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[Server Tips #1] Creating a Server Community!

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avatar TheMindStormMan
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
21

Creating a Server Community for your Minecraft Server!


Have you ever tried starting your own server? If you did, it was probably a pretty rough experience. One major problem with creating new minecraft servers now days is getting people to join your community. With this tutorial you'll learn exactly how to create and grow your own community and notice results within days!

My Experience:


Everything that I'll be explaining in this blog has been proven to work with my server and other servers that I've had experience with. I recently created a new minecraft server exactly 2 weeks from today. In that time we're nearing 1000 unique visitors, we've earned $42 in donations, we remain constantly at over 10 people online at a time, and most importantly, we're a community. But how do you achieve a community like that? Well it takes persistance and many special techniques that I've refined over my many years of server hosting.

Tip 1: Timing the Wave


If you post a server without having a knowledge of popular times to post, then you're missing out on a lot of new people. I've mastered the PMC popularity schedule, and I'm ready to share that with you. Okay for starters, lets pretend that your server is not up yet, but the plugins are ready and you have the funds to buy the host. Just because you have all the physical aspects of the server ready, doesn't mean your ready to go public. You have to work on the internals first, and wait for your moment to post your thread and hit the peak of PMC times. First what you'll need is a server banner. If you don't have a GIF banner yet you're absolutely going to need one. An easy way to get a fast and free banner made is to go into the MinecraftForums and search under "Art Shops".

PROTIP: Do NOT go under "Art Requests" and make a request for your banner to be made. The only people that hang around those forums are art makers that are going to charge you expensively for their work. Instead go to the "Art Shops" part of the forum, you can request free artwork there from people who care much more about getting better at their art than they do about earning money off of it.

Next, you need to time when you post on the forums. This not only has to fit in with the PlanetMinecraft cycle, but also with your schedule. If you're going to post your new server, make sure you have at least 2 COMPLETE days to stay on the server and moderate it. In doing this you can patch bugs before they become exploited and connect with your community more. And finally, you need to time your post with PMC's schedule. I posted my server on Monday morning on a snow-day for monday and tuesday. This gave me time to bond with my community, and at the same time not get my server flushed by all the owners that post servers on the weekends. DO NOT EVER post a new server on the weekend, post it during a holiday break or when you pretend to be "sick" from school (xD don't ask). This will keep your server at the top for longer, and allow you to get more players

Tip 2: Team Building


Let the community know you care by hosting special events for them on release day. Plan out your entire day with an hourly activity for players to look forward to, and share this schedule with your server. I own a creative server, so I did a build-off every 4 hours as well as did a rank giveaway for the top person on the "tab" list every hour. My creative server has many ranks though, so this didn't hurt the community at all. If you have a community without lots of ranks or that is survival, do an hourly item-drop and maybe a faction vs. faction all out pvp fight after a few hours with prizes for the winners.

Tip 3: Be Unique


Your server doesn't need to have entirely original ideas, but pull your creativity from different sources. For example: On my server I took the "creative-ranks" idea from an already developed server, and put my own twist on it. I used the staff ranks from a game called "toribash", and for certain builds, I took their ideas from other builders I know. As long as you take a current idea and add on to it, people will want to play. If you like towny AND factions for example, maybe combine the 2 in your server. Try adding an economy system to factions, or even making towny more team vs. team pvp based.

Tip 4: Getting Staff


Believe it or not, servers with less staff members are far more respected by their communities as a whole. Make players feel special by only having 1 or 2 staff above them that can boss them around, people don't like being moderated all the time, so don't do it. I promoted 1 guy to staff after a week and a half of being extremely helpful to the community, and although the community is growing, we don't need many more staff for a while. When staff aren't in control of everything in the server, it gives power to the players and ultimately adds to the maturity of the community.

