Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mistakes We Made When Starting A Gaming Channel (And What We Can Learn From Them)

We've all made mistakes during the first phase of running our YouTube channel, and to prevent others from making the same mistakes, I asked for the ones others committed on the /r/letsplay sub.

Here's what they said!

The Quotes

TheCatalyst Banner
My biggest mistake was uploading too much too often, early on in my channel I would upload 5 - 6 videos daily, all of different games, and a few co-op games, I over loaded my channel with too much content too quickly. (We now upload 3 videos daily, 1 main, 1 co=op and 1 secondary) -- Cadacis (TheCatalyst)
This isn't the most common mistake amongst beginners, but it still happens sometimes.

The problem is usually the fact that as you post that many videos per day, the quality of your videos will often degrade. And even if you're able to record and post that many videos every day, it's bound to get tedious sooner or later...

MittenSquad Banner
It wasn't when I was starting out, but I did fuck up pretty badly. I started making Let's Plays in August of 2013. Until about late December, I was gaining a few subscribers each week, usually like 3 or 4. In January that tripled. I was getting like 15 per week. It went up to around 20 per day for a few days in February. I was getting as many views per video as I had subscribers. Then, for whatever reason, I lost all will to record and edit and do all of that stuff. I took what I thought was going to be a 1 week break. That turned into 3 months. I started making videos again in late May. It took until early November to get back to where I was in January.
Moral of the story; Unplanned Breaks can seriously fuck up your channel. -- iAmMitten1 (MittenSquad)
If your channel starts experiencing growth, not posting videos for a week or more can really hurt you.

People might not unsub, but once you come back, your view count will drop and it will be harder to get back the momentum that you might've had going before.

If you do have to take a break, you can explain it to your subs and pre-record one or two videos and schedule them to go up once a week while you're taking your break.

My biggest mistake was my attitude at the beginning. I treated this like something I needed to stress over and succeed with. I did make sure I had fun, but there was too much focus on "gotta get noticed!" and "have to upload NOW!" -- HookedOnAnAnchor
The mindset with which you start out YouTubing is very important.

Focusing on money or becoming famous is bound to demotivate you because unless you get extremely lucky or you have something truly different to offer, your channel won't grow very fast.

Hooked later said, "I realized I was thinking this all wrong. Having fun is the number one thing. Stressing about getting noticed and growing my channel isn't something I need to aim for. I need to aim for making fun videos, and hope I can brighten someone's day." 
This is one of the best mindsets you can have when just starting out on YouTube. Having fun and not focusing too much on the numbers is the best thing you can do.

AlderShot Banner
WORST MISTAKE: Tried to specialize in one game (Warframe) from the beginning of the channel. It was fine and gained a fair amount of subs because of it, but as I moved on I stopped playing warframe and the channel has taken a different direction. Because of this, I do lose subs fairly regularly because many of them came from my warframe videos (which I dont produce any more), but luckily my gains from my newer videos still out weight the lose. -- Aldershot8800
This seems to be a mistake that many gamers make when just starting their YouTube channel. (I actually made the same exact mistake with Alliance Of Valiant Arms).

When you're just starting out it might seem that you'd be willing to play a certain game forever, but as time goes on you might get bored of it, it might get ruined, or something else might happen that causes you to record different games for your channel, and if your viewers aren't used to getting videos other than that specific game it will lead to a very difficult transition period.

Make sure you post at least one video of a different game every week so you have a backup plan and your subs know that your channel doesn't focus 100% on a certain game.

JBeetle Banner
Less of a "starting out" mistake and more of an occasional one - I forget to clip off the beginning of the video where I'm syncing the video's audio with my voice. So I go to test the upload, and the video starts with me yelling "TEST TEST TEST." --JBeetlePlays (JBeetle)
This is a mistake I'm guilty of, and I'm sure others can say the same. You quickly edit your video, render it, and post it, but you to quickly look over your video to make sure that there are no embarrassing mistakes like those.

