So You Want to Start a Guild (An Awesome One)
What is a guild?
The word “guild” to me is just a fancy way of saying “club”. People join your
guild if it has what they think is fun or enjoyable, or maybe even for the free
stuff. Either way, this article will explain how to make a successful guild
and maybe even answer the question that I hear too often: “Why aren’t people
joining my guild?”
One thing I actually have never thought about before was why people make guilds.
Is it for fame? Is it to help people? Before starting, just think, “Will I be
responsible for the guild? Will I need a co-owner?” This is of course something
I cannot give any advice about. Since I have gone a little off topic, let me
get back to the theme of your guild. I see guilds in 5 categories: Fan clubs,
role-play, “get rich quick”, adoptions (helping the neopian pound), and those
guilds that are just for chatting (I don’t recommend these, when you think about
it, it seems kind of pointless). Take your pick, or be creative and make up
a new category.
Naming, Description, and Keywords
Naming your guild is one of the most important things you have to do. If you
didn’t name your guild, how would you advertise? Well, if you don’t name it,
it won’t be created. The Neopets staff are smarter than that. No, the name shouldn’t
be random, and yes, it should include the topic of your theme. For example,
I wouldn’t name my guild Fruit Land if it was a Gelert fan club. I would instead
name it Gelerts Rock My Socks, easy enough for you? Another biggie is the description.
Some people just look at the guild description when they’re searching for the
right one for them, and saying that you have “Friendly council and active members
with lots of activities and fun”, is better than “Join today”. Keywords are
something that is easily forgotten. Always set the keywords to a word that is
in your guild name or something that involves your theme. Not only does it make
it easier for people looking for a guild to join, your guild will be listed
more often than normal.
Here is a lesson for beginners; logos are super easy. All you have to do is
make a small 100x100 image. You don’t need an expensive Photoshop editor either.
I personally just use Paint. Make sure to either put the full name of your guild
or abbreviate it on the picture. Keep the image, you may want to later make
a layout or banner similar to it.
Yes, here it comes, the most dreaded thing some guild owners have to deal with,
the layout. Not only does it make your guild look themed, but it also makes
a big impression on the users that see it. It’s always better (my opinion) to
make your own than use a pre-made one. I see too many of them! I’d suggest that
if you can’t make one, hire one of your members or find someone that can tell
you how to make one yourself. Another major tip for all you leaders out there:
Unfortunately, lots of people judge your guild by the front page. Something
you can do is make your guild set to private, and then set it back on to public
when you have done everything that needs to be done on the front page. Often
if people see nothing there, they won’t come back. You know those boxes that
you type text in? You should have at least four of those. The more the better!
Include some with titles like: Updates, Links, and Council Chat.
If there weren’t polls, you would never know exactly what your members think
of your guild! Take it this way; it’s just an easy way for them to express how
they feel without actually confronting you. Plus, it’s anonymous. Can it get
any better than that? Anyway, I think polls are extremely useful. Ask questions
like: “How do you like the new and improved layout?” They’re just giving you
hints that no one else can ever give you about how you can improve your guild.
The key to owning any successful guild is… advertising. Besides, it’s not like
anyone is going to join if they don’t even know it exists. Even though you may
be flooded with enthusiasm, advertising should wait until you have everything
organized and ready for when those beauties *cough cough* I mean members decide
to join. Like I mentioned earlier, if there isn’t anything there for them, they
probably won’t come back. Get the picture? The best way of advertising would
be in the guild boards where EVERYONE can see them. Always keep your eye out
for those “Guildless” topics, it’s maybe the easiest way to get people to join.
If you happen to be experienced with HTML, make a couple banners linking to
your guild. Put them everywhere! Your shop and user lookup are good places to
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how you can make your guild successful,
I would like to of course have the last word. There will be people (I have experienced
this when I had an independent guild of my own) that will just try to take your
free items and newbie packs. Always make a rule so that members have to be active
and stay in the guild for a certain period of time before they can receive freebies.
I remember once someone neomailed me asking what I put in the newbie packs;
I told that person exactly what they were going to get if they joined. Instead,
they said: “No, I don’t think I will, you’re too cheap on your members. They
should all quit.” Believe me, if someone asks you about freebies, it’s an instant
sign that they aren’t worth all the trouble of convincing that they should join.
Always make it clear to your members the rules about this.
Love your loyal friend until the end,
(More articles coming soon if this one is published!)