Here are the tips;
First off, you should complete all the quests asap and focus on upgrading your resource makers and a warehouse. Also, you should evenly bring your buildings and wall up to level ten at first. The cost of making things increase exponentially after that so, be prepared with your mills and mines. It is also good to build up your army a bit so you can farm the towns next to you, including inactive players because after one attack, all their forces are gone. I also recommend you get a forge and research a scout so you can be prepared for the attack. The scout is used by just sending it to a city as an attack. However, if they find your scout, it will be viewed as an act of war.
It is also very important to get into a guild that can protect you. I do not recommend getting into a smaller guild. The less points that they have, the less powerful they are.
Again, keep upgrading your resources and your warehouse. Eventually, you will go to sleep and wake up later to a full resource pot in which you can start upgrading some more.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are requirements to building other things. You have to evenly upgrade in order to get the things you need like a stable and a forge.
I also recommend getting knights at first because they are the quickest attackers which will help your farming of cities in the long run but remember, inactive players have a low resource count so it is not wise to just attack the same person over and over again.
Long story short. Get your lumbermill, quarry, ironmine, and warehouse over lvl 20 about evenley first. Upgrade the farm when needed. After this, get everything to about level ten. Finally, upgrade the stuff that you need for the academy AKA: forge, City hall, and Barracks. Get your academy and fight on!!!!
There you go and I hope this helped.