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Advertising Guide
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  • A comprehensive guide on how to advertise your forum.

    Type: Promotion

Advertising Guide

Number One: Know about your RPG

By this point you have created an RPG and should have a plot - if you don't sit down and work out a plot first.

Although roleplayers like to create the story themselves an RPG that has no premise will not go very far. If your RPG is based on a fandom then make sure you have something to offer people, something new and fresh, not something that has been done before.

Once you have your plot there are a few things you need to do with it:

  • Put a brief summary of your plot somewhere obvious so that any visitors to your site can see what your RPG is about. This can be at the top/in a sidebar on your forum, a yahoo group description or index page of your website.
  • Once this is done provide a link to the full plot, and any other related information. You don't need to bombard your visitor with a wall of text, you need to grab their attention. If they are interested they will take the time to read further. Number Two: What does your RPG Offer?

Now that you have got your plot take a moment to think about what your RPG offers to other roleplayers. There are a lot of RPGs out there looking for members so your advert needs to catch attention. This can be done by using graphics or text. If graphics aren't your strong point then keep it simple, use coding to change your the size, colour and font of your text. Text can be just as, if not more, affective than graphics at times.

In many webrings and website listings you only a small paragraph to describe your whole RPG so make sure you get what is important in there such fandom/genre, a basic plot (i.e. original fantasy RPG) and if relevant a rating if your RPG has one. Number Three: Types of Advertising

When advertising my RPGs I stick to three important rules:

  • Advertise wherever you can - on other rpg forums, yahoo groups, webrings, journal communities, website listings - you never know where someone will spot your RPG and find it interesting.
  • There is a limit to advertising 'any where' and that is don't spam other people's sites and abide by their advertising rules. You will end up putting people off rather than getting them to join your RPG.
  • Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so the more places you advertise the more you are spreading the word.

Where to Advertise

So here is a quick run down of the different ways of advertising. You can find links to all these types of advertising in our Resource Collection under the Advertising & Promotion category.

Website Listings

Also known as website directories, these are sites that list your RPG on their site usually in return for a link back to their site. There are various types of website listing available, including ones just for RPGs, ones for particular fandoms and others for any type of sites. Examples of website listings are the Fandom Directory here at Distant Fantasies and Ruby Wings Listings.

Advertising Forums

Similar to website listings, these are forums that have a website directory where you can list your RPG in exchange for linking back to them. These sites usually cater to much more than just RPG advertising and have a large community of Rpers.


A webring is a site that lists sites in exchange for you putting their code on your site. This code then connects your site and every other site in the ring together.

Button & Banner Exchanges

Not to be confused with affiliating or exchanging links, a button or banner exchange is similar to a webring. You place a html code on your site which frequently changes to display the button/banner or another site. Other members do the same, and thus your site's button/banner is displayed on other sites.

A button exchange is usually a small graphic, 88 x 31 pixels, the same size as a typical affiliate button. In comparison a banner exchange is larger, ranging from 200 x 40 pixels to 468 x 60 pixels.

Advertising Groups & Communities

I am lumping these two together because they are pretty much the same thing, just on different sites. There are a variety of advertising communities on the journal sites Livejournal, Insanjournal, and Blurty, and there are also advertising groups on Yahoo! Groups. The point of these places is to post an advert for your RPG. Some require you to fill out a form, but most of the time you are free to post whatever you want as your advert.

Advertising on other RPG Forums

Most RPG forums have an advertising section which is open for guests to post adverts for their RPG. Most commonly the only thing these RPGs expect in return is a similar place to post on your forum, and to follow their rules. Most of these rules are quite simple and common nettiquette - in other words don't spam their board because you would not like someone to spam your own.


Affiliating can also referred to as sister sites or exchanging links and basically involves you placing another RPG's button on your site, and they place yours on their site. The important thing to remember when affiliating is; don't be shy! Don't be afraid to ask, the worst they can do is say no.


A topsite is a list of sites which changes depending on votes. The more votes a site gets the higher up it is on the list.


A plugboard is as simple as it sounds; it is a place for you to plug (advertise) your site. All you need is your site url and a button, and that's it. An example is Distant Fantasies very own plugboard.

RPG Searches

Just like there are places to advertise RPGs, there are also places for roleplayers to search for new RPGs. By replying to RPG searches you are interacting directly with a roleplayer and at the same time helping them find the type of RPG they are looking for. Do not use these places to advertise your game though, they are strictly for people looking for games.

Character Searches

A very useful tool for RPG admins are character searches, which are designed to find players for specific characters.

Other Places

There are other less formal places that can be used to advertise your RPG, such as your own website, journal, twitter or deviant art account. Or if you are a frequent visitor to forums then place a link in your signature. You never know you might catch some attention for your RPG :)


If anyone has any questions then please visit the forum.

Edited by Morrigan

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