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How to Win a Neopets Beauty Contest


by sanjisangel

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Well, I know some folks have asked me this question, and I've seen a great many guides for the BC floating about petpages and even the Neopian Times. But I wondered: has anyone ever addressed this topic? And has anyone with a lot of BC-ing experience (in the win department) written one?

How to win... it's actually not difficult.

I never used to. I had great artwork, but never won one of the Beauty Contests. I tried many, many times: always hopeful, never happily surprised. That was all a few years ago, and now I have around 40-something (if not 50) trophies. One of them is my most coveted - a First Overall win with 800+ votes.

1- Practice your art skills.

If you're not "the best" artist, just keep trying! Experiment with different media, such as colored pencils, computer programs and the like. One (or more) of these is sure to be "better suited" for you than others, and you'll find it's fun to constantly create images to share with others... which seems to me to be the whole point of the BC.

Maybe you're better suited for drawing a certain species, too. Some folks find their niche - I love them all, personally -- but others need to find the right neopet. Some are easier to BC than others, but some will most likely be easier for you to draw than others! Sure, you have to enter a pet species you own, but try all your pets. I'm sure you'll find one that's easier for you than others are at first.

I also have an extra tip: if you like to draw anthro - humanlike neopets -- don't do it at first unless you're an excellent artist. Some folks really don't like anthro neopets (although all neopets technically are) and will vote for anything that isn't. Even if your art is superb and the other entries aren't as well-drawn, you may find the odds stacked against you from the start.

2- If you can't draw, go for humor - or an easy species.

Copy-and-Pastes, (CAPS) are perfectly legal (when they're of the neopets site art, of course, not someone else's such as an adoptable or someone's fanart). Just right-click your pet's image, save it and work hard on turning it into something unusual. There was a "Turkey Skeith" once that won awhile back. It was a simple brown Skeith image that someone had copied turkey drumsticks to after erasing the legs, and stuck it on a platter with neopets veggies they had also copied and pasted. Amusing as heck, and yes, it did win.

You can also try an "easy" species, one that not a lot of people enter or one that usually doesn't have a lot of "popular" artists in it. Everyone always asks what the "easiest" species to BC are. Take a peek at the entries this very week to find out. Zafaras usually have multiple pages of entries, while Mynci may have a grand total of 5 pictures.

3- Stay around the BC Boards for awhile.

Make yourself known. And do this in a good way: just hang around! Go to a few of the really "big" threads and chat politely with people about their artwork, vote for ones you like. Maybe make a few threads yourself, either critiquing or giving votes for entries you like.

It's all about folks recognizing you, too: choose an avatar and font color, and stick with it. If folks see that bold orange neoHTML with the "Mad About Orange" avatar (in my case) they remember as "you", you've got a heads-up against newcomers already.

4- Create your "very own" Thread (topic).

This was something I set out to do right away when I realized I wasn't winning. No one was viewing my artwork! I couldn't get people to stop by my threads. So, I created my own and hung out there all the time. My idea was to get a pet I loved to BC and make a thread revolving around roleplaying, since I like that and can have fun with it. Yours doesn't have to be about that, it can be about anything: critiquing art, carrots... whatever!

But I chose to create "Sanjisuki's Kitchen Thread(s)". I chatted by myself with myself, roleplaying my pets as they pleaded for votes and ate in Sanjisuki's Kitchen. The threads always look the same, and they always start out with the same "introduction":

"That's right - we're opening up the Kitchen again and hopefully Sanji will be serving food. Maybe you'd be willing to serve up a few votes? Please don't spam: this isn't a free votes board BCers, but a BC/Art chatspot and relaxing thread. Please take a peek at my pets too if you haven't already!

And wipe your paws - Sanji likes to keep a clean kitchen. ^_||"

It says everything I need to say: come on in and have fun, but please look at my pets too. I'm really hoping for votes when I do this, but it's also a good place to just have fun, which should be what the BC (and neopets itself) is about. The little face there - "^_||" is something everyone recognizes there too - it's how I emote Sanjisuki. The threads originally never got hits, but now, after a few years they get to 500 (the maximum allowed). One once got to 1,000+ before the 500-max rule was adopted!

