10 Tips On How To Grow Your YouTube Gaming Channel
In this post I’m going to be sharing 10 Tips On How To Grow Your YouTube Gaming Channel.
Every day I’m sent links to YouTube channels that need a lot of improvement. This post is a public service, but it’s also a a little selfish. I don’t want to see such crappy YouTube channels ever again, so I want to pass on some of the knowledge that I have amassed from my time on YouTube onto you guys.
I’ve got around 14.7k subscribers at the time of writing this post and I’m getting over 150k views a month. I’m growing pretty steadily and I think I can help a lot of your channels out, especially if you’re just starting out.
Let’s get into it.
1. Focus Your Channel On Making Tutorial Videos And Tip Videos
Firstly, if you have a low amount of subscribers – less than 20k – then focus your channel on tip videos, tutorials and reviews. You can focus on whatever game you like as long as it’s mildly popular, but we’ll get into that later.
Tutorials, tip videos and reviews are what we call hygiene content. This is content that will draw people into your channel. People actively search for things like “What is the best gun in Call Of Duty Black Ops 3” but most people are not searching for CyborgCockroach’s Call Of Duty Black Ops 3 Story Walkthrough Part 9.
Let’s plays and gaming commentaries are great content for existing subscribers but they are near enough useless at attracting new subscribers unless you’re posting a let’s play of a new game and you’re posting it early. To put it bluntly, if you have 23 subscribers and you’re posting let’s plays and gaming commentaries, you’ll likely find that nobody really cares. There’s a slim chance of you being discovered this way and it’s pretty much a waste of time.
I’ve got tip videos and tutorial videos that have over 100k views, but on my gaming commentary videos I’m lucky to break 1000 views.
2. Pick A Game That’s Mildly Popular
At one point I focused my YouTube channel EA Sports UFC 2 and I did that for two reasons. First of all, I love the UFC games. I’ve loved them ever since I played UFC undisputed in like 2009, so focusing on that game was fun for me. I enjoyed almost every video I made about the game as I really enjoy the franchise. Secondly, I got the game when it came out so it was mildly popular – nowhere near as popular as Call Of Duty or Minecraft, but those games have a bunch of big YouTubers playing them already so the competition is wild.
There’s not nearly as many channels covering UFC 2 as those other games and that gave me a good chance to be discovered. Also, as I was making helpful tip videos and tutorials at such a rapid pace, I had a good chance to be the go-to channel for tips and tutorials on UFC 2.
It’s much better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.
Make sure you pick a game you like. If you like the game you’re focusing on you’ll make much better content and you’ll be excited to do so. If you’re not having fun, you’ll probably end up burning out and quitting. It’s hard work to grow your YouTube gaming channel when you do it right, so it needs to be hard work that you enjoy.
3. Turn Your Subscribers Into Fans
Livestream or do gaming commentary videos to showcase your personality and build a relationship with your subscribers. This is called hub content. You can also do vlogs and similar content – just make content that showcases you so your subscribers can connect to you.
4. Create Playlists
90% of the time when I click on a random small YouTube gaming channel it looks like complete and utter crap. A big reason for this is that it isn’t utilising playlists. If your channel just consists of your uploaded videos from way back when then you need to change that ASAP. It looks unprofessional and it’s hard for anyone to see what your channel is about. All they know is that you’re an amateur or – even worse – you don’t care enough to be organised.
Create playlists for every game you play at the very least. You can also segment those games into other playlists based on the series you’re doing.
Make sure you actually put these playlists on your channel home page so people can quickly navigate through your channel. Don’t make it difficult for people to find something that they like because a lot of people are lazy and will just leave your channel.
I use playlists on my channel here:
5. Create Channel Art
If you don’t have channel art then your YouTube channel looks like you just started it. Even if you did just start your channel, you don’t want it to look like that. A new viewer might come to your channel and think “Well, no point subscribing to this guy. He just started on YouTube. How do I know he’s not gonna quit in two weeks?” If you want to be a big YouTuber you should present yourself like one and work as hard as one.
Make sure your channel art lets viewers know what to expect from your channel. Communicate your value proposition and what kind of content you make in your art so people can quickly know if you’re channel is for them. Check out my channel art and the channel art of other YouTubers you like as examples.
You can make channel art real easily using an online service like Canva.
6. Be Consistent
Create a video and/or livestreaming schedule and stick to it. Make sure you come up with a schedule that you can keep up though – don’t try to post or stream every day at first. I suggest you post some sort of content 3 times a week at least (videos or streaming sessions). Any less and your channel is probably going to grow at a snail’s pace and I doubt that’s what you want.
Pick a schedule that works for you. I currently post new videos on Tuesday and Thursday and Friday. I also livestream Monday – Thursday from 8pm to 2 am. That schedule works for me (for now), but it might not work for you.
7. Use Tags Effectively
Tags are super important when it comes to getting your video to rank higher on YouTube. When I first started using tags I looked at what big YouTubers were doing and basically copied their strategies. I then learned that that most of the big YouTubers were using tags super ineffectively, but because they were already big and had loads of subscribers it didn’t matter.
It does matter for me though.
The suggested tags that YouTube feed to you are trash. Don’t put the tag ‘video game’ and ‘PlayStation 4’ on your video – it’s a waste of space.
Who do you know that types in ‘action adventure game’ into the search bar of youtube when they’re searching for Metal Gear Solid gameplay? Not a lot I bet, yet that’s one of the suggested tags that I was given when I was uploading Metal Gear Solid V videos.
Instead what you want to do is focus on long form key phrases that people are actually going to search for. Let’s say you make a video on how to block transitions in EA Sports UFC 2 (that’s actually one of my videos – plug alert), instead of entering tags like ‘EA Sports UFC 2’ and ‘how to block transitions’, enter ‘EA sports UFC 2 how to block transitions’. You’re much more likely to rank for longer search terms than shorter ones and when someone enters that exact phrase, your video is more likely to come up.
8. Use Descriptions Properly
Think about what keyword phrase you want to rank for and try to include that in the beginning of your description. I also include the title of my video in the description and some promotional links – this is important too, but getting that key phrase in your description so you can rank highly should be your priority.
9. Use Titles Properly
Structure your titles effectively by using punctuation and finding a style that’s right for you. Try to create titles that will grab the eye of your viewers and explains exactly what’s going to be in the video.
Put some thought into your titles and try to focus on a search term or key phrase. Include the game name and whatever you’re showing in that particular video e.g – Fallout 4 – How To Change Your Appearance (If Dr Crocker is Dead). This title has the game name in it and it tells you exactly what I’m going to be showing you – it’s very specific.
10. Use Twitter And Other Social Media Sites To Cross Promote
Twitter is a great resource for you to connect with other YouTubers, connect with your fans and promote your content. Don’t just spam people though. Post interesting things on your timeline and in addition to that, post your videos.
Nooooooooooooooo ???? pic.twitter.com/186KNToOFs
— Jay Cartere (@JayCartere) May 13, 2017
— Jay Cartere (@JayCartere) May 15, 2017
With all that said you, you should now have an idea of how to grow your YouTube gaming channel much more effectively.