How To Start A YouTube Gaming Channel
Before you read on. If you have the basics of your channel sorted please move onto this article all about growing your channel.
Hey team Stickman here and today we're going to give you the basics of starting your gaming channel.
You'll be hearing from myself Stickman(est. June 2015) and Ste-Zus(est. April 2015).
So what qualifies us to write such an article? Decide for yourselves (our channels are linked right there). We have both been consistent with YouTube for many months now. Growing our channels and helping others grow as well. We have both successfully started and grown our channels and we want to share our knowledge. This article is everything we know about starting a YouTube gaming channel.
We'll be keeping things basic, friendly and informal
Let's get to it.
Ste: Congratulations! You’ve created your channel but you still haven’t ‘created’ it. By this I mean things like creating your logo, your banner and learning how to promote yourself efficiently
Stick: We're taking baby steps here. We need a basic mission/goal for our channel and to learn the basics of YouTube itself.
Who Are You?
Stick: Alright so you have a channel but who are you? Ask yourself a few things. What kind of games do you want to play? Do you want to do variety? Do you want to do indie? Or Horror?
What kind of personality are to going to be? Will you be yourself? Will you play a character? Will you be loud or quiet? Will you be using face cam?
What kinds of videos do you want to create? Machinimas? Long let's plays? Walkthroughs? Funny Moments?
Who do you want to see your videos?
How do you want people to feel when they watch your content?
An example straight form my own channel about section:
There are no wrong answers to these questions, they are there to give you guidance and direction as you start (or refresh) your YouTube journey.
Keep in mind this can change at any time and you are free to do what you want with your creative drive.
Ste: So this is where your channel really becomes your own. Your logo and banner should be what sets you apart from all the others 'Stickman edit'"or simply stands out as being unique to you". Be BOLD without being over the top. Look at your favourite you tubers currently what is there logo like?
Thumbnails & Channel Art
Ste: Do not worry you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz kid, even basic skills are more than enough. If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop don’t fret there are thousands if not more other options out there to help you. I personally used GIMP for a long time. Whilst not as powerful as Photoshop, it has its perks, one of which is being 100% FREE! Who doesn’t like free stuff!? It’s also a good way to practice skills to use Photoshop later.
This is going to be the first thing potential viewers will see. Make sure it’s catchy, lettering is clear and no over-bearing colours. Don’t fall into the “I’ll let my video do the talking” routine, it’s a bad habit and it will very rarely work for you. (Trust me I know) 'Stickman edit'" a video absent a thumbnail is not a death sentence for the video but represents a potential loss of views".
You can use a screen print from your video with some simplistic text on it as long as it’s clear and catchy.
Stick: Like he said don't stress on it, we're only getting started here. Paint.net is another great free resource to create thumbnails. Your main goal is to have the thumbnail clicked buy people unfamiliar with your channel.
Some tips from me. Keep things big(legible), make things click worthy, NEVER use the bottom right corner of your thumbnail. YouTubes recommended thumbnail size is 1280x720 (1920x1080 is the same ratio fyi). YouTubes recommended banner size is 2560x1440. Your Google+ profile still takes care of your channel icon.
A useful thumbnail guide was created but Damnlag member AHeapOfGames. See it here. One thing missing form this guide is avoiding the bottom right hand corner of your thumbnail at all costs!
Creating and Sharing Videos
Ste: First and foremost your video should be something you are proud of. Is it something you would want to watch for 5 minutes, 15 minutes or longer? If so, good, if not, don’t worry many of us have been through this. We have spent hours editing and rendering only to realise we didn’t like it. This is all a part of growth, no one is perfect.
So you’ve uploaded your first video? AWESOME but it’s not going to get views on its own now is it? Every man and their dog(cat) has a channel these days. You need to promote it and let your potential audience know you're there. Otherwise you're like a guy winking at a girl in a nightclub, nobody but you knows what you’ve done. Join some communities, find similar channels make friends. Twitter is great! I cannot stress how much fun it is.
'Stickman edit'"once you have decided on what communities you will be active on follow this advice" AVOID LINK DUMPING! Link dumping is finding subreddits, forums, Facebook pages, etc. and putting a link to your video with a “click bait” title and expecting you’ll get famous from that. C’mon we both know that isn’t going to work, 'Stickman edit'"this is an extreme example but you get the idea, if your post isn't genuine it won't come off as genuine to others" you’re in these communities for a reason. Make friends by TALKING, join in conversations and avoid things like ‘HEY NICE VIDEO! I make videos too check them out’ stuff like that. It’s a turn off for anyone. It’s an arduous process but it pays off, trust me!
Stick: trust him .
So Ste disjointedly smashed that one out of the park. To sum it up you want to create the highest quality videos you can and share them across communities and social platforms whilst also being active within said communities and platforms. To touch briefly on video quality the standard these days is 1080p 60fps video. Don't worry if you can't achieve that yet as long as you keep it in mind and work towards it. You want to apply the highest quality commentary you possibly can to every video. The better looking a video the better it is to watch and we all know humans love to look at pretty things. Remember every video is potentially the first exposure of your content to a viewer. You want everything you create to be an advertisement for more. One final thing you need to get started with your videos is audio audio audio.
Stick: Here's the thing, you can get away with sub par audio to start if you are giving good information or good commentary. It will affect your viewer retention and it will lower your chances of converting a viewer to a subscriber. Game Audio is important to keep in check too. Make sure your recording software is capable of capturing the sounds you desire. Remember to record your game audio and voice audio separate every time possible.
