Content Creators

Content Creators

I am a rookie content creator (just hit my 19 month anniversary on YouTube) so I've got a lot of fresh learnings to share.

  1. Don't put your face in thumbnails before anyone even knows who you are. Reaction thumbs work for big channels because the proprietors are recognizable.

  2. Don't ignore your video description. Put lots of info in there because pieces of that feed into the algorithm.

  3. Don't render an edited video and immediately put it online. Watch through in its final form before beginning the upload. I've had several instances where I made a last minute change and accidentally shifted background music/censor bleeps/overlay assets off the where they were supposed to be in the timeline. This probably won't be an issue once you've learned your editing software and found a standard workflow, but when just beginning, definitely "measure twice, cut once."

  4. Don't let YouTube pick the thumb for your Shorts. When uploading on the phone, you are able to pick any frame to be your thumbnail, so strategically put interesting text/clickable images in the Short at any time which you can slide to and use as the thumb.

Okey dokey

  1. do not upload more than one video a day, people often, according to YouTube studies, watch YouTube on their phones for short periods. Uploading 2 to 3 videos a day is a surefire way, of making sure people won't watch all your content.

  2. Shorts - Choose your own section of the video for a thumbnail

  3. Descriptions - Know what you're doing, and make sure the description is about the video, not "subscribe and like please".

  4. Interaction - Simply because you are getting subs, doesn't mean you can ignore your community, I take 1 hour a day to respond to video comments, so make sure you do too!

  5. Community Tab - Use it, whether it's posting patch notes, game images, or random polls because you want to know what people think, use it!

  6. Thumbnails - This is what people first see, so make sure they stand out, fancy artwork is not going to work in a tiny image.

  7. Swearing - Don't swear in your videos, this puts people off, there is no need to swear in any of your videos, across my two channels I have over 500 videos live and I do not swear in any of them.

  8. Get to the point - The first 15-30 seconds of the most important of the video, this is where people will decide to keep watching, so use this to either list what is coming up in the video or just get to the point, people don't like people waffling on nonstop.

  9. Subscribe - Once you have finished a video, end it on a nice note, "So I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the video, please feel free to like and subscribe" - Politeness costs nothing.

  10. Face Images - Unless you already have 1k subscribers, don't, people don't know who you are and this is NOT a good way to get subscribers or traffic.

  11. Social Media - Use it, Twitter/Reddit/Pinterest, Make profiles, work on them, use the right hashtags, and get your videos out to the gaming community.

  12. Tags - YouTube has a "research" tab for a reason, use it, and type in the main point of your video i.e if I drop a video on "Eve Online Venture" I type that and it gives me a few top searched tags in that area, it's there for a reason.

So here are a few things you should do. Good luck and see you in the club when you get there!

I've been a Content Creator and Streamer for well over 5 years now and so I've learn quite a few things along the way that I'd like to think can be applied to other creators at any level.

Common mistakes I see on a regular basis:

  1. Does not use CTA or Call To Action on short or long form content.

  2. Does not use "Hooks" on the start of their short form videos.

  3. Has a focus on "quick success" and financal gain through E.G subscriptions rather than working on improving themselves and their content.

  4. Does not read their chat whilst broadcasting live.

  5. Posting only "Going Live" posts on their social media rather than building a audience and showing off their personality.

  6. Creators posting huge quanities of clips rather than focusing on a selected few and ensuring they're good.

From a video point of view, having eye-catching thumbnails using poses and key text, with captivating titles are a must.

Just one:

Normalize all audio levels before you render a video. Even if it's just that one clip. One guy on voice comms may end up SO loud! Don't let that happen. Everyone's ears will thank you later.

I can forgive cropped videos or a not-perfect-quality recording, but having uneven audio levels is a sin that there is no reason for. It's just a few clicks well spent.

My rookie mistake and i do it alot is trusting random players on a multiplayer to work as a team and not bully the rookie/part-time player.

Yet it still happens 😆

After 10 years on YouTube, here's probably the biggest mistakes I made that affected the channel's growth.

  • One of the biggest ones for me was trying to push out videos when I just didn't have the gear for it. I get that starting out investing in good gear might seem dumb, but recording with old bad mics or bad camera footage dooms your channel for a very long time. So get some good gear before you even start putting up any videos.

  • Another thing I also spent way too much time on is thinking communities such as Reddit or Discord are good to get advice or feedback on your channel. Instead, you most likely just end up banging your head against the wall for ages, trying to get any good nugget of advice. Each channel is in a very unique situation, so expecting random strangers online to give advice that is perfectly suited to whatever situation your channel is in is just wishful thinking.

  • Also paid tools such as VidIQ and TubeBuddy are a waste of money, so avoid them like the plague. I tried one of them for like a month a long time ago and I honestly felt guilty for giving them that money.

  • Get strong branding from the start. I always was, and still am awful at graphic design, so my early logos, banners, etc. were awful, and made my channel feel a lot more amature that it probably should have. Especially with the rise of easy AI tools, great results can be achieved a lot easier nowadays. Same for thumbnails, I spent way too many years not even being able to make a good thumbnail for my videos.

Shout out to MURRRAAAAY for this excellent idea on our latest suggest-a-bounty bounty!

oHhh my pleasure 😇 been interesting to see the answered here too! A lot of variety which is cool!

