It’d be a dream come true for some of us in the world to make a living (and then some) by just playing games all day. YouTube is a great way to share who you are and what you love to do. When you look at individuals and groups like PewDiePie, JackSepticEye, Markiplier, Vanoss Gaming, and so many others, it seems like it would be so easy to rise up and be the next gaming sensation. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like that, otherwise everyone that started a channel would get famous and be rich. Becoming a YouTuber is a fight.
I was one of those people that thought starting and maintaining a successful YouTube channel would be easy and at first it was. I uploaded videos a couple times a week and figured I was doing well. The only thing that began to discourage me was that my subscriber count was not moving at all.
KEYWORDS AND TAGGING
After about 3 weeks of uploads, I realized I wasn’t using the keywords (or tags) area of my video manager efficiently. I would throw in the title of my game with a few different variations of it and some basic words all amounting up to maybe 10 of the 25 tags I could use. On top of that, I was using tags that did nothing to help me get any higher in the search results.
After watching a few videos and reading a couple articles on Keywords and tagging, I got better. I also found ways to see other popular YouTuber’s video tags (some tags made no sense at all). After I could see the words they used to show up on top of the search results, my channel finally started growing. Not as fast as I liked, but faster than it had been.
Around my 15th video, I could tell from my uploads that I was getting better at my commentary, my editing was smoother, and I maintained a good upload schedule. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for what happened next.
COMMENTARY AND VIDEO QUALITY
I was comfortable at my 60-70 subscribers. I thought I was doing well for a beginner. Everyone makes those first 100 subs seem horrible to attain. I figured I was doing everything right and my channel was just about as good as it was going to get. I uploaded my 17th video one night and figured I would awake to maybe 20 to 50 views on it the next morning. I couldn’t have been any more wrong.
I remember getting ready for work that morning, going through my normal routine. While brushing my teeth I decided to check my phone and see how my video had done overnight. I had to stop brushing when I saw the number of views. That upload had received over 1,000 views just that night! That’s not much compared to bigger YouTubers, but for a guy just starting out that’s still awkward behind a microphone, that was the epitome of becoming famous.
However, as all good things, this too came to pass as I scrolled down to the comments. It was that day that I learned I had a very long road to go if I wanted to make it anywhere as a YouTuber. People made fun of my voice, the music I chose, the way I played the game, and so on.
In the midst of haters, came the people that actually criticized me in a helpful way. I learned that my “freehand” commentary wasn’t cutting it, so I began creating a script for each episode I made so that I wouldn’t have any pauses when I was looking for the next thing to say. The script kept me on point and gave me a confident tone. I knew what I was going to say and how I was going to say it.
My editing changed, I put more time in making sure the shots were the “right”ones. The volume levels were set better, My intro and outro were changed to look more professional and had shorter duration. Editing took so much longer to do, but the videos looked better than they ever had.
WHY AND WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU
We all come to a realization in the hobbies we have eventually. Sometimes more than once. The realization that what we are doing is no longer fun. I met that devil a few times. I despised editing, the games I was playing were no longer enjoyable, the entire process took all my time after work and most of it on the weekends. I finally had to set my YouTube “career” aside.
I still made videos occasionally, but not to the extent that I used to. I would go weeks at a time without uploading which is never good for a channel. What was important though is that I enjoyed that. I gamed on my terms and it felt great. When I finally came back to looking at YouTube professionally, I had a better sense of what was required and a fresh mind to think things through.
I found that livestreams were the best content for me. I could make them quickly, enjoy the game I was playing, and there was little to no editing (post-editing is minimal).
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Take advantage of all 25-30 tags.
- Look at other videos’ keywords through source coding (it’s really easy).
- Keep your videos between 5-10 minutes if possible. People don’t always have 20 minutes to watch you play games!
- Figure out if editing is something you’d like putting 5+ hours into. If not, do livestreams or walkthroughs.
- Find social communities to share your video links in.
- Focus on quality 100% of the time because you never know which video is going to blow up overnight.
- Figure out what type of commentary you’re good at. Freestyle or Scripted.
- Make sure each video has an eye catching thumbnail.
- Clickbait is horrible, but that is what the world has come to. Just try not to get too far away from your topic. (Ex: Don’t make a Quick Scope montage then use a thumbnail showing a girls boobs with the title of “She Can’t Even”)
- Use a name that is easy to say. Nobody will remember “xXIt’s TimmyXx 365”
- Try to be original with each video. If I wanted to watch someone do trick shots on Call of Duty, I’d watch Faze players or something.