Gaming for Fun and Profit
The complete guide to getting paid to play your favorite video games online even if you suck.
Pewdiepie made over 7 million dollars last year playing video games. How about you?
The worst part is, he could have made more, and I figured out how.
You can pay your bills by playing your favorite video games.
Learn to make a living while playing video games on Twitch and YouTube with this guide.
You don’t even have to be good at video games. Just play the ones you love.
It’s not Pewdiepie’s fault he didn’t make as much money as he could have. He doesn’t have a 10 year background of internet marketing like I do. He got started just goofing off on YouTube and a few years later, he’s a multimillionaire.
His process isn’t hard to replicate, and there’s even some small things you can do, for very little work, to greatly increase the amount of income received.
Studying him and other successful online gamers, I’ve figured out the best ways to make money playing video games.
I came up with a theory, and I tested it. Just as I thought, I’m now making money off of just a couple videos that I made years ago.
Who am I to teach you this?
My name’s Garrett Mickley (which you my have figured out by the “By Line”), and I love to play video games.
But, my professional experience is in 10 years of digital marketing. Specifically, internet marketing focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What’s SEO? It’s how sites come up in search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo (my personal favorite.
When you search for something, have you ever wondered why some sites come up first and others are lower on the page, or somewhere 10 pages back?
It’s because the search engines rank pages (or videos, or images, etc) based on a plethora of factors, which all go into an algorithm that crawls the web and then compares each piece of media to their criteria.
I’ve spent the last 10 years studying this criteria and making sure web pages, images, videos, and other media meet the qualifications to rank well.
I’ve worked for large clients that I can’t share names of, due to Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s for short). I can tell you that I’ve worked for fun clients like a world-famous electronic music festival, and boring clients like a website that sells printer ink and toner.
Back in 2013, while on a work sabbatical and getting a degree in video game design, I discovered Twitch.tv. I wanted to do that. I wanted to get paid to play video games.
So, I ordered the streaming equipment I needed, set it all up, and got to work.
It was a lot harder than I thought. In fact, I tried for a year and gave up.
A couple years later, I smacked myself in the forehead for being such an idiot. I wasn’t applying *any* of my internet marketing knowledge to the streaming. I was winging it without using my experience.
Probably one of the dumbest moments of my life.
In 2015, I started streaming again and making YouTube videos. I applied what I knew about SEO to my videos on YouTube and got them coming up when people searched for certain achievements.
Suddenly, I was getting thousands of views without having followers.
Where’s the money?
I don’t even use Google Adsense (the ads you see on YouTube videos), which pays very little.
These videos are making me money every day and I haven’t touched them since I posted them. I’m writing this well over 24 months later and the videos were generating more revenue at 12 months, when I abandoned the project, than they did when I was still working on them.
The thing is, this was just a couple of videos. This process is infinitely scalable. The more you play video games, the more money you can make.
With this guide, you could make money on the side when you’re relaxing after a hard day of work.
Or maybe you dream of waking up and playing video games every day, while having your own house and all the latest consoles and games. This guide will get you there.
You don’t have to worry about the thinking part. I lay out the whole blueprint for you. All you have to do is follow the guide.
I could be selling this for way more, but I know gamers are broke, so I’m giving it away on Medium.
Plus, I can take your questions in the comments and use them to improve the guide over time. No need to re-write and re-sell the book! I can just make edits here and the guide is instantaneously better.
- Get started with an easy to follow guide. Don’t be left guessing what hardware and software you need — the list is here.
- Maximize monetization opportunities. You deserve to be paid well for the hard work you put into your streams.
- Grow your following. The people you have watching, the more opportunities you have to make money.
Are you ready to get started?
Welcome to the Gaming For Fun And Profit guide!
Originally I was going to write this book and sell it, but I decided, screw it! Why not share my knowledge on Medium?
There are three parts to this guide:
- Part I: Getting Started
- Part II: Making Money
- Part III: Making More Money
You may think you already know part of this, like how to steam. If you already know something, you may be tempted to skip it.
I advise against this.
It’s not a super long guide and even though you may think you know this part, you should read it anyway. You might learn something you missed when you were learning before.
Part I: Getting Started
[Lesson 1.0] Ready to get started streaming?
You haven’t streamed and that’s terrifying. Nahhhh don’t worry about it. We’re going to get you all set up and streaming like a pro.
