World Anvil for Professional Worldbuilders in Workflows for World Anvil Knowledge Base | World Anvil

World Anvil for Professional Worldbuilders

This workflow is designed to help professionals (and aspiring professionals) set up your world in World Anvil. It’ll guide you through ways you can use the World Anvil features to build your follower base, or to directly monetise access to content in your world through Patreon, Kofi, or your own webstore!


Links lead to more information and guides about the specific features mentioned.



  1. Getting started with your product on World Anvil
    Create your vision, set up team access.
  2. Figuring out your business model
    Will you monetize your content right away or build an audience first?
  3. Setting up your world for your audience
    Don’t wait to start building your audience! Here’s how to start building your audience as you develop your product.
  4. Features to help guide your audience
    Learn more about how to optimize your content, to guide your readers to your calls to action!
  5. Visual theming and branding
    Make your world look the way it feels with images, visual themes, CSS and more
  6. Sharing your world and building your audience
    How to share your world with others, and get people excited about your current and future products!
  7. Extras
    Hire a World Anvil Power User to help you, or get in touch with questions.

1. Getting started with your product on World Anvil

If you’ve already created your first world and product, skip to Part 2!


Refine the dream

We recommend starting with the Worldbuilding Meta section on World Anvil, if you’re starting a world from scratch.




For most professional worldbuilders, the journey to create a Product (whether that’s a novel, a campaign setting or anything else) begins by developing a clear understanding of what your world is about and what you’re trying to achieve, both with your setting and your products. The worldbuilding meta is a great way to start that process.


For more product and business guidance, head over to the Professional Portal to check out the pro-seminars on “What’s my Product”, “the Business Canvas Model”, and “Developing your Brand Identity” (Sage Tier users only).


Build the setting, but don't over-build

Once you have a clear idea of your setting and your product, flesh out the world as much as necessary to achieve your purpose.


Start by setting your world to private, if you haven’t already. Then set the Article forced privacy state - it makes sure that when your world goes public, articles are created as private by default.


Use the worldbuilding templates to start fleshing out the important things in your world. Once you’re comfortable creating articles, the quick worldbuilding buttons will help speed this up even more.


The interactive maps and the timelines are also core worldbuilding features that will help you describe your setting more clearly.


Working with a team

If you’re co-writing, or working with editors, beta-readers or assistant writers, make sure you get them set up! Add your coauthors (they’ll need a free World Anvil account) so they have access to all the paid features and content within your world.


You can also toggle Open Secrets, to let your team members see secrets (or not!). This is especially useful for co-DMs and West Marches style games, or when players are assisting a GM.


Another useful feature is the Visibility Toggle, which allows you to quickly hide/show sections in your world. Under Configuration -> Display you can give co-authors access to the visibility toggle.


Start making the product...

Start making THE PRODUCT! Write your book using Manuscripts, flesh out your campaign setting with the worldbuilding templates, or set up the world of your Live Streamed or Podcast Campaign, your professional DMing business, or your West Marches Campaign!


Just remember: you do not need to have finished THE PRODUCT to start building your audience! In fact, it’s good to build your audience as you build your product, and sharing some teasers of it on World Anvil is great for that!




...DON'T wait until you're finished to build your audience!

The time to build your audience is BEFORE your first product is released, not AFTER, so don’t wait to follow the next steps!


When you’re creating a product, you already have a good idea of what kind of person will love it.


And as you build your world on World Anvil, you’re already creating materials you can use for advertising. Make sure you’re leveraging the power of your platform to start building a hype squad for your new book, game, stream, or graphic novel!


How? That depends on your business model…


2. Figuring out your business model (for now)

World Anvil is a great place to grow and consolidate an audience, or build your brand as a creator. If you have previously had content in many different locations, it’s a great hub to bring everything together. It’s also a fantastic place to monetize your world, your products, and your services.


This next section is about figuring out what’s right for you right now: whether you’re ready to monetize already, or you’re just getting started.


Subscribers & Subscriber groups: for paid access to your content

Are you ready to monetize your world right now? On World Anvil, you can give exclusive access to content (either whole pieces of content, or sections) using Subscriber Groups. If you’re starting to monetize your world, this is the best way to do it using World Anvil.


Subscriber Groups are a great way to give exclusive access to content for:

  • Patreon or Ko-fi backer rewards & exclusives
  • Paid players for Pro-GMs, LARPs or West Marches Games
  • Customer access to purchased products on World Anvil (books, adventure modules, campaign settings), or added-value additions, like interactive or virtual versions of print or PDF books
  • Kickstarter backers for Development Updates or Work in Progress content
  • Beta Readers and Play Testers
  • Newsletter or Twitch subscriber bonus extras

This is how many Anvilites already monetize their worlds and build their audiences.

Once you know your planned business model, you’ll know which kinds of Subscriber Groups you need to set up. Start simple, and you can always get more granular later. Then give access to your Subscriber Groups whenever you create content intended for them exclusively.