OMG easy one. Make sure you CREATE insted of judt streaming lol! So many think you can put 8/12/14+hours in.. nope. Create on other platforms and work from there

Sounds like a good tip to me! Just letting you know though that you've made a reply rather than a submission to the bounty - please use the 'submit to this bounty' button to make sure it gets counted when we come to consider awards!

Boxing yourself into a niche area of content creation

Sure, it's important to have a theme when it comes to content creation, otherwise you'll struggle to find a consistent audience.

However, one thing I see a lot (especially in short-form content - maybe it's an algorithm thing?) are a lot of 'one trick ponies'. This is not to say that these creators are untalented, because sometimes they can break out of this and create something really interesting! I guess overall it's just important to stay open to developing what you create and not be entirely motivated by short-term gains, in terms of getting loads of views for one type of video that may be trending now - but be of no significance in a few months (or weeks!).

This is also a huge thing when looking at what kind of brand deals you can get, if you are in a niche you limit the brands you can work with and games etc you can get your hands on.

As a Twitch content creator the biggest things I can advocate for is:

Don't self promo on other people's channels!

Don't backseat or foreshadow!

Whether you're joining a stream for the first time or not, coming into someone else's stream and, without being prompted or asked, telling everyone about how you are currently playing this on your channel, or "I've got to go now, I'm about to stream myself". You'd think this would be limited to newer creators but I still see old hats do it and it's not a good look.

Other people's streams aren't a platform for you to freely advertise, it's a place to enjoy someone's content, get to know the community and become a part of it.

Backseating/foreshadowing can be aimed more at viewers but again I see fellow content creators who are in streams as viewers offering every bit of unsolicited advice they can. If you want to see a game played the way you would play it - then go play it yourselves, don't ruin or try to influence someone else's experience of a game. Passion for a game is great, but channel it the right way.

Create your own feel - don't try to emulate. Just be you.

Don't overcomplicate - KISS - keep is sweet & simple.

Keep it FUN - don't try to be to serious.

Be respectful at all times.

Don't ignore your community but be ready to moderate

This is a very hard one with lots of bots / art spammers targeting small creators, you don't know who is genuinely starting a conversation and who only wants to spam you with their art or various promotions. Check their profile first, what they post, is it even relevant to your content? You need to make the decision here and not waste your time on spammers. I spent way too much time responding to every single hi and running rounds of small talk by the time they finally blurted out they wanted to sell their art to me. You don't have to reply to every single DM, use your time wisely, do a bit of profile research and then reply to the ones who are genuine viewers and are truly part of your community.

And if someone comes to your stream just to promote themselves or posts comments on your videos which criticise you in a not constructive way, just delete the comment or ban them. Be ready to protect yourself early on before it gets out of hand. If you have to pause your stream, just let your viewers know, go to your dashbboard and find the mod tools. Big channels have moderators for this, you'll only have yourself. And your true viewers will appreciate seeing that you are looking out for them and work on providing a safe and good experience for them.

You can't just stream and expect to grow

This is one I learnt the hard way. You have to start being active on social media, post about what you do and create other content like short videos which will help you get discovered, because just from streaming no one will find you. Youtube is a bit better with discoverability since past streams show up on your channel, but you won't get discovered just by going live on Twitch. Your channel will be at the very bottom of the page of the game you are streaming. The higher viewer count someone has, the higher their channel will come up when someone searches for a game.

Network with other creators you follow, introduce yourself on their discord if you are a member, speak to their community, find friends and you'll find new viewers as well. Try it with creators your size, they will more likely be approachable and willing to help since you are in the same boat. You might even get a nice collab out of it one day :) I have discovered new creators by being thrown into their channel with a raid, so maybe your creator friends will trust you with their community and you get new people watching you after you get a raid.

Ignoring SEO

As a content creator, one crucial lesson I’ve learned is not to underestimate the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), especially in the early stages when your channel or brand isn't widely recognized yet. You basically have two ways to generate traffic: pay for it or optimize your content for search engines.

There's a wealth of guides and books on how to develop your semantic core, create interconnected content webs, and tailor your offerings to address specific issues or needs of your audience.

Chasing AAA-projects

Another piece of advice is to focus on less popular, low-frequency requests. For example, if you’re planning to release a review of 'Baldur's Gate 3,' chances are your video will be buried deep in search results. Instead, consider covering a niche indie game. If there’s limited content available on it, you’re more likely to get a few thousand views. Plus, indie developers often appreciate such coverage and may even feature your content on their social media, giving you an additional boost.

If you have the opportunity to attend events like WASD or Gamescom, steer clear of the long lines for AAA hands-on demos. Instead, head to the Indie Arena, collect as many business cards as possible, and build your contact list. This can lead to free game codes and opportunities to help smaller companies without large marketing budgets gain exposure. Supporting them can, in turn, significantly aid your own growth.

Not investing in good equipment - nothing turns a viewer off quicker than bad capture or voiceover - be sure to put yourself as the viewer and understand if you'd watch the content you are putting out.

Also, and especially if you're going for search content, then make sure you give the information clearly and show all steps. If you can be a source of guide content then you will gain subs. They will come back to learn from you - example: Esoterrickk for Destiny 2, he has no voice over but gives solid guides on how to do things people come searching for, and his community love it.

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