How To Start A Youtube Gaming Channel (Step-By-Step Guide)

Every now and then I overhear someone telling a friend that they should become a YouTuber and get rich. 

It’s a common, though misguided idea, that you can have a successful and lucrative Youtube career with very little effort. 

The reality is rather different. 

Becoming a successful Youtuber is just as hard as any other career. 

Fortunately, just like any other career, becoming a pro gaming Youtuber is just as attainable. That is, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. 

Being successful on YouTube requires its own skillset, most of which you’ll need to learn as you go. 

You’ll have highs. And you’ll absolutely have your fair share of lows. 

But, if you stay focused, if you persevere, you can succeed. 

This step by step guide will introduce the major subject areas that people don’t often discuss when talking about setting up a gaming YouTube channel. 

In this article we’ll be looking at:

  • What tools you’ll need to succeed
  • What skills you’ll need to learn 
  • What hardware/software you’ll need
  • How to set up your channel
  • How to go about creative videos
  • We’ll touch on the business side of your channel such as branding
  • How to monetize your channel 
  • Your motivation and vision

So let me help you get started on your Youtube gaming channel journey…

Managing Your Expectations

I’ve got a harsh truth for you:

99.9% of people who start a Youtube career fail. 

But by reading this article, you’ll join that one remaining percent that’ll succeed. 

Why is that?

Because you’ll have realistic short-term expectations.

You see, most of us don’t have a lot of patients. We want results now, not tomorrow. The problem with this immediate gratification is that most large goals, such as starting a gaming Youtube channel, don’t happen overnight. 

When we don’t see immediate results problems start popping up. We start to convince ourselves that our ideas are not working, or that we’re not good enough. We sabotage ourselves in an effort to run away from the massive volume of work, and we quit.

So before we even begin, you need to change your expectations. 

If you think making a Youtube gaming channel is a get rich quick scheme, you’re in for a rude awakening. 

You need to accept that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m talking about 3-4 year long college degree levels of time commitment. 

You are not, in all likelihood, going to create a couple of videos and become an overnight sensation. 

That’s why it’s important to remember that you are setting up a business. And just like all businesses, they take time to grow.

If you’re still sitting there reading this, undeterred by hard work, well done! You’re definitely part of that 1 percent and you have every chance of succeeding. 

Your Vision, Why, And Motivation

Ok, this is going to get a little heavy and philosophical, but I promise you, this stuff is important.

The first question to ask yourself is why are you doing this? And by that, I mean what is the overall reason, or outcome you want from doing a Youtube gaming channel. 

For a lot of people their vision and motivation look something like this: 

I want to make a lot of money. 

This is not a vision. 

You see, contrary to popular belief, money is not a good motivator. Money is just a tool to help you create that better future. Would you be motivated by a hammer a chisel? Of course, you wouldn’t.

They are just tools.

But would you be motivated by the fantastic house that a hammer and chisel helps build? Of course, you would.

Because a house is an outcome. So money is just a tool for shaping the life and outcomes you desire. If you want more lavish outcomes then you need a bigger tool –  in other words, more money – to help build it. 

A vision is a better future that a business, such as a gaming Youtube channel, will help you create. 

Your vision acts as your ‘why’. As in, why are you doing all this hard work? 

Your ‘why’ is your motivation. 

And your vision of the future can be as narrow or as wide-ranging as you like: 

  • You can have a narrow vision: I’ve created a gaming Youtube channel because I love playing games and you want to share that passion with other gamers 
  • Or your vision can be wide-ranging: I’ve created a gaming Youtube channel because I want to show that gaming can help people with anxiety live a happier stress-free life

Whatever your vision, most have a number of details in common: 

  • They are not all about you
    • But most visions include a strong element regarding other people. Whether it be helping friends, family, or other people
  • They are detailed
  • They are written in the past tense as if you’ve already achieved your vision 
    • Example: “I have created a Youtube channel…” instead of “I will create a Youtube channel…”
  • Your vision should be focused so it doesn’t take too long to read. 
  • They are read every day to remind you why you do what you do

Sit down, before you start anything else, and figure out your vision. See the life you want this Youtube channel to help you create. 

Without a solid vision, you’ll have no reason why you should work hard. And without your why, you’ll have no motivation. And without motivation, you’ll fail. 

So grab a pen and paper, and write down that vision this Youtube channel will help you create. 

Give Value…

Value is what you provide to your customers. It’s solutions to their problems, the entertainment that makes them laugh, the product that saves them time. 

As a Youtuber with a gaming channel, you must be dedicated to discovering what your potential customers consider valuable to them and then deliver it. 

You have to become a value-creating machine. 


Because it’s the number one mistake that all wannabe Youtubers, all business owners, make: They produce videos or products that THEY think are valuable. Not what their customers think are valuable. 

