How To: Effectively Advertise Your Guild
Perhaps you are in a new guild that is just starting out, or the leader of a successful guild with several hundred members. Either way, you are probably still looking to welcome new members to your guild family. Below, I have outlined the three most common ways you can advertise your guild in a polite, yet effective way.
Before beginning to advertise, however, take a step back and check your guild. Most Neopians look for a guild that is fairly established. This is mainly for newer guilds only, but do make sure your guild has the basic foundations down first before you get your guild's name around town. Check if your guild has an eye-catching layout and a webbie – usually on a petpage – that lists all the necessary information people will want to know about your guild. These include topics such as a brief intro about what your guild has to offer, rules, and requirements. Got it? Alright, moving on.
Strategy 1: Advertise to someone's thread.
The most common way people advertise their guilds are to go directly to people who have created guildless threads on the Guild Board. Don't go posting on the first guildless board you find, however, unless it's right for YOUR guild. Check what your guild's requirements are and advertise only to those who fit your requirements and are interested in your guild theme. This will save your time and the guildless person's time. If your guild is a roleplaying guild and the guildless user wants a Neopets-related guild, then just wait for a new thread popping up looking for a roleplaying guild. After all, you wouldn't want someone who dislikes roleplaying in your roleplay guild, right?
Once you've found the right person, read their requirements. If you want to recruit someone, take the time to respect what they've written and follow their guidelines. Once you have decided that your guild fits their requirements, go ahead and post your ad on the thread. Most do not want you to post a premade ad for your guild – they're going to be joining your guild, so take some time to show that you care! A paragraph about your guild, with links included, usually suffices. Be sure to introduce yourself and take a moment to address the fellow guildless user by name.
After you've posted your ad, stay and chat. The guildless person may want to ask some questions, and you will need to be there to answer them. If they do not have any questions, you can always ask how they are doing and perhaps make a new friend in the process, even if they choose someone else's guild. If their board is swamped with ads and they are busy, wish them luck and leave them to peruse the guilds at their own pace. DO NOT constantly beg or whine them about whether they have decided to join your guild or not. This can repel many potential members that may have been interested in your guild.
I have found that advertising in a group can be very effective using this strategy. If you have several members online at the same time, you can advertise together and help each other reinforce your guild's positive qualities! You will also be much less lonely advertising with your friends.
Strategy 2: Creating your own thread.
Another common way people advertise is to create their own thread. Begin by creating a title that will attract people's attentions. Several guilds use tasteful smileys or symbols to stand out from other titles. Be careful, though – overloading on these smileys or symbols can cause blindness and can be a huge turn off. In your title, you should also aim to include your guild's name and some words about what kind of guild it is. That way, guildless users can save their time by glancing over your title and deciding whether your guild fits their requirements.
In your first post, introduce yourself and your guild. Clearly state the theme of your guild, and be sure to link to your webbie. Provide all the information necessary about your guild to save others from having to ask for basic guild information. Remember to be friendly and courteous – this board is a representation of what your guild is like. If your first post is sloppy and illiterate, people may believe that your guild may also believe your guild is sloppy and illiterate, even though it may be the best guild in Neopia.
You will need to bump your board fairly often to stay on the first page of the Guild Boards. If not, your board will slip off into the second, third, or even seventh page, where people rarely peruse. You can bump by posting random facts about your guild, your favorite song lyrics, or by posting a single "bump." This will ensure your board will be noticed on the guild boards. Sometimes, a user will post a comment on your thread, whether it be a question, comment, or a simple "good luck!" Take the time to greet everyone who posts on your thread, no matter if they are interested in your guild or not.
Bumping your own thread is also more effective in a group. Members can take turns bumping, or even have a conversation on the thread. This will help bumping be less lonely and mundane, and ultimately turn it into an enjoyable task.
Strategy 3: Posting a graphic on your lookup, shop, etc.
Tired of typing so much? Place a graphic on your lookup, shop, or anywhere where a user enjoying the site will be able to see it. For example, if you own a gallery, you can place a small blinkie in the description box of your gallery. Most guilds offer a page where you can find a variety of graphics that you can advertise your guild with. These may include user lookups, banners, icons, or blinkies. If a page like this is not available, you can make your own!
The banner should be eye-catching – however, stay away from neon colors and flashing text as those can be obnoxious. Remember, your banner is a representation of your guild, so keep it pleasing to the eye and readable. Link the banner to your guild's website, or wherever a user will be able to find more information about your guild.
These are three effective ways to advertise that will guarantee you members! Some people find that they prefer to advertise using only one of the strategies listed above, but you can combine any of them to your liking. The most important thing is to be an honest representation of your guild. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, despite their choice of guild – you'll still make a friend in the process!
The most important thing to remember, however, is that advertising isn't the only thing that makes a successful guild. Quality over quantity is the most important thing. Your member count should not just be a number that you are looking to increase. Get to know the members you have recruited and treat them as actual people instead of advertising just for the sake of a high member count.
Hopefully these tips and strategies have helped you gain some new members to join your guild community! Feel free to neomail me with any questions, new strategies, or comments you may have.