Things you might want to consider when building your player base. 1. DO NOT DO IT ALONE: I reached a time when all I do is build my server and moderate the player at the same time which causes a lot of stress! Ask for help, get volunteer staff of 5 minimum who is willing to play on your server even when alone(really). Widen your trust circle. Do not be afraid to get your server ruined (you can do backups), select people who you can relate on. Big servers started with just 2 - 5 people with the same goal. 2.A SERVER IS LIKE A GAMBLING MONEY: Do not stress your self on income, think of it as a hobby or a pet or a plant which you tend to every day. Just remember that MOJANG prohibits people from making a profit out of their product. The gray line is so thin between donations and selling a product. Although Mojang can not regulate all servers that opens and runs it just take 1 angry player or a competitor server owner to report you when they see you violating the Minecraft EULA. Focus on play ability features rather than making a profit(yeah i am telling you to throw your money away) so player will stick around, you can not make a profit when theres no one playing right?. 3. STICK TO YOUR VISION: When you start a server you first need an idea on what your server theme or game play is gonna be. I once had to administer a server with a server owner who wants to reset the server map every month because he has another idea, started out as factions then skyblock then open world creative. The players got tired of starting over and over again until they got fed up and just left. 4. COMMUNITY TOXICITY: As we all know, player game enhancers or the majority call it cheats is widely used, the majority of players nowadays that uses cheats will not change their ways or be bothered about the rants of a server owner. They call if fun, server owners call it a head ache. If you install a pretty impressive anti cheat be prepared to loose a chunk of your player base. This is true to new servers. 5. AGE DOES NOT MATTER: Do not guess the age of a player, threat them all as adults, under estimating your players can cost you a lot. I once experienced players where just taking advantage of mods and influencing server owners with lies just so a group of player can be dominant in the server. So I went ahead and disguised myself as a player and joined their group chat then I showed the server owner why he is loosing players. The said group where laughing at the server owner for being so trustful to players and thinks they are just little kids when the oldest of them was 27 years old lol. 6. AN IDEA IS FREE: Do not be afraid of other servers copying your idea, you cannot avoid this. A trained administrator can copy a server setup without breaking a sweat. Combined with a pretty good java coder then they can even do a better implementation of your Idea. What you can do is add more idea until they cannot keep up anymore(this can only last a while until a better server owner arises). Even plugin developers are struggling with keeping their ideas unique. In the end some jerk who knows everything will reply to this post that it is useless and will counter every word, yeah even here toxicity is prevalent. But dont let that faze you. I dont, I just do what I love to do and have fun while doing it. If your craving to create a famous server has subside there is no shame on calling it quits and cutting your losses. You can start again if you feel like it.