Once you’re ready to open up your world to your Subscribers, there are a variety of ways to mass-add subscribers to your groups:


Followers: to drive engagement in your world

If you’re just starting out with your world, your current goal may be for World Followers, rather than selling a product using Subscriber Groups. In that case, focus on Follower features and rewards. These features will help you!

  • Push updates to your followers when you publish an article to keep them excited about your world
  • Create content under User States (logged in, logged out, follower, notfollower) to incentivize non-followers to follow your world, and non-logged-in users to create an account so they can!
  • Use the + Follow button (found in Configure world -> Tools & Advanced actions -> world widgets) in global sections of your world, only visible to those who aren’t following yet
  • Name your Followers to create a themed sense of camaraderie amongst your world’s followers
  • Use the Hashtag Pages to grow your audience

For example, you can create a “notfollower” text that says: “There’s a secret here - follow the world to find out what it is!” and include +Follow button. Then create some secret lore in the world for followers only (explained in this guide).


Leave it all public/private to start building an audience

Another way to handle this is to start by simply having public-for-all and private-for-you sections of your world. This is a good way to grow your audience, if that’s your focus right now. You can use subscriber group containers set to just you, and the visibility toggle button, to set that up. You can always introduce Subscriber Groups later.


When are you ready to go live with your world?

Worlds are never finished! All you really need to go live with your world is:

  • An introduction to your world
  • A few public articles
  • A compelling homepage
  • A simple Call To Action (“Follow my World” is a good start!)

Maybe you’re not ready for monetization yet, but it’s a great time to start growing your audience.


If you're:

  • Still writing your book
  • In the planning or production phase of your kickstarter
  • Still building or testing your campaign setting and system

...then this is a great time to get people onboard with your vision. You can offer your Patreon backers early access, play tester rights, beta reader access, etc via World Anvil. And you can grow brand awareness, expanding the pool of people who have heard of your product and are excited about it.


As you build more of your world, and complete your product, you’ll grow your offering too. This is especially important if you’re self-publishing or launching by Kickstarter or similar crowdfunding platforms. Your audience should be ready before your product is.


The big secret here? Remember why it’s exciting to you, and share that enthusiasm and value as clearly as you can with others. World Anvil is a great platform to do that, and you can release regular author updates, embed videos and images, and share the journey of development as well as working towards completing your product.


3. Setting up your world for your audience(s)

What's your Call to Action right now?

Now you have a plan for monetizing your world (or simply growing your audience) and you’re thinking of going live, so it's time to figure out your Call to Action.


When people hit your page, what do you want them to do? “Follow my world for updates”, “sign up to my Patreon”, or “preorder the book”? These are all Calls to Action, and they’re a great way to encourage casual viewers to become audience members.


Consider what your goal is for your audience right now, based on the business model you decided in Step 2.


If you don't have the product ready yet, this might be a FREE goal to aid your audience and growth (e.g. Follow my world/socials, create a character, sign up for my newsletter/playtest).


If you already have a product, this could also be (or lead to) a PAID goal (e.g. buy a seat at my table, join my Patreon for full access, buy the novel, download the playtest, read the first chapter for free).


You may even have a series of Calls to Action, which guide your viewers on a User Journey. Your calls to action should be presented at critical moments in the user journey, to help your user decide what to do next. Never give them a choice of more than two (it’s confusing)!


Check out the Sage Seminars on the Professional Portal to learn more Crafting User Journeys (Sage Tier users only).


What's public and what's hidden?

You have your business model, your call to action, and your plan for subscriber groups (or no subscriber groups, depending on your goal).


Now it's time to figure out which parts of your world will be private, which will be paid-only (or exclusive), and which will be public to everyone.


If you have specific bundles of content for exclusive access, you might want to create category folders for them, like “Deleted Scenes for Patreons”, “Paid Player Access”, “Adventure Modules” etc. If you have a simple set up, you can also use a single category, such as “Patreon Exclusives” as a catch all.


If you go this route, I also recommend organizing exclusive content by tags to make it quicker to find. That way, you can use a tagged list inside a subscriber group container to show all the available content at once, only to those who have access!


If your exclusive information is more integrated into your world, like individual pins on a map, events on a timeline or blocks of information within articles, you’ll need to use subscriber groups and subscriber containers to give access.


If your goal is gaining Followers, set up access using the User States.


Make sure you’re including your Call to Action wherever public access ends, to encourage your audience to take the next step.


4. Features to help guide your audience

Your content is amazing, of that I’m certain! But here are some tools to help your readers navigate and absorb your content more easily.