The best thing you can do is avoid them by quickly checking the beginning of your video (especially if you know you're prone to making these mistakes). You can even put a sticky note on your monitor saying "Check the beginning of your video!" so you don't forget.

If however you do end up posting the video and your subs notice, it's good to be able to laugh at yourself.

DiceRollen Banner
My biggest mistake was uploading videos randomly with no schedule & being really quiet when speaking in my videos.-- DiceRollen
Having a schedule definitely helps because it lets your viewers know when your next video will be up. Even if it's an unofficial schedule and not something you specifically talked about, just posting videos on the same days at about the same time works the same way.

Editing your audio after recording is also very important. Some people speak quietly, and some people speak loudly but get drowned out by the game sounds. That's why it's always good to record using DXtory or OBS+Audacity so you have two audio channels you can edit (one of the game sound and one of your voice). Trust me, the pain of editing the audio is worth it!

ProfesionallyInept Banner
Our worst mistake(s) was all the footage we lost early on. And I mean a lot of footage. Brett's computer used to have some issues and we lost hours of content.--TemporalScavenger (ProfessionallyInept)
Oh the woes of losing your footage. It might be because your sound didn't record. Or because you forgot to press record, or your computer was acting funny. Whatever the reason for losing your footage is, it absolutely sucks.

In some cases it's preventable, but in others the only choice you have is to suck it up and re-record your videos...

GoldenWafflesGames Banner
I thought that my content was good, and getting popular, when it wasn't. At the moment, I have 26 subs, and my videos get more views than I have subscribers. And I thought that more people were seeing my videos. Although, they weren't getting many likes or dislikes. Then I realized that all my videos started to get an average amount of views. I told my friends who know about my channel about it, and they said that they just watch my videos a bunch of times over and over again. --legendofderpy (GoldenWafflesGames)
Sometimes your friends want to help but end up hurting you more in the process. Because they were refreshing the page to give him more views, his watchtime must've been tiny, greatly decreasing the chances of being found in search.

If your view count is incredibly high, ask around to check if you're being viewbotted.

BioDisk Banner
Worst mistake: uploading once a week and expecting hundreds of views every time.--biodiskstudios
This relates to a couple of the quotes above about uploading on a schedule and uploading more often.

Uploading at least 3 times a week is recommended unless your videos are very heavily edited.

CrispyPixel Banner
Wasting money on Facebook advertising. Technically my partners mistake, but damn it was a big one. --TheCrispyPixel
Facebook advertising seems to hurt YouTube channels more than it helps them. I've never tried it, but from what I've heard it's not very useful.

Your money is better spend on a video game that your subs will enjoy or on a giveaway of a video game.

JewSalt Banner
Well, I'd still consider my channel as starting, but we just don't have the work ethic/and or technical skill. Originally, the channel was my friend and I, and we couldn't edit very well, but we got a third guy before our channel actually started and he was our sole editor. This lead to him being swamped with work and with school to balance he couldn't do it. This has lead to just a slow down of content, to the point where I haven't released a video in 2 weeks, and while I've been learning, I'm pretty bad and I have too high standards. --RPGaddict28 (JewSalt)
This is probably not something many people will have problems with, but it's definitely possible with a channel that has more than 1 people running it!

Triform Trinity Banner
1. Began the journey at the wrong time as the exams began rolling in :) 
2. Not staying as consistent as I wanted to :/
3. Discovering that not everybody like you for who you are :( --the_NL (TriformTrinity)
The first couple mistakes happen to everyone and they're discussed often, but the third one is discussed much less even though it's as prevalent as the other ones.

Everyone will have haters, but there's no reason to change your channel because of them because they'll leave sooner or later, while your real subs will be confused on why you're changing your content so often. You can never please your haters no matter how much you change!

