Before We Start: You may be asking yourself, "Why am I taking advice from a channel that only has 80+ subs?” and we don't blame you for that. We would like to inform you before reading that this is a collaborative article by two members of Humor Hub, and not just by one person. Sauce: Personally, I have been on YouTube since 2010 through various site changes, channels, and genres. I went from IRL skits to Lets Plays to Funny Moments. I’ve had channels with 200 subscribers, two channels with nearly 1000 subscribers, and I’ve been staff in several YouTube Networks over the years. After being involved in the YouTube scene for so long, I have a few things I’d like to share with you all that I hope will help your gaming channel succeed. Chaz: I have been a Youtuber since 2012 that's 5 whole years and have always been striving for improvement. Now, here is my personal list of things you need as a gaming channel. Equipment Sound + Commentary Editing Thumbnails Engaging Titles SEO Promotion 1. Equipment Chaz: The MOST important thing in a successful gaming channel is the equipment. If you would think about it this way, would you rather watch The Avengers on a 1990's phone or on quality camera equipment(kind of irrelevant, but I am currently watching this movie lol). Just like The Avengers needs quality cameras, you need a quality microphone. The microphone market can be quite confusing since there are so many and so many have different features, however most of these Microphones have video reviews on Amazon and Youtube you can decide what kind of mic that you like the most. If you are starting out I'd personally recommend the Blue Snowball. It may not be super cheap for $50 dollars, but for the quality that you get out of it, it is truly worth it. Sauce: I have previously used the Blue Snowball, and it’s a good microphone for the price, but I would also consider the Samson Meteor, as it has better sound quality for roughly the same price. Chaz: So you have the audio down, Now what? Well you also need to make sure your video quality is good. This means gameplays not recorded off of your phone and instead recorded straight off of your computer. There are many different softwares that you can use to record. I personally recommend Fraps just because of the ease of use, but there are many more such as Bandicam and Dxtory. There are many "informational" videos on Youtube that could possibly lower the cost of these softwares. Before you use any of these look up tutorials on Youtube for different quality settings. Sauce: I personally use Dxtory because of its audio stream splitting ability, but different softwares have different positives and drawbacks. Fraps is simple to use and easy to setup, but the file-sizes are massive and the program itself takes a huge hit on your game’s FPS because it’s trying to output a raw file. Nvidia Share (formerly known as Shadowplay) and AMD Crimson ReLive both are great programs that come with either Nvidia or AMD graphics cards for free, and output small file sizes with good visual quality and very little hit to your overall in-game FPS. You cannot, however, split the audio in these programs (yet), but there’s a possibility for that to be implemented in the future. Dxtory is a very versatile recording program that allows you to have split audio streams (for example, I have it record my microphone for syncing as well as my game’s audio and Skype/Discord audio all in different streams, which makes it very easy to edit out certain things the way I want to), with generally less of a performance hit than Fraps and similar recording quality and the ability to choose which codec you want to use to record with. One good option for those who cannot afford any of the previously mentioned softwares is Open Broadcaster Software. This program allows for split audio, the ability to record in different codecs, small file sizes, good quality video, the ability to add facecams or text before the editing process, and you can also stream to Twitch, YouTube, and other sites with this program. It’s a open source and free, which makes it a compelling option for many who wish for a versatile recording program with more options to tweak and create the best content with. It’s recommended that you upload 30+fps, 720p+ content, otherwise your videos will not appear smooth on YouTube. I personally record at 1080p 30fps, and will be upgrading to 1080p 60fps once I get a new hard-drive and an SSD. 2. Sound + Commentary Chaz: Here you are all set to record, but before you start make sure your game sound is set to low enough where you can hear your voice, but still can hear the in game sound. Another software to make your sound really good is Audacity. Unlike most of the other softwares I have covered so far, this one is actually found for free. You can use this software for noise cancellation as well as many other things(If interested there are also many different tutorials you can find on YouTube). Commentary is another very important aspect of being a gaming channel. You may have heard this in a lot of different aspects in life and always rolled your eyes but it's true. Be Yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not because most of the time the people who watch your videos can tell. The only thing you should ever consider doing is speaking with some enthusiasm so people can be as interested as you. Make the jokes you think are funny, do the stuff you want to do it is your channel nobody else's. Sauce: When you’re recording, think about how others will see you. If you’re too quiet, mumbling, or not energized, then you might make viewers a wee bit bored. Be sure to speak clearly at a reasonable volume, show the viewer your interest in the game you’re playing, and try not to go too long without talking in between (if you’re doing a Let’s Play). It’s good practice to make references to pop culture, other games, and world happenings if you are able to make connections within the game. Generally speaking, those things make the commentary more interesting and relatable to the viewer. 3. Editing Chaz: Editing used to not be as important as it seems today, you used to just be able to take out some small moments here in there, but that's not really the case now a days. You have to actually put in some work if you want your videos to get some views. However, if you love let's plays and you enjoy them go ahead and do that. You may not get many views, but it's what you enjoy. If you do want to have your videos well edited, you will need some software. As stated in equipment, there are ways you can get software for cheaper by looking at Youtube tutorials. You could use Windows Movie Maker, but the amount of stuff you can do in that is very limited. The two big guns here are Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premiere. These are 2 great programs that you can learn and add a lot to your videos. They both have their ups and downs (Our group uses Adobe Premiere) but they are a lot better than movie maker. When it comes to editing, I think it's important to say what I said about commentary which is be yourself. You need to edit in a style you like and put in things that you find funny. Another thing that is sometimes decent to add is text in funny moments. Once again you don't have to do this but some people do like it. Sauce: I’ve used a variety of softwares over the years, including 5 years with Sony Vegas and a few months with Premiere Pro (this is what I currently use for heavy editing like Humor Hub videos, but I still use Vegas for lighter edits that don’t require much extra, since I prefer the simpler interface). Most people won’t be able to afford Vegas Pro, but you can also look for cheaper alternatives like Cyberlink PowerDirector, Adobe Premiere Elements (I used to use this when I first started out, it has improved since then but it’s a solid program to start out in), and Pinnacle Studio that should be adequate for most editing. If you can afford it, though, Premiere Pro is by far the best as far as features, flexibility, and overall quality. Movie makers and popular YouTubers alike use this program because it’s super powerful and can create very high quality videos. 