– You know, every single time we go out, and we do a live stream, we ultimately get hundreds andhundreds of gaming channels.
And they all tend to have common questions such as well, is it too lateto have a gaming channel? Is the market too saturated? How can I stand out? What should I do if I love my gaming and wanna build a gaming channel? So we decided today on Tube Talk to deep dive into the gaming niche, and is no one better thanour very own Dan Carson, who is the gaming whisperer ashe is known in the industry.
I'm not sure if he is but he is now.
And what guy what Dan does, is really understand the gaming world.
And because of his vast expertise, and because he'd been consulting to a lot of our clientsdoing gaming channels, he is the ultimate man to talkto us today, on Tube Talk.
Dan, welcome to Tube Talk.
– Thank you, I'm really glad to be here.
– [Narrator] vidIQ – [Narrator] vidIQ – [Narrator] vidIQcom.
– Gaming whisperer by theway, that could be it, a short, you're so gonnahave to get made that.
– Thanks for having memake new business cards.
– Listen, that's what we do here.
So Dan, for those who don't know, who is Dan in a tweet? – Who is Dan in a tweet? Well, I am someone who enjoys video games, someone who enjoys content creation, someone who doesn't knowwhich he enjoys more.
And you know, just reallylucky, lucky is the last one.
– Okay, I like lucky, lucky did a bit of luck every once in a while, right? – Yes.
– Oh, so Dan, you know, as I said, we do a lot of these channel audits.
We do a lot of these in live streams and you know, that we gave, we get so many gamingchannels coming through, saying, hey, help me out here.
What do I do and everythingfrom Fortnite to Minecraft to guys we've never even heard of.
And everybody is trying tokind of get into that industry, so I thought today I'mgonna pick your brains.
But I'm gonna ask youslightly different questions, and the question is, whatmistakes are you finding that people are making bydoing a gaming channel? – When it comes to the gaming channels, there's just, I mean, there's a litany of mistakes that I made that my friends have made.
You know, I'm sure thatthe big Docs have made, who are currently at 10sof millions of subscribers.
And as time has gone on, it'sonly been easier and easier, to make those mistakes.
So the biggest one out of the gate, I think the easiest one tomake, when you're just starting, is just doing Let's Play content.
And I can't say that's like, a hard stop, that's a mistake.
Let's Play is kind of what it sounds like.
It's when you turn on a game, and you're just playing it withyour audience on Let's Play.
So, I mean, maybe peoplehave their own definition of what makes a Let's Playversus what makes a review.
But I consider Let's Play content to be the kind of see where it's episodic.
And people just kind of pick up a game, and they do a walkthrough or a Let's Play or whatever you wanna call it, basically playing it with their audience.
– Okay, so we all playtogether, but essentially, the audience kind of is apassive participant in those, they listening, and you're the ones who is going through the motions.
And we all do that when we game anyway, we all scream at our computers, or we scream at gaming stations, and essentially just recording my reaction as I'm taking through the steps.
– Yeah, that's a fantasticway to put it too.
Yeah, to somebody who's neverseen a gameplay video before, that's kind of what you can imagine.
It's the fact that peopledo Let's Play content, and they wonder why did nobody watch.
My Let's Plays just asgood as everybody else's, I've spent money on a nice computer.
I spent money on a nice microphone.
I've been practicing in frontof the mirror for weeks.
I've recorded my first video.
I did the best I could possibly do.
My friends, genuinelytold me they liked it.
Why did nobody find it? Why did nobody see it? And it's because nowadays, this is more true than ever.
The Let's Play marketin general is saturated, you'll do a video, you'll doMinecraft say episode one.
And you might actuallyget some views on that, because episode one or part one is actually a pretty strongsearch term in gaming.
I don't know how it is withother sectors of YouTube for certain things.
But in gaming, people loveto type the games name, and then episode one, because they wanna seewhere it's gonna start.
So you might actually gettraction from an episode one, beyond that though, I've beendiscouraging people lately from even using episode numbers.
Because it does two things, for one it puts you inthat mode of just okay, now I'm just gonna play the game, episode two, three, four, five now I have 10 videos.
