Need Help Growing a YouTube Channel From the Ground Up

5 replies
I used to be a very active member of the Warrior Forum a few years ago, but I've taken time off from online marketing from 2013 until the present. Man, this place has changed a lot since I quit visiting here on a daily basis.

Well, straight to my point: I'm an avid gamer. I play a lot of Minecraft, many hours per day in fact, and I've started recording my gameplay and doing videos called "Let's Plays" for YouTube. I spent about a year watching some of the most popular players on YT, listening to what they did, watching how they did it, and even taking notes on their strategies for content, personality, etc., before I struck out and started doing it my own.

The first thing I did was to buy Mirilis Action!, which is what my favorite LP'er uses. He has over 1/4 million subs, so I figured that was pretty safe, and it was. I love the software. It's very simple to use, and I get the exact results I'm looking for.

Next up is video editing software. I'm still searching for this. I downloaded HitFilm 4 Express, which is a free version of their product, but I can't get it to produce the results I'm looking for. No matter what I do, if I combine 2+ gameplay clips, it always makes the sound "off" by a second or so. Can anyone recommend any free or cheap software that's easy to use? I tried to get Windows Movie Maker, but it looks like Microsoft dc'ed it and won't be releasing something else until April of this year. Until I find something that I can use, I've adapted to taking my videos all in one take, just pausing the recording in-between action or building sequences. I really want to figure out editing, though, as there are graphics I'd like to add and sequences I'd like to show in 2x speed.

After the video is produced, uploading is no big deal, but finding traffic is. I've taken all of the steps I can find for getting attention. Here's what I'm doing for every single video:
  • Branding - I've branded my channels with my avatar and username across Twitter, YouTube, Curse, Twitch, and Discord. I've not yet used Facebook, but after reading through this forum today it looks like something I need to look into. I'm also keeping my channel family friendly. I don't curse in my videos and a lot of the people on YouTube do. I'm hoping that my stance will help parents to encourage their kids to watch my channel versus some of the more foul-mouthed ones.
  • SEO - All of my videos' titles contain my username, so as my brand builds people can search for it and find it. (It's not The Article Pros btw LOL...it's a gamer tag.) I also optimize the title, description, and keyword box using very specific features first for Minecraft, then for the modpack I'm playing, then for the specific activity I'm doing in each video.
  • Social Response - I view every single comment left on my videos and reply back to any of them that can be responded to. Even if it's just someone saying they enjoyed my video I'll leave a "thank you!" as a reply. I'm also active in a Curse community, and the others in that community help to spread my videos across their social media spheres. In addition to this, I'm active on 2 extremely popular Minecraft forums as well as on the FeedTheBeast subreddit, and I've got a good reputation across all of that. On the 2 forums, my signatures contain links back to either a specific video or playlist on my channel.
  • Playlists - I'm playing through several modpacks (versions) of Minecraft, so I've divided the videos into playlists to further my SEO efforts.

I started uploading videos the week before Thanksgiving here in the US (mid-November). Since then, I've posted just over 60 videos, each at roughly 30 minutes, and I've gained 60+ subs. I finally managed to integrate my ancient AdSense account with my YouTube account this past Saturday night, and I've made a whopping $0.05 in profits. That's nothing at all, but I'm still really excited about it because it shows me money can be made at this.

So here's why I'm posting: I need to know what else I can do. I'm bootstrapping this entire thing, and I've already dropped $200 of my own money into equipment and software. I don't have anything else I can put into it, so paid YouTube advertising is not an option. How else can I grow my channel? I'm not impatient, and I know it'll take time, but my goal is to turn YouTube gaming into my primary income over the next 18-24 months. Obviously I'll expand out past Minecraft as time progresses, but I need to get more subscribers. What other avenues are out there that I can use to freely advertise my videos, playlists, and channel, in order to gain more attention and to help grow this thing organically?
#channel #ground #growing #youtube
  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    So far no one has chipped in any advice, but I've been reading and reading and not waiting for things to come to me. I re-tooled the website that I'm basing my online presence on and I've added it into the "brand package" as I think of it. Now I add each video to the website in a new video post when I add it to YouTube.

    Tonight I created a Facebook brand page for my YouTube channel and I add the video there as well. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but I've gone from 60 subs this morning to 65 this evening, so something is working.

    I would still really love to hear advice from anyone here who has experience with growing YouTube channels. You don't have to be an expert at gaming; I just want to know how to grow the channel.
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    Posting About Life & Video Games:
    http://www.jarycu.com

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  • Profile picture of the author smilealot
    My best recommendation is to try and get on Cliff Carrigan's email list, then try for an invite to his private Skype group. It's all about video marketing, you won't find better help anywhere.

    Facebook will do wonders for you, and so will Instagram.

    This software is awesome (the PRO version might be more suited to what you're after): http://www.photodex.com
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    • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
      Originally Posted by smilealot View Post

      My best recommendation is to try and get on Cliff Carrigan's email list, then try for an invite to his private Skype group. It's all about video marketing, you won't find better help anywhere.

      Facebook will do wonders for you, and so will Instagram.

      This software is awesome (the PRO version might be more suited to what you're after): (URL snipped)
      Perhaps you could expand on what you mean. Who is Cliff Carrigan and why would I want to be on his private Skype group? Can you give me more details?

      Also, why would I want software that makes video slideshows when I'm doing a gaming channel and making videos out of actual gameplay? Can you tell me more about why this would be useful?

      Finally, please give me details on how "Facebook will do wonders . . . and so will Instagram." Tell me what they will do...I already know Facebook will be helpful, but I don't know what to do with it. I don't know anything about Instagram at all.
      Signature

      Posting About Life & Video Games:
      http://www.jarycu.com

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  • Profile picture of the author lana87
    Have you ever considered joining Fullscreen partnership? If no, I recommend you to check it out. It will help you to take your channel to the next level. Of course, this MCN has its downsides, but generally its pros dominate.
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  • Profile picture of the author FUBSZ
    I am in a similar to position to yours. I recently just hit 400 subs, all thanks to this method. I think long term will yield better results though.

    Here is what I do:

    1) Focus on designing a super clickbaity image. This is the most important thing that will attract people to your video.

    2) Write a clickbaity headline. See whats trending in your niche and focus on that (trending topics work really well)

    3) Join Facebook groups, subreddit groups and forums about Minecraft.

    4) Contribute to those groups and try to help other people, giving is the best way to actually receive.

    5) Post your video as soon you upload them, this will show youtube that people are actually watching your video and rank you better.

    I have been doing this for the past 2 1/2 months and went from 0 to 400+ subs. I think its pretty good
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