How To Start & Grow A YouTube Gaming Channel
YouTube Gaming has a massive audience, with over 40 million gaming channels. Whether you're a serious gamer or just a hobbyist, creating a YouTube Gaming channel can be your ticket to building a large following and monetizing as you play games.
But, earning money from streaming can't be easy, right? Well, it's not necessarily easy, but there is a playbook. With so many successful YouTube streamers around, you can learn about their process and follow similar steps to reach similar outcomes.
So how can you build, foster, and monetize a YouTube Gaming channel? Let's find out.
What is YouTube Gaming?
YouTube Gaming is a live video gaming site by YouTube that allows subscribers to watch games being played in real-time. Content creators play and stream these games for professional competitions or just for fun. Gaming videos can also be uploaded for on-demand viewing from gaming channels.
Why is gaming so popular on YouTube?
YouTube boasts some of the highest number of hours of gaming content. In 2020 alone, it had 100 billion watch time hours across more than 40 million gaming channels. YouTube is an incredibly popular platform for gaming with famous eSports tournaments like the Call of Duty League, League of Legends Worlds, Overwatch League, and more being hosted directly on YouTube through its partnerships with gaming companies.
The gaming platform is also used to generate awareness about vital issues. YouTube content creators frequently raise money and recognition for important causes with partnership tournaments and YouTube Gaming charity tournaments. For example, CouRage raised over $500K for the CDC Foundation during a 12-hour live charity stream, further contributing to the popularity of the gaming platform.
The gaming industry keeps growing
The gaming industry has experienced incredible growth over the last decade - Minecraft alone had over 201 billion views in 2020. The top overall games watched in 2020 include Minecraft, Roblox, Garena Free Fire, Grand Theft Auto V, and Fortnite.
More YouTubers are gaming to grow their channels
YouTubers are influencers in their own right; they build a following and foster relationships with their fans. A sense of community is important for growing platforms, and many YouTube gamers grow their channels by connecting with their audience, bringing their fans together to connect with each other, and producing relevant content.
YouTube Gaming saw incredible growth in 2020 with:
- 80K+ content creators gaining 100K+ subscriptions
- 1K+ creators hitting 5M+ subscriptions
- Over 350 creators crossed 10M subscriptions
One YouTube Gaming Creator, Minecraft content creator Dream, exemplifies what’s possible for growth on YouTube. His channel saw massive increases and a channel subscriptions surge, growing from 1 million subscriptions in January 2020 to over 13 million subscriptions in October 2020.
How does YouTube Gaming work?
YouTube Gaming includes live gaming streams and on-demand content created by the gaming community. This includes content ranging from gaming-inspired skits, commentaries, tutorials, tips, etc. The two main categories of YouTube Gaming are:
Live gaming streams
YouTube gamers can live-stream their gameplay through streaming and screen recording tools. Content creators can share their gameplay in real-time, and many choose to turn their webcams and microphone on to humanize interactions with their viewership.
On-demand gaming videos
Some content creators upload videos that include commentaries, in-game and out-of-game comedic skits, tutorials, trivia, etc. These content creators might even analyze the gameplay of other gamers, and some create user-generated content about the game’s mythological premise, like that of Resident Evil or God of War.
What if I primarily stream on Twitch?
In 2015, YouTube launched the YouTube Gaming platform, following in the footsteps of Twitch. If you’re a Twitch user, you can still use YouTube’s services for your gaming channel. Here's how:
Create a YouTube gaming channel
Even if you have a Twitch account, you can still create and post content such as gaming reviews or clips from Twitch streams on your YouTube Gaming channel.
Choose one platform to stream on
If you’ve got the Open Broadcast Software (OBS) installed on your computer, you can stream it on any platform. To stream on both YouTube and Twitch simultaneously, you can use multiple streaming options like Restream.
Upload Twitch clips or videos to YouTube
If you’re not into live-streaming your gameplay, you can upload Twitch clips and videos to YouTube and compile them into playlists. If you’re a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, you must wait 24 hours to upload to YouTube per Twitch’s terms of service.
Can you make money from YouTube Gaming?
Absolutely. Here's how to make money from your YouTube Gaming channel:
Run ads on your channel
To monetize your YouTube Gaming channel, you need to meet the same requirements as regular YouTube channels. You must meet all the requirements below:
- Over 1000 subscribers
- Over 4000 watch hours in the past year
- YouTube staff has to manually review your channel
After reaching these milestones, content creators can enable ads on their stream to monetize. This includes pre-roll, mid-roll, and overlay ads.
Run sponsored streams
One way to cash in on the popularity of your YouTube Gaming channel is by accepting sponsorship offers (brands will often email you directly if your channel is big enough). We all joke about RAID: Shadow Legends, but it proves how much gaming companies rely on sponsorships with YouTubers.
Organizations benefit from collaboration sponsorships with YouTube influencers (just like they would from working with Facebook and Instagram). This allows YouTube Gaming streamers to use their status for influencer marketing and earn money through sponsorships.