Always, always be creating videos that your customers want. Not what you want. 

And Give Value First

It is not enough to know that you’ve got to create videos that your customers value. 

It’s also vital that you realize that before you’ll ever make a single penny from your Youtube gaming channel, you have to provide huge amounts of value first. 

You can’t just create a couple of haphazard videos and expect to see the dollars rolling in. 

That will not happen.

You need to be committed to providing value first. You need to first create a channel that people love, that people continuously return to. 

Only after you’ve done that can you expect to extract value back in the form of money. 

If you can commit to delivering value first, you’ll be ahead of 99.9% of every other person who dreams of earning a living through Youtube. 

Commit to 12 months of creating value, 12 months of growing a fan base. And then, and only then, consider monetizing. 

Your Skill Set

Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight: 

Creating a Youtube channel is not easy. 

You’ll need to learn a lot of different skills while walking the path of a Youtuber. 

Below are just a few skill sets you’ll encounter on your way. You won’t have to become an expert in them all. But you will need to eventually become good at them:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Writer
  • Actor
  • Voice-over
  • Sound
  • Graphics designer
  • Accountant
  • Business strategist

Don’t be scared by this list as each skill can be learned as and when you need it. 

Some of the jobs you don’t even need to do. You can outsource them, use third-party software, or use free sources. 

Music is a good example. You could create your own music or you could find free music on the net. 

You could even splash the cash and ask somebody on a freelance website such as Upwork to create some for you. 

But, when starting out, you will be doing the majority of these jobs whether you like them or not.

Note Taking

If you’ll be making videos about games you’ll need to start taking notes.

One of the easiest mistakes that people make is that they think they will remember all the little details when playing a game.

Imagine you have just spent the last 30 hours playing a fantastic game. The last 30 hours were a blur of swinging swords and zinging bullets. The problem is before you can blink, your memories dissolve away. Your brain summarises up the past 30 hours of gaming as “That was a fantastic game. Great fun. You should play it!” 

The details are lost in the labyrinths of your grey matter. 

Don’t let that happen to you. It only takes a few minutes of your time to take notes. Just pause the game, make a note:

  • Where were you?
  • What were you doing?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • What words can describe what was happening? 

A couple of bullet points will do for each moment worthy of note. 

A great way to keep track of your notes is a fantastic little bit of software called Notion. Notion is a cloud-based infinitely hierarchical note-taking app that can be used on Mobile phone Tablets, Windows PCs and Macs. And it syncs instantly across all platforms. 

Seriously it’s amazing. So much so I use it myself both personally and for business. Don’t take my word for it though as I’m admittedly a little bit biased. Take a look for yourself here

Also, I forgot to mention it’s free to use, well, up to a certain point anyway. 

If you don’t fancy using Notion, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, you could just use Google Docs or good old pen and paper.  


Most people mistakenly think that top Youtubers just pull a camera out, start talking and a video is ready to upload. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Every video you see on Youtube that has even been uploaded has been edited to some degree. 

As shocking as this may sound, for every 1 minute of video footage it often takes an hour of editing to get right. So a 10-minute video can take 10 hours of editing. 

But what is editing? 

Editing is simply the process of taking all the raw footage that was taken, all the images, sounds and music, and cutting them up and pasting them together in a way that tells a coherent story. 

And it takes a long time to do.

So be warned, you’ll have to learn how to edit.

You don’t have to be fantastic. At the start, you’re basically just going to be cropping out the useless parts of your video such as long pauses, awkward silences or just the parts you don’t want in your video. 

It doesn’t matter what software you use the principles are the same. It’s just learning where the different buttons are in your chosen software.

Editing takes time, the longer you spend editing your video the more polished and refined it becomes. 

The good news for you is that there are thousands of tutorials to teach you how to do this. Many can be found on YouTube itself. 

Editing is easy! (Now before I annoy all the film majors in the world) The process of cutting a video together is simple. It only gets complicated when your cuts have to tell a story and have an emotional impact. You’re just starting out and you will be using editing to remove any mistakes.

Should You Put Yourself On Camera?

People identify with people. Having yourself on-screen will help people to connect with you easier. 

That’s why most ‘Lets Plays’ have a picture in picture on the screen. They put themselves in a little box by using a green screen so they can be floating in the corner. This allows the viewer to see the action of the game but also see the reaction of the gamer at the same time.

The goal is to build a rapport with your audience because you want them to come back.

Remember this golden rule: People Buy From People

This means if you’re uninteresting and monosyllabic, it doesn’t matter how value-full your videos are. People won’t stick around. People have to like you. They have to want to spend time with you as if you were friends. 

