It's pretty hard for new members to get nice items without paying real money for them, but there are many kind Gaians who like to gift new members. Check out the Charities & Quests forum to join charities or giveaways. (Don't forget to read the rules, though!) If you like to play MMORPGs, zOMG is a fun way to earn gold without thinking about it. Booty Grab is a quicker and easier way to earn gold fast, though. You can also sell your talents (e.g. art, gfx, signs) in Mini-Shops. If you wanna earn gold by just posting in the forums, I recommend the Word Games forum! And lastly, for free items try Dumpster Diving and be sure to subscribe to the free item grant thread to be notified when Gaia releases free items/gold.
Let us know if you need any more help! I hope you have a fun time here. emotion_yatta