In this section you’re going to learn:
- What accounts you’ll need / where to stream and upload videos
- What hardware you’ll need to stream easily but trustworthyly (just made that word up)
- What software you’ll need to send your beautiful face out into the world
- How you can utilize Twitch and YouTube to bring in more followers
- The importance of backing up your save games
- And some quick tips on how to remain safe online
I bet you’re excited! I’m excited for you. By the end of this guide you will be streaming and building up your first fans.
Before we start [Lesson 1.1], go to Twitch.tv and start watching some streams. Choose which streams based on what games you think you would like to stream. Watch the popular ones and make note of what you like about their streams and what you don’t like. Do the same with some streams that don’t have a lot of viewers.
[Lesson 1.1] The accounts you need to stream.
It’s the first day of class!!
We need to start with the basics. This whole guide is basics, but today is the most basic of basics.
You need to have accounts! But where? Where do you stream?
The two major players right now are Twitch.tv and YouTube. I’ve found the best success by streaming to Twitch and using YouTube for long-term video uploads of my past streams.
So that’s what we’re going to do.
First, head over to Twitch.tv and register for an account if you don’t already have one. When registering I prefer to not connect directly to Facebook (yet) because I’m paranoid and weird about things like that, so I prefer to use the old fashioned “email and password” signup form. Make sure you use a good password!!
When coming up with a name, pick something you’re going to stick with for a while. You’ll be building a brand around this name, so it’s important that you don’t switch usernames often. Or, ever, really.
Once you’re in, you want to go edit your channel avatar, the cover image, and put a little bit of info about yourself. All this can be done from the channel page.
When you’re done with that, head over to YouTube.com and do the exact same thing. Create an account (if you haven’t already) and set up your profile to not look like garbage (aka like you just made it).
Now you’ve got the two most important accounts you can have as a streamer.
See what else you can come up with to make your profiles look pretty. Er, professional. We want to look professional. Okay, you can make it pretty too. Aim for both.
In the next lesson we talk about hardware!!1 aahh scary. Don’t worry, you may not need anything depending on how you plan to stream. We’ll talk about it.
[Lesson 1.2] You might need to get some of this stuff.
In this lesson, we’re talking about the hardware you need to get streaming. You may already have everything you need, or at least the bare minimum, but we’ll talk about spicing up the stream with some extra hardware if it’s in your budget.
Here’s a quick list, and then we’ll break down each thing:
- A console.
- A PC (or Mac).
- A capture card.
- A microphone or headset.
- A webcam.
Do you need all of these? No, but that also depends on what you’re streaming and the quality of stream that you want. If you only plan to stream from a PC (or Mac), you won’t need the console nor the capture card. All you need is a decent enough PC (or Mac) to run the game software and the streaming software at the same time. We’ll discuss the software you need in the next lesson.
I keep putting Mac in parenthesis because I really don’t recommend streaming video games from a Mac. That is actually where I got started, and it’s absolutely doable, but the better software, as well as most games, require PC.
It’s hard to recommend a PC because there are so many out there, and things are changing rapidly. Games that are coming out now need way better hardware than even just a few months ago. I’ll need to update this guide often!
Right now I recommend a PC with 8GB of RAM and a graphics card that has at least 2GB. Your processor should be at least 3.3 GHz. Obviously, the better you can do on any of these, the higher luck you’ll have on making sure you can run everything.
(Note that if you invest in these products through the links in this lesson, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
This is the PC I use: http://amzn.to/2fU6QE3
If you’re just streaming PC games, you won’t need the capture card but you will need a good microphone and/or headset. This is so that you can hear the game and still talk to people. I actually use a headset to hear and then a separate microphone to speak into because of the higher quality sound.
The headset I use is this Turtle Beach one: http://amzn.to/2gwykiK
The microphone I use is the Blue Yeti: http://amzn.to/2gwttya
with a stand (http://amzn.to/2gwlOn9), shock mount (http://amzn.to/2g82n3t), and pop filter (http://amzn.to/2gwrJFj). I will say this: I wish I had bought a more expensive and sturdier stand. Everything else is great.
