If you’re a long-form content creator who’s been considering starting a gaming channel, YouTube is still the best place to do it. Our guide will help you get started on the platform and point you in the right direction for making unique YouTube content.
Getting started on YouTube
Creating a channel is as easy as signing up for a YouTube account, but that’s just the first part. Assuming you haven’t done this already, head over to to YouTube.com and:
- Click the “Sign In” button in the upper right-hand corner of the page
- You’ll be prompted to type in your username, but click “Create account” at the bottom of the window instead
- Unless you’re part of a bigger organization, select “For myself” when prompted
- If you haven’t created one already, create a Gmail account here specifically for your gaming channel
- You may have to verify the account creation via email, but then you’re done!
I recommend creating a unique YouTube account specifically for your gaming content. This works better than using your personal Google account because, as we discussed in our guide to getting a gaming sponsorship, branding is important to your long-term success.
You can get creative with your gaming channel name, but don’t sweat it if you feel like you can’t think of anything unique. If the best you can come up with is “(Insert Your Name) Gaming,” that’s already a solid brand: it says what your channel’s about and it identifies you as the central content creator.
If you plan to collaborate with other content creators on the channel, decide together what kind of identity you want to assume as a group. You can go with something simple like: “Billy and Jill Gaming” or, create a portmanteau of your two names like “Billyjilly Gaming”.
If you plan to share management of your YouTube account, an additional benefit to creating a unique account for your channel is that you can safely share the login credentials to that account without putting your personal accounts at risk.
Just remember: if and when you interact with other users on YouTube, make sure you’re doing it using the proper account. Comments, reviews, etc. coming from your gaming channel account are going to look like official communication and can hinder your branding if you aren’t being conscious of that.
Personalizing your YouTube gaming channel
Once you’ve created a channel, it’s time to start customizing your page. Amateur and casual YouTube users tend to do very little to improve the appearance of their personal pages, so putting even a little effort into it here can really lend some professionalism to your channel.
Click on your profile badge in the top-right corner of any YouTube page, and select “Your channel.” Because your account’s brand new, you should see a page that looks something like this:
Now, click that “Customize Channel” button in the top-right. (Also note the YouTube Studio button, which is where you’ll go to upload content and put the finishing touches on before publishing it).
Now your page should look like this:
From here we’ll want to do a few things:
- Add a picture to your profile by clicking the default image in the top-left, just above channel name; if you have a logo, consider using that here
- Next, add some channel art; YouTube will show you a preview of how the art will appear on various devices, and you may want to play with cropping your image to make sure it looks just right across the board
- If you want some additional instructions on creating and uploading artwork for your channel, check out Google’s official guide
- Now, click on the “About” tab and start filling in your channel details:
- Your channel description should tell potential viewers about the kind of content you intend to produce; give your best “elevator pitch” to your channel here. You want to inform and intrigue your visitors to stick around
- Put in your new channel-specific email in the “business inquiries” section
- Finally, add some custom links in the final section. These links should direct your visitors to your other brand-specific accounts: Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Patreon, Clutch, etc.
Now, click the button next to your name where it says “View as:” and change the view to “returning subscriber.” You’ll get a preview at what visitors to your channel will see when they check you out.
The account I set up to take these screenshots isn’t special yet, but hopefully you can already see how much of an improvement we’ve made in just a few minutes.
Knowing your audience on YouTube and deciding what content you want to create
Who’s watching your channel
It doesn’t matter what you’re making, you should always have one question at the back of your mind as you’re making it: who is your audience? Who is it that you want to show your content to?
Your first response to the question is probably something pretty generic. “I want everyone to see my videos!” Or, “I’m making videos for other gamers.”
Try to get a little more specific.
You’re never going to create content that interests 100% of the YouTube users who stumble upon your channel, and trying to please everyone is honestly a waste of time.
Think about the types of gamers you’re trying to appeal to, and start by thinking about the kinds of content you like to consume on YouTube. Are you into Let’s Plays? Do you like RPGs? Maybe you should make an RPG Let’s Play channel!
The reason it’s important to have your audience in mind is that they’re the ones who will ultimately drive your creative decision making. If you decide you’re only making videos for yourself, that’s totally fine, too! Just don’t be surprised if you end up with just one viewer.
What kind of YouTube content creator are you?
Once you know who you’re making your videos for (and what kind of videos you like to watch), deciding what you will be creating should come naturally. The hard (but fun) part is actually making and uploading your content.
If you head to YouTube’s gaming section, you’ll find a glut of Let’s Plays, livestreams (and recordings of livestreams), critical breakdowns, and more. There’s a lot to take inspiration from, but the flipside of all this content is that it can be a little challenging to differentiate yourself from the pack.
Instead of duplicating what your favorite content creators are doing, try to take what you love and put your own spin on it. Engage with the games and formats that are tried and true from your own, unique angle.
If you’re interested in making critical evaluations of games, for example, take a look at what the wider conversation of that game is, and see if you have a different take.
What’s a game that everyone seems to hate except you, for example, and why do you think they’re wrong?
Or run a Let’s Play of a game with a unique playstyle or character. (Picture this: a run of Skyrim where you don’t go stealth archer.)
You can also try to showcase cool community content like underrated mods for your favorite games.
What’s most important is that your channel and your content is unique to you. There are thousands of Pewdiepie copies out there, but there’s only one you. Own your space.
Consider streaming your content creation
As we discussed in our breakdown of Twitch vs. YouTube for streaming, one of the cool perks of YouTube is that your streams can be automatically saved and posted to your channel. That means you can create some or all of your content live and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Of course, creating live content on the fly is a very different approach from meticulously crafting and editing a video, so you’ll ultimately want to find the approach that works best for you.
Cross-promote your content on Clutch
Once you’ve got your channel live, make sure you also carry over some clips to your account here at Clutch. Our community’s always hungry for more content, and Clutch can be a game changer in earning some exposure for your channel.