Dan got his start on YouTube in August of 2011, recording gameplay videos as a fun hobby while attending school for video production. Joining the vidIQ team in 2020 allowed Dan to combine his hobby and professional talents to now help others grow their own YouTube channels.
How to Get Your First 100 Subscribers as a YouTube Gaming Channel
Although this post is all about gaming channels, the advice is applicable to all types of topics. However, check out our video on ‘How to Get Your First 100 Subscribers on YouTube’ for tips and tricks for every YouTube creator.
6 Ways to Get Your First 100 Subscribers as a YouTube Gaming Channel
How long have you been active on YouTube? And, in that time, how many subscribers have you gained on your channel? If you’re struggling to hit your first milestone then check out the following 6 tips for success
#1 Determine Your Value Proposition so Viewers Subscribe
As you can imagine, competition in the gaming space on YouTube is heavy. And as time goes on that competition is only going to increase as more and more gaming content creators are enticed onto the platform.
So as you continue on your YouTube journey towards that first 100 subscribers you need to ask yourself, why should people subscribe to me? And once you determine that, that needs to become your value proposition.
What’s a value proposition? It’s simply what makes your channel valuable, and if that's something you haven’t determined yet, that's my first assignment for you. Determine your value proposition and then make it clear upfront.
#2 Establish Your Authority as a Gamer
If you have less than 100 subscribers you need to build some credibility and authority around that value proposition.
You need to put your money where your mouth is and show us just exactly how you're going to help us master the game of Temtem, for instance. Luckily, you can do this in a multitude of ways. You could do tutorials, you could give your take on Temtem versus games like Pokemon, or you could show highlights of some of your best moments in the game where you conquered some of the most challenging boss fights.
But keep in mind, it takes time to build credibility and authority, and you're going to need a few videos under your belt before people start seeing that you actually are the master of Temtem.
This advice assumes that you've niched down your content to at least one genre of game if not one game altogether. We recently published a video on the subject and I highly recommend checking it out because I go over exactly how I would go about niching down into at least a genre of a video game.
#3 Create a Video Library of Content on Your YouTube Channel
Once you have decided which game or genre you’re going to focus on, I recommend building a healthy library of videos.
Even if your plan is just to make one video a week, I would recommend starting out with about three to five videos on the subject that you're covering. This will do a few things for you.
For one, it's going to help your potential subscribers know exactly what kind of content they're going to get if they come back wanting more. Secondly, you're giving YouTube more data to help better categorize your channel. The third thing this is going to do is give you the opportunity to diversify your content out of the gate.
Let's say you don't want to just make Temtem tutorials, but you also want to create some generic ‘let's play’ content where it's just you playing the game for 20 or 30 minutes. You can do a couple of ‘let's plays’, and mix in a tutorial and a review or two. Now your potential subscribers have a really good idea of what kind of videos you make around this game or the genre of games.
#4 Run a Channel Audit so You Know What’s Working
This seems like the perfect opportunity to show you the Channel Audit tool we offer here at vidIQ. As you build up a library of videos, you're going to be getting a lot of data points, so run a channel audit often (even every day) and take a look at videos that are getting decent views, and decent engagement. Then, double down on that kind of content. Give your audience more of the things that they're coming back for.
You can also use this tool to determine videos that could use a little more work. You can go into these videos and determine why did people only watch for a short time, which is an amazing opportunity for you to learn from your old content and make more engaging videos going forward.
#5 Work Extra Hard on YouTube Custom Thumbnails
So you've picked your game or your genre and you know exactly what content to create to get you your first 100 subscribers because now you're giving them value on a very specific topic.
So with that out of the way, the next thing we need to focus on is your thumbnails. Generally speaking, I've seen countless creators do one of two things. First, they take a screenshot from the game and let that be their thumbnail. YouTube just chooses it for them and it very often doesn't really match the title of the video, so as a viewer and I'm not really sure what I'm going to get.
Secondly, I've seen a lot of over-produced thumbnails where creators try to cram as much text and tiny images into an already tiny thumbnail as possible in order to try and communicate what the video's about in just one little picture.
I can't stress enough, please don't skimp on your thumbnails. As gamers, we have a lot of awesome opportunities to make really colorful, eye-catching thumbnails because video games have already done half the work by basically allowing you to play in a work of art.
Now I do understand that some games make this a little more difficult than others. Like Temtem is a very visually appealing game, but what about a game like Braains.io? Braains.io is kind of a zoomed-out, top-down game and taking a screenshot and trying to make it a fun clickable thumbnail is a little bit tough, but a lot of creators have kind of found a way to make this work for them.
The fact of the matter is even if your game doesn't really allow for nice screenshots to be taken within it, be sure to put in that effort yourself and find a way to make your thumbnails clickable and eye-catching. Perhaps take a character from your game, and make it the hero of your thumbnail, but make sure that people visually connect with your game rather than just simply taking a top-down screenshot and calling it a day.
For more information on creating the perfect custom thumbnail (and why it’s vital that you do) check out our playlist here, which includes this invaluable advice:
#6 Remember Your Calls to Action
So up to this point, if you've been following this advice, you now have a strong value proposition, you have amazing thumbnails, you have a clear idea of exactly what your channel's about and you've communicated that to your audience. You're starting to build up that authority and that credibility by posting a number of videos that identify you as an expert on whatever it is you're covering.
Now that you've honed in on the value that you're offering your viewers, it never hurts to ask people to subscribe, I can't stress this enough.
Think of it this way, they've already clicked on your video out of interest. They saw your thumbnail and thought oh wow, that looks nice. They looked at the title and said, "Oh wow, I actually need to know "how to beat that boss fight in Temtem." Then they've clicked.
Now, let them know, you do this thing kind of a lot and you would like them to subscribe. When you watch videos here at vidIQ you'll notice that right at the bottom of the screen we always put something that indicates, hey, don't forget, you can subscribe. We make videos like this all the time. It never hurts to invite people to explore your library of videos a little bit deeper and decide if you're a creator they would like to visit again.
YouTube Gaming Channels: You’ve Got This!
Getting your first 100 subscribers on YouTube is probably going to be the hardest uphill battle you'll have on the platform. But once you get that first 100, you may find that 200 isn't far off because by now, you've built up a lot of credibility. You have a library of videos. You have an upload schedule and your audience is coming back for more.
YouTube is a marathon, not a sprint. So enjoy the time it takes to get your first 100 subscribers. Learn with every video you make and you'll get there, I promise.
Want To Get More Views on YouTube?
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