First off, as usual for this type of game, you have a main stat that takes into account your offensive and defensive potential, and building that up is one of your main goals. In this game, it's creatively named Power, and besides the actual troops and defenses you create, it also takes everything you build or upgrade into account. Also as usual for this type of game, you'll be drip-fed a bunch of quests, and if you follow them, your power will naturally build. But you've read to the second paragraph without scrolling down to make a sarcastic comment, and I see that glint in your eye - you want more Power, faster. Well, let's just show you how to do that, while everyone else fools around upgrading their farms because the game told them to.
Join An Alliance
The first tip I'll give you is to join an alliance as soon as you can. Alliances offer many benefits including protection from attacks and helping speed up your timers for construction and research. Until your stronghold reaches level six, you'll have access to a free teleport that you can use to teleport your city to a location nearby your alliance friends. This is important for protection purposes and coordinating attacks. If you've already passed stronghold level six, you can only teleport with the use of a rather costly item found in your alliance's shop, so it's better to do this while it's free.
You have 24 spaces to allocate to resources. There are a few different viable ways to go with dividing things up. Like in other games of this type, food is pretty important if you're going to have a large standing army, and you're going to want a large standing army, but there are some differences here that might lead you to take a different approach. Here are the three best methods I've discovered through experience and polling other players.
High food production: This is probably the most popular choice. With this style, you'll want to build 21 farms and have just one each of the other three resources. While you'll never have a problem with food with this set-up, and it's very effective early on, you're almost definitely going to need to find an alternative way of acquiring the other three resources, and that way is mostly going to be picking fights with others. Luckily, with all that food, you should have a pretty large standing army to do so.
Balanced: Another popular choice, as with this set-up you probably won't be short on anything too often. For this style, you'll want to build 10 farms, and four each of the other resources. This will leave you with two spaces to do with what you will, based on what type of units you favor. This is my preferred approach.
Low food production: This one is kind of risky, but I met a few high-level players that used this to good effect. In this set-up, you have one farm and spend the other spaces on a mix of the other resources. See, the funny thing is, while your army will consume food, they actually won't starve to death if you don't have any food. Naturally, you need food for things other than just feeding your standing army, but food is more easily gathered through completing missions and attacking others than the other resources are.