Make sure the engine is at top dead center. Check this with your big pulley. Then put your distributer to the #1 firing position. This will get your ignition in a "close" position for starting.
Turn the mixture and idle screw on your 30 pict all the way in and turn both out 3 full turns. This should get the carb set up for starting. Do not put any RTV on the carb base gasket.
Now try firing it up. Did you put new metal O rings at the manifold/head bolt together? This could cause a vacuum leak.
Also try hand pumping the fuel pump to make sure it's primed and ready. Or take the fuel line off the carb and stick it in a jar. Crank a few times to make sure there's fuel coming out.
Let us know how it goes.
1968 Beetle, 1964 Panel, 1984 Vanagon Westy