Neopets Guild GuideElise Kozler
More and more Neopians are owning guilds now-a-days. However, most of them are boring 3-member guilds that simply rot away.
My first guild was deleted after having reached 8 members since I had no clue about guilds, and it was really quite horrible. My second guild, that I co-owned, was deleted due to a scammer. This guild reached 80 or so members. Then I joined Jen’s guild and soon became co-owner. We reached the 200 mark before deleting our guild due to inactivness and lack of time.
Naming your Guild
This is actually quite important. The first impression of your guild will be the layout and the name. For now, we shall discuss the name. First, your name should be in a language that acutally exists, “ad46trghkte” is “creative” at best. Your guild name should reflect what your guild is about and it should be short and sweet. So “The association of neopians who love petpets and plushies and hate Sloth united” would be a major no-no. Also don’t make your name conflicted. “LOTR-Anime-Fans” is too much. Choose one or the other, not both. Do not have numbers in your username or over-usage of symbols (such as ~ or *) unless you absolutely must. It has to be short, sweet, and to the point.
Go to the boards and advertise! You will find that the boards become your second home. You will be there constantly until your guild becomes stable (approximately 50+ members). You should mainly advertise in a bullet form, with one or two senteces above your ad that relate to the post of the guildless person. Always be sure to read their post to see if your guild even comes into question. Always advertise honestly. You will need to advertise over an hour a day simply because it is YOUR job, not the job of your guild members. Always keep in mind: you made the guild, you carry the responsibility for its successes.
A Guild Website
Almost all larger guilds have a guild website. You can create a website for your guild on any host, but most people prefer Freewebs or simply a neopets petpage. A Guild website will keep the blogs on your guild layout from becoming overly crowded, and it’s a nice, attractive overview of the guild. There are lots of things that should be included on your website. It is good to have an in-depth guide to all of the contests, several guild-advertising graphics and, of course, your rules. Several game guides, guild jobs, and contact information wouldn’t hurt either. This is pretty important to have, because your guild layout have a limited allowance of characters and it won’t allow you to display everything.
One of the key points to having your guild become successful in those early stages is to make it attractive. It may seem strange, but it’s true.
A guild layout is very important! 99% of all good guilds have an attractive guild layout. Your guild layout should match your theme to some degree. You can use one from this site or request one from here. If the “style” of graphics here does not float your boat, you can google search for other quality graphic sites. Make sure that your layout has several blogs for easy navigation, and that the text is clearly visible when typing into the blogs. Try to aviod one-blogged layouts and make sure your guild layout at least goes with your guild theme.
Correct grammar and spelling is always important. It’s easier on the eye for words to be spelt correctly. I’m not saying you have to be a spelling ace and that you can’t build in an “Lol” every now and then, but please, aviod StIcKy CaPs and Numb3r w0rd5! Most people have nothing against “u” or “ur” but “OMG JoEn TiS gUeLd!!! I <3 & u WiL tO!!!! It Lyk RoXs!!!!” is not exactly great. Please remember punctuation! Unending sentences are really hard to follow. Considering that you’re the leader of the guild, people should at least understand you. As for “it takes less time”, if you can’t take the time to write “like” then I don’t think you’ll have the time to manage a guild.
Your guild should have a clear format. Your links should be in a one blog, your activites in another blog (or on another page) and your welcome message in a third blog. This just makes it easier to understand and follow.
Notice that advertiseing comes twice. After having made your guild active, attractive and organized, you will find advertising a lot easier. Why? Because now there is actually a reason for people to join your guild. When they look at your guild they will not see a n00b guild that’s never going to last more than a week, but they will see an active, organized and all-round maintained guild. Of course, you can’t expect members to come flocking in by the dozen. What is important now is patience. One of the best places to advertise your guild would, of course, would still be the boards. I advise haveing 3 windows open: one for creating & bumping your own board, and 2 for refreshing & replying to “Guildless” boards.
When making your own board, make sure you use CAPS or a lot of smiley faces in your title to attract people to your board. Also, please don’t title your board “Guildless”. This is one of the most useless advertising ways out there. You will only attract people who already own or are a part of a “great” guild and who want to refer more memebers. There is a very slim chance that they will switch to your guild. Also, I strongly advise against advertising for your private guild. Most people are too lazy to go neomail you for the invite.
When adversting on “Guildless” boards, a lot of people seem to think that bullet advertising is “tacky” and that guildless people prefer a more ‘personalized’ message. I find it best to compromise between the two. Make a list of bullet points (use smilies for bullets) in your adverstising. This list should include some of your major events and highlights. Also include your Guild URL. People are lazy. I can’t stress this enough! Bullets require the least amount of “thinking” on their part. However, people like to feel that you care about them and have actually been un-lazy enough to read their post.
So let’s say their board says “Hi! I am looking for a guild with 10-20 members and a council spot. I want a guild that is active and that is neo-related. add ‘spoons’ to your message if you read this. I do not want HP or LOTR.” This is a very typical example. Over your list of bullets say something along the lines of “Spoons — Our guild has 21 memebers, but they are all really nice and I am sure you will fit in. We can’t promise you a council spot, but we are selecting our council in the next week or so. Our guild is a friendly, neo-related guild that has over 10 current activities including a daily giveaway and a paint brush giveaway on Friday.” This is short and sweet, allowing your reader to be lazy but still feel welcomed and cared for. Under that you can put your pre-made bullet points.
As guild leader, it’s YOUR job to advertise the guild, not anyone else’s. Of course, you should encourage others to adversite through an referral program, but it’s your responisbility. Advertise daily or every second day for at least an hour in the first week. This is very imporant, trust me.
Maintaining your Guild
Most guilds have guild rules, and there’s a reason for that. Rules, of course, help make your guild more enjoyable for everyone. *make sure* that you actually enforce your rules or else there really wouldn’t be a point in having them.
Know your members! Ask them regularly if they have any ideas or if they want to run anything. Most guild members are more than willing to host a contest or write up a game guide. Being involved will also help make them feel wanted and needed, which is very important. Don’t constantly bug them for donations. They’ll donate when they want to donate. Also make sure that they know what their donations are being used for. For example, tell them that all donations made on Monday this week will be used towards improving the daily giveaway prizes while the donations from Tuesday to Friday will be used to sponser a paintbrush giveaway. You should make a newletter in the form of a neomail weekly so that your memebers know what’s happening and feel like they are important (which they are), and know what’s going on. Welcome new members to the guild. Don’t over-automate your message. “Hello and welcome to the Society of Neopians. Thank you for joining our guild. Please neomail our wonderful leader XXX if you have any questions.” is not nearly as ‘homey’ as “Hey and welcome to the Society of Neopians! I’m Kathrin and an ‘oldie’ of our guild :) So basically I can show you around and introduce you and answer all your questions. How was your day? I saw on your lookup that you have a faerie uni. She’s absolutely lovely, I espeacilly love her petpage! It was hilarious to read. Maybe you’d be interested in writing for our guild newspaper? You have such talent! — Kathrin”. Caring and involving are keywords here.
Wow that turned out long. And its not even everything. Lol, but then, it wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t get to figure out how it works, now would it? Just make sure your guild is attractive, active and well maintained. And on a side note: There is no reason whatsoever for you to choose the ‘next best thing’ for your council. You’re better off without a council than with a crappy one. More on this subject is in my Council tutorial. Also, don’t make people donate to gain ranks. This makes them feel ‘used’. Always remember to think of your members first. As always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.