This is great, I have over aweek's worth of content now, fantastic.
But no one is searching for Minecraft episode two, three, four etc.
The other thing it does isn'tit, it doesn't help you, craft your video from the start.
I like to make a video, andthe first thing I decide is the title, and I decidedthe title by thinking, what's the question I'mgonna answer in this video? Because if you're answering a question, there's really good chancesomeone is gonna find the video.
– Nice, rather.
Yeah, rather than youjust playing Minecraft.
Why should someone watch your content? Cause what people seem toforget, is when you're brand new when you're first starting out, you might be the best thereever was legitimately.
But no one is gonna know that, because you have zero subscribers and you haven't earned thatclout yet with the community.
No one has found you yet, you have to a offer value.
If that's true in any nicheon YouTube offering value.
– Absolutely, and I likethat type of thinking, with the consumer in mind, what are they searching for? – Right and that's so true in gaming.
I think that's somethingthat gets completely lost in the process.
So it just sounds so fun to record a game and it is a lot of fun.
But, you know, it's morethan just playing the game, it takes work, and peoplesay play what you enjoy.
The reason they say that isbecause that's only part of it, you know, you still needto be doing something to provide value to that community because that's how YouTube works.
It's a search engine and people search for things they're wondering about.
So what can you solve? What is your Let's Play doing, that no others is doing? – Okay, so you're saying iswhen I'm thinking of Let's Play, not recording it for thesake of recording it.
It is fun for episode zeroas you get you out the gate, but have a clear purpose, what do you wanna achieve, in your Let's Play episodes, that is what I'm hearing.
– Yes, and I will say one more thing.
I think that it's okay todo a 10, 20, 30 episode run of a game if you'venever done YouTube before, and you just need practice.
But I tell people that and I tell them, I just want you to know it's 2020 and people have done that to death.
And probably no one is gonna see it, if you're not reallyproviding that value up front.
If you're Let's Plays aren'treally tutorialising people on anything they're curious about, or showing someone a new trick or a tip, that they've never seen before.
And it's literally justgame title episode blank, I found diamonds.
You know, everyone, noone is gonna find that, everyone has found diamonds before, they don't need you to tellthem how to find diamonds.
So I just warn peopleuse that time on YouTube that beginning time as practice and go in knowing it's practice.
Don't let the numbers discourage you, because they will be discouraging.
– Oh, I love that, Ignorethe numbers rather skill up, rather level up your own skills.
The way that you're presenting, the way that you're talking to camera, the way that you're talkingonce playing the game.
Are you engaging? Are you funny? Will people tune in? Get better and better withthat, that should be your focus rather than worried abouthow many views you got, as you're standing at the gate, its new, It's gonna take a while to get right, and that's a beautiful, beautiful tip to kind of put peoplethinking, I wanna do it, but I'm not so sure I can, great.
Go and do it and seewhat happens essentially.
love that idea.
Okay, so tip number one, bespecific, have a purpose.
If you're gonna do Let's Play, understand that it's gonna take a while to get a bit of traction, andbring yourself to the party.
What are you bringing? Why would you be differentthan a bazillion other, Let's Play channels thatare doing similar stuff.
That's what I'm hearing you say? – Yes.
– So episode number one, wedone, we now have a purpose, now we're clear, what happens next? – Well, as far as what to do next, I always like to think of thecommunity around the game, because something unique about gaming.
I mean, I shouldn't say totally unique because if you're if you doproduct reviews on your channel, the people who are marketing that product are also trying to grow too.
But that's what I'm driving at with games, especially as game developers.
That world is just ascompetitive, as the YouTube space, people are making games, and they're trying toget them seen by people.
So in a sense, you can jumpin that wheelhouse with them, and you guys can both grow, they can grow their game, you can grow your channelby supporting each other in that regard.
So, let's, I'm gonna talkabout niching down in a second, because that's kind ofwhere I'm going with this.
Niching down is something that a lot of people struggle with, they they like to play abunch of different games, and that's, again, justlike the Let's Play thing, I was talking about a minute ago.
That's great, when you'rejust first starting out, find your game, find your niche, you know.
