How to Start a Successful Guild
Also by viperine17
Have you ever searched for a guild on the guild boards, only to be bombarded with guilds that don’t really feel right to you? Or have you ever searched for a guild in the guild search only to have a large number of results come up that all have one to five members and one or two posts? If so, you’ve probably thought of starting your own guild. Maybe you’ve even tried to do so but found that it can be pretty tough to get new members. Well, you are in luck, because I have been the leader of a successful guild for over seven months now, and I’m going to share my tips and secrets with you.
Running a guild takes a lot of work, especially in the beginning, so the first step is to ask yourself if you have the time to do the work. If you are only on Neopets once a week, then you may want to consider joining an established guild. But, if you have the time and are willing to spend it in your new guild, then let’s move on.
Step One: Planning
Before you even think about getting members, you should set some parameters for the guild. What is the guild going to be called? What kind of theme do you want? Should your guild be private? Do you want to have a member cap? These are just a few of the many questions you need to answer. It is important to remember that the answers to these questions can change later on. For example, you may want to start out as a public guild that anyone can join and after a few months switch to a private guild with a fifty member cap. Just be sure to discuss these changes with your council and members so that everyone knows what is going on!
Step Two: Find a Friend (or two)
I think that this step is essential to the guild process. You should start your guild with one (or more) friends. These friends can help you decide on the parameters mentioned in step one as well as make guild pages and recruit members. They can also ensure that other guild members are being helped/listened to when you aren’t around. If you don’t have a good Neofriend that you would want to help co-run the guild, then you could advertise for someone on the guild boards, but be sure to try to get to know that person before you select them. After all, they are going to help you get your members, and you want them to represent the guild well. I would suggest limiting the number of friends at this stage to one or two so that you don’t have too many people trying to do different things and arguing over small details.
Step Three: Make Guild Links
Once you have an idea of what your guild will be about and you have some friends to help you, you are ready to make guild links. At first, you may not have very many, but as the guild grows, your link number will grow as well. A few basics that you may want to consider are:
Rules and Ranks
Do not worry if you are not good at coding; maybe one of your friends will be able to code everything for you. And if not, you can always find a graphics person later who can beautify the pages (which is what I did with my guild). At this stage it’s most important to have information to share with prospective guild members. This communicates that you have put thought into your guild and that you are going to make it really fun for everyone.
Stage Four: Guild Layout
This stage is pretty easy. You need to have a layout that will attract members to the guild. The layout should reflect whatever theme you have chosen for the guild. You should try to avoid premade layouts, but if you (and none of your friends) are good at coding, then feel free to use a premade temporarily.
Stage Five: Recruiting
Now we finally come to the part where you convince others that your guild is amazing and they should be a part of it. This is my least favorite part of running a guild because it is time consuming and generally boring. You need to make a board (be sure to use the guild board so you don’t spam!) that shows off the good points of your guild and try to bump it so that people can see it. Since just posting random smilies is not a good way to bump your board, I suggest you get one of your friends to come chat with you while you wait for prospective members to drop by. This makes the process much more enjoyable and shows prospective members that you are able and willing to chat with others.
You can also post ads for your guild in other people’s “Guildless” boards. If you do that, I would avoid a generic copy’n’paste ad since those tend to make you look lazy and not attract members. Be sure to stick around and talk with your prospective member so they can see how nice/amazing you are and you can get to know them a little. Other strategies include advertising the guild in your siggie and on your user look-up. Essentially, anywhere you can put an ad, you should do it. (Incidentally, if you have 200+ avatars and are looking for an avatar guild, send me a neomail. :D )
It is important to note that this stage will rarely be completed in one day. It is a slow process, especially as you are establishing your guild, so it may take a week or two until you have a decent number of members. Don’t get discouraged and don’t stop trying!
Stage Six: Fill You Council Positions Slowly
This is a very important stage. When you are recruiting, you will run into many prospective members who want to join any guild that will give them a council spot. Nine times out of ten, these people want the spot as a status symbol and don’t plan on doing the work associated with the position. To avoid this, no matter how tempting it may be, do not just give out your council positions to the first four people who join your guild. Instead, leave them open and let every member have a chance at them. Maybe fill one after two weeks of the guild being open and another after a month and so on. This is the method I used in my guild, and as a consequence I have a super active and friendly council.
Stage Seven: Have Activities
Be sure to create some activities that your members can do when they are bored. These activities could include a scavenger hunt, a guild game of Avatar Simon, or anything else you can think of. Before you do this, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Neopet rules regarding contests. They basically say that having contests is against the Neopet Terms and Conditions and could get you frozen. So, that means that you cannot have prizes and incentives associated with your guild activities. Your members should be playing just for the fun of the game, not a prize. Make sure your members are aware of this.
Well, there you have it, my tips to having a great guild. This is not an all inclusive list, but it should get you started on the right track to having a fun guild. As you can see, there is a lot of work involved, but it can be a very rewarding experience. Good luck with your guild!