First impressions are very important. I would get myself a nice-looking guild layout, whether it is pre-made (check sites such as sunnyneo.com) or make your own, if you are proficient in HTML/CSS. Make sure it matches your guild theme! To insert the code, go to “Guild Layout” (under Admin on the toolbar), and then “Modify Guild Preferences”. Insert the code into the “Welcome Message”; make sure that nothing else is in there. Fill in the areas given within the coding, such as welcome message, council chat, news, etc…
Along with the layout should go a matching logo. Go to “Guild Layout” (under Admin on the toolbar) and then click “Upload/Change Guild Logo”. Premades often come with a matching logo; all you have to do is save the image on your computer and then upload it. If you’re making your own, a popular choice for the guild logo is taking a small section of the layout itself and using that.
Before you go trying to attract members, I would suggest coming up with something to keep them entertained! The most basic one is a poll, if it doesn’t mess up your layout; you can create one under “Guild Poll”, which can be found under Admin on the toolbar. With a layout, it should probably be posted on the sidebar, not in the welcome message. Though you can conduct a poll on whatever you’d like, it may be better if you stuck to something within the guild’s theme. Change it bi-weekly.
Think up some activities. It can be generic, such as “Word Scramble” and 1NP auctions, or they can be themed. For example, in a Harry Potter guild you might take classes to earn house points. “Warriors”-themed guilds may, for example, hold contests for the next prophecy to be roleplayed. I would suggest having around 5 activities to start out with.
Next, you’ll probably want to create a guild website, or “webbie” as it is sometimes called. This can be simply a petpage, or you can go to an off-site webhosting site and place it there. Here you can post all of the activities. If you want, you can also have updates here, or maybe even guild graphics. You should probably come up with some guild advertisements for the members to use too. Be creative.
Now you can begin to attract members! If you have some friends you know you would like to invite, invite them. You can also post an the NeoBoards, under Guilds. Still be careful as to who you accept into the guild, especially if you are literate; since the guild is new, some people will try to join just to get on the council, and then won’t be active or helpful. I wouldn’t choose the council right away, but wait a few weeks and see who represents the most traits I am looking for. You may also want to wait until you have a certain amount of members, like 15 or 20.
Constantly advertise, advertise, advertise! This should bring in quite a few new members overall, but don’t get discouraged if you have times when no one is joining. Keep everything updated, including activities. Create additional activities too, and make sure to change the poll bi-weekly or so. Make member sweeps, removing members who have been inactive for 2 months or more (if they told you they’re on vacation/on leave, that’s another story). Always keep the guild message board moving; it’s the life of the guild! And most of all, just have fun with it!