You’ve setup your Minecraft server, but how do you become more popular? There are many key factors involved, including offering a quality gaming experience, active staff, and of course advertising. Advertising can be as simple as submitting your server to voting sites or more complex like paying for ads. This article will give you tips on how to advertise your server by both free and paid methods.
Vote Top-Sites (Free or Paid)
Your server should be submitted to all the major vote top-sites for Minecraft, which is free to do. You can easily find them by googling “minecraft servers” and I have provided some of the popular ones here:
You will get some links where your players can vote (usually daily or twice daily) for your server to increase its rank. These links should be put together somewhere easily accessible on your server’s website like a sidebar or a dedicated page. It is an effective strategy to reward players for voting using vote listener plugins such as NuVotifier. This plugin can help with executing certain tasks such as giving players points to spend on rewards, in-game cash, or items like diamonds or xp bottles.
On my previous servers I have found it effective to provide a reward that can only be obtained through voting. If you award 3 diamonds for voting but a player already has a chest of diamonds, why would they bother voting? For example, I recommend awarding “points” or tokens to buy valuable ranks, perks, or items in a special shop.
Paid Advertising: These vote sites let you pay for a premium spot usually at the top of their homepage. These spots are usually sold in an auction to the highest bidder and bids can reach $100s of dollars for a month.
Forum Advertising (Free)
For brand new servers, forums are one of the best forms of free advertising. Your forum thread should showcase all the features of your server and is your opportunity to convince interested players to join. The thread should also include detailed instructions on how to join (Is there a whitelist? How does the player get whitelisted? What is the IP?), a link to your website, what plugins your server uses, and some screenshots.
Once you make a forum thread, it is important to keep the thread active so it is regularly “bumped” to the top of the page. One strategy to do so is by requiring players to post their in-game name in order to get whitelisted. This way, each time a player is interested in the server your thread will be bumped. You can also bump the thread by posting that you have whitelisted all the newest players.
Minecraft Forum and Planet Minecraft are the most popular forums for Minecraft server advertising.
Tip: Be sure to follow the rules of the forum you are posting in, otherwise your post could be locked or deleted. Avoid excessively “bumping” your post to the top and do it in a respectful manner.
The subreddit /r/mcservers is another free place to advertise your server. I recommend making a post here with similar information as your forum post (i.e., how to join, features, screenshots, link to your website). Be sure to follow the rules of the subreddit to avoid your post being deleted by the moderators. The rules can be found in the sidebar.
Unlike forums, posts on reddit will fall down after a while simply due to their age. New comments will not “bump” the post to the top of the page. Therefore, you can re-post every once in a while to make sure it is visible.
Paid Server Advertising
With all types of advertising, it is important to advertise directly to your audience (especially if you’re paying for it)! There are several services which allow for targeting potential players, including Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook ads are pretty cheap and can cost as little as $1 per day while targeting a very specific audience (for example, only Minecraft players in a certain age group or country). However, you run the risk of advertising to people who may like Minecraft, but are not currently playing the game.
YouTube is very popular with Minecraft players and it’s possible to place text or video ads on related videos. I like this platform because you are targeting people who are currently looking specifically for Minecraft videos. In other words, you target current players.
You can also advertise on Minecraft-related websites, for example even on this website or others like Minecraft Forum and voting top-sites. Most websites will have an “advertise” or “contact” link at the bottom of the page where you can message the owner for more information. The price will depend on how popular the website is and it may be easier to negotiate cheaper prices with smaller websites.
Tips For Getting Popular
- Be unique! Why should players join your server instead of the others? Your server needs to be different and fill a need that is going unfilled.
- Encourage Referrals. You should reward your players when they bring their friends to the server. This encourages word-of-mouth recruitment which shouldn’t be underestimated. Just make sure the rewards are large enough that it’s worth it for players to participate.
- Show off your server. If you want new players to join, you have to convince them that your server is the best option. Make sure you create a server website to promote your features and showcase screenshots.
- Have Active Staff! This is probably one of the #1 factors in the success of a server. I’ve played on so many servers that were incredible, but once the admins stopped adding updates and events, everyone started to leave!