1. Don't Rush Your Town Hall
Although it used to be said that you need to upgrade all of your buildings to maximum before upgrading your town hall, this isn't necessarily true. Waiting for buildings to upgrade can take FOREVER- and saving up enough to purchase the upgrades can often leave you a prime target for farming raids. Instead, consider attempting to maximize your wall levels each time before you upgrade, and work your way to Town Hall 7. For many, Town Halls 7 and 8 are considered the best spots for farming and making defensive upgrades. Once here, you can spend your gold wisely and work on upgrading your other structures. It is generally considered a good idea to fully upgrade all of your defensive structures before upgrading your Town Hall past level 8.
2. Choose Your Battles Carefully
Don't be afraid to hit that 'Next' button! Sometimes passing just a few villages will land you on a perfect candidate for your army composition and ability. Remember, each 'Next' costs a little more at each Town Hall level, but it can be well worth it when you land on your first six figure payday.
3. Upgrade your highest damage structures first
Defensive structures that damage multiple targets at once (Wizard Towers, Mortars) should be at the top of the list for upgrades. Next, look at the amount of damage per second (DPS) that the other structures do. Usually a good third choice is your Teslas, which do a great deal of damage as they are upgraded.
4. Join a helpful clan, and learn from them
Watch replays, ask questions, and share knowledge when you can. It's part of what makes Clash of Clans so much fun to play.
5. Last but not least, ENJOY the game
Get what you want out of it. If you like raiding others' gold storages for every coin you can, go for it. If it's trophies you want, chase them down! Find a clan and friends with similar goals.