General Guide by Laggermeister

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Laggermeister

How To Write A Successful Guide

Laggermeister Last updated on September 30, 2012
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Good day, summoner. Is your guide's rating as high as it should be? For the vast, vast majority of summoners, the answer is no. I myself have seen many great guides which have a lower rating than they should have. And that is the purpose of my guide - to go through some of the do's and don't's of writing a guide, so that you will get the best rating possible.

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Why Write Another Guide?

The first impression you get from this guide may be 'oh, this is just common sense. Downvote.' No, some of the stuff I cover in my guide is not commonsensical. Read on.

Some of you may ask, 'isn't this stuff covered by other guides, eg. jhoijhoi's Making A Guide?' The answer is no. I've done a fair share of reading up, and I'm not aware that my effort would merely be a duplicate (I may be wrong of course), so I deemed it to be a good idea to write this guide. My points are partially covered in jhoijhoi's guide, but I do talk about some things that she doesn't.

Read on.

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'First Guide' Is Not An Excuse For A Bad Guide

Note that this section is NOT intended to be a brag about what an awesome guide-writing prodigy I am.

I am a new member, even though I've been reading from the site for considerably longer before I signed up. I published my first guide, a comprehensive tome on support champions, on September 19, 2012. Three weeks later (at the time of writing this), it has dropped to page 3, but it is at nearly 90%, and sitting comfortably on the all-time high of General Strategy.

It's my first guide.

So you see, being a first guide is definitely not an excuse to publish a mediocre guide. After all, you want that good rating. So what can you do? Read on.

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Many Guides Are Published Each Day

Have you ever taken notice of this little column on the right hand side of the front page?

It shows the number of guides published each day and in total. I actually doubt the numbers are accurate, seeing as I certainly don't see hundreds of new guides every day, let alone 42 other guides, but the point to drive home is this:

Numerous new guides are published every day.

With so many guides vying for readers' attention, it's really up to you to make sure your guide is good enough to get upvotes and positive comments.

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First Impressions Are Important

The first week after your guide is published is the crucial period.

The make-it-or-break-it period. Why one week? That is the average amount of time it takes for a guide to drop off the first page, after which no one will ever look at it again.

In periods of unusually large submission, e.g. today, with the start of the influx of Kha'Zix guides, it can take as little as 4 days to knock a guide off the first page.

So, first impressions are very important. You have a limited amount of time before your guide stops gathering lots of views. You must capitalize on that, right from the moment you click publish.

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I cannot overstress the importance of using coding.

Basic coding, as I use in my guide, is the use of colors, fonts and icons to make your guide pretty to the eye.

More advanced coding is usually found in champion guides, and involves the use of columns or generators to create this:


Greater Mark of Mana

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

or this:


or this:

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

or this:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Looks daunting? Don't worry, it really isn't. All you have to do is read jhoijhoi's Guide To Making A Guide - pretty much the bible of guide authors on MOBAFire, and it also contains links to even more guides on formatting.

Why is formatting so important? Because you want to catch the reader's attention and make him continue reading. Between an informative guide which looks ugly and an informative guide which looks nice, which do you think the reader will upvote?

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Avoid Walls Of Text

More on the topic of formatting:

Make sure you don't use overly long paragraphs. It strains the eye. Try to keep paragraphing to a reasonable length, maybe about 5-7 lines. Yep, you need to run it in the preview to see what it looks like. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore Sheen et dolore magna aliqua Evelynn. Ut enim ad minim veniam Lich Bane, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris Force of Nature nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat Hate Spike. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur Agony's Embrace. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Where was I? Oh yeah, formatting. Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium Anivia, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi Shadow Walk architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt sight ward, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni Vision Ward dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam do eius modi tempora incidunt, Rebirth ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, Exhaustqui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur Ignite? At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in Singedculpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, soluta nobis est eligendi optio, que nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates Kha'Zixrepudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat. Where was I? Oh yeah, formatting.

The above is called a wall of text. Did you read all of that? Not even icons will save you from the reader just skipping the whole chunk and giving you a downvote for your trouble.

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Check For Mistakes

I shall go out on a limb and be Captain Obvious. If your guide is bad, you're not going to get a good rating however much help you get from my guide. Sounds reasonable right?

So don't be in a hurry to hit the publish button. Be sure to check your guide over thoroughly for mistakes which may cost you rating points.

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Speek Gud Engrish

if ur eng is bad, u gna get a bad ratin n many of downvotes. 2 bad sucka qq moar huehuehuehuehue

Seriously though, being a non-native speaker is not an excuse.

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Leave Out The Superfluous

Don't include things which don't add to the value of the guide. This may seem a little bit counterintuitive. What are 'things which don't add to the value of the guide'? Two examples of what not to include in a guide are:

  • Lore. Seriously. Don't.
  • Verbatim descriptions of champion skills. I can just mouse over the skill icon if I want the technical details. Just include what you yourself have to say about the skills.

Credits to IceCreamy for the idea on the lore. This is not an advert for his guide!

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Don't Write About Teemo

The long and short of this is, the more popular a champion is, the tougher your life is going to be. I'm certainly not saying you should never write about Teemo (someone has to get the top-rated Teemo guide anyway) but if you do, you had better make sure your guide is real gewd.

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Don't Write About A New Champion

(Hello, Kha'Zix.)

Notice that guides which come out immediately following a champion tend to be rated badly? This is natural, yet so many people do it. They think the faster they get their guides out, the greater their chance of getting on top of the ratings. No. Firstly, everyone is still playing that champion so optimum rune, mastery and item builds are definitely up in the air. What, you played him on PBE so you know him really well? No. Read on.

The second reason why you shouldn't write about a newly-released champion (hello again, Kha'Zix) is because you can expect rampant trollvoting from other guide authors who want that top rating. Yes, they will vote you down for no reason.

And then thirdly, you will be judged more sternly by regular readers, who know that you're just rushing out a guide for a shot at glory.

So don't do it. Give him a week or two to settle down, then write a really good guide on him.

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Don't Write About The Same Stuff As Everyone Else

This is related to Don't Write About Teemo, but concerns itself more with the guide itself, and builds, especially items. Especially when writing about a champion with an inflexible item build, such as an AD carry. Always ask yourself, 'do I have something to say which others don't?' If you don't, your effort may have just gone spectacularly to waste.

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Do Not Publish Before Ready

Is the guide ready? If it isn't, don't hit the publish button.

This is the single biggest and most serious mistake authors make. Don't leave your guide unfinished. Do not put [UNDER CONSTRUCTION], [WORK IN PROGRESS], anything assorted along those lines, and then publish.

I give an instant downvote for any guide I see which does that. Yes, instant. Regardless of how potentially good it is. If it's unfinished, -1 right away.

Why? Remember I said near the top of the guide about the crucial week? That's right. Time starts ticking the instant you hit the publish button. So you are totally doing your guide a tremendous disfavor by allowing it to be seen in a bad state. So if your guide is not ready, hold off on the publish button until it is.

The exception to this rule is if the guide is substantially completed, with some parts under construction or not yet complete. In other words, the guide IS ready. Which was what I did with my first guide. I left one section unfinished, but the rest of the sections were written up in great detail. And it was k.

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Leave A Link In Your Signature

It's always a good idea to link your guide so that people can find it. Your signature would be a perfect place to do it.

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Upvote My Guide

If I have helped you, please leave an upvote, or a plus-rep!

Oh yeah and I hit the publish button before the guide was ready. I actually did it by accident - I meant to hit view instead.


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