If you like a lot of different games, see which one is kind of resonating with your audience the most.
But then try and stick to that niche, at least the genre of the game, if not one game in particular.
But most games, especially that have, like larger developer teams behind them, have large communities thatare full of fans of the game.
And a lot of them have a space for people to share their creationsincluding screenshots and videos and livestreams, and what have you.
So, if you can ingratiateyourself into that community of people who already lovethis thing that you love, you're now more a part of it, than just it's, goes beyond YouTube.
It's not just about makinga YouTube video anymore.
Now, it's about being in aniche community of people.
You know what I mean, causeif you think about it, that game developers already niche down.
You know, they're gonnarelease updates for the game.
And you don't have tothink about that part, you just cover it.
– Well, the nice thing is, it's a built in audience, people who just like you, they love the game so much, that they're willing to share their tips.
they're willing to share theircontent, their screen grabs, maybe it's a little repeatedGIF or GIF, I still say GIF.
But you know, that's what it is, within the built in audience, and it's so good for you to tap into that.
So I love the idea ofusing your community, also hearing what kindof questions they have, where they stuck? Where people need the most help? Those are beautiful, beautiful titles for you to jump in on andsolve people's problems.
Especially when you're kind of wondering, should I do a Let's Playor maybe a different spin on a gaming channel? Isn't this an amazingplace for you to get all your next video ideas? – Yeah, I tell you I've playedgames before Indie games that have a lot of potentialand a strong niche.
I've joined their discord withhundreds of people in them, and thought, okay, cool.
And I've just kind oflurked in chat and watch, you know, stuff passed by, like, look at this thing I made, or look at this trick I found.
And what I've done, is I've made a video about that person's post, and I'm always carefulto credit that person.
In the video I say, hey, Iwas in the blank discord, and I saw this thing that some so built, and I thought I'd show you how it works, because I just wantedto draw attention to it.
This is so cool, wow, good job, so and so.
It's, that's all goes backand feeds into a community.
And you'll rarely find somebodywho gets upset with you for stealing their idea becauseyou've given them credit.
You've you found this on the discord that they publicly posted to everybody.
– Absolutely, okay Dan, one of the big questions that we get asked all the time, and I mean, you canattest to this as well.
People say, look, Ilove more than one game, maybe I'm a specialist in the one, but I also really enjoyplaying another game or perhaps even a third game.
What will I do on my channel? I don't wanna be doing just one thing.
And in mind of niching down, how do we help someone wholoves to do multiple things? – It's tough becauseeveryone and myself included, loves more than one game.
I mean, as someone who loves video games, you tend to love games, play roll, so and you feel like Icould bring something to all these different games I own.
And I always try to tell people like, if you're going to swap games, and most gaming channels will, you just wanna stay inthe same kind of lane, you wanna stay in the same genre.
Because if you go from Minecraft, which is a survivalbuilding crafting experience to Halo, which is a firstperson shooter experience, and there is some fun little crossovers you could do Microsoft evenhas little fun Halo skins, and stuff you can get for Minecraft.
All that aside, eventually, you're going to have an audience that likes first person shooters, and you're going to have anaudience that likes Minecraft.
And that's going to slow down your content because now you're trying to cater to two different audiences all the time.
And there is this tug of war with them, there is a tug of war internallywith you as a creator.
And it's kind of I liketo think of it like this, if you have a DIYchannel and you fix cars, but you also renovatehomes as your day job.
You were probably reallygood at both of those things, and you probably wouldlove to make content if you had time to do something like that, on both of those subjects.
But how will you manage that? That's two totallydifferent worlds of people fixing a house is nothinglike fixing a car.
Other than the fact thatyou're a very impressive human who is handy, in either case.
So you could certainlytry, you will be very busy.
And you would struggle withgetting your search down, because now your channel is about two totally different things.
And you're building theseto different audiences, and even YouTube is like, what, who, where is this guy going? You know, their algorithm appreciates it when you niche down as much as you can.
– And don't forget, the audience also needs to have that stability.
You know, if you're cominghere for one type of content, that's the content I wanna get.
I don't wanna get lots of different stuff because that's not what I'm here.
