Gaming channels have witnessed exponential growth in India in the past 10 years, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the surge of newly minted gamers on Youtube.
In 2020 alone, the watch time of gaming channels totalled 100 billion hours, with 40 million active gaming channels and more than 80,000 YouTube Gaming creators hitting 1,00,000 subscribers. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years, with new streamers entering the market daily.
If you’re just getting started, it helps to have a guide. Read on for an overview of the basics and some tips and tricks for creating a profitable gaming channel.
Get Your Gear in Place
Put your best foot forward with the following tools:
A Solid Computer
You don’t need an ultra high tech computer to run a gaming channel. Games like Minecraft and Roblox work fine on an average computer. And when you are starting out, you can work with a basic CPU, GPU, and working webcam.
Console & PC/MAC
There is no particular console that you need to use. You can even do without a console altogether if you want to save money. If you decide to use a PC or MAC, there are a variety of free screen recorders that you can use to stream your game.
When it comes to screen recording via console, the method will vary depending on the kind of console you use. X-Box and PS-5 each have separate advanced features for screen recording.
Keep in mind that if you want professional and high clarity picture quality, using a screen recorder is a must. That, combined with using a good video editing tool, will push your video content over the edge.
Headphones and Microphones
While you don’t have to add commentary to your game stream, it can help with holding viewers’ attention. To ensure high-quality audio, you need to use quality microphones and headphones. If you are just starting out, you can use the built-in mic on your computer, However, a professional microphone will help improve the streaming experience for your audience and is well worth considering.
There’s nothing that ruins a streaming experience more than a dull background or fuzzy lighting. Ensure your audience can clearly see you and your surroundings by using professional lighting or even an affordable webcam ring light.
Lastly and most importantly, using a video editor will help make your content shine. You can use plenty of free video editors with excellent beginner and even pro-friendly features. Video editors come with inbuilt templates, music libraries, and much more. You can add fun backgrounds, colourful fonts, intros, and outros to make your video stand out from the competition and showcase your unique POV and style.
5 Tips to Ensure Your Gaming Channel is Optimized for Results
Focus on Games with Less Competition
If you are starting out, finding your niche is extremely important. With the large number of videos available on the platform, you need to know what games your channel should stream.
The best option is to avoid popular games as the competition for viewership will be high. Instead, choose lesser known and unique videos that you can build your expertise on.
Also, you don’t have to play games at all as a gaming channel. Instead of streaming yourself playing a game, maybe focus on creating a niche as a game review channel.
Another style of video could be competitive games. Maybe create a niche playing videos to break a record. These styles of videos are great to build anticipation and get a strong viewership eager to find out the results of your endeavor.
You can also include explainer videos that help your viewers understand how to play and win the game themselves. This is a great option for veteran players with tons of expertise who can help strangers understand the features and process.
Create a Unique Identity
Irrespective of the content you plan to create, you need to have a unique point of view or style. For example, if you are a natural storyteller, you can focus your channel on sharing unique game lore in an engrossing fashion. You can have funny commentary laced through your live streams if humour comes naturally to you.
To ensure your stream or pre-recorded video has a smooth flow, it helps if you create a script and plan a rough outline of how you want things to go. Over time, you can obviously riff extempore. But in the beginning, it helps to have a plan in place. Instead of streaming outside like scores of other YouTubers, find an interesting location, maybe something that matches the theme of your game and make your game stand out.
With all the competition for views, your videos need to consistently provide unique value. Focus on maximizing the usefulness of your content. Even something uniquely entertaining about your voiceover style is a form of value. Additionally, focus on teaching your viewers some new tricks or unique facts about the game and inspire them to try out the games themselves.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Did you know that 15% of all content on YouTube is related to video games? You need to cover your bases to stand out. Optimize your videos for easy searchability.
Consider search intent – what will your users enter into the search bar when they look for gaming videos to watch? Add those keywords and experiment based on results. When you are starting out and building a base, focus on keywords with less competition and create long-tail keywords highly targeted to user intent.
For example, say you are playing the game Minecraft; instead of adding Minecraft as one of the keywords, add a character name along with the game name to create a more optimized keyword.
Other aspects of optimization include adding a unique title, avoiding clickbait, creating eye-catching thumbnails specifically for your video and engaging with your community.
Ask for feedback on the community tab of YouTube, keep up to date with audience suggestions and criticisms, and engage with fellow gamers.
Follow the Rules
This is kind of a no brainer. A YouTube strike is a death knell for upcoming creators. Ensure you are doing things by the book. Make sure you don’t get a copyright strike by taking requisite permission and using original music and content. Remember, if you get 3 strikes from YouTube in 90 days, you videos will be removed for perpetuity, and you’ll lose the privilege to create a new channel.
Also, avoid creating content that turns advertisers off. Unless you are only creating videos for pleasure, monetization should be your main focus as a creator. And certain kinds of content – for instance, content with excessive violence, hateful content, or nudity – will turn advertisers off. Keep things clean and PG-rated and you are golden.
Remember, it takes time to build an audience and to ensure success, you need to constantly update your strategies. Do occasional analysis of your performance and improve wherever necessary. And last but not least, don’t go in blind without a budget or a plan.