Stick: Keep in mind some basic things. Noise removal, probably the most important part of your audio is how clear it can sound. Noise removal will give you a nice clear voice sound without background interference. The other thing is volume levels. Ever watched a video where it gets really quiet then really loud and you are there with one hand on the volume knob? We want to avoid that. To keep is simple, Damnlag member Waistel has created a guide for the free program Audacity showing you how to keep your volume level and remove noise. See it here.
Intro & Outro
Stick: Okay so you're a new channel. We need to talk about your introduction. Think about this carefully and critically. Is your introduction before videos relevant? Ten seconds of a shaking word with some dubstep playing is not a good way to introduce yourself unless you have content that is the same energy level and style. Again think about this. Is your introduction longer than five seconds? Why? Remember we want people to watch our videos not tune out before you start or leave when they realise your introduction doesn't match your content. If your introduction is longer than ten seconds REMOVE IT NOW. It's rude to expect regular viewers, random viewers, subscriber and friends to sit through a long introduction before videos. Please consider this one for me team
What about your verbal introduction? How long do you talk before getting into the meat of the video? If it's longer than ten seconds, again why are you expecting someone to sit through it before they see your content.
This can be flexible depending on the series the content and the status of your channel. As a general rule the less time you take to get to the action of the video the less time you give someone to click away from your content.
Outros should be treated similar to your intros. When your video is finished feel free to say your call to action and anything else. Remember the longer you talk the longer you are giving people to click off before seeing annotations to your next videos. Speaking of annotations they should share space with your outro to maximise click through rates (if this sounds confusing don't fret there are more articles to consume). Outro slates are fine and like your intro they should be relevant to your style of video and not too long.
Promotion & Networking
Ste: So we’ve already touched on this a little bit, let’s recap: Link Dumps = what? That’s right a big fat NO.
Places like Reddit are always good, get active in related subreddits, for example, you have a GTA V video, find the GTA V sub, 'Stickman edit'"and post your video there with a relevant title description and a comment to create a discussion". If you have questions about your channel, or want to get to know fellow LPers (Lets Players) head over to the r/Letsplaysubreddit always fun things going over there and as long as you’re not trying to selfishly promote they will happily help.
Places like here (Damnlag) are also fantastic for growing your channel! You’ll make friends and get loads of help for your videos and channels we are here to help it’s what we do. Again don’t just link dump then refresh your YouTube dashboard waiting for the views to flood in, yes there are promo areas, put them in, but also GIVE FEED BACK TO OTHER VIDEOS! Get involved in the chat box, we have it for a reason! JUST REMEMBER TO READ THE RULES! (no links, no promotion, don’t just jump in say hey guys I’ve got a new video out or hey I’m about to stream and then leave, make sure you talk to us, we’re not all that scary I promise, we were once if your position).
SEO & Tags
Ste: STICK THIS IS YOUR DOMAIN IM GOING TO ROLL MY FACE ON THE KEYBOARD!!!WASTDYRTJYHEGRWADQRESTYDTUHJYKMNG BRFVETREHAJREHREAH
BOOOBIES BOOBIES BOOBIES BOOBIES BOOBIES BOOBIES
Stick: Ahem. Search Engine Optimisation can be daunting and complicated. In fact the next article in this series focuses on it and reaches four thousand words. What you need to know to get started with SEO is this. Your title and description want to have as much relevant information about your video as possible. So if you had a video about a game your title needs to have the game name and something about the game (nothing about your channel or any other nonsense). Your description needs to repeat what you said in your title a couple of times without spamming. Write a small paragraph using your keywords. Then fill your description with pasted information about the game, links to the game, links to yourself, links to other videos you have made etc.
Now, HEY LISTEN. DO NOT USE ONE WORD TAGS, DO NOT USE YOUTUBE RECOMMENDED TAGS, DO NOT USE THE NAMES OF OTHER YOUTUBERS IN TAGS, DO NOT USE IRRELEVANT PHRASES IN YOUR TAGS!
So what do you use? One tag for your channel name, one tag for the game name. The rest of your tags should be relevant searches related to the game and your video. If you type the game name into YouTube the drop down will show you top searches, use those for your tags.
One more time, HEY LISTEN. DO NOT USE ONE WORD TAGS, DO NOT USE YOUTUBE RECOMMENDED TAGS, DO NOT USE THE NAMES OF OTHER YOUTUBERS IN TAGS, DO NOT USE IRRELEVANT PHRASES IN YOUR TAGS!
And again, HEY LISTEN. DO NOT USE ONE WORD TAGS, DO NOT USE YOUTUBE RECOMMENDED TAGS, DO NOT USE THE NAMES OF OTHER YOUTUBERS IN TAGS, DO NOT USE IRRELEVANT PHRASES IN YOUR TAGS!
Stick: Alright team how'd we find that one hope you enjoyed and as always don't be scared to leave us some feedback.
Ste: Remember this is only a guide not a bible to live by (all though it helps, I use a lot of this as a check list). We do hope you enjoyed what you've read and if you have anything to ask or need something to be clarified or even want to give us some feedback? Then by all means feel free, but until then... PEACE!
Stickman Feb 2016
Ste-Zus Feb 2016
How To Grow A YouTube Gaming Channel
How To Start A YouTube Gaming Channel
Congratulations! You’ve created your channel but you still haven’t ‘created’ it. There are still a lot of things to learn to get established.
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