I'm here because you're aspecialist at Minecraft, you're a specialist at fixing your car.
You're a specialist at the DIY, but you're a specialist inthat and that's why I'm here.
If you're a specialist, at DIY, and all of a sudden youstart doing photography tips.
That gets weird now right.
If you continue to go andjump across different channels or different genres, what weused to call a variety channel, then you still grow, it'sjust gonna be much slower.
So I guess what you'resaying is pick your love that you love the most stick with it.
And perhaps at a certain time, either transition thechannel to another game.
Or create a secondary channel, perhaps, which is not advisable for everyone, but crushes secondary channel and perhaps take some of that audience over into that channel, who perhaps love you, and then they're willing tofollow you into something else.
– Yeah, well, and I wannaadd another example too, its think about it this way.
Let's say you're out in a public place and you witness somethingcrazy, like an explosion.
And you film it you get it on camera, like this thing's on fire, it's gonna blow you pull out your camera, you film it kaboom, goes viral, 2, 000, 000, 3, 000, 000, 4, 000, 000 views and you had the foresight to make sure to includea little subscription like call to action in that video, and people subscribe to your channel.
You've just made a channelabout things that explode or things that kind of happenedin the world that are crazy.
If you turn around and you have, you know, a million subscribers on thatchannel, whatever it may be, and you start vloggingand things like that, that's audience it's gonna be like, ah, I'll wait till the next explosion video.
– And so the message thatsends to YouTube as well is, hey, beautiful channelmillion subscribers, six people watch your content, maybe your content isn't good.
That's the message YouTubeis gonna be picking up, cause that's what the number indicate.
Another reasons, by the way, why sub four sub never ever works.
And actually throw that in, at every opportunity, I quit, just to kind of get that point home.
Okay, so we have a clear purpose, we know what we're doing.
We're willing to nichedown sometimes reluctantly, but we're willing to take that next step.
What other mistakes are youseeing in the gaming world? – Well, and this is onethat it just really depends on your lifestyle, but Isee time and time again, a confusion and some chaos, when it comes to managinga content schedule.
There is especially in gaming, I guess this started a few years ago and I don't think it's as true these days.
But there was a time where, especially in gaming, we all believed we neededto upload daily videos like seven days a week, we need to have at leastone video going out, every single day.
And maybe at a time, that was a thing, but now people are burningthemselves out very quickly.
They start a brand new channel and they're like, Okay, here we go.
Daily gaming videos, take one and they just do and they make that first mistake too of just episodic Let's Play content, cause then now they've run out of steam.
Now they haven't giventhemselves no time to research what people are asking about the game.
No time to answer any questions.
I especially with a new channel would love to just to discourageanyone from doing that.
I think it should be about veryhandcrafted quality videos.
Quantity isn't going to do it anymore, people are using YouTubeas a search engine, and they're not searching for, just a person playing dailygames, like just playing them, there is no value there, you'renot answering the questions.
– And the world has changed, and I think that's one thing that you and I have seen quite a lot of, is people are doing what they used to do, two, three, four, years ago, expecting kind of different results, that's gonna blow up now.
But the world has changed, YouTube has changed.
And it's no longer about making, masses and masses amount ofcontent, hoping for the best.
It's about search, it's about intent, it's about giving data to YouTube.
So you get into those home feeds, those browser feeds those suggested, cause you're now adding real value, as opposed to I have to comeout 365 days of the year to making content.
That is not a worldthat we live in anymore, and YouTube doesn't work that way anymore.
So it's one of thosethings that's a great tip, bearing in mind the content schedule so you don't burn yourself out and who wants to go into something, committing something forthe rest of the year.
And in fact, for the next 10 years, you might, you're not gonnabe able to keep that up.
So give yourself the best opportunity by doing that research.
So again, Dan kind of madea really good point there, of understanding the viewer, what are they searching for, can you provide value thattakes time to research as opposed to let me do another episode on my unrealistic journey here.
Okay, but this is a hardcorekind of some reality checks, and I appreciate that people, might get a little bit upset about this.
But that's just what it is, it's the nature of the beast, and that's what we sing, and we're here to help younot make those mistakes.