4. Thumbnails Chaz: For thumbnails, you want to have something that can catch a viewer's eye, but without being clickbaity. You need to have something that connects to your video in some way and pops compared to everyone else's thumbnail. For making thumbnails, I recommend Adobe Photoshop. There is so much you can do in this software to make these thumbnails pop. Once again, there are a ton of different tutorials on Youtube to help guide you with your journey. Sauce: As Chaz mentioned, you want your thumbnails to be eye-catching, but not misleading (clickbaity). To do this, you need a combination of a coherent color scheme, contrast (between the background and foreground), and if you’re using text, you’ll want it to be big, vibrant, and easy to read. A good example of what I consider to be a quality thumbnail is an Off-Peak thumbnail that our other editor created for Humor Hub: Look how it compares to other thumbnails about the same game. It’s unique, it has its own color scheme, the text is large and easily readable, and there’s contrast between the background, the foreground character, and the text. It stands out from the rest, and that’s what you should hope to achieve when creating thumbnails of your own. 5. Engaging Titles Chaz: This segment is fairly short, much like your thumbnails you want a title that can catch a viewer's eye without being clickbaity. You need to make it relevant to your video, but at the same time being interesting. For example if you posted the 5th funny moments gta video in your series, don't call it "gta v funny moments #5". You need something like "GTA V Funny Moments: TERRIBLE TREVOR". Now it is your opinion on the all caps but I think it captures the viewer’s eye without being obnoxious. Just make sure that the title is relevant to your video. Sauce: For SEO purposes, it’s highly recommend to include the general topic (usually the game title) before the custom part of the title that you use to describe what happens in your video. Search engines like Google and YouTube query search results by scanning the beginning of your titles, descriptions, and tags first, so you want to have the most important things at the beginning. Another thing you should avoid is numbering your videos. Unless it’s a Lets Play, you want each video to stands on its own. Often times what happens is the first episode of a series (labelled #1) gets more views than subsequent episodes because of both age and the fact that it’s the introduction to a series. If you present every video as its own thing, people are more likely to return, expecting something familiar, yet different. If your videos aren’t directly connected, there’s really no reason to try and put them into a numbered series. A good video title that puts the game first is “GTA V Funny Moments: TERRIBLE TREVOR”. It puts the game and the term “Funny Moments” before the specific, custom title piece (TERRIBLE TREVOR). 6. SEO Chaz: You may be wondering to yourself, "What does SEO mean?". SEO is Search Engine Optimization which is the ability to have something searched and appear at the top of the list. There are many different ways to get higher on the list. This includes a great description for your video (I'd also recommend putting some links in your description to the game, your social medias, and any guests if they are any). The biggest however is Tags. When it comes to your tags you want to have a nice balance of short ones and fairly descriptive ones, just make sure they all relate to your video. If you are doing a Resident Evil 7 Funny Moments video you need to include tags like "Resident Evil", "Resident Evil 7". "Resident Evil 7 Biohazard" . "Resident Evil 7 Funny Moments" and etc. You should also include a few broader ones like "Video Games" and "PC Games". If you have the right amount people will follow you, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen right away. Sauce: When you’re creating tags for your video, think about the kinds of things people will be searching in order to find your video. Think about how you would search for your video or a similar video to yours, and what you would type in. Consider adding typos, abbreviations, and alternative spellings to your tags to help your video come up when someone makes an error. I also highly recommend tools like VidIQ and TubeBuddy for tag suggestion and ranking results. You can also use the Google Trends tool to search and find topics that are trending so you can capitalize upon those trends. 7. Promotion Chaz: Another great way to get people to watch your videos is promotion. You can do this by setting up several different social medias like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. Twitter has been extremely helpful for us in the starting stages. Other places that are extremely helpful are Youtube communities, and well if you are reading this on Yttalk, you have already found one! There are many other ones out there that are helpful, but this one is one of the bests. When you post in forums like this, just don't post your videos, make new friends with the same interests as you. You can find many gaming channels here so talk to some people and get to know them. This leads into my next point, COLLAB. When it comes to collaboration, you and the person you are making the video with are basically exchanging subs. Something important to note is find someone you think you would have fun with and who has as good as quality as you do. Also if you are a small channel, you probably won't get to collab with Pewdiepie just yet. You need to find some people that are in the same range as you. Sauce: Don’t collab with people only based on subscribers. Yes, it’s nice to potentially gain those subscribers, but collab with someone you genuinely enjoy making videos with. Collaboration is all about chemistry, more than anything. If you don’t have chemistry with the other person, the video likely won’t be very good. Make sure they have quality audio and internet so it doesn’t mess up your recording, as well. The end goal is to make an entertaining video, because that's really what will gain you the most subscribers. Chaz: All In All, I hope you guys have enjoyed this guide and you can get use out of it. We all like to make videos and I know a lot of us want to make the best content we can. If you see anything not on this list you think, I should add please let me know! Sauce: Thanks for reading our tutorial, and I hope we were able to teach you a thing or two from our combined experience on the YouTube platform. If you’d like more tutorials, please let us know below, and we’ll see what we can do. P.S If you see any typos, please let us know.