not play Softcore. The top five Path of Exile players out of every course in each league get Demis. The Softcore Path of Exile races don't have permadeath, and consequently, they are a total grindfest. The men and women who may grind the most will win every single moment. I knew I would not have the ability to commit to this amount of drama, so I picked the Hardcore leagues instead.
On a similar note, it's well worth avoiding the 'favorite' classes. Part of the reason I managed to win two Demis at the same race was because I chose two quite unpopular courses--I didn't need to compete against teams, also that I managed to move up the ladder immediately.
This is a fact. If you are likely to compete in Softcore or standard Hardcore, you'll need a group, or you automatically lose the top few slots of every class. A team typically consists of four Path of Exile players--two injury traders, one providing auras, and another Path of Exile participant cursing the opponents. A group of four will advance at rates much faster than any solo Path of Exile participant ever could.
To put this in perspective, at the Turmoil Hardcore race that the top team consisted of three streamers--Zizaran, Nugiyen, and Havoc--as well as a fourth individual who didn't steam. At the end of day two, they had shot past the rest of the racers, and so were at positions two and one. This is only because they did not stop, kept playing, and, obviously, had a great team to assist them on the way.
They hit level 100 after a couple of days, and proceeded to level up second characters to 100. Just 19 characters hit level 100, and these men were able to perform it twice thanks to having a great team.
If you are planning to compete in a league in which teaming up is permitted, you should be aware that it's likely to be more difficult. When it does not interest you, and you do not wish to play against teams, I suggest giving Solo Self-Found a shot.
This rule is for solo Path of Exile players especially in hardcore, such as myself. While I was competing, I saw that the leaderboards like a hawk. There were frequently Path of Exile players who had been making more expertise of cheap poe orbs than me a hour, and who sometimes even passed me. But I didn't panic or attempt to farm harder content. I stayed in locations where I had been confident I wouldn't perish.