Pulling handles can be tricky, here are some videos that show one way to pull and attach handles:
Instead of pulling the handle and then attaching it, you may choose to attach the clay first and then pull the handle while it is stuck to the mug/whatever you are creating! This can be trickier, but it is up to you to decide which technique works best for you.
Prep your clay the same way, by wedging and then tapping out the clay into a railroad spike shape. Cut off any excess clay and attach the top of the spike to your creation.