CatBearGaming Banner
Probably not a mistake most people could potentially make, but a big one for me was expecting fans of one medium to transfer to another. I released an Amnesia custom story and through commenting on let's plays from the big wigs (Markiplier, yamimash, raedwulf, etc.) I gained a ton of subs. About 30 I think. To this day I'm not sure why anyone would sub to a channel that doesn't have any uploads, my only guess is they saw it as similar to "friending" on facebook or something. Anyway, I seriously expected all those subs to be interested in my let's plays once I started putting them up, and I mentioned along with the trailer for my next custom story that I was doing let's plays and expected the people who enjoyed the custom story to take an interest in my let's plays. Neither happened. In retrospect it was dumb of me to expect those things. Moral of the story? Just because you have fans in one thing you've created, don't expect them to automatically care about something else you created. --CatBearGaming
This relates to not just different types of videos, but also different genres of games.

Just because you have thousands of viewers watching your FPS game doesn't mean you'll have the same numbers when you play an RTS or Horror game!

WiggleNator Banner
My main mistake is no schedule. Just because I have different work shifts throughout the week and can't really upload the same time every day.  --WigglenatorYT
Once again, scheduling your videos is important! If you're busy with work you could record all your videos in 3-4 hours on the weekend and just schedule them using YouTube uploader to post throughout the week!

OlavDeng2 Banner
Biggest mistake: targeting at 1 video a day, as a high school student(soon to be uni student) it is a bit too much --olavk2 (OlavDeng2)
Uploading one video a day is quite hard when you have to juggle the stresses of high school/college. It's possible, but setting a realistic goal for yourself is important.

Disable Resample. I uploaded videos for 6 months with resample and I only noticed once a friend nudged me that the resample was hurting his eyes. --Torbray00
This probably isn't a mistake many people will make, but to generalize: make sure your videos look good after uploading! You never know what might be happening to them during rendering...

Alovers gaming banner
Not having a backup plan in case my hardware crashed. If all you have is a laptop and you think there's a good 2 - 3 years left in it start saving for a PC. Recording / rendering onto my laptop shortened its lifespan by a few years till one day it just dropped dead. I was left without any way to upload for 4 months.
Always have a backup PC / laptop in case your current set up dies.-- AloversGaming
This happened to me, and MAN did it suck! My laptop got fried and I couldn't record for nearly a month which is terrible for your channel retention...

Having a backup PC is expensive, but it's worth at least thinking about it.

Spirit play banner
Starting out with a terrible mic and no schedule was a pretty bad idea. Although I did screw up my schedule just to wait for my 'good' mic it took me way to long to 'get in the groove' for scheduled uploads/recording afterwards. Start motivated and stay motivated! --SpiritShard (Michael Stanich)
Even if you're not recording yet, you can practice for recording by trying to commentate over your content every time you play. It will make you a better let's player in the long run!

Most of mine were technical mistakes really. I didn't have a proper mic starting out --ArmoredChocobo
Once again, having some sort of real microphone is important!

Pungoro banner
1. Starting when computer was having loads of technical difficulties leading to lack of videos due to no methods of creating them 
2. Attempting to continue uploading in the time that you know you usually get sick on(for me it was the change of nature)
3. Not practicing commentary even when having no way to record as you will have difficulty creating commentary --pungoro1
If you know you get sick during certain times of the year, you could always do a huge batch record so you have videos to post while you're sick!

The practicing commentary part relates to the above point of practicing even while you're not playing.

OhItsParker Banner
Named channel parkerbplaysmc the most boring name ever and i don't play mine craft anymore --pkbausman (OhItsParker)
I'm so glad someone mentioned choosing your name correctly! It's a very important part of starting out that's often neglected.

When choosing your name make sure that:

  • It's fairly easy to pronounce and remember.
  • It's not an incredibly common household item, because then you'll get lost in the search.
  • It's something you can relate to.

plearn banner
I have recorded in 30.00 fps and rendered to 29.970 fps since I was first start. It took me a whole year to realize the choppy vids, as I firstly thought it was normal! --PlearnGaming
Check your settings and make sure you ask around on the forums if you think something isn't the way it's supposed to be!