Tip 5: The Donation Fork


Donations. The word on every server owner's mind. You might not be thinking about it yet, but I suggest you do. At some point or another somebody will want to donate, or you will want somebody to donate. When this comes, make it easy for the community by adding a plugin such as BuyCraft on release day of the server. Set up donation packages that catch the eye of the potential buyer. On my server, you can donate for the mid-range ranks, a custom prefix, or just to help out the server. So far I've made $40 off of people buying ranks, and $2 from somebody who simply wanted to help out, expecting no reward in return. Here is where the donation fork comes in. There are 2 different types of donators, those who want to help out the server, and those who want to help out themselves, As a server owner you need to cater to both types of donators, as well as the general population of the server. That's why all my perks are either:

A. Attainable over long periods if time
or
B. None game-changing features

If donators want to help out the server, then they will probably donate small amounts and expect little in reward. But, for the larger donators, have big packages set up to cater to their needs. Don't go over $40 though, and don't give any game-changing features

In Conclusion...


Basically if you don't want to read any of the rest of the thread, at least read this. When you make your server, it is YOUR server, so dedicate to it, and don't make any promotions or mistakes that you may regret later, If you want your server to be succesful you have to be hands-on at first, and then the money will start rolling in. I made a server with NO money, NO experience, and not even a minecraft account all those years back. Now I'm here with a creative server that is about to grow into a gaming network, and a small cushion of money to keep the community afloat. If I could do it, you can do it, so get out there and show the community what unique ideas your server has to bring to the table. Thanks for reading.

This is my first blog so...
Hit me up with a like...
Comment with suggestions...
and diamond if you loved it.

~ The_Mind (Proud Owner of MindCreative)
Tags

1
01/22/2014 8:54 pm
Level 26 : Expert Hunter
BaconEater512
What is in that guys hand to the right!?
1
01/22/2014 11:55 pm
Level 1 : New Explorer
Death_drach
Das me!!! :D
1
01/22/2014 9:40 pm
Level 46 : Master Herobrine
medievalheroes
A giant fire ID:51 + that is left, not right.
EDIT: It is no in his hand.... it is done using a headblocks plugin
1
01/22/2014 7:51 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
NPSoccer10
Whats the IP?
1
01/22/2014 7:18 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Programmer
DarkEyeDragon
Sorry to be harsh but having 10 people constant on your server doesnt really make you "master" the times xD I got around 20-30 average players online. and earned over 300 euro in the last moth. (not trying to brag or anything) I'm just giving my opinion. I do totally agree on the server staff part though. I only got 2 admins and 3 moderators to keep everything under control. People really seem to love the server. Anyone that wants some other tips on the server i have a blog about it. Nice work but i think you could use a bit more experience before posting this. But hey, Everyone needs to start somewhere don't they?
1
01/22/2014 9:15 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
TheMindStormMan
LOL. No that is not my only server. I used to host an 80 slot dwarves versus zombies server and many survival servers before that. That DvZ server has 26,000 views on MCF and was an almighty server back in the day that filled up almost all the time.

Point is, unlike you I don't care about advertising myself, nor the size of my server. That server might have been large and popular, but it didn't prove my point with this blog. My point is that you have to be close to your community in order for it to grow, and with DvZ we weren't much of a community at all. Just because a server is large doesn't mean it's a great server.

So take your advertisement elsewhere, you may have a larger server than me currently, but personally I prefer quality over quantity. I'd rather have this close community of 10-20 members online at a time, then an enormous server with no community (hence why I stopped dwarves vs. zombies). I may not be a "master", but if anything I'm pretty damn close to it, except unlike you I prefer not to brag about myself.

