How hard is it to start a successful gaming YouTube channel?


YouTube gamers earn lots of money. And I knew that, with my own gaming channel and gaming skills, I could join the Youtube gaming elite and earn loads of cash.

But, how hard is it, really, to start a successful gaming YouTube channel? 

Starting a Youtube gaming channel is as easy as signing up to Youtube and posting gaming videos. Starting a successful Youtube gaming channel is much harder. Creating a successful channel takes a huge amount of dedicated effort applied over multiple years. If you wish to be a successful Youtube gamer, you need to persist with your channel for at least 2-3 years. 

In the following sections, I’ll talk in detail about:

  • Why it’s so hard to set up a successful youtube gaming channel
  • What hurdles you’ll need to overcome to be successful

Ok, now you know what I’ll be talking about, let’s jump right into the first section to find out why it’s so hard to set up a successful gaming youtube channel

Why is it so hard to start a successful gaming YouTube channel?

Making your gaming channel successful is frankly, extremely challenging. And out of 1000 people trying to create a gaming channel, maybe, just maybe, 3 will go on to create a successful channel. 

Three. Out of one thousand people. 

I know, that’s a pretty grim statistic. But, by being here, reading articles like this one, you are increasing your chances massively of being 1 of those 3 that will be successful. 

But why do 997 out of 1000 people fail when it comes to your Youtube?

Simply put, many people lose motivation in the first few weeks or months because they do not see results. 

Most people have become accustomed to instant gratification. That if we put the work in now, we should get the rewards now. Success on youtube is the opposite of this. You put the work in now and, maybe, in 3 years’ time you’ll get a massive payoff, a dream job, an amazing car, and a celebrity lifestyle. 

But the fact that we have to do so much work upfront, without any reward is hard, demotivating, and demoralizing. 

For some. 

Some people, like yourself, are capable of holding a long-term goal such as Youtube fandom firmly in their mind’s eye. That way, every time they turn on their camera to record, every time they sit down to edit, they know what they are aiming for. And that they are, however slowly, taking one small step at a time toward the top of their mountain. 

Yes, you can blame the competition, your camera, or the fact that it’s not the right time. But, the harsh reality is this: the only reason why people fail is that they don’t take the action needed to succeed. 

Ok, I know in extreme circumstances, it’s not always possible to succeed. Such as if an asteroid smashed into the earth. It might become pretty hard to become a gaming Youtuber when humanity is collectively staring down oblivion while sitting in the middle of an impact-induced firestorm. 

But in general, the truth is, success, or the lack of it, is down to you and how much work, how much effort, how much action you’re willing to put into your channel. 

How many YouTubers are successful?

Quick answer: Not that many.

Estimated stats show that – “gulp” – only about 0.25% of YouTubers earn enough money to quit their day job. Most YouTubers with over 1000 subs earn around $50 each month. You’re not exactly going to buy a fancy Ferrari with that kind of cash, are you? 

But don’t let that figure put you off. The vast majority of YouTubers are, what I like to call, One-Video-Wonders. 

They release a single video thinking it’ll get loads of views. Then the harsh reality sinks in when, 3 months after release, the video has only 6 views. And those views came from their friends and parents. So much for 6 million views! 

But you can be different, you’ll know that after you’ve posted your first video, you’ve taken the equivalent of the first step towards your ascent up Mt. Everest. You know one step won’t get you to the summit. It’ll take thousands of steps, tens of thousands. And many of them will be hard and teach you harsh lessons. 

But keep pushing your feet through the snow. Keep lifting your legs and forcing them forward and you will, eventually, one step at a time, hit the heady heights of Youtube stardom. 

What Hurdles might get in the way of setting up a successful channel?

You have to face many hurdles when starting a successful YouTube channel. Sometimes these are related to yourself, while sometimes, these are related to external factors. Here are some factors to prepare well when starting your YouTube gaming channel.

Selecting the right video to make

Many new gaming Youtubers jump on and start spamming their channel with videos of themselves playing their favorite games. Sadly, this is a quick way to fail. 