Although not a letsplayer I've got to say mines was focusing on the money over the content. --atc593
When you're just starting out you won't make a lot of money unless you get really lucky, so make sure you really enjoy this and you're not just trying to get easy cash because I promise you, it's not easy...

1. Not continuing for years when I did one LP video several years ago.2. Being okay with awful audio. Yeah, nobody's perfect at first, but it might still leave a horrible first impression on some potential viewers. Good thing it'll change in about a week.3. Putting all the raw videos, edited videos and thumbnails - of all the different games - into one and the same folder. --Gwaur (paulijmorton)
When you start, make sure you're striving to improve the quality of your videos every time you upload. Never be content with where you are!

Also, having some sort of organizational system for your raw and finished videos is useful because otherwise searching for the right file will take forever.

Bearzerk1 banner
Thinking that my boost towards the end of my 4th month was my channel 'stepping up' - it is in no way consistent and youtube is VERY fickle
Not putting effort into useful search terms - I didn't use adword, I didn't use a great deal of tag help sites, and I didn't even use generic tags just all were "game x" followed by 'lets play, gameplay, wakthrough, guide, how to, review' or something like that, there were no small tags that might have just swung it for me
realising that Reddit, although useful, can also be very fickle. 3/4 of my dislikes have come from posting to reddit
Not doing gateway videos (trying to do that now)
Not looking into small game sub-reddits to see what people WANT to see
Thanks to raidhyn for those last 2 realisations & agentc0re for showing me how to use adword --willza00 (Bearzerk1)
When you're just starting out, using SEO to get viewers/subscribers is probably your best bet! You can check out this article if you want to learn more about getting views using SEO.

Make sure you join different forums and communities and learn from people who have more subscribers than you!

This mistake was recent. I got mad at the YouTube uploader for taking too long, so I accidentally deleted the video that I was uploading. I had to spend an extra 30 minutes to re-record the video that I deleted. --darhtoon01
Don't get mad at YouTube. It sometimes has problems... =(

Killing the backlog banner
Something that happened, not when we first started, but lately was that I tried using Elgato to record both commentary and game sound. This resulted in the game audio sometimes being too loud when we stopped talking, sometimes us being too loud, or even our commentary being cut off for whatever reason(maybe not loud enough). Long story short: Keep the game audio and commentary recordings seperate. --yoshisword (KillingTheBacklog)
He basically said it all! Keeping the game and commentary audios separate is good practice for when things go very wrong.

perpetual noob banner
Very cool post. :)
  • You're going to need to spend a bit of money at the start, whether its for decent equipment (computer, microphone, capture card, etc.) or editing software.
  • Don't cut quality (too low) to save hard drive space. If your hard drive is too small for 720+ videos (when you're trying to record 720+ games), it's time to free up some space or get a larger hard drive.
  • Don't push yourself too hard when it comes to uploading. Try going through the full process of recording, editing, and uploading a single video to get an idea of how much time each video will take and then start to plan your upload schedule accordingly. I tried daily uploads at the beginning but my schedule just didn't allow it. I almost burned myself within the first month. --PerpetualNoob3
If you already have a good computer and microphone, money isn't necessary, but in many cases you will want to spend money on better items for gameplay. (You often don't need those items!)

BeatDaBest Banner
My biggest mistake was expecting to gain a big audience right away and only posting one video per month. I was expecting to get to 1000 subs really quickly, which in hindsight is hilarious (especially since I posted once a month). --BeatDaBest

Thank you for reading and I hope you won't make the same mistakes as we did! If you would like to have your mistake posted on here, please comment below!

1 comment:

  1. Subsequent to being played on iPads, iPhones and android gadgets, the amusement is likewise in incredible interest on PC. It adds to your general gaming background once you introduce and begin playing this wonderful diversion on wide screens your desktops.