1.Depends really how many hours a day you playing - if you don't spend whole day on 1 game you don't really need 2 characters there is no way you will run out of learning points this quick
2.Try to make friends who can explain you how it works, focus on 1 thing at a time. Being a mage or whatever you want to be. Try getting groups all the time as it is far better than doing things on your own. Experiment. But don't waste all your learning points on stupid things. (use them on your main spec line from tier 3 or 4) - weapon and chest armor is best to begin with.
3.Just get rolling to tier 4 or so and you can start doing 5man dungeons.
If you want to be appreciated and wanted for groups, be a tank or healer (you can do this as your alt spec and then switch back and forth, but that delays your main build)
4.Join a guild so you have people to hang out with and ask for advice.
also have two characters: one for resource gathering/crafting, and another for combat.learning points run out super fast (especially with crafting) and you won't have enough to do both on the same character.