One technique I've found really helpful to make Dark Souls easier is to play in co-op. As soon as you found the White Soapstone, you should put mark a mark when you enter a new region by using it. If someone that is around your level in Human form see it, he can summon you.
When you are summoned, you'll be in the other player game until:
- you die
- the summoner die
- you kill the boss
However, even if you die, you won't lose the souls you've collected in the other player game, so you'll be able to discover new region with less risk. Moreover, when you are two or three players, the ennemies are not all attacking the same player, which make it easier.
Another advantage of playing in coop is that you share the souls of any killed monster (I don't know if the host gain less souls, but you will get half of the souls given by each killed monster, even if you didn't kill it). And if the host use his Estus Flask, you'll also recover your HP.
And if you manage to kill the boss, you will gain one humanity, which will enable you to turn into Human form at a bonfire, and summon other player as ghosts to help you kill the boss, now that you know the traps, and the technique to kill it.