Welcome to ChinesePod and happy learning!
I think the tips given here are a good start for you and trying out some strategies of fellow students who have experience in learning Chinese is certainly a great way to get into it if you are unsure about where to start.
From a ChinesePod standpoint, I can give you a few lesson suggestions (I linked them):
ATWTI: an excellent intro into the Chinese language that will teach you a good mix of vocabulary, beginners grammar/sentence structure and a bit of background info
Pinyin Program: The Pinyin system is essential for learning Chinese and is a bit like learning how to read music notes - once you know it it’ll be second nature. Basically it’s a Romanization system for Chinese sounds so you know how to read and pronounce everything.
Say it right series: Once you know Pinyin, this series will help you refine your pronunciation to perfection.
66 Enjoyable Characters with Joy: a fun way to get into Chinese Characters, especially if you want to learn traditional Characters.
HSK test prep: a series with simplified characters that prepares you for the HSK 1 test, but is also a fully explained series which takes into account speaking, listening, reading and writing
To supplement your learning and also to get a bit of variety you can choose from our Newbie level lessons (nearly 500 in total). We have lessons on all kinds of topics that do not follow any strict curriculum so you can just browse and study whatever interests you.
When you finish a lesson you can mark it “Studied” so you can see your progress. We recommend completing 50 Newbie lessons to give you a solid foundation, after which you can start with Elementary. I personally recommend staying with some Newbie lessons after you hit the 50, and trying a few Elementary lessons to see how well you can follow, and mix it up a bit before you’re fully comfortable with Elementary.
I hope we were all able to help you and that you will feel motivated to jump right in. Chinese is a wonderful language and you will see so many fun things along the way.
Hope to hear from you again!