So don't shoot the messenger.
– It's, we're all about growth here.
I mean, that's, what we do.
People ask us, how can I grow? And so when I give this advice, I sometimes see pushback of like, well, that's notas fun, I wanna have fun.
I'm like, I wanna havefun too and I do it fun.
But there is a balance work is still work, you can have a job, that you absolutely love but you're still going to have to work the show up and actuallydo work sometimes.
And that's a YouTubechannel becomes a business given enough time.
So yes, it's going to takework, it can't be 110% fun you can play your game butyou need to edit the video.
You can't just put it allout there 40, 50 minute video with no metadata at all, no thumbnail and expect people tofind it, it takes work.
– So speaking of taking workand doing some research, are you finding that people maybe, are choosing the wrong game? Maybe the wrong genre? Maybe they love somethingthat only six other people in the world love, andtherefore that perhaps is holding them back, whatdo you think about those? – And that's another rough one, isn't it? It's how do you tell somebody, hey, you know your favoritegame, you know, Minecraft? Yeah, do you realize it'sbeen around a decade? Like, did you considerthe age of Minecraft because for 10 years now or more, I guess Minecraft has been recordedby countless YouTubers and livestream bycountless live streamers.
And to this day, it's very popular that's great for Minecraft.
But how does that relate to you and your brand new YouTubechannel covering a game that's a decade old.
I hate to say this andagain another reality check might be that Minecraft is overdone to a point where, you canhave a channel about it and it might be still a lot of fun to make videos with yourfriends and have them watch, but at the end of the day, you better be doing something that nobody's seen before.
Covering something that hasnot been covered before, and Minecraft might still be an option if you're deep in the mod community, if you're taking community made things and covering those I'veseen success with that, and and I'm not even somebody who covers a lot of Minecraft these days.
So it's possible still, I'mnot saying it's impossible, but it'd be a lot more.
I think you would expedite the process of growing your channel by playing a game, that maybe in the samekind of breath as Minecraft but not Minecraft and one that's new, and one that is thirsty to grow just as much as you're thirstyto grow your YouTube channel.
– So be realistic isbasically what you say, it's I love that idea ofconsidering the age of the game, cause that isn't somethingI would have thought, it will be more of, oh, Ireally love this game, why not? If I love it, other people love it.
And that's true, manypeople love Minecraft.
It's been around for a while, so much so that even a lotof the big Minecraft channels are actually pivoting away ortrying to find out more about, three or four or five differentpeople doing a Let's Play but less about Minecraft ismore about the engagement between the people.
So be realistic is okay, that's great.
By the way, it's greatalso for other channels, not just gaming.
Understand going there as wide open.
Know what you're getting into, what's the community like, if they're super active, could you leverage that? Or maybe perhaps it's thelast time a discord message was sent to us, you know, six months ago.
Kind of gives you an idea of what you're doing your research.
So Dan you keep going back toresearch, research, research, and I think that's a pretty, vital.
Last job as we ending off cause this is, I think a lot for people to take in.
So some people are gonna be happy to have a hard realitycheck, unfortunately, but it's good because itmeans that I could focus and do stuff that works.
When we're done, it's all said and done.
We've got a focus, we've nichedown, we've got a good game, good content schedule, finaltip for us, what would that be? – If you've done all those things, you now want to spend timeon your thumbnail, obviously.
I'll never stop harping on thumbnails.
If you make a video that the title and the description everythinggets it found in search, the thumbnail isn't clickable, people are just visual creatures, we wanna see something thatis going to make us click, something interesting and unique.
Take the time to learn howto construct a proper image of thumbnail.
And whether it's Photoshopor one of the free services, one of the dozens offree services out there, for crafting up a photo.
Just learn how to do that, cause you're going to notice a huge change in yourprogress on growing on YouTube when your thumbnailsare actually clickable.
In addition to that, make sureyou've done that research, in your title, yourdescription and your tags, everything is all hunky dory.
Once the video is up, once things are underway, and you're on to making your next one, I would just say that the timeyou spend outside of YouTube.
You can still be working on your channel by not making a video byjust playing your game, getting to know it, and getting to know thecommunity around it.