Streams with cameras on the face of the player have shown to attract and maintain more viewers than streams without a webcam. I use a nice 1080p cam so that people can really see me and anything else I have going on (like my cat). I use this Logitec HD webcam: http://amzn.to/2gwwUVQ
The newer consoles have streaming built in, so you won’t need a capture card and PC if you just want to stream straight from there. The problem is that people can’t see your face, you’re limited on headsets and microphones, and you can’t have a nifty overlay to make your stream look cooler. If you want to just stream straight from your console, then that’s definitely better than nothing.
But if you want to up your game, you’ll need the above hardware for your PC, which you will be sending the video from your console through a capture card. A capture card is just a little box that USB’s into your PC and allows you to send the stream to your PC for recording or streaming.
I use the Elgato Capture HD (http://amzn.to/2gwgO1P) but there are better ones out now for comparable prices. This one’s cheap and A LOT of streamers use it (or used, before upgrading to newer).
I guess you’ll also need a TV and/or monitor, but you can figure that one out on your own.
That’s all you really need as far as hardware goes. Next lesson we’ll talk about the software you need. See you there!
[Lesson 1.3] You’re almost ready to stream.
Woah we’re already on lesson three. Time is flying. In this lesson, we talk about software.
If you’re streaming straight from your console, you actually don’t need any software. You can skip this lesson.
If you’re streaming from a console to a PC, or from a PC (or Mac), you’ll need broadcasting software.
I personally recommend only two pieces of software depending on what you want.
Xsplit is PC only and costs a small amount of money, but you get what you pay for and I fully believe the investment has been worth it. It’s really easy to set up and use and I really love the features that come with it.
You can check out Xsplit here (I don’t make money off of this link).
I should also add that I prefer XSplit Broadcaster over XSplit Gamecaster even thought the Gamecaster one is specifically built with gaming in mind.
OBS is short for Open Broadcaster Software. It’s free, open source, and runs on Mac. It’s a bit harder to set up and make overlays look pretty, but not impossible. I used it for a while but honestly haven’t in well over a year and so I’m not 100% up to date on its current features.
You can pick up OBS here.
That’s all we’ve got for software. It’s the bare minimum you need, but once you’ve got it, you can go to town.
[Lesson 1.4] The best places to stream are…
Going to keep this lesson short and sweet because now that you’ve got your accounts, hardware, and software set up…I really want you to just get out there and start streaming.
A common question I get is: “Should I stream to Twitch or YouTube?” Another common question I get is “Can I stream to both at the same time?”
The answers are: Twitch; yes but don’t.
Here’s what you should be doing: stream to Twitch, where the biggest and most focused audience is.
Then use a free software like JDownloader to rip your videos from your saved Twitch account, and upload them to YouTube.
The reason why we upload videos to YouTube is for your fans that missed a stream. They can always know that there’s a recording for them to watch. Like TIVO for livestreaming.
And really, we do it for our fans, right? We’re not in it for the money. We don’t stream so that we can make money…we make money so that we can stream.
We do it for the fans, and we want to make it easier for them to watch even if they miss a show or two.
Plus, you will get some new fans that find you via YouTube. In a later lesson, I’ll teach you how to optimize your YouTube videos to come up when people search for games, so keep reading.
[Lesson 1.5] Don’t let this happen to you.
I had 90+ hours in Fallout 3, as well as tons of other saved games, and my hard drive failed. This was back in 2010. I was so crushed. I can’t believe I lost all of those save games.
I still haven’t beaten FO3; honestly.
You gotta back that ~ish up.
I used to use an external drive for backing everything up but then one of those failed, too. It was okay, because the hard drive hadn’t failed, but I had to go get another external and then back everything up again.
Then I started researching cloud storage. There’s a ton of free and paid storage options out there and I recommend them for a couple reasons:
1. If a meteor crashes into your house and destroys both your PC and your external backup, the online backup is still there.
2. They have backups of their backups of your backups, because that’s their business, so you really have the absolute smallest chance of losing your data.
(Note that if you invest in Backblaze through the link in this lesson, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Personally, I use a service called Backblaze because they’re cheap ($5/mo per computer) and reputable. A lot of my friends use them, too.
But, if you don’t want to pay I don’t blame you. You can get free software that will automatically back your stuff up to an FTP server, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
You can find it in a quick Google search.
Make sure you back your stuff up so you don’t lose your save progress. Imagine being 2/3 of the way through Elder Scrolls 6: Morbliviorim and losing everything. The people who had been watching your stream will be SUPER bummed.
BACK IT UP BACK IT UP BACK IT UP.
