We all want to do something we enjoy for a living, but if I had said a few years ago that making money out of playing games you probably would have thought I was mad. However, the world is changing, and not only can you make a living on Youtube and Twitch through your gaming, you can make a damn good one, with some gaming Youtubers turning themselves into millionaires through their videos (no exaggeration). So what steps do you need to take to try and make money gaming?Our guide provides some top tips for the avid gamer who wants to try and turn their passion into a career.
Firstly, the logistics. You need a healthy YouTube account with no dodgy videos on it. Make sure that the account you are using has no videos on it that could get you banned such as copyright infringements or hate speech, as a guideline, google’s adsense terms (google owns youtube) are a good reference, look through it and check you are playing by the rules. After this, you should start uploading your videos.
How Do YouTubers Make Money?
Making money from your videos can be either super simple, or a little more complex depending on the methods you use, and there are a few different ways you can turn a profit.
- Youtube’s advertising partner program. You basically turn on advertising on your videos, link up with your adsense account (google’s advertising scheme) and you get paid per 1,000 views on your video. You’re not going to get rich off of 100 views. The ‘CPM’ (cost per 1,000 views) that you are offered from the games niche isn’t usually the biggest, so you’re going to need a pretty big volume of subscribers and viewers to make decent money. This is the simplest way to start out. It basically means that YouTube play ads before your videos and in return reward you with a cut of the profit.
- Product Endorsements. Don’t expect to be making money in this way after uploading one 30 second video! However, as you build up a name for yourself, brands (such as gaming brands, manufacturers of games equipment etc.) may want to latch themselves on to your channel and can offer cash in exchange for you talking about, or even just using their products.
- Affiliate and Associate schemes. A little bit more of a tough one as it involves links. An affiliate link is one which tells the merchant that you have referred them to your site, if a sale is made, they’ll pay you a cut. Joining an affiliate scheme such as that on Amazon.com means you can make money if someone clicks on a link to a product such as a capture card, controller case, gaming chair etc.
- Your own website. Making money on someone else’s platform is always a bit risky, and we recommend having your own website which you can drive traffic to from your YouTube videos, have exclusive content on and more. You can make a lot of money this way, and on top of that, you can OWN the site. Nobody will ban you from owning your own site whereas accounts on YouTube or Twitch (designed exclusively for gaming videos and streaming), there is always a slight risk.
What Sort of Content Should I Publish on My Gaming Channel?
It isn’t as simple as just messing around with some games and chucking a few videos online. There are ways to make sure your channel gains traction and followers, and while it is never easy to build up this kind of following, the tips below will go a long way to help.
- Help. A lot of the people who find the content you’re making will be searching for help, for example they might want to know how to complete a mission or how to defeat the bad guy, how to draft the best players for their NFL team or how to sign footballers on Fifa. If you can answer people’s questions in your videos (and make that clear in the title and description of your video) you’re much more likely to be found. Tutorials and how-to guides are an amazing way to reach people.
- Be ON IT with new games. Within a day of a game being released, thousands, even millions of people will be looking for information, everything from reviews to how to’s to in play videos. Get a game the day or even the hour it is released, start playing and capture EVERYTHING via your capture card, thus giving you a headstart.
- Try and look professional, you can do this by adding audio (I recommend no copyright sounds for finding good music), editing your video and making it look top quality.
- Be Unique. Find your own voice and your own approach to your videos, there are a lot of people out there trying to do this so being unique is a way to stand out!
Other Things to Consider.
You need to promote your videos. Call on all your resources, all of your social media followings, forums, gaming communities. Every way you can possibly drive traffic to start to build up a following and a reputation you should take.
Another vital step to make sure you get to the top is to target specific keywords, you don’t need to be religious about this, but it is important that you think about whether people are going to be LOOKING for the videos you’re making. A video title and description which says ‘Sam’s Minecraft Video August 20th’ might never get found through the searches. A video saying ‘How to Survive Your First Night on Minecraft’ is something people are going to be looking for and is much more likely to get you traffic. If you get to the top of a lot of these sort of searches you could be looking at millions of views.
You’ll need some equipment, as well as the console and games, you’re going to need a capture card (we have plenty of reviews of those, I recommend the Elgato HD60).You’ll also need a computer of some sort. Most of us thinking of doing this will have access to computers and our console, so the investment to get started isn’t huge.
It’s not easy getting to the top. This is a great way to make a living and if you can achieve it you’ll be in dreamland. Gaming is great fun, and the industry is one with money, following this article can help you to get your slice of the pie!