Gathered from multiple players.
1. Keep the realm safe. You have to have the military capability to deter aggressors. you can do this by armies, militia or alliances. Make sure that your alliances are in place.
2. Be wary. Some players play aggressive and untrustworthy characters. You're responsible for anticipating trouble. Paranoia is an occupational necessity.
3. Watch out for troublemakers in your realm. You have to learn to handle them without either giving in to their demands or alienating them completely. A sure sign of a troublemaker is someone who keeps demanding benefits rather than support the realm. That flags "Potential Traitor" to me.
4. Find the people who are loyal and put them in positions of power whenever you have the chance. you can recognise them because they're always the first to contribute with good ideas or good actions. Make a Royal Council of those people that you trust absolutely, so that you can get advice from them that will remain confidential.
5. You MUST keep your knights interested and active. Give them things to do that will excite them and keep them busy, even if its just recovering lands from rogue. This builds pride and interest in the realm.
6. You must develop a consistent identity for the realm so that everyone within the realm and outside the realm knows what you are and what you stand for. For example Arnor has a very carefully crafted identity as a semi-barbaric, warlike, but honourable northern realm. A place of warriors standing against the rogue hordes of the north and Daimons. This will give pride to your knights and a cue to your neighbours as to what they can expect if they mess with you. Dhara is a very old realm, find out about the history and identity.
7. Don't make rules merely for the sake of making rules. People will just leave if they can't do anything
8. Don't worry about the "survival of the realm". If everyone quits, it won't survive anyway.
9. Don't get caught up in your special councils and forget to include the average knight. The average knight knows a fraction of what you think he knows, because the average council shares a fraction of what they think they are sharing.
10. Don't worry about troublemakers, misfits, crazies, etc. A single noble can't do much against the realm unless many others agree with him. Only if he's becoming an OOC pain in the ass should you really make a strong move to rid your realm of them. Otherwise, the realm will prolly drive him out for you.
11. Don't worry too much about internal conflicts. That's called role playing. It SHOULD happen, to a point. Realms where everyone are sheep are boring, and people stop logging in.
12. Rule the way that makes you happy.
13. Keep your character in character and try to keep all conversation in the realm IC and avoid OOC (something like this is an exception as it's nothing to do with actions within the game). It is the ruler's role to keep the realm interesting, but if others feel involved in the realm then that often covers that job itself - sending OOC messages encouraging people to get involved or to do something doesn't really work.
14. Ideally, you rule the way you want to and if you're enjoying it, as long as you're not micromanaging others, then the rest of the realm should enjoy it as well. Get involved and people should join in (though sometimes they don't, it can depend on the mix of people in a realm, sometimes it just doesn't work and you find yourself in a realm with others that rarely say/do anything... But they tend not to last too long before they either wither and die or something happens to spur some action.
15. Set goals for yourself, your realm and the key people in your realm. Engage them and give opportunities. Create little quests or missions, this could be anything really. Keep in mind that whomever you address in your realm they view you as the number 1 guy. Your messages can create awe, terror, nervousness and joy. Be mindful of how you word things and guide rather than force.
16. The best leaders get things done without ever having to directly ask for them. Its just like learning, you learn best by figuring stuff out by yourself with the occasional nudge in the right direction.
17. One of the biggest thing this game offers is diplomacy, social aspects and intrigue. Consider yourself a super diplomat and at the same time a super herald. You bring the news, you set the course, you are the highest authority.
18. People like to read stories, they want to fantasize, they love to be enraptured. You are the figurehead and the prime candidate to take the players in your realm on a grand tale of adventure, wonder and spectacle. Don't be afraid to go off the beaten track and leave a legend in the books of Battlemaster.
19.Always look for something to do. Something. You don't need to start life-threathening wars every time, or try to conquer vast swathes of land. Try to think what a medieval noble with your realm's culture would believe to be an important goal. Keep in mind you're ruler by the grace of your nobles, keep them happy. Case and point Thalmarkin's raids in the Nothoi mountains and our claim to the title of King of Kings. We've got all the land we want, so we needed to be more creative in our quest for conflict. There is a "peace" diplomatic relation, use that as a guideline in your policies rather than "war", aim for complicated diplomacy rather than polar. And finally, when one plan is going smoothly, think of what you're going to do next.
20. As has been said, your realm's culture is very important. Mind that you can't impose one on your Kingdom as you'll need other players to sign into that culture as well. So, convince them. Look into your realm's history and go from there. Or start a completely New Order if you feel like you can pull it off. Make sure your realm's institutions correspond with the culture.
21. Keep in mind this is a game. When you're looking for conflict, look for one that is fun not just for you and your realm, but for players from other realms as well. That doesn't mean that you can't build huge coalitions but think of what to do after. And think of whether you need to actually use all that force to achieve your goal.
22. Wars and conflict are a great way to cement relations between your nobles. Make them feel proud to be part of your realm and you'll attach them to you as well. This effect is amplified by roleplay just as long as it does correspond with actual game-reality.
23. This probably shouldn't be this far down but empower your players. Allow them input on your culture, your wars and alliances but most importantly, allow them to break the -your - rules. Conflict drives this game, you need it inside as well as outside your borders. Walk the line between a cohesive realm and one at eachother's throats. Try to stand above the conflict in stead of take sides and keep your nobles in stead of lose them. And remember they're high nobility, not powerless peasants.
24. Empowering does also mean allowing those in charge to actually take charge. Don't be afraid to wield influence, you have the general vision and goals of the realm to watch over, but allow them to make their own decisions and wield their own influence. You may feel protective over the concept you've built and the plans you've made but it's worth nothing if you're playing alone.
Enjoy. Its a lot of fun.