This kind of this is tying up everything we basically talked about thus far.
But go back to that community and continue engaging with them.
Because if you become apresence in that space, somebody that not only are you the person that they're used to watching on YouTube, but now you're here withthem talking about the game and discussing things youlove about it that you found and picking up on thingsthat they've found.
It's going to become a situationwhere even the developer is gonna start hittingyou up and saying, hey, I got this new update.
It's happened where developerswill sometimes let people in, on the update process before anybody else.
And now you have aninsider, kind of look at, you know, the next thing that's coming up and you get to cover it first.
You build your relationshipwith the community and include the developers in that, because a lot of gamedevelopers look for people who are covering their gameand who are doing it well.
– Well, because it's exposure for them, it's giving them an outlet.
You know, the best advertisingwhen somebody else says, how good your stuff is.
And essentially, you'regiving them all that in space.
And by the way, a coollittle trick here as well, if you go after thevery, very popular games, they've got millions ofpeople covering them.
What about the app and cameras? What about indie gamers? What about those guys whoreally have got amazing content, but not the budget of thesebig development companies? Find those games and maybeyou're their go to person.
Maybe you're the ones who get in, on very early beta x or even alpha, where you get some say in what's going on.
And maybe it's under embargo, but when the game launches, you're ready to kind of attack the market with so much content.
And that helps you, and it helps them and the competition is much less.
If you bring yourself to the party.
Well, your gaming channelreally can actually grow and grow wealth.
– I'll tell you this before we wrap up, I one of my best friendsright now in my life is a game developer.
And I started covering their game as a tiny little baby YouTuber.
And I start playing their game, it was the first thing thatreally took off on my channel, which was a Minecraft channel.
They're my best friend nowthey're one of my best friends, there like just a hugepart of my life now, because I've built that muchof relationship with them.
As time has gone on, it's so important to build those relationships.
– Oh, relationships andcommunities is basically what YouTube's about.
Don't forget people that doesn't realize that YouTube is actually a social network.
You know, you can comment you can like, you can share the definitionof a social network.
And we tend to forget that, but remember, you have a voice, you have a community, you havepeople that love your stuff.
And whether it's 100, or 10, 000, we all want those big numbers.
Remember, each view isa person, its subscriber is an individual.
If I was using this example, when people say I onlyhave 200 subscribers, I say cool, if 200 peopleare coming for dinner, is that a little bit or is that a lot? Well, that's a lot of people.
Therefore, never underestimateyour own community in what you bring, takingdance tips into here, doing those research niching down, really understandingwhat the community wants and delivering them are great ways to get you onto that road to success.
But Dan keeps harpingon the word research, do your homework, cause when you do your homework, you just had one step further.
You would never justopen a random business in a random location, hoping for the best, you would research the heckout of that environment to make sure you're a good fit.
And if you are a good fit, then things start to happen.
And with these tips, youshould be well on your way.
So Dan I won't take upany more of your time, you've got lots of stuff todo, lots of editing to do, lots of content to produce.
But really appreciate youkind of diving into something that is up your alley, very much your niche very much something that you love, and our community lovesyou for doing this.
Cause hey, gamingchannels are all the rage and people want those.
But the information you give is real, like you've shared with us.
So again, thank youvery much for your time.
And where can people catch you, on which stream do you do on vidIQ? – Yeah, so you'll findme making videos at vidIQ just I've been focusingon gaming over time, I may, you know, I may justuse gaming as a humble example.
But you'll find me onthe channel audit streams just all around it vidIQ doingall manner of content things.
– Stuffed bunches and things, and for the rest of you still listening.
Thank you very much forhanging out with us, on this episode of Tube Talk and you know, a good gamer in your lifethat's perhaps struggling, creating that gaming channel.
Feel free to share this episode with them, let them be on the right path.
Let's kind of do that research, get your channel focused so that you can rock your gaming world.
This is what we're all about.
Don't forget to hit thatsubscribe button, if you liked it, share it with your friends.
Give us a review on the podcastapplications of your choice.
I will catch you guys on the next episode of Tube talk.
Thanks for hanging out.