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Starting a gaming channel on YouTube can be a fun and rewarding way to share your love of gaming with the world. However, it can also be a competitive and challenging space, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you start.
To be honest, the days of just uploading a random video of you playing your favorite video game and getting millions of views are gone.
If you want to get started on the right foot and even have a chance at breaking into the gaming world, you are going to have to do one of three things:
- Be the first.
- Be the best.
- Be different.
In today’s age of content creation and Tiktok, it’s almost impossible to be the first, the best, and be different.
But you can be one of them.
And most of the time, you will find that creators try to do things differently to attract new viewers. This is going to be the key for new creators!
Here are some steps to help you get started on your journey to creating a successful gaming channel on YouTube:
1. Choose a gaming channel niche
One of the first things you’ll need to do when starting a gaming channel is to choose a niche.
You’re probably thinking “uh…gaming is my niche!”
Sorry but, gaming in and of itself is very broad. Especially for a new creator in such a competitive niche.
When you first start your channel, you need to focus on one sub-niche of gaming.
This will help you define your channel’s focus and target audience. It will also make it easier for you to stand out in a crowded market.
Some popular niches within the gaming industry include:
- Retro gaming
- Mobile gaming
- PC gaming
- Console gaming
2. Choose a profitable channel name and branding
Your channel name and branding will be the first thing that viewers see when they visit your channel. So it’s important to put some thought into them.
It can be very tempting to try and mimic another popular creator’s channel name but trust me, that is not the smartest idea.
It will come back to bite you in the backside at some point.
Your channel name should be memorable and easy to spell, and it should accurately represent the content you plan to create.
You should also create a logo or banner for your channel that will be displayed at the top of your page. This should be visually appealing and consistent with your channel’s overall branding.
3. Get the right equipment
To create high-quality content for your gaming channel, you’ll need the right equipment.
At a minimum, you’ll need a good-quality microphone and a webcam or capture card to record your gameplay.
Those are just the basics.
However, if you are looking to really take things to the next level, here is a list of things that you can start out with:
- Gaming PC or Console:
- Capture Card (for Consoles):
- A good webcam is essential for face cam footage.
- The Logitech C920/C922 series is a popular choice among YouTubers and streamers for its video quality and affordability.
- Headset or Microphone/Headphone Combo:
- For live streaming or multiplayer gaming, invest in a good headset with a built-in microphone.
- Alternatively, you can use a separate microphone and headphones for better audio quality.
- Video Editing Software:
- Screen Recording Software:
- Software like OBS Studio, XSplit, or Nvidia ShadowPlay (for Nvidia GPU users) is necessary for capturing gameplay on PC.
- Graphics Card (for PC Gaming):
- A powerful graphics card is essential for running games smoothly at high settings and recording gameplay without significant performance drops.
- Storage Space:
- Invest in sufficient storage space, preferably SSDs for faster loading times and responsiveness.
- Gaming and video files can take up a lot of space.
- Consider a high-resolution, high-refresh-rate monitor for an immersive gaming experience.
- A secondary monitor is helpful for managing your streaming software, chat, and other tools while gaming.
- Streaming and Capture Software:
- Familiarize yourself with streaming and capture software like OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS, which are essential for live streaming and recording gameplay.
- Green Screen (Optional):
- If you want to use green screen effects in your videos or streams, invest in a good-quality green screen and lighting setup.
- Proper lighting is crucial for video quality. Softbox lights or ring lights can help eliminate shadows and provide even illumination.
- Controller or Keyboard/Mouse:
- Choose input devices that suit your gaming style and preferences, whether it’s a gamepad, keyboard, or mouse.
- Internet Connection:
- A stable and fast internet connection is vital for live streaming and online gaming. Consider an ethernet connection for a more reliable connection.
- Backup Equipment:
- Have backup equipment (microphones, headphones, etc.) in case of technical issues during a live stream or recording.
