My suggestion to new players is to get on help chat and meet some people. Knowing good players is very helpful in this game, and when I first started (over three years ago!!!) I got a lot of help from random people that got me on my feet.
As far as skills go, I suggest getting troll lore as quickly as possible. Chopping trees without having trolls attack you is very helpful when leveling up, since it lets you get lots of wood which can be sold for food. Kill every stag you see, since leather is a more valuable material. Don't build too many flags and try not to craft weapons if you don't have to. You can buy weapons at a trade post much more cheaply than you can make them. And building tons of flags will make you have less resources, which equals less income.
If you're a new player and need help, find me in game. I have several breastplates and swords that are around +10 to +15 that I give to new players to help them get a head start. You might want to join a kingdom as well, since most kingdoms are willing to help out their lower-level players. Water hunting is the best way to earn gold, but it can be dangerous if you don't have good weapons and armor. Fortunately the update where there are no longer any purses means you won't lose gold when you die, but you still lose experience so be careful and don't attack big things like Magnatheres if you're not completely sure you can kill them.
When selling materials, set your prices just a little lower than everyone else's. That way yours is sure to sell before anyone else's materials. You might not make quite as much, but you'll have the gold or food.
That's what I tell all my mentees when they first start PK. It's how I played when I started, and it's a solid strategy.