1) Turn off autoexposure. Shoot in manual mode.
Otherwise, when the camera automatically adjusts the exposure for each shot, subtle changes in light can make the corresponding area of two overlapping photos look totally different.
2) Turn off auto white balance. Set it manually so that the white balance doesn't change from shot to shot.
3) Use one exposure setting. Find a shutter speed/aperture combination that works for the entire range of shots. Panoramas stitch better in more even light.
4) Use one focal length. All the photos in the sequence should have the same point of view.
5) Shut off the flash. Otherwise, there'll be inconsistencies between shots.
6) Use a tripod. Not essential, but it helps keep the camera on the same plane throughout all of the shots. And when shooting 360-degree panoramas, a tripod ensures that the first and the last shots line up with each other. If your tripod has a level, use it.
7) Overlap the shots. Shoot the photos using between 25 percent and 50 percent overlap. You can estimate; the amount of overlap doesn't have to be the same from shot to shot. The wider the lens, the more you should overlap to avoid distortion.