Upload sponsored videos
In addition to uploading gaming videos, gaming content creators can upload sponsored videos to encourage viewers to watch another streamer's content or to buy related products. For example, YouTube Gaming followers might be interested in gaming platforms and equipment such as consoles and microphones. You can establish paid partnerships to promote these products.
How much do gaming YouTubers get paid?
Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, has an estimated $15 million in earnings from his YouTube gaming videos. Mark Fischbach, known professionally as Markiplier, has reported $14 million in earnings. He also released a YouTube original movie, ‘A Heist with Markiplier.’ So a successful career on YouTube can be leveraged into other types of media and entertainment.
Some other top streamers and gaming content creators include Flamingo (USA), Robin Hood Gamer (Brazil), Gyan Gaming (India), LazarBeam (Australia), and Valkyrae (USA).
How to create a YouTube Gaming channel
Here’s the checklist for creating your YouTube gaming channel.
Create a YouTube account
The first step is to create a YouTube channel. To do so, you need a YouTube account. And to create a YouTube account, you either need to either create a Google account or link an existing Google account to YouTube.
Start streaming games or uploading videos about gaming
After making the YouTube channel, you can start streaming and uploading your content. You need to decide whether to live-stream your own gameplay or curate other content.
Let the YouTube algorithm do the work
YouTube knows you’re creating gaming content based on titles and tags. It connects your content to the relevant audience through keyword searches and similar video suggestions. So, be sure to research your video tags and content for best SEO practices.
How to grow a YouTube Gaming channel
Let’s look at several ways to help you grow your YouTube Channel.
Have a consistent streaming or uploading schedule on YouTube
Consistency is the key to retaining your YouTube Gaming channel’s audience. YouTube’s algorithm rewards daily posting, so there’s a benefit to posting every day. If you can’t edit videos yourself, hire an editor who can upload for you. To post regular content to your channel, ensure timely creation of the content. Make a schedule for your videos!
Upload gaming videos with the right tags
Follow best SEO practices for YouTube Gaming channels through proper titling and tagging of the videos. The tags allow users to connect to your content, so it’s essential to be as descriptive as possible. Include all the vital information in your tags like the game’s name, content category, etc.
Create a dedicated clips channel
If you’re making different types of YouTube gaming content, dedicated channels can help you categorize it. This helps with audience segmentation, which encourages user engagement – viewers can conveniently follow content that matches their interests. If you’re a gaming streamer that also posts reviews, you can have a dedicated channel for each topic.
Create engaging content (and keep the algorithm happy)
YouTube’s algorithms focus on audience interaction. Because YouTube’s popularity algorithm works on the watch hours you gather, it’s vital to make highly engaging content. Try responding to user comments and interacting with them through your videos.
Try to focus on being advertiser-friendly
To generate revenue through YouTube ads, it’s vital to make advertiser-friendly content. This means not making content with inappropriate language, violence, adult content, sensitive events, harmful or dangerous acts, or other inappropriate mannerisms. Advertisers are generally okay with streamers playing mature content, but the streamer still needs to be compliant.
Pick a niche
YouTube works on keyword and niche algorithms. So, it’s important to pick a niche and then post relevant and consistent content. This helps with audience retention and YouTube’s algorithm optimization. For example, if you create videos about retro games, then keep creating videos about retro content. If you want more variety in the games you cover, try being a reviewer or game previewer to draw more attention to your channel.
FAQs about YouTube Gaming
Not sure if a YouTube gaming channel is right for you? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the platform.
What is the point of YouTube Gaming?
Most YouTube Gaming channels use YouTube Gaming to connect to the gaming community in different ways. This includes gaming reviews, competitions, live streams, walk-throughs, and more.
Why do YouTubers play games?
YouTubers play games because they enjoy the game's content and like to connect with the gaming community.
Why are gaming videos so popular on YouTube?
YouTube Gaming videos are popular because they foster a sense of community and help viewers learn more about the games they love. As more viewers switch from traditional TV to YouTube, gaming provides live entertainment that keeps users engaged.
How do gaming videos get popular on YouTube?
The more views and watch hours a gaming video has, the more its popularity grows on YouTube.
Grow your YouTube Gaming channel with Beacons
Beacons is a mobile website builder that specializes in ‘link in bio’ websites. You can use Beacons to monetize your YouTube Gaming community through a full suite of specialized tools.
Link to all your content on different platforms
Beacons lets you match your website page to your content by adding and linking your YouTube Gaming content to other channels.
Create a page in seconds with AI
Beacon’s magic setup with AI designs a personalized website page in mere seconds. It does so by asking you a few questions. Users can customize their content by choosing from an extensive library of fonts, colors, and layouts.
Promote one link to everyone
Beacons puts all your vital links and information into one single mobile page, so you can just promote one link to your entire audience.
If you're passionate about gaming, then creating a YouTube Gaming channel is a great way to connect with like-minded audiences and build a following. Eventually, you can monetize your gaming channel and enjoy a passive income.
With Beacons, you can drive traffic from different platforms to your YouTube Gaming channel and grow your viewership.
Get started with Beacons today.