Improve navigation

  • Set up Linear Navigation to guide users through a specific path (like character set up)
  • Decide whether you’ll engage Tooltips and Block Headers to help readers learn more about other articles
  • Make sure you’re linking your articles together, and using the article autolinker!
  • Embed Tables of Content or tagged lists of articles of statblocks in side panels, to help your audience identify similar content
  • Embed categories, books or breadcrumbs to help your audience navigate your world
  • Embed Manuscripts to share chapters of prose with your audience
  • Set up a Custom access denied page and engage Show Secure Links to reinforce your Call to Action

Improve readability

  • Use Columns BBCode for wide panels (best for web reading)
  • Use Anchor texts or Article Table of Contents for jumping to specific places in long articles
  • Break up paragraphs with images, quotes, read alouds, containers, and embedded sound and video
  • Use headers, bullet points and tables to help people quickly learn more about your world.
  • Use variables to help with odd pronunciations, add useful context, or allow you to add useful information used in multiple pages (e.g. content warnings, information for players, etc)

Make things interactive where you can!

Let your audience explore your world in different ways with:

  • Interactive maps
  • Whiteboards
  • Content trees
  • Diplomacy webs
  • Family trees

Check out the Sage Seminar on the Professional Portal about “Discursive User Journeys: leading your audience down the rabbit hole!” (Sage Tier users only).


Build a clear and welcoming homepage

What’s your world about? Your world’s homepage is the flagship of your world, so spend some time adding important content here to share your world’s vision with others.

  • Set a World introduction - an elevator pitch can be very helpful here - but make sure it’s not too long.
  • Use the custom Homepage Blocks to further customize your homepage and excite your audience. Then ask them to follow your Call to Action, making it clear what they get if they do. Find them under Configuration -> Homepage -> Custom Content.
  • If one map is critical for your setting, you can select a Master Map (Configuration -> Display -> Global Content) to appear at the top of EVERY article page in your world.
  • Add an introductory article, like a Player Primer Article or Reader Introduction Article, to explain a bit more about the world for your interested audience. Make sure you’ve put it somewhere obvious, like as a block embed at the bottom of the World Introduction, with a clear explanation about why someone should read it!

5. Visual theming and branding for your World Anvil world

Everyone wants their world to look its best! Before you put your world public, here are some things you can do to spruce up your world.


Simple visual theming tricks (no CSS needed)

There’s a lot of theming you can do on World Anvil without touching any code!


Fancy tricks using CSS

CSS takes time to learn, but if you decide to go this route, it gives you a huge amount of freedom to customise your World Anvil world exactly as you wish.


There are many custom CSS Designers in our community who can be commissioned, if you choose to invest in your own custom CSS theme but don’t want to develop it yourself. You’ll find a lot of them on our Community Discord.


6. Sharing your world and building your audience

Once your world is created, your information access is organized, and your world is visually themed, it’s time to start sharing what you have with others!


Sharing outside World Anvil

Sharing your world takes work, but it’s the best way to grow your audience!

  • Share your articles on Social Media! A tantalizing snippet and a quick screenshot go a long way to getting people excited about your work. You can ping @worldanvil in too - we might share it!
  • Use the Discord integration to push your articles to your own, dedicated Discord server, to keep your fans engaging with your work.
  • Share Password protected articles for gamified, limited or one-off teaser/feedback access! These are great for newsletters, social media, or even podcasts and livestreams.
  • If you have your own website or blog, add your World Anvil’s RSS Feed for a stream of your latest work.

Sharing your world inside World Anvil

Inside World Anvil, there are a variety of ways to share your world with the community, and grow your audience.

  • Request promotion in the Professional Portal for shout outs on the official World Anvil channels (Sage Exclusive)
  • Use the “notify followers” panel (article edit interface, below the publish buttons!) when you publish a new article. Be sure not to spam it, though, or you’ll lose followers.
  • Add Social Links (Configuration -> Social) to your world homepage and articles to grow your following across other platforms too.
  • Use Discussion Boards for discussion topics or even Play by Post games to engage your followers, (and use “notify World Followers”, or make them Subscriber Exclusive)
  • Journal entries: journal entries can be created under your Author’s Profile, and can be “posted globally” which means they appear on the community dashboard. They’ll also be pushed to your followers. Add hashtags and they’ll appear on the Trending hashtag Pages, helping you find new audience!
  • Challenges and competitions: these are rallying points for our community. Taking part in a challenge is a good way to get noticed! Winners of challenges are often also selected for Featured Articles on the World Anvil dashboard.
  • Guild Showcase: Our Discord community is the buzzing heart of World Anvil, and our #showcase-channel is a dedicated spot for sharing your best work.
  • Make sure community features are enabled, and go comment on a few people’s worlds - chances are, they’ll comment back!

SEO & Analytics

If you’re looking to improve your SEO for organic discovery these features will help you:

  • Set up SEO Metadata options for your world homepage
  • Set up Google analytics for your World Anvil world

7. Extras

Especially for our Sage tier, we offer you promotion via official World Anvil channels when your products come out! Let us know by filling the form on the Professional Portal!


Interested in hiring a World Anvil Power User from our community, to help you with data entry, IP management, maintenance, or CSS? Fill out this form to get started.


Want more workflows or guides? Let us know what you need help with at contact[at]