Is uploading daily content really the right way to grow your gaming channel on YouTube? We take a look at why this may not be the best strategy for new or smaller channels.
How often do you upload gameplay videos to your channel? In gaming, daily uploads are common, with creators maybe recording for a few hours, breaking that content up into smaller clips.
I've seen many reuploaded live streams broken up into several episodes, which gives the gamer ample content to upload every day. But is that the right strategy?
Building a Gaming Channel on YouTube: Upload Frequency
Now, the strategy of recording for a long time and then breaking it up and uploading segments of this recording every single day has its place on your gaming channel. But I've tried this for myself and I can tell you, if you're looking to grow your channel instead of just engage your current audience, this strategy isn't going to be very effective.
YouTube won’t necessarily reward you if you upload content as much as possible. If you're just uploading “episode 82” of your gameplay video, that's probably not a big search term that anyone is looking for.
Daily uploads do have the benefit of getting seen by your own audience because you've made that a schedule, and it's pretty easy to upload content every day when all you're doing is hitting record and just playing your favorite game. And for the bigger, more established channels, YouTube may just push your content because you're just uploading so many videos. But let me explain why smaller, newer channels should take a different approach.
Why Uploading Daily Gaming Content isn’t the Best Strategy
The first issue you're going to have is burnout. When I was doing this on my channel, I was trying to upload every single day. But not only did I get tired of the game fast, I got tired of all of it - editing the videos, creating thumbnails, trying to think of new titles and tags. It can just be too draining to make that much content all the time.
More importantly, it became harder and harder to come up with ideas about what I was going to do in every video. Even if it was a game like Minecraft where I'm building something, it doesn't take very long after about 50 days or 50 videos in to run out of things to build.
Combine all of those problems with the fact that my YouTube channel just simply wasn't growing made me look for a better solution.
The turning point for me was to cut back on the amount of content I made. Only then did I start to see progress. That's because instead of just making content as often as I could, I took a step back and asked myself, "What are people who play Minecraft really searching for? What are the problem areas? So adopting that quality over quantity method helped me grow, and that was a huge learning curve for my channel.
Now, as someone who started a gaming channel, I, like many of you had somebody or a few people I was watching who inspired me to keep creating. I would watch their channels as a fan and I would see them uploading every day and I would see their videos getting thousands of views and it made me excited.
However, using vidIQ’s Competitor tool I could really understand what is making those other gaming channels work. The tool allows you to choose any channel you want and check out how their videos are doing based on views per hour, views in general, or just the date uploaded.
The reason I've picked these very large Minecraft creators relative to the size of my own channel, is because they appear top for the search term Minecraft. These are well-established creators who can get almost 20,000 views every hour on a video that was posted two days ago, but even they still need to be putting in that quality work.
You'll notice that a lot of time has been spent on their very custom thumbnails. These are not screenshots taken from Minecraft, these are handcrafted, custom thumbnails that are all very eye-catching, and have a lot of color to them.
There's one specific channel I want to point out that does a really good job though and that is Pixlriffs. The thumbnails are pretty nice. They are screenshots from the game and they simply say Minecraft and then what it is. SkyBlock, The Survival Guide and so on.
What's cool about this channel is everything is still part of an ongoing series. There’s a series about SkyBlock, but specifically going to the nether in SkyBlock, which is going to be a term viewers are searching for.
What Pixlriffs tends to do is stay within that same Minecraft world. So in effect, these are still, let's play videos as you may know them, as you might create for yourself, but they all have a purpose.
The point of me showing you this is on this channel, everybody's happy. Pixlriffs is making content that's probably going to get him discovered by a new audience and his current audience gets to watch as he plays Minecraft and progresses through the game.
Why Bigger YouTube Gaming Channels Can Upload Every Day
Now, these creators all have pretty large audiences. They also have great custom thumbnails and titles, and a lot of time and effort has been put into optimizing their content. You'll also notice that they have a pretty high upload frequency, they upload quite often, but what is important to remember when looking at your competition, especially when you try to compare yourself to larger channels, is that these channels are a lot more established than my own.
Some of them are doing this as a full-time job, some of them even have teams of people helping them with new thumbnails, editing, and research, etc.
As a new smaller channel, this is definitely a struggle I had. I had to remind myself that I have to start somewhere. I can't come out of the gate at the same level as these other creators. Even if I know I can make quality videos as nice as theirs, I can't do that every single day without quitting my day job or hiring a bunch of people to help me. I'm not saying that's what you have to do to get to this level. I'm just saying for me at the time, that's what I've struggled with.
YouTube Success: Quality Over Quantity
All of our journeys are different. Mine is going to be different from yours, and from other creators, but one thing we all have one thing in common and that's every single YouTube channel starts with zero subscribers.
They start by asking their friends to subscribe and they test things out and then they slowly grow over time. Some of the big creators have been around for quite some time and that also gives them an advantage in the Minecraft space.
The point is if I want to grow as a Minecraft channel today, I'm going to have to try a whole lot harder because a lot of those questions that people are searching for are being answered already. There are a lot of competitors who are already covering those topics.
So when I say quality over quantity, it's especially important to remember that depending on the game you're playing and just how popular it is.
So do daily uploads help grow your channel on YouTube? Yeah, absolutely. If you can upload one video a day and you've put in the time, and the research, including creating an awesome thumbnail, an awesome title, awesome tags, and you've done everything you can to make sure that video is as high quality as possible. If you can do all of this, then go for it.
But if you don't have time to do all that work. I would highly recommend instead of daily uploads, perhaps just publish one or two videos a week. This is going to give you time in between videos to come up with those ideas to make a nice handcrafted thumbnail or to really research your keywords and titles
The key is to be consistent with your publishing schedule. You want to make sure that you upload videos frequently enough so your audience is used to finding them and YouTube is used to knowing when it should push your videos because you've uploaded them at the same time consistently week after week.
So say you upload your one or two videos a week and you find yourself with some extra downtime and you think, "Oh, that Dan guy's totally wrong. I want to make daily videos." I still think that's totally cool because as you make those more searchable, high-quality videos, you're going to want to maybe put some more out there for your audience to watch that has already subscribed, has already decided they like you.
There's nothing wrong with posting a regular old gameplay video every day, but the main take away for you is that quality over quantity is going to help with the overall growth of your channel to bring in those new subscribers.
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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.