Don't expect your thread to get instant popularity! It took me quite a while before folks started recognizing me: and they don't recognize me outside the BC Board. It's not a popularity contest, as some folks think, because if it was folks like me (as they accuse me of being "popular") wouldn't even have to advertise at the Board.

And oh yes. Even I need to. My pets won't get more than 15-20 votes if I don't advertise.

5- Advertise.

And advertise well. This usually consists of making your thread (the idea you created that people will come to see as "your" trademark and know it's you) and sticking with it. Don't create 5 different threads on the same BC page, even if no one seems to be coming around to yours. And don't bump your thread with the obvious:

-bump-

-bump-

-bump-

-bump-

That gets annoying. Lure people in, make them want to be there! In Sanjisuki's Kitchen Thread(s), I usually roleplay my pets in a comical way. This doesn't mean it's all that happens there, but they come out to say their piece and make you want to click their links. That's what it's all about, finding some way to get folks to even look at your entry. And if your entry is good, you get votes.

Right now it is currently legal to both enter pets from different accounts you have (sides, not just your main) as long as you let folks know it is you that have drawn/created the images. It is also legal to put up advertising links (the Beauty Contest URL = http://www.neopets.com/beauty/details.phtml?pet=Your Pet's Name Here) on your userlookup, petpages, shop and the like. It will get you more views, and that's a good thing.

6- Bad Ideas: or, "Don't do these!"

Sadly, a few really big no-no's always happen to "attack" normally sane and logical people at the BC. They get too caught up in the "I wanna win!!!" mindset and forget everything they've worked for. Please try and remember some of these, as they can be detrimental to your winning.

Whining/Begging

Please, don't ever do this. It will not help you get votes to cry about the fact that you've never won before. If you post enough of those "crying" and "sad" icons on your thread, most folks will simply ignore you. And if you're a first timer, good for you! Come on in and introduce yourself to us regulars. We welcome everyone.

But don't think that posting "First Time Entry" everywhere automatically makes us vote.

Also, if you post "It took me 6 hours to draw!!!" - this doesn't necessarily mean your entry is better than my 10 minute one. It's another form of whining, and it annoys some people.

Spamming

Spam is technically "short, pointless, annoying messages" repeated over and over again without the person trying to even get involved in a conversation. They simply shove their entry in your face (usually in bright red x100 font that stretches all the threads something horrible) and then leave to spam another thread. Even if the message is well thought-out and literate, people do not want to see something like:

"Hi! This is LovelyNeopet19234's very first Beauty Contest and she really wants to win. I worked for a long time on her picture, and I hope you decide to vote for me. It would mean a lot, and we'd really thank you for it! Thanks if you vote!!! Bye!"

posted in their thread 5 times on different pages. Or everywhere else for that matter. Take the time to say something different once in awhile. It will pay off, trust me.

Threadjacking (spamming x 2)

This is when you leap into a topic where someone is patiently advertising their pet(s) and say "Look at mine!" or the inevitable "Vote for me!" Yes, the BC Board is about getting votes, but it is considered rude to slide the topic someone else made for their pets over to yours. At least view theirs, and comment nicely on the image instead of a quick "Hi, looks awesome, vote me too?" Everyone knows when someone didn't look. It's obvious, they usually write a generic message like that.

Bragging

This is odd, because folks with good art should toot their own horns a little. I'm never against that, and I've done it a little bit myself. But I don't do it the entire BC. And every post I make doesn't say something like "It's excellent, professionally done art, don't waste your (species) vote on anything else!"

Even if it is wonderful work, it gets annoying when you see that same person over and over again. Humility is a good virtue, and remember, there are other entries as good as yours. Sometimes bragging makes people disgusted, and they'll almost always be able to find another entry where the owner is humble.

    If you remember the dos and don'ts and are always polite and friendly, you'll have fun and maybe even win a few shiny trophies for your pets. If you're clever and use some little techniques like these to your advantage, you'll maybe have a better chance.

And maybe I'll see you around the BC Board - say hello if you stop in!

 
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