Yes you are cycling... and the timeline is different for every aquarium. Get yourself a good test kit and check the chemistries regularly. You are looking to see a spike in ammonia and then it will go back down to 0. (ammonia isn't the only thing you should monitor though) Don't do water changes. Just let it cycle. Some people add a piece of uncooked shrimp into the aquarium. The ammonia will stimulate the 'good bacteria' to grow. Yes it might stink a little ... it wasn't too bad when i did it.
When the spike goes up and comes down and stays down for a week or so then should have a good amount of bacteria. Do a water change but not a huge one. 25% should be good. Watch the chemistries again for a few days and if you don't see another spike in ammonia then you should be able to add a fish. ONE fish. Maybe two if they are small. And pick something hardy. Like tank raised clowns or damsels. Again keep a close eye on the chemistries. if they are still stable after two weeks or so then you can add another fish. Try to only do one at a time though! I know its hard.
If you want more live rock in the aquarium... add some. It won't hurt anything. As for speeding up??? It all depends on your aquarium. Just set it up to your liking.
I keep my tank at 78 degree. If you have an idea of what kind of fish you want do some research and see what temp they prefer.
Lighting depends on the inhabitants too. Are you doing Corals? If so then general rule is 3-5 watts per gallon. If not then you don't need that much light.
Without fish in the tank you can mix the saltwater in the tank. Just keep the live rock out of freshwater. That will keep all the good stuff on the rock. With fish in the tank.... mix the water in a bucket! A rapid change in salinity is enough to stress a fish. I assume you have a hydrometer...bout 12 bucks at your LFS
and its necessary.
You'll probably notice a lot of algae growing in your tank in the next few weeks to months. It happens.