Launching your very own Minecraft server is not an easy thing to do. Despite what you may think, or how skilled you are technically, gaining players can be tough! Thankfully, there are lots of different tools and resources you can leverage to boost your player count.
Let’s dive into some popular methods of Minecraft server advertising. The more of these you do, the better your chances of gaining new players.
You’ve probably come across these websites yourself when playing other Minecraft servers. These websites allow server owners to register their server to the “list”, and ranks you based on your votes. MinecraftServers.biz is a good example.
Getting players to vote for your server is as simple as installing and configuring a voting plugin. Encourage your users to vote for your server by offering special rewards locked behind voting points, give bonus experience, increased drop rates, etc. Any small benefits will give your users incentive to vote.
Advertise your voting links and make them easily accessible in:
- Your server
- Your website
- Your Discord server
Bonus points for making a Discord bot that reminds users to vote! Keep in mind that each voting site has different rules and terms. Some of them allow users to vote every 12 hours, while others only allow votes every 24 hours.
If you have a good donation shop set up and are steadily making a profit from your server, consider buying sponsored slots. Most toplist websites will allow you to spend extra money to have your server boosted to the top of the list.
Many different Minecraft-based forums and subreddits will allow you to make a post advertising your server. Typically you will be allowed to “bump” the post about once per day so that it shoots to the top of the forum and any users browsing have a better chance of seeing it. This is completely free and can be an effective method, but requires a bit more upkeep on your side.
Similarly to the toplists, some forums will allow you to have your advertisement “stickied” to the top of the forum for a fee. I personally do not recommend doing this unless you are absolutely sure you will benefit from it. Most forums that offer this are marketplace areas, and can often revolve around Minecraft black market practices. Be careful when choosing forums to advertise on!
By far the quickest and easiest way to get your server in front of thousands of people is to work with influencers. The Minecraft scene is huge on Youtube, and you’ll be able to find plenty of diverse channels.
Some things to consider:
How much can you spend?
Typically promotional videos, shout outs or advertisements are not free. Email or message the Youtuber you’re thinking about working with, link them to your server and ask if they’d be interested in working with you. Keep your budget in mind. More subscribers = more money.
Who is your target audience?
A higher subscriber count does not always mean higher conversions! If you have a Towny server, you may not want to spend your time, money, and effort on working with a Youtuber who primarily makes PvP videos.
Sure, they may have 20k more subscribers, but their audience is likely much more interested in PvP style servers. The chances of you converting those players to your server, and retaining those players is likely not going to be as high.
Try your best to find content creators who make content catered to your specific server. It will work better in the long run.
What makes my server unique?
Everyone and their grandma has a Minecraft server these days. Yes, there are plenty of different game modes and niche types of servers… but what makes you stand out? What can you offer players that other servers don’t?
This is something you need to take into consideration not only when paying for advertising – but for the overall server development. If you only offer a run-of-the-mill survival server and don’t offer anything new and exciting – why would people stay?
Most will try your server out, see that it’s not offering anything fresh, and head back to the server which they’ve already invested their time (and probably money) into. Innovation is key. It’s not an easy thing to pull off, but it can be done!
Do something truly unique, and you’ll end up with free word of mouth advertisement.
Content is king. In today’s world people are constantly using social media even when they’re out and about. Don’t underestimate the power of advertising your server through these channels.
Similar to Youtubers, you can reach out to big Instagram or Facebook pages to pay for shout outs. But better yet, why not create your own? Find an interesting niche topic in Minecraft (i.e. memes, cool builds, etc) and regularly post content about that topic.
Once you’ve worked up a few hundred or thousand followers, you can start freely advertising your server to all of these people.
This is definitely a more long-term approach to advertising as it will take time to build up your following. Servers with a low advertising budget can benefit greatly here however because it’s completely free!