[Lesson 1.6] Today we’re talking about safety.
This wasn’t in the original guide outline, but I got feedback during beta testing from someone who said they were scared of being doxxed and swatted.
If you haven’t heard, some angry nerds on the internet (often referred to as trolls) like to go around and find the addresses of popular streamers and then call in fake threats to the police, which result in a SWAT team showing up at the streamer’s house while they’re streaming.
Sounds shitty, right? It is.
It’s also very difficult to not be found. I can’t promise you complete anonymity on the internet, but I do have a few quick tips that make it a lot harder for your address to be found.
1. Don’t ever post your address or phone number anywhere.
This should be pretty obvious, but it’s not. If you need to share an address or phone number openly, we’ll talk about how to safely do it next. Don’t even talk about where you live if you can get away with it. Don’t post pictures of the surrounding area.
2. Get a burner phone number.
There are lots of apps and services out there that offer phone numbers that you can hook up and cancel any time. You can also get a pre-paid cell phone and use it for whatever you need. These are great for double authentication.
3. Use double authentication for EVERYTHING.
If you’re using a service like Google/YouTube, Blizzard/Battlenet, or anything else that offers double authentication for security, definitely do it. If you use an app, make sure you keep your phone passworded. If you use the phone number authentication, it’s best to use a phone number that NO ONE knows. I mean no one. You don’t even want to have the phone number connected to one of your accounts. Get a prepaid phone from Walmart and use it.
4. Get a separate address.
Most people get a P.O. Box in their local area. They range in prices based on size and location, but they’re generally pretty affordable. Safety is an investment so it’s worth the money.
(Note that if you invest in the safety of Earth Class Mail, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
I use a service called Earth Class Mail because I’m lazy and don’t want to get a P.O. Box. Just kidding, the real reason is because they scan the mail, email me a picture of it, and then I can tell them to open and send me a scan, toss it out, or ship it directly to me anywhere in the world. I like this because I like to travel, and I don’t want to have to keep changing P.O. Boxes every time I move. I also use this address in all of the emails I send out (required by law) and can use it as my business address. It’s a bit pricey but the convenience makes it worth it for me. For most people, a simple P.O. Box will work.
5. Strip exif data from your images before sharing.
Exif data usually contains info like what kind of camera you used, but it will also often have location data such as where you took the photograph. A selfie in your bedroom could share all of your location info with the world.
Most social media websites do this automatically (Twitter and Instagram definitely do), but a lot of sites like Flickr and your own self-hosted website won’t. You can use phone apps and online services to safely rip out exif data for free.
There’s lots more you can do and even then, you won’t ever be entirely safe, but this will deter a lot of trolls from coming after you. The harder you make it for them to find your info, the sooner they are likely to give up.
That’s it for the first section of the guide! Now you know how to stream games online.
Check it out though…I’ve got another whole section of the guide for you.
You’re streaming and kicking ass but it’s time to monetize your stream.
This next section of the guide is all about that.
Part II: Making Money
So you can stream now but you have no idea how to monetize your Twitch and YouTube videos and make money. There’s no need to worry: I’ve put together a few ideas in this section of the guide.
In this section, you’re going to learn how to make money with:
- Affiliate Marketing (my personal favorite!)
- Paid Runs
- And I’ll tell you what games to play to make the most money (and how to make money playing any game).
By the end of this section you will be making money (if you follow all of the steps!) with your streams and YouTube videos.
Make a list of games that you would like to make money playing. If the list is only one game long: awesome! The list can be as long or short as you want.
If you’d like to share the list, post it in the comments and I’ll see if I can offer some 1-on-1 tips for how to monetize those exact games.
[Lesson 2.1] Ads only keep people away from your content.
In this lesson, we’re talking about how to make money with ads.
I hate ads. Ads are the actual worst. They’re annoying and they keep people from getting to your content.
Why would you want to keep people from your content?
I hate when I go to a stream or a YouTube video and I have to sit through an ad before I can watch the video. That’s BS.
“But Garrett, they need to monetize somehow!”
Screw that. There’s better ways to monetize. Not just better because they’re less intrusive, but better because they generate more revenue.
Now, you can go easily set up ads on your YouTube videos and of course on Twitch they’re pretty much default.
With YouTube you will need to get approved first, but it’s pretty easy. They just need to see that you’re putting up videos.
