UK World of Warcraft YouTuber Crim has been producing Rogue guides for around half a year now, with some success.
But with so many other content creators out there all competing for views, how hard is it to set up a gaming YouTube channel in 2020, and grow it into an impactful and profitable project? What are the challenges and opportunities? Crim explains in this guest post.
Hello friends, allow me to introduce myself! I am Phil Tegelberg, also known as Crim, and like many of you the pandemic spurred me on to try new things with my extra time.
For me, after working my way through yoga, baking bread and other cliched lockdown activities, I started a gaming YouTube channel centered around the World of Warcraft Rogue class. It was an idea I had toyed with for a while, and with no more excuses left, I set to work.
Launching a gaming YouTube channel: Where to start?
When looking for tips on how to go about starting a gaming channel, the suggestions across the internet are always very similar: find a niche, set a schedule, have interesting thumbnails and so on.
While all of these make sense, the execution may be far less straightforward. If it was easy, everyone would do it and we’d have an abundance of successful YouTubers!
The purpose of this article is to share with you some of the many challenges I encountered, and things I wish I’d known earlier when trying to grow a brand new YouTube channel.
Finding your niche
Finding something unique to focus on that no one else is doing is becoming increasingly difficult.There are 7 billion people in this world, and almost two-thirds of those have access to the internet and social media.
It’s also ideal to have something you’re interested in, are good at and have reasonable knowledge of. But most importantly, you need passion for the subject matter.
I would sometimes try to force content, resulting in perhaps less evident passion – and I think that shows in videos.
Taking measured steps
Some days you won’t feel like recording a video and all the associated work that comes with it.
Forcing yourself into making videos can really be detrimental to the quality, even though the idea for the video can be solid. However, you also need to be sure you aren’t just looking for an excuse to be lazy, and being honest with yourself is very important here.
It is a fine line to walk, as sometimes forcing yourself can also be the catalyst you need to really get into the content!
When I started, I was full of ideas. But putting lots of work into them – often with little reward when you first start – means the risk of burnout is very real.
It’s natural to want to get all your cool ideas out there as quickly as possible, just be aware that maybe spacing out the videos is best for your sanity! I found that recording videos when I was feeling inspired, then uploading them a few days later worked much better than uploading them in bursts; it’s better to have a few bullets in the chamber before you start shooting.
So little time
Finding enough time is another issue. Even though I have more time during the pandemic because a lot of the country is on lockdown, my day job classes me as a key worker. This means I’d still be working a full week, on top of trying to produce videos, which can take tremendous amounts of time.
Both editing and recording can be very time-consuming, and the amount of time invested may depend on how smooth you want your voiceovers and camerawork to be.
Recording everything smoothly may be more natural to some than others, and it was something I really struggled with in the beginning (looking back at earlier videos still makes me cringe sometimes). There’s always the option of going a few sentences at a time, but it may make the final edit appear a bit all over the place. As with so many things, the more experience you gain, the more comfortable you will become, and the higher quality your videos will be.
Of course, after recording, you then need to edit your footage. Thankfully there are a few pretty good video editing programmes out there that are beginner-friendly (shoutout to Shotcut).
When starting out, the editing process can seem quite daunting, but once again practice makes perfect. While videos can take hours and hours to record and edit, this can come down to a much more acceptable level as your familiarity with the process increases.
Early on, try not to go for anything too fancy as you will get bogged down in the technical challenges of it all and quickly lose steam. If you have friends who are familiar with this kind of work, don’t be shy to ask them for help! I was very blessed to have friends who have actual proficiency in the field, with one of them even offering to make thumbnails for my video.
Growing your channel
Once the first few videos are live, it’s time to start reaping the rewards! Right? Actually, getting yourself out there, gaining subscribers and producing interesting, steady content is all a big challenge in itself.
Managing your expectations is very important in these early stages, and that’s something I didn’t do well enough. As much as you may think you’re funny and knowledgeable, none of it is a guarantee for quick success.
Around the same time I started, another new content creator with similar content emerged – and quickly outgrew me. It was disheartening at first, but when I looked at it rationally, it was very straightforward.
While our content was similar, his was much more frequent, way better scheduled and also with more scope. It is often hard to face your own flaws, but accepting the situation and adjusting your expectations accordingly is the best way to continue on stronger.
In my opinion, looking at other content creators to understand what works and what doesn’t is one of the best ways of learning how to grow your channel!
Talking to other content creators and networking with them can also be very beneficial, and that’s something which has helped me out a lot too. You may meet new friends with similar passions that will inspire you, they can teach you some tricks of the trade, you can suggest collaborations – maybe they will even help you promote your content if they deem it interesting enough! Not everyone has to be a competitor, and teaming up can be great for everyone involved.
At the time of writing this article, my channel has grown at a steady pace, and is on track to hit the 1,000-subscriber milestone over the next month or two, mostly thanks to adjusting to and learning from all of the struggles and roadblocks I have mentioned in this article.
I have no doubt that I will run into many more issues down the line, and hopefully I will be able to overcome those too.
If you’re thinking about starting a channel of your own, keep in mind that it won’t be entirely smooth sailing. But in the end, it can be one of the most rewarding decisions you make!
Thank you all for reading, and I wish you the best of luck in future endeavours.