But what if you’re a shy person? Well, you just need to start small, make short videos, and build your confidence over time. You have something amazing to offer the world. And the more you practice, the more you’ll realize the massive value you have to offer. 

Other options include coming up with some sort of gimmick like Arlo the puppet. You could pay for some animation, like Extra Credits. 

Not putting yourself on camera is possible, but it is not recommended. 

Tools Of The Trade

When you start any new endeavor you find there are two types of people: The first is a person that just gets on with it using what they have and build up slowly. The second type of person needs to have all the best gear before they even begin. 

While there’s no right way to start, I would advise you to start as cheap as possible. You can always level up your gear in the future when you have found if this is the career for you. 

Use what you have and start as quickly as possible.

Seriously, just pull out your mobile phone and start recording. 

But if you do want a little hardware to help get you started, we’ve got a few suggestions for you…


The basic things you’ll need are a decent computer, a microphone, and a camera.

Your Computer

Your computer will be used to edit videos and play games. So the more powerful it is the better. 

But as a rule of thumb, when it comes to video editing, you need a lot of RAM. Most games machines can get by with just 16GB of RAM. However, I’d recommend 32GB as a minimum especially if you’re editing 4K footage.

Also, having a CPU with many cores will help improve video render times. 


A good microphone, that’s set up correctly, is worth its weight in gold. Having clear crisp audio is in some ways more important than a super high resolution. People can look past low res video. But if your audio is bad then people will switch off. 

Hearing is more sensitive than sight.

Most dedicated microphones will do a good job for you. I would not advise using any microphone that’s built into another device, like a webcam for instance. You need a  microphone that has the primary job of recording sound. 

Remember your first microphone doesn’t have to be the last microphone you ever buy. It’s not going to last your whole career. It’s just a microphone that’s going to get you started, so you don’t need to break the bank. 

If you want a high-quality microphone that will produce outstanding results, will last years, and doesn’t cost too much, check out the Blue Snowball (Yes, I know, stupid name). Check it out here on Amazon. It’s got 7500+ 5-star reviews and is easily the best microphone money can buy for under $40. Also loads of big gaming sites recommend it such as PC Gamer Mag. 


The camera you buy will largely depend on the type of show you wish to create. Do you need just a webcam? If so, you can pick up a great one for a cheap price because it is old and proven technology. That might be all you need if you are going to be streaming video sitting next to your pc.

Or, are you going to be presenting a show more like a television program? In which case you might need something you can mount to a tripod. Ask yourself, does the camera need to be remotely controlled? 

The more feature-rich the camera the more expensive it’ll be.

You might even get away with using your phone. Most high-end phones have fantastic cameras built-in and can easily be mounted to a tripod.

Make yourself a list of features you need and find a camera that best suits your needs.


So after getting all the hardware bought, borrowed, or repurposed, It’s time to think about the games. 

It’s important to remember that you’re just starting out, Activision and Ubisoft won’t hand you free games to play. They might in the future, but you’re not there yet.

How will you get a constant supply of games to stream? If you’re anything like me you might have a big backlog of games on Steam. Starting a Gaming Youtube channel might just be the excuse you need to finally play through them. 

But you’ll probably want to play as many up-to-date games as possible. After all, these older games will already have lots of content available on YouTube that will outrank yours. 

If you have the cash you could play the latest blockbusters. If not then there’s some good news. There’s a wealth of free to play games you could start with, from ‘World of tanks’ to ‘Fortnite’. 


So after you have sorted out where your games are coming from. You are going to need some software to help turn your dream Youtube gaming channel into a reality. 

Screen Capture Software

You need some way to record your screen when you are playing. This is what can tax your computer, not only do you need to run your game at a good frame rate. On top of that, you need to record your screen and audio. 

Top tip: Keep your game sounds and your voice set to different audio channels. That way, when editing your video, you have the flexibility to change the volume levels or cut sound as you please. 

You can use software like OBS which stands for ‘Open Broadcaster Software’ which is free. Here’s the link to download. Unlike OBS, some screen capture software lets you edit your videos as well. But don’t worry if you go for the free option there are loads of great free editing tools available.

Here’s a great article breaking down the pros and cons of seven great options.

Editing Software

Editing software is very resource-intensive on your computer. Depending on the length of your video and to the size of the files it can really slow down your computer’s performance.

But using video editing programs can mitigate this problem somewhat. 

You have a wide range of programs to choose from in all price brackets including free. You could go and spend $300+ on Sony Vegas. But this early on, there is no need. 

I would start with a free program such as HitFilm Express. Simply because all the costs start to add up and any principles you learn can be easily transferable to any other editing program.

If you’re lucky enough to run a Macbook or iMac, then the free iMovies app is more than powerful enough to get you started. 