If you’re gonna do it, don’t have video ads. Just use sidebar ads. I’m serious…it’s just annoying and it’s so much better when you can get your fans straight into your content.
I actually do use sidebar ads on some of my videos. The thing is, most people use adblock, so those don’t really generate a whole lot of revenue.
In the rest of this section of the guide we’ll talk about some better ways to make money.
BTW did I mention ad revenue payout SUCKS unless you have like a million daily views? It’s awful. Not worth your time.
[Lesson 2.2] Who wants to sell T-Shirts?
Merchandise is a cool way to get money, but there is kind of a lot that goes into it.
There are physical products and digital products.
For physical products, we’ve got things like hats, t-shirts, maybe mousepads. You can have all these made and then shipped to you (upfront cost + hiring a designer), then sell and ship them yourself (now add in labor costs).
Or you can set up w/ a site like Society6 where you just upload the design and they handle everything. The profit margin there is really really small though. You’d have to sell a lot to make a living. And you still probably need to hire a designer to design the merchandise.
Physical merchandise is tough but it’s do-able.
I propose a better idea: digital merchandise!
The best example I have is to teach people how to play the games that you play. You could do a video series or write a book if it works out that your subject doesn’t really need to be seen.
For example, maybe you’re good at StarCraft. You could do a video series teaching people how to play each race well. Then sell that as a video course.
In the next lesson, we’ll talk about my favorite way to make money.
[Lesson 2.3] The best easy way to make money with streaming.
This is my favorite lesson of this guide.
I get to talk about Affiliate Marketing. My favorite way to make money online. The best easy way to make money as a streamer and/or YouTuber.
Affiliate marketing (sometimes called referral marketing) is when someone else pays you a commission on every sale you make of their product.
Except you don’t even have to carry their product. You just use a special referral link and a cookie is dropped in the browser. You get money for the sale.
There are like a million affiliate programs out there because they work. There are much less in the gaming industry, but there are still quite a few pretty lucrative ones out there.
(Note that if you invest in Dugi Guides through the link in this lesson, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
I actually do really well with the WoW Dugi Guides. Dugi Guides referrals alone have been paying for my yearly vacations.
Some affiliate programs are even subscription based sales so that you get money month after month from each sale (Dugi Guides now does, but didn’t always).
Even Amazon has an affiliate program where you can link to Amazon products and get a percentage of the sale.
I highly recommend affiliate marketing if you want to make some real money with your streams and YouTube videos.
[Lesson 2.4] Another great stream monetization option.
Do you know what crowdfunding is?
It’s when people give you money to fund your thing. A lot of indie game developers have used it. Some to success and some to not so much success.
Some just take the money and run.
I’m not really a fan of crowdfunding, but I do like one specific model: Patreon (yup, that’s a referral link). They’re doing a good job.
Patreon is basically a platform where people “donate” money to you for you to continue to make videos.
YouTubers and Twitch Streamers are finding success there because patrons (the people giving you the money) can donate amounts of money based on certain things like $X per month or per video release.
The trick is to incentivize them by offering something exclusive to your patrons. Something other people can’t get.
I personally haven’t seriously used Patreon (although I did experiment a little in the past because I wouldn’t write about something I hadn’t done myself). But, if it’s something that appeals to you, I definitely wouldn’t say not to do it (like I say not to do ads).
However, I do think there are better things for making money (like affiliate marketing, in the last lesson), and I don’t recommend offering too many options to support (more on that later).
[Lesson 2.5] Would you let someone pay you to play video games with them?
This is a recent thing I saw someone do with Diablo III: paid runs.
For $5 he would run people through a rift and they would get to collect all of the gold and items. He could do a run in a few minutes and could probably top out at $25-$30 an hour.
Of course, that means he would have to have a full booked day to make a living.
But, I definitely see that as possible.
I also believe he could have doubled that price. People would pay $10 for good solid runs.
Think about some different games you play. What kind of runs could you offer? This sort of thing is something that I would say you can double up with merchandise or affiliate marketing.
Instead of trying to get them to buy a thing, they’re buying a service.
And if you provide a good service and have happy customers, you’ll get repeat customers.
That guy probably runs some people multiple times a week or even each day.
Next lesson we’ll talk about the different games you should be playing to make money, and how you can make money anyway, playing games that aren’t on that list.
[Lesson 2.6] Play these games to make the most money.
