Reporting live from Neopia Circulation: 132,988,897 Issue: 246 | 30th day of Relaxing, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

The Perfect Petpage Guide in Six Steps


by tj_wagner

--------

Petpages can be used in many different ways. It can be a place to display artwork or creative writings. Some people use their petpages to post general information, while others like to showcase essays, opinions, and even rants. However, one of the most popular uses for petpages is petpage guides - guides which can help players to a variety of neo-related topics. A petpage guide can be very useful and can provide information and tips for other players. Yet, how can you be sure that your guide is truly beneficial? That very question prompted to me to create this six-step guide to maximizing the benefits of your petpage guide.

Step 1: Look at other guides

Before even beginning a petpage guide, you should look at previously made guides. By doing this, you can see which subjects already have multiple guides and which are 'guideless.' You can examine what other people have done that makes their guides more or less efficient. All this information can help you in the creation of your own guide, as you will see later on this article.

Step 2: Choosing the Subject

The subject is probably the most important aspect of your guide for it can make or break your guide before you even start, if you aren't careful. First, you need to be careful to pick a subject that you are very familiar with. When you make a guide, you are stating that you are an expert on that particular subject, so you need to be knowledgeable. For example, let's say I wanted to make a guild on a competition. Would it make more sense for me to create a guide to the Story Telling Competition, which I have won, or the Caption Contest, which I have not? Obviously, it makes more sense for me to write a guide to the competition in which I have been successful. It is also a good idea for you to be able to demonstrate your 'expert' status. With games and competition, it's easy because you can use scores or trophies. If your guide is about a current plot or behavior, it might be more difficult. In cases where it is more difficult to display your knowledge, trying posting on the appropriate message boards and allow other players to see that you are someone who knows about the subject.

It is important to also note how many guides have already been created about the subject you are considering. If there are already a lot of guides, yours may be lost in the crowd or it may be difficult to provide new information. If your guide is over a subject that is less known or less popular, it may be tough to find people who are interested. However, neither of these should be a deciding factor. If there are already guides to your chosen subject, then your guide has to be different somehow. Perhaps you have new or more information or you have presented in a very original fashion. If your subject is less known, then talk to people about it and draw attention to it.

Step 3: The Content

After subject, content is the most important aspect. After all, people are reading your guide to learn about something, so the more pertinent information included the better. Never take for granted how much a player may know. You should list all information to which you have access and always be open for comments or questions. The biggest tip here is to be as thorough as possible, without being insulting. If the guide is for a game, tell both where the game is located as well as give the link. Remember, providing too much information is better than not providing enough information.

Step 4: The Layout

I have seen wonderful guides destroyed by their appearance. The biggest thing is that a guide is to be read, so everything needs to be as easy to read as possible. Text which is too bright or light and backgrounds that make reading difficult will kill a guide quickly. I recommend using light backgrounds with darker font. If you want an image, especially a tiled one, trying using a text box with a pastel background for your font. Too many animated gifs or sounds are just distracting for the reader. Some images are fine - great, in fact, for they will interest a visitor to your guide, but don't go overboard. Overall, I would avoid music unless there is an easy way to turn it off in case your visitor doesn't share your taste in music. Also, try to organize your information within your layout so that it is not only easy to read, but easy to navigate.

Step 5: Advertising

Now you have made your wonderful guide, but how will anyone find it? Using a neosignature is a good start because then you are advertising every time you post. I used to have one that read, "Story Telling Competition Guide on Koi's Page." It's also good to post about your guide, when it is appropriate. Don't spam the boards, but if someone asks a question about the subject your guide covers then it is appropriate to give them the link. Banners are also good for advertisement. You can place one in your shop and then have a small sale. Anyone visiting your shop will see the banner. I also like to have a link on my lookup.

Step 6: Listen to Feedback

You need to be receptive to any and all feedback you may receive about your guide. In fact, I like to ask for constructive criticism. Of course, you need to realize that you can't take all advice you are given. I received two comments on a story where one person wanted it longer and another shorter. Obviously, I couldn't do both. Yet, since you are making the guide for other people - find out what other people would like to see. That way you can increase the benefits of your guide.

Well, that's my six-step guide to creating the perfect guide. I hope that someone found it helpful. If you have any comments or constructive criticism, feel free to neomail me. Remember, I will listen to your feedback.

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

HTF First Blood
Stand back!

by aurora_falcon

---------

The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part One
"If you want to catch something good, then you have to be patient..."

by silentbutterfly

---------

Colors, Colors, Everywhere
For as long as they could remember living with Usa, they had been overshadowed by painted pets everywhere. They had been ridiculed since their first day of Neoschool...

by usadreamr93

---------

The Discouraged Artist
This is the tale of the struggles I *ahem* my friend encountered while trying to draw Mipsy.

by kristian18f



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.