This blogpost is on how to start a gaming YouTube channel. Read this to the end and you will come to know what you need to buy and do to start that. This post has been specially designed and written for beginners.
Why a gaming channel?
If I ask you ‘Who’s the most famous and successful YouTuber till date?’, I know your answer would be ‘PewDiePie’. He may not be the richest YouTuber now a days; but at least he was, for a couple of years. In fact, many of the richest YouTubers of all time were Gamers. This is because gaming YouTube videos easily get a significant scale of average watch time. No matter how old the viewer is, once they start watching a gaming video, it becomes difficult for them to look away from the video.
Watch-time and percentage watch-time: Know the importance
Also majority of the viewers of these videos are kids; they hardly use ad blocker and often click on advertisements put around the videos. That’s why the earnings on a gaming channel tend to become higher as compared to other niches’ YouTube channels.
4 main things you need to buy
There are four main things you need to purchase before starting your own gaming channel. They are: (i) capture card (ii) microphone (iii) editing software and (iv) PC.
Let’s start with capture card first and foremost. In this regard, you have to remember that HD is key, so you can’t possibly buy a second rated card. And your card must be able to capture video in 720p minimum and 60 frame per second (60 FPS). Frankly, this sort of cards are not cheap.
The capture card models we recommend to you are El Gato Game Cature HD and HAUPPAUGE HD PVR 2. You have to buy any one of them. Both of them are external USB cards with 1080p/30FPS and 720p/60FPS features. Either of them would cost you around $150. Since they are external, they are just super easy for you to set up.
[Besides the equipment, you also need to know how to create a YouTube channel and customize it. Here is our detailed article on that:
How to make a Youtube account/channel and also customize it ]
how about cheap capture cards?
Frankly, if you’re looking for super cheap capture cards like DAZZLE DVC 100s or EZ CAPS or ROXIO GAME CAPTURES, then Gaming YouTubing is probably not for you. Days of using any one of those are pretty much behind us. If you need to stand out from the rest, you have to first ensure quality.
[If you think ‘gaming’ would be a costly niche for you, then you could choose another YouTubing niche that you think will suit you the most. We have an article to help you choose your particular niche out of many available. Here it is:
YouTubing niche: Choose a nice one ]
resolution, frames per second and bit rate
And speaking of quality, when you’re going to purchase a capture card, you need to keep in mind three things: resolution, frames per second as well as bit rate. Now ‘resolution’ is pretty obvious. You want the resolution to be at least 720p; the more, the better. Your frames per second is probably preferable if you record everything in 60 FPS, keep that in mind.
And bit rate, one of the biggest key factors in your recording quality, has to be at least 10 million bit per sec (Mbps). Most gaming YouTubers use 30 Mbps bit rate for good picture quality. Yes, this level of bit rate makes the file size really big; but to run a gaming channel now a days, you’re just left with no other choice. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
sHOULD YOU GO FOR INTERNAL CAPTURE CARD?
Recently we interviewed an experienced and successful gaming YouTuber and asked him what capture card he uses. He said he used AVERMEDIA LIVE GAMER HD which is an internal capture card and it costs around $225.
But we’re not going to recommend that because in order to set it up you actually have to open up your PC (CPU) and install this capture card to your graphics card which is surely a hazardous and daunting task. As a new YouTuber you probably might NOT want to do that. And we too are recommending for you to choose one of the two external capture cards mentioned above.
[As a gaming YouTuber, you will have to face many copyright issues; that’s why you had better join a promising multi channel network right away. We know such one who will do everything for you within their means. They are called MediaCube-Network. To know more about them, read the following article:
MediaCube.Network – power-ups for your creativity ]
Choosing a nice Microphone
The days of having a crackling headset MIC on YouTube are long gone, it’s not going to work for you guys anymore. The minimum microphone and also a standalone microphone for you to use would be Blue Snowball.
Now keep in mind that there are two types of microphones: condenser and dynamic. For your information, condenser microphones are great for interviews; they pick up all the sound within the room. On the other hand, dynamic microphones are suitable for solo commentating which is preferred for most gaming YouTube channels. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
The ‘Blue Snowball’ is not a dynamic microphone, it’s actually a condenser. But still it’s a very good starting MIC. One gaming YouTuber known to me has been using this for quite a long time now. Blue Snowball is available to purchase online, it will cost you $20-$75 and it’s a pretty good quality stuff. [These are US standard market prices. In developing countries like India they could be much cheaper.]
But while I’ll be running my own gaming channel (very soon, I hope), I’ll probably be using a RODE PODCASTER. It’s a dynamic USB microphone. The user doesn’t have interface with it. It may cost a little more than a condenser microphone; each piece might cost you around $230.