Okay so here’s the thing, some games do better than others, but really, you can make money playing probably any game you can think of.
They’re all profitable if you have the right angle and monetization channel(s).
Some obviously easy ones would be like World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, really any Blizzard game, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. These games are already really popular with lots of people watching, and some have affiliate products out there you can promote.
People watch those a lot so, despite having to yell through the noise, you’ve got a lot of ways to monetize and you don’t really need any sort of angle. You’re just playing a popular game.
If you’re playing old games, or maybe some unpopular indie games, the best way to do that well is to find an angle. That angle I keep talking about.
For example, maybe your thing is that you only play RPGs from before the year 2000.
Of course, those games won’t have really specific affiliate products out there, but there will be other affiliate products you can sell out there that, with the right positioning, you can make a lot of money.
But that’s only one example. The Patreon route actually works pretty well if you’re working with games that aren’t necessarily the most popular games out there.
That’s it for the second section of the guide! Now you know how to monetize your streams and YouTube videos.
You’re streaming and kicking ass and you’re making money. Lets make some more.
This next section is all about marketing your streams and videos to grow your following and increase revenue.
Part III: Making More Money
This section of the guide is on increasing the amount of money you make with your streams and videos by increasing your followers. It’s all about marketing, broken down in easy to understand and follow steps.
In this section, you’re going to learn how to grow your subscribers and make more money with your streams and videos.
You’ll learn about:
- How to keep people coming back
- The right place to send people
- What the most engaging content is
- The real point of social media
- How to get your videos to show up in search engines
- How to keep your audience forever
Go find all of your favorite streamers and YouTubers on social media. Also, go check out their websites. Get some ideas on how they handle these platforms.
[Lesson 3.1] The key to being successful on the internet.
Let’s start this one with a question:
What do you think is the most important part of why many streamers are successful? I’ll give you a hint, it’s the same reason successful YouTubers are successful.
Consistency. Consistency is the key.
Without consistency, people forget about you. Not only should you be streaming consistently, but any marketing you do needs to be consistent as well.
When streaming, you should stream no less than once a week, at the same time on the same day. Like a television show. The Walking Dead is on Sundays at the same time on the same channel. Treat your stream like that.
Of course, the more you stream the more you’ll grow it, but make sure you have a set schedule that you stick to on a weekly basis.
This is how you get people to keep coming back.
The same goes for your marketing campaign, which we’ll talk more about in the next few lessons.
Figure out a schedule that you can keep consistently on a weekly basis, and then stick to it!
[Lesson 3.2] You need to have your own platform to stand on.
Before we can really start marketing, we need to find (or rather, build) the right place to send people.
True story: you don’t want to try to send everybody everywhere. You want to send them to one place where they can decide where they want to go next.
You could send them to your Twitch, but what happens if you decided you don’t want to use Twitch anymore and switch to a different video streaming platform?
You’d lose most of your audience.
The same goes for your social media. I mean, is anybody following you actively on MySpace anymore? Don’t think that Twitter and Facebook are forever.
What IS forever is your own website. You can host that and move it around and do whatever with it as long as you want. You can use it to update people on where you’re at and what you’re doing.
You need to have your own website.
(Note that if you invest in A2 hosting through the link in this lesson, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Here’s a summary:
- Get a hosting account (I use and recommend A2 because SSD’s and great security).
- Buy a domain (I recommend Google Domains but currently use GoDaddy).
- Use the easy install function of A2 to install WordPress on your site.
- Find yourself a free theme (tbh the default for 2017 is pretty good).
- And then write out the content you need. About you, your streaming schedule, where to find you around the internet, how to contact you, etc.
That’s all you need to start, but of course there are lots of improvements that we will talk about later.
If you don’t already have a website, your homework tonight is to go get one.
If you do already have a website, your homework tonight is to make sure everything is up to date and you have the minimum amount of information listed above.
[Lesson 3.3] This lesson is about how I make money on YouTube.
In the internet marketing world, people often say “content is king”. It’s true. Without good content, nobody cares about you.
But what is the most engaging content? Teaching people. People want to learn.
Here’s a super secret tip I’m giving away for free right now. The YouTube videos that make me the most money are WoW achievement guide videos.
I’m not saying YOU should be doing WoW achievement guide videos, unless you already decided that’s going to be what you’re known for anyway.