We also live in a fantastic age where countless tutorials, that will teach you all aspects of editing and exporting your videos to YouTube, are within reach of your fingertips. 

Art Programme

You’ll need an art program to make your own titles or logos, including any custom video thumbnails.

You could use MS Paint but please don’t because it’s awful. And there’s far better free paint program out there for you to use. 

Also, you don’t need to be robbed every month by Adobe and pay a Photoshop subscription. 

You can get great free tools like the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Yes, it looks a little dated… OK, Very dated. But it’s an incredibly powerful program that offers 99% of photoshops usability. Especially if you are willing to hunt down some of the great plugins that are available. 

Or, for a one-off fee of $49, you can hook-up with Serif’s Affinity Designer which can do both normal art and vector art. 


Music is normally one of the last things people think about when it comes to videos. Try watching some of your favorite videos and listen very carefully. You’ll often hear some background music. Music is one of those things you only notice when it’s missing.

Adding some appropriate background noise can make your videos feel more energetic. Especially when using an upbeat soundtrack. Just make sure you can hear yourself talking.

You might not need it in all of your videos. Especially if you have the game soundtrack in the background, just be careful that the game’s music doesn’t get flagged for copyright.  

If you absolutely must have music, you can find the royalty-free variety on the internet from places like Audio Library on YouTube. 

Just be aware that music often comes with a set of restrictions. You might have to credit the artist or you might be limited to places it can be used. Wherever you get your music from be sure to check the terms and conditions.

Miscellaneous Items

Green Screen

In the past, a green screen would have never made it into an article about setting up a YouTube channel. The technology was just too expensive.

How things have changed…

Green screening is just cheap but also easy easily achievable in most editing software with a few clicks of a button. Making the barrier to entry incredibly low. 

It is a great option for people that don’t have a lot of space. You can make your bedroom or office into a glorious production studio in post-production with the aid of a green screen. You can pick up a cheap collapsible green screen from most big websites such as Amazon. Take a look here.


Unfortunately, YouTube has become a bit of an arms race in terms of quality. You can start the learning process with amateur videos but if you want to succeed you need to increase the quality of your videos rapidly. And one feature of a quality video is lighting.

Lighting is incredibly important if you want to give your videos a professional look. You will absolutely need a lighting set-up eventually if you are planning on facing and talking into the camera full screen.

In the past, you would have needed a sizable loan from your bank to afford a decent lighting set-up. But again, green-screening, things have changed. 

The prices for good lighting rigs are cheaper than they ever have been. And that’s all thanks to the number of people making YouTube videos and films. It has driven the price down so you can buy an affordable kit, from most online retailers.

Just check out this page out on Amazon for loads of ideas for Youtube lighting rigs.

Check out this great article ‘The Best Lights and Lighting Equipment for YouTube Videos’ from Wondershare, for the different types of setups you can use. 

What Type Of Channel Are You Looking To Create? 

You are not IGN. You don’t have a crack team of reporters and editors. 

More than likely, you’re working on your gaming channel alone. You can only do so much. Don’t overwhelm yourself with endless possibilities. Remember there are only so many hours in a day. Be focused. Pick something small and work hard to be the best at it. 

You can always expand your glorious empire at a later date. But first, you need to plant your flag somewhere. 

So what type of content are you trying to create?

Are you just trying to recreate the type of content that you watch yourself? Or have you done some market research and found a niche ready to exploit?

There are a lot of different types of content you could make. Here is a quick overview with some pro and cons:


This has to be one of the biggest categories of content that consumers are searching for whenever a new game is released.


  • High volumes of traffic
  • You might be planning on playing the game anyway, so why not review it
  • People like different opinions
  • Some users think that the big review sites are paid for
  • The big sites might not review smaller games


  • Takes a lot of time to play the game, you can only play so many games a week
  • Lots of competition
  • Low trust (Your new so why should people trust your opinion)
  • You will not get the game ahead of time, so your review will be late

Lets Plays

This type of video has exploded in popularity in recent years. This definitely fits within the entertainment category. But there’s a lot of room to niche down. Some people just want to see the game with minimal input from the Youtuber. While others want you to give commentary on the whole game.


  • You can make multiple videos from one game
  • Can help you build a fan base because viewers can get to know you
  • Your gaming skills can shine
  • A quick way to build up video for your channel


  • Viewing numbers tend to drop off, the longer the series
  • Video can become messy and lack focus, making it harder to structure your episodes
  • Not all games work well for lets play
  • Copyright Issues

Information / News

Perhaps you fancy yourself as more of a journalist? Wanting to bring facts and news updates. You might just want to follow the industry from the perspective of the business.


