Are you a new guild owner, or thinking about becoming one? Are you just looking for some new ideas to improve your guild? This page is for you! Read all about what it takes to start and own a guild and how to make it successful.
Remember, if you have any questions after reading this guide, feel free to contact me. I don't bite. Seriously.
Empty petpages. You can use empty petpages to do lots of things, including webbie hosting, a guild info page, a guild newspaper...You get the idea.
Lots of time. You'll need to be devoted to your guild and willing to spend almost every spare minute improving it and making sure that your members are happy.
Patience. Patience is truly a virtue. Not everything works out on your first try. You don't always get five members to join every day. It'll work out in the end, and if it doesn't, you'll find another way to sort things out.
Before You Start
Choose a theme. You need to be specific about what you want your guild to be about. It's better to have one localized theme than tons of different ones. Potential members search for guilds where they'll find people with the same interests as them. Choose something that you are passionate about, or else you might get sick of it and let down a lot of people. Common themes include: roleplay, NR (Neopets-Related), HP (Harry Potter), Twilight, Anime/Manga, Writing, Celebrities, Fashion, Art, etc.
Choose a name. Make sure that your name is original and creative. Your name should reflect the theme of your guild and not sound similar to other guilds out there. Try to hold back on decorative additions, such as: !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, +, and ~. These are confusing to the eye and aren't easy to remember.
Spend some time on the guild boards. See what works and what doesn't. Look at successful guilds and find out what makes them successful. Find ideas that you like. (Make sure to check with the guild leader before you use one of their ideas.) Chat with other guild leaders, get to know them, and ask for tips.
Literate? On Neopets, the word "literate" is an adjective which describes people who don't use chatspeak, capitalize what ought to be capitalized, and punctuate correctly. Decide if you want to restrict your guild to having "literate" members. There are many people out there who won't join a guild if it isn't literate, and many people who won't join a guild if it is. The choice is yours.
Private vs. Public. Private guilds require an invite to join, and anyone can join public guilds. Again, this choice is yours. Do you want to restrict admission to your guild or make it open to everyone? Froggy's suggestion: "If you don't have any requirements, it's better to make your guild public. Public guilds are more easily accessible than private ones."
Advertise for Co-Owner. Despite what you may think, you do need a co-owner. You need someone to be on when you can't, to balance the workload, and to give you their opinion on things. Spend as much time as you need finding the right person; don't just take the first person to respond to your board. Remember, you need someone devoted, responsible, and active.
Advertise for starter members. With this step, you're not only going to gather people who are interested in the guild, but members who can help you get off to a smooth start by advertising and giving feedback.
Make it your own. There are so many guilds out there that are almost identical. Make your guild original and new. Chances are that if people have seen it before, they are less likely to join.
Learn basic HTML (and CSS) . This will help you edit the homepage and webbie yourself, without having to wait for someone to do it for you. You can add updates, images, or whatever you want. Neopets has a very helpful HTML guide here.
Recruit a Graphics Master. If you aren't a graphics whiz yourself, find someone who is. You need someone that can code your layouts and petpages for you. It's better if they join the guild, but if they're willing to devote time to your guild without joining, that's fine too. You want to find a trustworthy person that will stick around to help you out.
Don't start advertising right away. People like to see a guild that's already somewhat established, not one that's constantly undergoing construction. The time will come to advertise, believe me. xD
Format the guild homepage. An original and clean Guild Homepage is both attractive to potential members and functional.
Build a Webbie. The webbie is a very important tool for people trying to get to know your guild. A well-coded webbie is also a plus for potential members. Sections on the webbie may include: Activities, Rules, Council, Ranks, etc.
Choose a trustworthy member to host activities. If only one member hosts activities, the points and anything else associated with the activities are less likely to get confusing. And if it's someone else's job, you can have more time to focus on making sure that the guild runs smoothly.
Decide on the rules. Rules are ultra important. Let your members know where the boundaries are, and what will happen if they cross them. You don't have to be mean, but you have to make sure that members understand that there are things that it's not okay to do.
Create a cut and paste advertisement. Make it short, easy to read, creative, and informative. Make sure it has a link to your guild! Note: The cut-and-paste advertisement generally shouldn't be used to advertise your guild on "guildless" boards. It can be used on boards that YOU make to advertise your guild, but since the cut-and-paste advertisement is generally very impersonal, it's best not to throw it at people. When in doubt, type something out.
Start a Grand Opening Board. Let people know that your guild is up and running! Gather members to chat and keep the board bumped up. Encourage questions from people that want to know about your guild.
Get everyone to advertise on Guildless boards. The best way to make your guild prosper is to gather members who will contribute. Encourage all of your members to advertise your guild on the guildless boards. There is an advertising guide here.
Put those activities up! Members (most likely) won't join your guild because of the promise of activities. It's much better to have those activities already up and running when you begin your advertising. Some common activities include: Scavenger Hunt, Guess This Item, Unscramble, Caption Contest, and Roleplaying. Don't be afraid to make your own, though! Original and creative activities are the best kind.
Ask for feedback, criticism, comments, and compliments. Other people's opinions of your guild are what really matters (unless you want to be the only member in your guild), so ask them! Be open to suggestions. Remember, you don't have to change everything someone doesn't like- someone else may like it!
Constantly update everything. Old links, news from three weeks ago, and activities that are collecting dust are not things that make your members happy. Keep everything current.
Advertise, advertise, advertise. I'm serious, advertise.
Don't offer prizes of any sort. This is against Neopets' rules. (View the FAQ answer banning them here.) Additionally, people should join your guild for the guild itself, not because you'll give them something.
Don't treat members as numbers. They're not. End of story.
Don't give council to the first four members that join. Council should be reserved for responsible and trustworthy people that you know and that know the guild. Council needs to be earned, not given away.
Stay away from premades. The temptation is awful, I know, but people will appreciate your guild more if they see for themselves all the effort you've put into it.
Don't make "Nobody is joining my guild" boards. These are both bad for your guild's image and not helpful to you in any way. Boards such as "Feedback on My Guild?" or "In Need of Guild Improvement Advice" are okay, as long as you don't sound too whiny. xD
Are you Ready?
Do you feel ready to create a guild? I hope you do! Go here and click on "Create New" on the top banner.
Will you rate my guild?
Well, I'm not very good at rating, but I'd be happy to give you feedback! Just neomail me the link to your guild. It may take me a while to get back to you.
How do you create a petpage?
The link to modifying your pets existing petpages is here. If you want to make it more than just plain text, go here to learn about HTML.
I followed your steps, but my guild is not successful!
All I can say is "patience". Keep advertising and getting feedback, and wait.
Here are some handy-dandy links for you to use.
Full Page Guild Layout Guide
Advertising Guide by Jess in the NT
Guild Leading Guide by Dylan in the NT
Did you find this page helpful? If you did, please help to make sure that other people can find it. Copy and paste the HTML below the buttons into your shop, userlookups, or petpages!
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The content of this page was created entirely by Froggy (nybanonpu) and written expressly for the purpose of helping new guild owners out. Please notify her as soon as possible if you see anyone using the content of this page without her permission. Thanks!
Currently, no one has Froggy's permission to use any of the content of this page.