Content Creators

Content Creators

So... Good tutorials.

Steps are required here:

  1. Thumbnail - The thumbnails need to "grab" attention, but not be so bold or ugly as to have people look at them and say "Oh dear god".

  2. Get to the point - Within 10-30 seconds you need to be in and talking about your subject matter, this sounds like a very short time, but to a YouTuber, this is actually quite a long time when discussing something.

  3. Know your game - You need to know the game of which you are talking and of course the subject matter as well, you need to know you are not "waffling" on for no reason.

  4. Video length - You need to keep your videos under 15 minutes long, remember, the majority of people who use YouTube are on their phones, looking things up during lunch breaks and breaks, etc.

So these are the steps I have always taken in making tutorials and it has always worked.

  1. Solve a problem or show a way around a problem.

  2. Divide the process of solving the problem into smaller steps. Show these steps, and provide time codes or chapters to jump to these steps. This way people can skip to the point they are struggling with. A side effect is that it helps to understand the general approach.

  3. Go into detail and show each step. Often people struggle with a minor thing, so showing what to do in which place is always worthwhile.

  4. Don't lose focus! Know when you go too far into detail. If there is more to say, make another video instead of starting to explain that other random thing that's not important right now. Stay on track.

  5. Make tl;dr or summary. That's rather easy when you did step 2.

  6. Add links to your sources and/or further information. This is where you can add that piece of content explaining the other detail worth talking about. A nice side effect: This is the next idea for a piece of content.

The best part about tutorials is the feedback when someone finds it helpful. :)

  • Get to the point, fast, otherwise people will click away and find a different video

  • Know your audience - is this tutorial for a beginner? or somebody more advanced? Adjust levels of assumed knowledge accordingly

  • Make it step by step and split up tasks so they're more easily understandable

  • Helpful video in the background.

I don’t want to enter because I’ve only ever made one and I don’t want to detract from the entrees, but as a consumer of guides/tutorials, these are the things I look for:

Expediency: if you’re making a tutorial, you shouldn’t be comedic/verbose. Get to each step as quick as humanly possible.

Visual Reference: if the game has a map, use it. Otherwise, do everything in your power to show location/direction, etc.

Using a Voiceover: It would require a great deal of complexity to require a voiceover. Most people are simply looking for a small missing piece of what they already know to solve their issue, so you speaking is only adding to their focus anxiety as far as video games are concerned.

However: if the tutorial you are working with is something “backend” (installing patches, working with emulators/virtual machines) a voiceover is immensely helpful because people that deep in a process typically appreciate a bit of system knowledge to apply to future applications.

  • Visually reinforce things. Use text on-screen to back up what you're saying and make sure any footage is relevant and clear.

  • Don't treat the viewer like a baby who can't do anything, but still tailor the tutorial to a particular experience level you expect them to have. But still, never talk down or waste their time on the obvious. It will only annoy them.

  • Add chapters, great for viewer digestibility and for SEO.

  • Get straight to it and waste as little time as possible on the intro. Start delivering concrete steps within 10 seconds.

  • Tutorials are a ruthless venture as people will go to your channel to learn one particular thing then leave. So make sure to make them return. Have the presentation still be as good and entertaining as possible, so that people will want to stay not just for the tips but also for your personality. And also showcase what else your channel has to offer, mentioning and linking other related tutorials or content.

  1. Be clear and concise, I want to get in and out fast

  2. Break tutorials down, I don't want a tutorial in a tutorial

  3. If you are referencing something else link to it

  4. You can still have fun, and sound like you care and that you know your shit

  5. Write your tutorial out in the description of the video (if it is a video)

  6. Have good audio and visuals

  7. If it's out of date take it down and update it!

  8. Consult other professionals in that field

Create a thumbnail which grabs attention but isn't clickbait (I hate when I click on a guide thinking it's something I need and turns out to be something completely different)

Keep it short. Usually people's attention spawn is about 7 minutes. If you need to make a guide longer than this, best practice is to use some jokes like funny moments, mistakes you've made while shooting the video to keep your audience entertained (I've learnt this when I was a tour guide)

Think of people with different skillsets. If it was something you originally struggled with, it is guaranteed that there are others too. So don't think you are not pro enough, create that guide and someone will thank you for it.

Some people prefer guides with text / diagrams in it and don't like audio guide that much. Consider creating an image with all useful information like key steps, requirements, materials etc on it so if someone prefers such a method they can stop your video there and have all the information on the screen (very useful for game encounter guides to have like positions shown on a map or skills listed)

Many great tips have already been shared about creating engaging guide or tutorial content, but I'd like to add some thoughts, particularly for text-based tutorials, which can also serve as a foundation for video content.

Understanding the Purpose

First and foremost, define the purpose of your guide or tutorial. Are you providing a broad overview of a system, like crafting in a game, or are you giving specific instructions for creating a particular item, such as the 'Sword of Wonders'? It's crucial to distinguish between these two types, as they cater to different audiences.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is key. What brings them to your content? Are they beginners or experienced individuals in the subject matter? Tailoring your content to your audience's level of knowledge ensures relevance and usefulness.

Optimizing for Search

Guides and tutorials are often sought after to solve specific problems. Most of your traffic will likely come from search queries. Therefore, optimize your content for SEO. Use titles and descriptions that incorporate likely search phrases. Think about what you would type into a search engine if you were stuck at a certain point in a game, include these terms in your content.

Engaging Your Audience

Finally, solve their problem first before asking for subscriptions, likes, or explaining what your channel is about. Your primary goal should be to address their immediate need. Once you've provided value, then you can encourage them to explore more of your content or channel.

Remember, a successful guide or tutorial is clear, concise, and directly addresses the needs of your audience while being easily discoverable through search engines.

Some critical components, brevity and accessibility.

Much of YT is plagued with 8 minute and change or longer videos with at most 2 minutes worth of useful info, the rest is trash bloat meant to min/max the ads program. I skip 99% of videos that are 8 minutes (current ad meta) or 10 mins (old ad meta). I make my guides as short as possible, with any critical parallel info linked in the description below.

As for accessibility, lose the jargon as best as you are able. Make your guide from the perspective that the consumer has NO IDEA what you are talking about. EVE for example is full of jargon as are a lot of games. Assume the viewer is aware of none of it, otherwise much of what you try to present will be lost in the lack of translation.

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