Also with microphone, you need to download the free program ‘Audacity’. This is a free audio recording program which allows you to isolate background noise from your recordings and remove it. It’s simple and free, I don’t see any reason for you NOT to use it. Here are a couple of articles which describe the use of Audacity:
How to remove vocal from a song and thus make a karaoke
How to Make a Karaoke Cover Song Easily with Audacity
choosing the right Editing software: A big step on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel
There are two main editing software used by YouTubers: SONY VEGAS or ADOBE PREMIERE. Adobe Premiere can actually provide better quality videos, but it also comes with big learning curve. This is the reason why you may choose NOT to use it. Anyway, it’s premier version costs you $20/month.
Sony Vegas is easy to learn, but it is not capable of providing the finest quality video which Adobe Premiere can. Also Sony Vegas is pretty expensive, it costs you a one-time fee of $600.
However, the gaming YouTuber from my acquaintance I just mentioned earlier says he has been using Sony Vegas since his first day of YouTubing. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
He gave me a few tips while editing with Sony Vegas:
(i) Disable resample: It is so simple that people often forget to disable it. Even if you’re recording with 60 FPS, be sure you have disabled resample on your video files. That way there won’t be any GHOSTING which is surely a gross thing. To get rid of ghosting, you must disable resample.
(ii) proper rendering: Sony AVC/MVC is the format he renders his videos in. While rendering your videos like recording your gameplay that bit rate is king, is super key to your quality. At least 10 million bit rate on most of your videos is recommended. You need to render your videos in 60 FPS, specially for YouTube. If your video duration is above 15 minutes, then you can drop it down to 30 FPS. This is just because a 60 FPS video is a giant file size as compared to 30 FPS videos.
YouTube video settings: Upload defaults and advanced settings of your channel
A good PC plays an important role in your gaming channel
Now what we’re going to talk about is having a good PC. This is a big part in running a gaming channel. Whether you’re recording stuff on your console or you’re recording PC footage, your computer plays a huge part in your YouTube channel. Rendering videos on a low-configuration PC or in a laptop can actually be a giant pain. We quote our specialist in gaming YouTubing “I know it, I’ve been there. When I first started my YouTube channel, it took me 8+ hours to render a 10 minutes video at a very low bit rate”.
It’s okay to start a gaming channel on a low configuration PC or laptop. Only you might have to go through a bad PC schedule which would be (i) make video during day, (ii) render overnight, (iii) upload next day and (iv) repeat.
Oh, please, we were just kidding a little bit! Seriously, get a schedule so that you can create new gaming YouTube videos daily and consistently; even with a low config PC. If you want to grow your gaming channel, you’ll eventually have to upgrade your computer at some point, no doubt about that. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
Change YouTube homepage layout: Make your channel look stunning
How to customize YouTube homepage – part 2
Here are some quick tips on your gaming channel
Your channel’s name is really important, make it memorable, catchy and original; no Xs and numbers may be used in the name. Good titles for YouTube videos are really important. Make sure they look good and accurately describe the video and are clear.
If you’re NOT sure what sort of titles you should be using, then go ahead and check out a few renowned gaming channels to see what they’re using. It’s okay to do that at beginning level, just don’t copy and paste the whole title. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
Tags are also important for your videos. They play an important role in leading people to find your videos. Make sure they are clear and accurate. They should also indicate which video games you are making YouTube videos on. And be sure to use your channel branding as a tag in every video. That means, if your channel’s name is TopGamer2018, then you could use this keyword as a tag in every YouTube video of your channel. Also be sure to use this as a channel keyword.
How to rank YouTube channel with keywords
Remember that consistency is key
Consisting content is key, ladies and gentlemen! Daily uploads, five videos a week, anything like that – get a schedule and stick to that. At the beginning it could even be 1 or 2 videos in a week, if you like. The thing is that people can’t find you unless you have videos; they then might get unmotivated.
If a new visitor comes to your channel and finds only two videos, that too neither of them are exciting – then they won’t possibly visit your channel homepage again. That’s why you’ve got to upload a lot of videos in the first few months of your YouTube channel. YouTube’s automated algorithm decides to promote your channel when you’re consistent in video uploading. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
‘Longtail’ is your best friend
Longtail videos are those which are watched over prolonged period of time. Suppose I upload a video on my YouTube channel today, but it will be watched by viewers even three or five years later. Most successful YouTube channels have countless longtail videos. And they earn most of their revenue from such videos. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
If the term ‘longtail’ isn’t yet clear to you, then let us give you another example. Think about a news based blog; consider two articles on it. One article describes an accident that took place in Mumbai, India and another describes how to lose weight. Surely the first article might be read on a huge scale in the first few days of its publishing, later it is very likely to lose its charm. But the second article being popular over an extended period (like 3-5 years) of time could be called a ‘longtail’ post on the news blog. (This article is on How To Start a Gaming YouTube Channel)
In order to create ‘longtail’ gaming videos, you might need to do a little research as to what games have been most popular in the last few months. And you could use AdWords keyword planner to find information like that. Here are a few posts you might find useful when it comes to keyword research:
SEO your YouTube videos – How to use AdWords Keyword Planner
Keyword research and analysis without AdWords: Here’s how to do it
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