BTW Proof: http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1715912-172-19850152102-minds-dwarves-vs-zombies-a-class-based-role-play-game/
1
01/23/2014 1:53 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Programmer
DarkEyeDragon
Its only normal to care about the size of the server? Why would you put in hours of work in just setting it up if no one is even bothering to join? Donations are nothing else then a support to keep my servers running. I dont use it for anything else. and i'm not even advertising... I told you it was just MY OPINIon...
1
01/22/2014 8:22 pm
Level 26 : Expert Geek
KeyLimeSlime
Get outta here. Im not gonna read your crummy blog ;(
1
01/23/2014 1:55 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Programmer
DarkEyeDragon
Then don't read it... Why is everyone so butthurt these days.. MY OPINION before you start raging again.
1
01/23/2014 4:29 pm
Level 26 : Expert Geek
KeyLimeSlime
I know it's your opinion, but if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Also, technically what you were doing was advertising on someone else's post.
1
01/23/2014 5:51 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Programmer
DarkEyeDragon
You read my first comment carefully then you will see your statement is invalid.
1
01/24/2014 11:41 am
Level 26 : Expert Geek
KeyLimeSlime
I just did. I don't really see anything but criticism except for that very last sentence.
1
01/22/2014 7:46 pm
Level 36 : Artisan Narwhal
Codshooter Is A Boss
You guys are in the server business for the money. I have never pocketed a donation and never will and I suggest you do this before you get money hungry
1
01/22/2014 9:26 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
TheMindStormMan
I've actually never pocketed a donation either, nor can I. I have an unverified paypal so any money that I get can't be spent randomly unless invested back into the server. Thing is, donations are still helpful. Just because you want to ask for donations a lot, doesn't mean you want to pocket the money. A good server owner is always working towards improvements towards the server. Even those big hub servers rarely pocket their income, it's expensive to run the server, so they always emphasize donating. Whether you see it or not, they're still spending that money towards improvements (either external or internal).

The main way that donating can be abused however is if the owner shuts down the server afterwards. People who do that really piss me off, but what can you do?
1
01/22/2014 5:31 pm
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Friendly123
Wow, you are amazing, I handy you a nice 10lb diamond ;) be careful, it is heavy! Also I lent you nice little subscribe ;) Love the topic, love the handy, useful, fantastic, information that will come in very, very, very useful for all of the servers that I own/co-own :) once again thanks for being so smart and such an amazing, talented, bloggest, of servers! :)
1
01/22/2014 5:34 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
TheMindStormMan
Flattery at it's greatest xD.
1
01/22/2014 7:10 pm
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Friendly123
Yeah I don't care that I am banned from your server, I still love the blog post, it is the only thing that brightens up my already half dead family.
1
01/21/2014 7:28 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Ranger
Shasta01
My friends and I are planning on starting a server, this will come in handy!
Thanks!
1
01/21/2014 4:13 pm
Level 31 : Artisan Geek
MaxBFalcon
Great advice! I have run my server for 9 Months now, and this is exactly how I do it. :)
1
01/21/2014 5:35 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
TheMindStormMan
Yep, the most important part is that first month, after you get through that, the server starts to mature and take care of itself. I'm beginning to notice that in my community. Players are having fun and at the same time being respectful and mature, I don't even get spammed questions as often anymore simply because of the experienced members taking their role in the community.

I'd agree though, knowing these tips when you start out will benefit you further down the line.
1
01/21/2014 3:29 pm
Level 26 : Expert Mountaineer
alj21
Very cool, great advice, although one thing is the hosting - my friend's dad works at a University in Astrology (I think it was astrology), so he has all this equipment with which he hosts the server.
Diamond for you!
1
01/21/2014 3:05 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Artist
Mikeyjbax
Really good, learnt some new things. Fantastic advise!
1
01/21/2014 5:39 am
Level 29 : Expert Prince
Mishoo
i have a server tht is full whenever its on xD
1
01/21/2014 2:06 am
Level 25 : Expert Architect
NASH0XX
Lol, unique, that's a word that many people have forgotten.
1
01/20/2014 11:42 pm
Level 2 : Apprentice Explorer
Alexzander007
awesome dude! cant wait for moreblogs!

liked diamonded and subed
1
01/20/2014 11:54 pm
Level 21 : Expert Dragonborn
TheMindStormMan
Thanks man, that means a lot. Expect #2 after finals week sometime. I'll probably write about the different types of servers and the pros/cons of all of them, along with my preference and "What's hot" atm. Because certain server-types have big popularity booms and others are starting to decline.
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