  • Can be great for engagement
  • Would give people a reason to follow you on different social media platforms
  • Would allow you to participate in relevant conversations
  • Your content will work well on different platforms


  • Your videos might not stay relevant
  • Will be hard to stay informed without good industry contacts
  • Will take you a long time to build up a good reputation


Esports is the new up and coming gaming category. The competition prize money and the audience keeps growing almost exponentially with each passing year. This is not just one type of video but many, from competition finals, news updates and controversy. Remember these are sports covering a wide range of game types.


  • Growing audience
  • Offering lots of variety in video making
  • A year-round sport so there’s no offseason


  • Like most sports the audience is split, they might only follow one game
  • Too much to cover
  • Not all competitions are broadcast
  • It is worldwide, so there could be language and translation issues


Reaction videos are just you reacting to various game-related content. You might watch trailers for an up and coming game and give your opinion. It becomes more about your (over the top) reaction, where you are the entertainment. 


  • Great if you have high energy
  • Quick and easy to make
  • They feed off the back of the original content


  • Can be hard to stand out with so many videos of this type
  • Videos can feel the same
  • This type of content is hard to binge-watch


This is a skill-based video where you show people how to play a game. Some examples are sports games or online games.


  • You need to clearly articulate how to perform these tricks or tips consistently
  • Great for hard to master games.
  • People are always looking for shortcuts.


  • Only good while the game is being actively played.
  • Videos need to be highly edited for Clarity. For example, you might have to make a controller overlay so people can see what you’re pressing. 
  • You might need to invest a lot of hours to master the game yourself.

Decide What Games You’ll Be Playing

There’s no special way to select what type of games you want to play. 

But, more than likely, you’ll stick with the games you enjoy. 

However, it might pay to do a little bit of research before selecting a game. If the game you want to play happens to be the biggest, hottest game on the market then there’s going to be a lot of competition. It might work out better for you to try a different game. 

Another factor you should consider is the type of videos you want to make. If you fancy yourself a reviewer then what games will you select? How will you choose what to play? You could always start with your games library. This could give you a good foundation. 

Remember, you don’t always have to review the latest games. 

How Do You Go About Setting Up A Youtube Gaming channel Channel? 

The best thing about setting up the actual Youtube Gaming channel is that you can set your own time frame. 

You could set up your channel in a half-hour or you could meticulously design and plan everything before you begin, from name to brand.

Let’s look at some of the main areas you’ll need to consider when setting up your channel. 

Your Youtube Gaming Channel’s Name

The naming of your channel is one of the most overlooked parts of setting up a new channel. 

You can tweak and change nearly every aspect of your channel as you go, but the name is hard locked at its creation. In other words, once you’ve chosen your channel’s name you can never change it. An additional headache is the fact that it has to be a unique name. 

This makes finding a good name a little difficult and you will need to compromise a little bit. 

The challenge stems from the fact that a lot of the really good names have long since been taken. 

Here is a shortlist of the most important things to consider when picking a name:

  • Is the name easy to spell?
  • Is the name easy to say?
  • Is the name representative of the channel or you?
  • Does the name leave room for your channel to grow?
  • Is the name offensive?
  • Can you set up social media counts with the same name?

Don’t narrow your focus too much. If you call your channel ‘FPS Reviews’ then you are limiting yourself to just reviewing one genre of game. 

An example of this is a YouTube channel I’m following called ‘BeatEmUps’. He has gone on record saying that when he set up his channel he was mostly reviewing games in the ‘beat-em-up’ genre. His channel has since pivoted to be mainly focused on the Nintendo Switch console. 

He didn’t want to start his channel again because that would mean losing all his subscribers. So learn from his mistake: Don’t narrow your focus too much.


Do Not infringe upon other people’s names, because your channel will be removed. It could also open you up to lawsuits. I’m not trying to scare you, just use some common sense and you should be fine.

Your Youtube Gaming Channel’s Logo

Your logo is an important part of your overall brand. 

A brand is your channel’s digital signature, your promise of quality, and your business’ personality. 

And your logo encapsulates all that information so that when somebody sees your logo, your business and all it stands for is instantly communicated. 

Your logo doesn’t have to be a work of art and it’s best to keep it simple. 

A logo is like an empty glass, you have to pour meaning into it. You fill it with value and ideas that your business stands for.

Does your business stand for quality? Then your brand, and your logo, should communicate that instantly. 

Make sure when making your logo that it’s a high resolution. You don’t want a pixelated mess when you have to make it bigger. 

At the moment, Youtube makes whatever logo you design fit into a circle shape when it displays it. So keep that in mind, and use it as part of your design. 

Additionally, nowadays the majority of your viewers will interact with your videos on their smartphone. 

The biggest phones are still a relatively small screen compared to a PC, Mac, or TV. 

So make sure your logo works at this smaller size. 