Remember that while high-quality equipment can improve your content, your creativity and passion for gaming are the things that are going to really make you stand out. There are a lot of tech-heads out there with all the right equipment but they are lacking that extra spark that allows people to connect with them.
Don’t get overwhelmed by this list of items. Start with the essentials and gradually upgrade as your channel grows.
4. Create a content schedule
To keep your viewers coming back for more, you’ll need to consistently upload new content to your channel. To do this, it’s a good idea to create a content schedule that outlines what you’ll be uploading and when.
This could be daily, weekly, or even monthly, depending on your available time and resources.
You may be wondering why this is even important? You are new, no one is watching anyways, right?
Well, yes and no.
You never know when your channel is going to take off. The fact that people can rely on you putting on content is very important. As someone who has been on YouTube myself since the very beginning, I know that as I viewer, I will forget creators if they don’t post.
More importantly, having a content schedule helps you to be consistent. It’s about establishing a routine that works well for you and your lifestyle.
If you are publishing every day and notice that it is not working for you, you can quickly make some adjustments.
The fact that you are a new content creator gives you more liberty and flexibility. You are able to tweak and change things without having to worry how millions of people are going to receive it.
So take the opportunity in the beginning to adjust as much as you like.
5. Promote your Gaming channel
So, you’ve set up your epic gaming channel on YouTube, and now it’s time to let the world know about it. But fear not, promoting your channel can be as fun as playing your favorite games! Think of it as the quest to gather allies in the gaming realm.
First off, make sure your channel looks professional and is decked out with catchy thumbnails, an awesome banner, and an intriguing channel trailer that leaves viewers wanting more. Then, dive into the gaming community on social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Discord.
Share your epic gameplay highlights, engage in conversations, and drop subtle hints about your channel. Join gaming forums and be an active member—show your gaming prowess and make friends along the way.
Collaborations are like joining forces with fellow adventurers. Team up with other gaming creators for exciting collabs, challenges, or tournaments. It’s a win-win; you both get to share each other’s audience and have a blast doing it. And don’t forget the power of live-streaming!
6. Engage with your audience
One of the keys to success on YouTube is building a strong and engaged community of followers. To do this, you’ll need to regularly interact with your viewers by responding to comments, asking for feedback, and promoting user-generated content.
This is how you grow a loyal following from the very beginning of your journey! When people take their time to comment, it shows that you really engaged them in some way. So it it important to at least like the comment if you don’t have time to write a full comment or reply.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your personality shine through. Crack some jokes, share your gaming tips, and embrace those funny moments and epic fails. Respond to comments and questions like you’re chatting with friends, because, hey, you are! And don’t forget those fun giveaways, challenges, or Q&A sessions; they’re like the bonus levels of your channel.
In the world of gaming, camaraderie is everything, and your viewers are your loyal teammates. So, grab your controller, hit that record button, and let’s embark on this exciting adventure together. Game on, and let the good times roll!
7. Monetize Your Gaming Channel
If you’re serious about making a career out of your gaming channel, you’ll need to monetize it.
If you are a newer channel, it will take some time before you can join the Youtube Partner Program. However, this does not mean that you can’t make money in other ways!
There are several ways to monetize a YouTube channel, including through ads, sponsorships, merchandise, and memberships.
These are all great alternative ways to generate income from your content.
One thing that is going to be your best friend is affiliate marketing. This involves joining programs that will pay you for referring customers to their products.
This is by far one of the easiest ways for newcomers to start making some money before getting thousands of subscribers.
I have written several articles about affiliate marketing so they can all be found on my website.
Creating a gaming channel on YouTube can be a fun and rewarding way to share your love of gaming with the world.
But I am not going to blow smoke up your YOU-KNOW-WHAT: It’s a tough niche!
However, it’s also a niche where you can grow a loyal following very quickly just by being yourself! This is the reason so many people love gaming communities. You don’t need to be a rich, big-shot YouTube to succeed. Time and time again we have seen people come from very humble backgrounds that have grown exponentially.