5 ways to advertise your roleplaying game
Often it’s very difficult to advertise your roleplaying game. Lots of new games are created every week, so there’s a lot of competition. What you have to do is advertise your games to get new members, but this is quite difficult. It’s most likely that you don’t want to spend any money on advertising, so it’s not like you’re going to pay for a large billboard to advertise your game, and even if you did you probably wouldn’t be hitting the right audience, roleplayers.
What you want to do is make sure that when you do advertise your game, you’re doing it to the right people.
Here are some ways you can advertise your game and make sure you’re showing it to the right people:
1. Forum signatures
If you’re active in a roleplaying forum, where you interact with other people who are interested in roleplaying, you might want to put a link to your game in your forum signature, so that at the end of each of your posts there’s an advert to your roleplaying game.
Again, make sure you’re showing this to the correct audience, so there’s no point adding a link to your Warhammer roleplaying game in a knitting forum. Make sure the forum has the right kind of people that you think would fit in your game.
If you’re not a member of any forums, you might want to consider joining one about the subject of your game. So join a Warhammer forum. But don’t spam people with links to your game, or you’ll quickly get banned. Make sure you’re providing actual content, and writing full comments. Make friends with people and get involved in the discussion, and let people discover your links without forcing it on them. Obviously if you think it’s a good time to mention your game, bring it up, but only if it feels natural to do so.
2. Post adverts on roleplaying directories
Some websites have the sole purpose of allowing GMs like yourself to advertise their games to get new members. This is great as it’s a place where you know people will be looking when they want to join a game. I’ve listed some sites where you can put adverts to your game here.
3. Facebook page
Many people use Facebook as a place to share things and communicate with friends, and this makes it a great place to advertise your game. I have explained in this article (LINK) how I used a Facebook fan page to get people interested in the Ongoing Worlds website, and you can do exactly the same thing to get people interested in your game. Many roleplaying games do this already, and a quick search for a gaming theme (for example Star Trek is a very popular one) you’ll no-doubt find some fan pages created for a roleplaying game.
Some people also use Facebook as a place to roleplay, so taking part in this might introduce you to new friends who might be interested in roleplaying in your game.
Advertising your game using Twitter can be tricky. First you need to work out if the type of people you want to bring into your game are even using Twitter, they might not be. To find this out, do some searches from the Twitter homepage, search for some keywords about the topic of your roleplaying game and see if people are discussing it. If you find that the answer is plenty of people, add those people to your friends list and engage them in discussion about the topic of your game and encourage them to join your game. Like with the forum, don’t spam them. Using social networks is often about converting people one at a time, so engage them in conversation and see if they’re a worthy candidate for your game.
You can find more friends to add by looking through the friends of your friends, read their descriptions to see what they’re into, and read their latest posts to see if they’re talking about. The great thing about Twitter is that all messages (tweets) are public so you can read what people have been tweeting about without following them.
On the right of your profile you’ll also see a list of members who are recommended to you, these are people who your friends are following, and it’s likely that they might be interested in similar things to you too. On Twitter don’t be scared of following as many people as you want, there’s no limit.
5. Link/Banner exchange
If you’re fortunate to have a website for your roleplaying game, you might want to consider contacting someone with a similar game and asking if they will put a link on their site to yours. To return the favour they will most likely ask for you to put a link on your site to theirs. This is a link exchange, and means that visitors to their site might click the link to find yours.
The link could also be a banner, so you can send over a banner to display on the other website. This gives visitors something to look at before they click, so it’s best if this is eye-catching and representative of your game to encourage them to click.
Standard banner sizes are 468 x 60 or 125 x 125 but this might depend on the space available on their site.
It’s not always easy
Getting people to join your game isn’t easy. When I created my first game I tried very hard to get people to join by posting adverts in as many places as possible. It helps if your game has a popular theme or is based on a TV series or film, as this gives you many relevant places to talk to people who are interested in the subject of your game.