If you put text on your logo, limit the number of words or just use a letter. You don’t want to risk the name of your channel becoming an unreadable mess.

Here are a few tips for your Youtube Logo: 

  • The logo needs to work well in a circle.
  • It must be readable when it is small.
  • You need a high-resolution version for your videos. (Remember 4K will be standard in a few years.)
  • It needs to stand out and grab attention.

Your Youtube Gaming Channel’s Brand

Your brand is something that you will build with time. It is a combination of your quality and identity. 

Your brand is the personality of your business, and it should resonate with your target market. 

But unfortunately, a brand is a delicate thing. Just like a sandcastle, a brand can take a lot of time to build and can be destroyed in minutes. So everything you do should be deliberate.

Don’t change your logo every 5 minutes to fit in with the latest trends. Think like a big company, how many times has Coca-Cola changed its logo. 

Try and make your logo colors work throughout your channel, from the channel heading image to the thumbnails. 

Think about what you want your brand to represent. Do you want it to be family-friendly? Then think about what type of content a parent would want their children watching. 

Remember your brand should resonate with your target audience. Your brand should become a part of their lives just like a good friend would.

How Long Should My Videos Be?

This is a question that comes up a lot with new YouTubers. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. 

The length of your videos should ideally be dictated by the type of content.

The first thing you should do is look at a similar video to yours on Youtube and see how long they are. If they are all around 10 minutes long, your vids should be too. Use your competition as a guide for your own videos. 

Failing that, you can also look towards television programs. There’s a reason television programmes are the length they are. 

A 20-minute comedy is easy to digest and fit into a spare bit of time. On the other hand, a 3 hours gaming marathon that you uploaded might be a little too long for most viewers to fit into their lives. 

Keep in mind that your goal will be to eventually put advertisements on your channel. 

Google values your videos with more weight when you have a high proportion of people finish your video. This tells Google that your video is serving a need successfully. This is one of many factors that will help Google rank your video higher in searches. 

So you should create videos that are short enough for people to finish. And create situations within the video that ‘pull’ people through the video towards the end. 

Try to think of each let’s-play as a television series, try and break them up at convenient points. That way each episode has a mini-arc or story to tell in a grander overall story. 

Making a news/information video is going to be dictated by the number of news items. 

Take into account the format of your content. For a game review if you limit yourself by time then you might miss some valuable information. It makes sense if you have a short video you’re obviously not going to be covering as much.

Going the other way, making your videos long, just for the sake of it, is going to make your video slow, ponderous, and difficult to consume. 

How Often Should You Be Posting Videos?

The truth of the matter is that you should be posting as many videos as you can. 

The real secret is consistency.

In all likelihood when setting up your Youtube channel it won’t be your primary job. You will probably be working a full-time job and making videos in your spare time. 

Pro tip: For the first couple of videos you should ideally time yourself and document the process. This will allow you to estimate how long it will actually take you to produce a video.

Once you’ve got the first couple of vids under your belt. You should have a rough idea of how long you need to commit each week to your videos. This will be your formula for how many videos you will be able to release.

Don’t set your expectations too high. You might think you can just knock out a few videos each week. But when you start making them you might find out that it’s not possible, if so don’t be disheartened. 

You should be concentrating on consistency and quality, not quantity.

It’s going to be better for you in the long run if you produce one video per week. Releasing it on a set time and day than just randomly producing content.

It will also be beneficial for you if you can have some spare videos just in case you’re ill one week. That way you will still have a video for that week.

Try and keep a few videos spare. 

Obviously you’ll only be able to keep certain types of videos spare. You might not want to hold onto a current review, so you need a video that is timeless. Maybe a review of a classic game or some other type of content. 

Incorporate a release schedule within your video. Tell your viewer in the intro or the outro when they can expect your next video. Something like “videos posted every Friday”, give them a reason to come back and the information to know when to come. 

That way any potential subscribers will know exactly when to come and watch your videos. As not everyone will subscribe. It will also give you a goal to achieve each week.

As you gain experience you’ll be able to up the amount of content you make each week without reducing the quality.

Big Youtube channels upload at least one video per day. Until you can do this full-time, and have a process, this is an unrealistic expectation. Don’t compare yourself to others. Stay positive and the speed will eventually come. 

Don’t overdo it and burn yourself out. Don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you. 

Scripted VS Non-Scripted Youtube Videos

Should you write a script for your video? This isn’t just an issue you face. Hollywood films have become eager to start filming before they have a script. Hoping to make up a film with reshoots or in the editing room and it sort of works for them.

Should you write and read from a notepad like a broadcaster or should you just wing it using your gut and intuition to guide you. there’s also a middle ground, where you could combine the best of both.

