How to gain and hold a player base on a new server?

Hey there, i’ve recently decided to start paying for a 16 slot gmod server. I’m making it DarkRP for the time being, eventually possibly switching to perp or something else. I feel like this is a noob question, but how can i start getting people to play on my server? I’ll bring a friend or two in and we’ll get the occasional person that’ll join and then leave, and yesterday we had two twelve year old kids join, and start RDMing and prop blocking spawn right away so i banned them. Any ideas or tips?

EDIT: I don’t know if i should put my IP on this thread or not, i dont know if that’s considered advertising and if it’s against the rules or what, ill have to look at that.

Your first problem is its a DarkRP server.

Step 1) Put something on the server that people will actually like to play
Step 2) Advertise Server
Step 3) Administrate it

Congratulations, you now have now grasped a new server base who will be likely to stay on the server!

Well, some people use Youtube. Some use Facebook. Some use game websites they visit.

Bro tip, you can advertise here on Facepunch, but only in a certain section.

I like the “word of mouth” method, Just play on your server a while, be active, gain experience, sooner or later people will stumble in… even more so if they notice its a new server. Give them a good first impression, maybe get some decent minded admins to help you as well, allow them to earn it do not sell it. Once people like your server, chances are they will become regulars… once you have them you are set to go. When the regulars play more often, new comers will join… and as long as you are leaving good impressions the cycle will continue.

Now as mentioned earlier… DarkRP… unless you have a strong stable community behind it, or you have made some unique and decent edits to it, etc your server wont last too long, or if it does last it will become another poorly ran DarkRP server most of us hate to see on our server lists. Try your best to run it decently, don’t let power hungry admins take over, don’t treat your users poorly, don’t over-restrict tools, etc.

There is more that could be said, the more you host and admin your server, the more you will learn from experience.

Just my thoughts,

I just get some friends to play with me for awhile and other people see the server and come on and get hooked.

I plan to implement quite a few things that make my DarkRP different, but things that are small and don’t take long to DL. The thing i know i won’t have a problem with is admins, like i see on a lot of other server. I have quite a few capable and willing people i know to admin, that aren’t 5 years old and know how to problem solve and won’t abuse.

Well I use the fill technique sometimes, since it’s a 16 slot server get about 8-10 of your friends to play for a bit so other people will join since they see that there’s some activity going on.

People won’t have a problem with content packs and such.

IF you give them a good reason worth Downloading it.

give away free admin

I don’t trust that… I was a dumbshit when I was 14, ranked everyone and hell started. So I’m starting over again.

Invite friends to your new server, like others said, other people will join. Even make a group for it, along with the IP to it and everything.