The best way to grow a Youtube channel is to create videos that people are actually searching for. That means doing Keyword research to determine the exact phrases that people are plugin into Youtube and then creating videos that serve these search requests. 

Here’s an example of a Keyword, “How to find a Great Sword in Elden Ring”. You know people are searching for this term on Youtube. So if you create a video that answers that question, you know that video will have an audience that is actively seeking that video and the value it contains. 

You need to be committed

Most young gamers expect explosive growth on  Youtube. That they’ll post their first 5 videos and they’ll have 10,000 subscribers and be raking in the cash. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Success on youtube, as a gamer, takes a lot of time. And a lot of videos. 

Therefore you need to be committed to your channel for at least 2-3 years. Yeah, I know, that sounds like a lot. But that’s how much time it takes to be even marginally successful with any business. 

Trying to achieve perfection with your first video 

When starting out on Youtube, gamers want to emulate their heroes and produce epic videos using state-of-the-art technology.

The problem is, this hunt for perfectionism derails you on your journey to youtube stardom. You don’t need the best kit to get started. Some of the best Youtubers to have ever graced social video started with $50 refurbished smartphones. They just knew, instinctively or otherwise, the most important thing is getting on camera and posting videos.

Successful YouTubers didn’t start with the best setup. They built it up over time. And you need to be the same. Just think of a topic, turn on your camera phone, record a video, and upload it. The repeat. 

Not respecting your audience

You’d have to listen to your audience. If you don’t, your channel will fail. You need to be constantly monitoring comments so you can learn what your viewers liked and disliked and then change accordingly. 

Worrying to much about the competition

This is a problem I’ve seen time and time again when it comes to new YouTubers: they are obsessed with the competition in all the wrong ways. Most new Youtubers will look at rival gaming channels that have 100,000 plus subscribers and will immediately worry about how they intend to compete with them. This destroys motivation and gamers drop off Youtube before they’ve even got started. 

Instead, ignore the competition. The only time you should be looking at competition is when you are assessing whether a keyword is already served well by a competitor, or when you are looking to collaborate with a competitor. 

Otherwise, forget about the competition and concentrate on your own game. 

Getting good at making thumbnails, headings, and descriptions. 

If I ask you to put in order the most important elements of a video, what would you say first? Most would say the actual video. 

But you’d be wrong. 

The most important elements in order as are follows: 

  • The keyword your video is targeting – If nobody’s searching for your video, nobody’s going to watch it.
  • The video’s thumbnail – If your video is not grabbing attention in search then nobody’s going to watch it. 
  • The video’s Title – If the title is building desire to watch the video after the thumbnail has grabbed attention, nobody’s going to watch it. 
  • The video’s description – if the description doesn’t tell Youtube what’s in the video, youtube won’t know where to rank the video, and nobody’s going to watch it. 
  • The video – If you don’t make a video, then nobody’s going to watch it anyway. 

As touched on in an earlier section, the keyword you target is the most important element. However, the thumbnail, the heading, and the description are vital to raising your Youtube channel’s chances of success. 

So make sure you get extremely good at creating thumbnails, headings, and descriptions.

Fancy learning how to create Attention-grabbing thumbnails that will pull in thousands of extra video views? Then check out my YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL MASTERCLASS Course on Udemy. Sign up now for FREE while the coupon lasts.

Summary of the article

Starting your gaming YouTube gaming channel is not very difficult. It is just about some simple sign-in steps. 

However, starting a Successful Youtube gaming channel is a whole other ball game. It takes a vast amount of effort and dedication to create a successful channel. This is evidenced by the tiny 0.33% of Youtubers who work on their channels full time.

If you are still determined to become a gaming YouTuber, then there are a number of hurdles standing in your way. These include: 

  • Selecting the right videos to make 
  • You need to be committed
  • You are lured by perfectionism 
  • Not respecting your audience
  • Worrying too much about the competition
  • You need to be great at making thumbnails, headings, and descriptions for your videos. 

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Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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