This decision is going to come down to personal preference. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. A scripted video should be easier to edit as its pace is already planned out. 

Non-scripted videos can very quickly become unwieldy and undisciplined. 

You have to be conscious not go off on a wild tangent. Which could leave you with a headache in the editing room. The more you go off track the more potential work you have to do.

But non-scripted videos can give a more natural feel to videos. And many people enjoy freedom and creativity dumping the script gives them.

The best way, in my opinion, is to marry both methods…

Instead of writing a full script, outline your videos content with bullet points. This will give your video a structure you can follow. But it can still afford you some creativity when filming.

Scripted video


  • Easier to edit
  • Video is more focused


  • Have to write the script
  • It is hard to write the way we speak
  • Videos can come across as scripted and unnatural 

Non-scripted video


  • Less pre-production
  • More creativity
  • More freedom


  • Harder to stay on track
  • More to edit

How Will You Make Money?

You might have a passion for the topic you are covering or you could be in it for the money. Either way, you should not focus on the money at the start, because it could take a long time for the cash to start rolling in. 

The reason this section is here is that you have to understand how you are going to make your money. And it’s best to have an idea of that at the very beginning of Youtube channel’s career. 

How you hope to monetize your content will affect the way that you will produce your videos. It can also affect how you engage with your audience. 

It will also give you some short-term and long-term goals. 

The four main ways you can make money are through adverts, merchandise, sponsorships, and crowdfunding monetization. 

But I must stress, the most important thing you should concentrate on when starting a Youtube channel is providing as much value as you possibly can to your audience. Only after giving value can you expect to extract value in return.


Adverts are one of the main ways to make money on Youtube. But, there are a few hoops you’ve got to launch yourself through first before you’re eligible to display ads. 

You must have 4,000 watched hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. So if you upload a video on the 15th March 2020, Youtube will check the last year back until 15th March 2019. Youtube will then do a quick calculation, checking how many watched hours you’ve gained over that period. If it’s over 4,000 watched hours (and you have at least 1,000  subscribers) then you’re good to start showing ads.

You will also need to apply to AdSense because Youtube needs a linked Adsense account to pay you. AdSense is Google’s advertising program.

Here’s a link to Google’s Youtube partner program overview and eligibility support page

Crowdfunding Monetization

There’s a new trend to use off-site monetization websites like Patreon. This type of site allows your audience to subscribe to you in an effort to support you financially in return for exclusive perks such as early access to videos. 

Patreon is one of the more popular membership services (there are others). Patreon takes a commission on any pledge over $3. So if it’s over $3 they take 2.9% of it, plus 30 cents. They take an extra 1% if Paypal is used.

To get the best out of these types of sites you ideally need to cultivate your audience on Youtube or on social media platforms and migrate them to this membership style business.

If you’re going to offer different tiers of membership and different prices you need to offer exclusive content. This extra content should ideally be made on top of the content you already planned to make on Youtube. 

You are generally expected to have very high user engagement, which will take up time. 

Points to remember when using crowdfunding include:

  • Recurring revenue
  • High user engagement
  • The website will take a commission
  • You need to make extra content for the paying members

Here’s a list of Youtube approved crowdfunding sites.


Another method to make money from your Youtube channel is to attract sponsors to it. For example, if you have a PC hardware channel a company such as Asus might pay you a sum of money to advertise their product in the middle of your video. 

Some points about sponsorships to keep in mind include: 

  • Potentially very large payments
  • Potential to receive products to review
  • Your audience could be misled into thinking that you are now financially secure, meaning they are less likely to back you 
  • Contractual obligations, which might restrict your creative freedom
  • Need a big Audience


In today’s modern world it is very easy to set up an online shop once you have a brand up and running. Everybody loves the idea of t-shirts, mugs, pins, and soft toys.

Using third-party websites can take the stress away from the administration side of merchandising. Once your setup, added your merch, you can easily link to it in your video description. The third-party website will then take care of it for you, creating the item and posting it to your viewer with very little input from you. 

All you have to do is to make some snazzy designs using your logos or artwork that’s relevant to your brand. 

It’s for this reason when creating artwork, that it’s done at very high resolution and with shared ability in mind.

Merchandise will also add another layer of complexity to a Youtube business. When you’re ready to start merchandising you’ll have to dedicate time to administration, which not everybody enjoys.

Here’s a list of Youtube approved Merch sites.

Videos With Purpose

Your videos should have a point to them, they are not just there to serve your ego.  Ask yourself what is your viewer getting out of the video. Why are they watching? what value are they getting?

What is the goal of your video?

Once you have a clear goal you can make sure you fulfill it. We all hate it when a video misrepresents itself. If you are doing a review of a game, do the review. This sounds like a simple thing but you would be surprised how many people seem to forget it. They spend the first 5 minutes telling you about unrelated stuff.

Unlike big companies like Nike, asking you to buy a pair of trainers. You are asking users to spend their time instead of money. Time for the current generation is a very precious thing. Attention spans seem to be shortening every day. Don’t forget the purpose of your video. 

Tell the viewers exactly what your video is about in the first 15 seconds.

Naming Videos

Let’s start with the basics. Google allows you to use 100 characters in the title of a Youtube video. But some search engines and devices will cut the title off after 70 characters. 

The name should tell viewers exactly what the video is about. 

Think of it as a promise.

A promise that you better fulfill. 

Use full words where possible, for example, if you are playing Playerunknown’s Battleground don’t just call the video ‘Bobs killing it on PUBG’. You might know what PUBG is, but not everyone does. 

Remember your audience is made up of a wide group of people, from first-time gamers to the more experienced. Try not to exclude any of them because views will eventually equal money. 

Structuring Your Videos

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

Now I don’t mean writing a detailed plan with storyboards, your not making a feature film. (Unless you are!) 

Your plan can simply be a few bullet points of things you want to cover. All the way to an extravagant work of art. Just remember that a plan will save time. 

You are more than likely going to make a wide variety of videos. You need to understand that the viewer is going to want different things out of each different type of format. Some people think that if you structuring your videos it will limit your creative freedom. Where in reality it will focus your creativity.  

Most videos will have a lite structure to them and are usually broken down into three simple steps.

  1. Introduction – Flash Your fancy logo, say ‘hello’. Let your audience know what they are about to experience. Do this in the first 15 seconds. 
  2. Main content – This is the main body of your video and will make up 90% of the content. But you should have some structure within the main content. Make your videos flow from idea to idea. Don’t just throw all your ideas at the wall and see what sticks. 
    • Think as if you are writing and telling a story of your experience. 
  3. Outro – This is just wrapping up your video, saying thank you and your goodbyes. 

You should also have a call to action here, which is a fancy way of saying ask your audience to do something. Ask them to click on a new video or tell them when the next one will be out.


We have all experienced clicking a thumbnail only for the video to show you something else entirely. These video creators create clickbait thumbnails to pull you into watching their videos. But the video is nothing like the thumbnail image. 

From the video’s name to image on the thumbnail, you are building a picture in your viewer’s eye of what your video is and what it is about. Remember this could be the first video a viewer has seen from your channel. 

Try and match your thumbnail with a realistic expectation of your video. 

It should go without saying that you need to make your thumbnail stand out as much as possible. It is the equivalent to an icon in an app store. The famous saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t really work here. Because like Youtube and even in a bookstore you have to make snap judgments. 

We are hotwired to judge things with little information.

Where possible add faces to your thumbnails. 


Because Netflix has spent a lot of money testing custom icon/thumbnails, with and without faces on them. They have found that thumbnails with faces increase clickthrough rates.

Phones and portable devices are the number one way people will watch your content. So don’t make your thumbnail super detailed because people just can’t see the detail. Plus, your thumbnail needs to be under 2 Mb to upload it to Youtube.

Try different layouts for different types of content or use color. Your reviews could be red and your previews green with news being blue. This could help people make quick snap choices. The quicker people click on your video, the more likely they are to watch, rather than just quickly browsing it.

Resolution And Aspect Ratio

When making your videos you should try and make them at the highest resolution possible. After all, with the new wave of next-gen consoles, 4K will soon become the standard. 

Your aspect ratio should be 16:9 which is the standard aspect ratio for game consoles and most PCs. If you have a laptop try and make sure you are outputting 16:9. Because if you don’t then when you move the footage over video editing software you will have to zoom it in or have the dreaded black bars. Most video editing software will have presets designed especially for Youtube. So make the most of them. 

Uploading Your Video

Youtube has invested a lot of money into making this a simple process. You can now just click a button and follow the ‘Wizard’ to go through the process of uploading your video. You should have already come up with the name of your video and produced the thumbnail. 

Then we come to the description. Don’t overlook the description.

  • Give a brief description of the video.
  • Link to anything you talk about.
  • Add credits if you need to. 
  • Add links to your social media. 
  • You could use it as a content page with links to different timestamps in a long video.

Quicky Summary

When starting any new project there’s always going to be a lot to learn.

Everybody started where you are now.

You don’t have to learn everything at once. You are only competing against yourself when you start. Just try and make your videos better each week, by taking small incremental steps. 

This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t get distracted by comparing yourself with the Youtube megastars. Don’t get disheartened if your channel doesn’t grow at the pace you expected. Try to make decisions driven by data not emotions. 

Do one thing every day that pushes you towards your goal. 

And have some fun along the way!


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Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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