But you could be doing achievement videos for other games. Or maybe teaching people how to play various League of Legends characters better.
It doesn’t matter as long as you’re teaching people something you know how to do that they want to learn.
You don’t even have to make videos, though that’s possibly easiest for us considering what our goals are. If all you’re doing is typing up blog posts, that’s fine as long as it delivers valuable content.
Your homework tonight is to think of 5 things you can teach others about the game (or games) you play on your streams and in YouTube videos. Write them down and get making that content!
Then, you post it on your website so it’s easy for people to find. Schedule each post out so one comes out every week. Remember, consistency is the key! You want to be making a new piece of content every week.
[Lesson 3.4] The real secret behind successful social media.
Are you ready for a short one?
In this lesson, we’re talking about the real point of social media. It’s super easy.
The bare minimum you should be doing on social media is posting out when you’re live, when you put new content on your website, and what you’re up to regarding your streams and videos.
But the real strength in social media is engaging your followers and the people you follow.
It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. Too many people just post out and don’t ever interact with others. That’s the worst way to use social media. That’s how you quickly become irrelevant.
What you should be doing is reaching out to as many people as possible. Make friends! Be social with your media.
Also, a pro-tip: visual content gets a much higher open rate than content that is just text. When you DO post things like announcements of new content, include an image in your posts! That goes for Twitter and Facebook!
[Lesson 3.5] How to get lots of views without lots of subscribers.
I have a secret to tell you. I don’t have a lot of followers or subscribers. But I’m still making money with YouTube videos from recorded streams.
The trick is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You need to know how to get your videos to show up in search engines.
I could actually write an entire book on SEO, (perhaps someday I will) but we’re going to keep it basic for this lesson. The most important things you need to know.
Quick SEO primer: it’s all about keywords and the content. The more descriptive your content is, focused on your keyword, the better you’ll do.
For this lesson we’ll use an example that is real: the keyword “master treasure hunter”. If you search that keyword in Google (with or without the quotes) you’ll get two videos near the top, both of them mine. Those two videos alone have made me thousands of dollars.
So, they’ll make a great example.
The videos show how to do that achievement (remember when I said to teach what you know). The main keyword I wanted to rank for was the achievement name.
First, before you upload your video to YouTube, you need to make sure the file name is your keyword.
Then, when you upload, you want the keyword to be near the front of the title.
In your description, you should write a fairly decent length description, with your keyword, that accurately describes your video. Don’t slam a bunch of keywords down at the bottom…it looks like crap and it’s obvious.
You also want to manually add in closed captioning. You have to do the manual one because the automatic doesn’t work well.
In the tags section, throw in every single tag you can think of that makes sense. Seriously, go wild, but keep it all true. Don’t start adding stupid tags in because you think they’ll get you more views.
And there you have it. The most important things you need to know. Of course there’s a lot more you can do to help, but this is the absolute minimum you should be doing for each video.
Ooo next lesson we talk about email. That’s my favorite tool for marketing.
[Lesson 3.6] How to keep your audience forever.
How do you keep your audience forever? Like forever. For-ev-er. Foreva-eva.
Well, remember when we were talking about sending people to your website first?
They may never come back, so to keep in touch on your terms, you need to get their email.
(Note that if you invest in ConvertKit through the link in this lesson, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Before we get to that, we need to have an automatic email service. Personally, I use ConvertKit. It costs $30 a month to start but the ease of use makes it 100% worth it. You get what you pay for.
But there are a lot of free ones out there you can use, too, like MailChimp.
Once you set up your email service, you need to come up with something free you can give people like a downloadable PDF or video that is exclusive to the people who give you their email. That’s called a lead magnet.
You set it up so that when someone gives you their email, they get an email automatically (thanks ConvertKit!) that has the downloadable item in it. They get their free item and you get their email.
And like we said before, consistency is key. Send out weekly emails. If you’re making content on a weekly basis like you should, you can just package that up in an email and send it out.
You’ll stay relevant and you’ll always be able to contact them when you need to. You can always switch platforms or ditch dying social media sites and retain your same audience forever.
Email is without a doubt the strongest form of digital marketing out there.
And there you have it. That was your last lesson!
Please leave a comment telling me (and others) what you thought of this guide.
- What did you expect to learn from this guide?
- What info did you not know before?
- What info helped you most?
- Did the guide deliver as expected?
Version 1.2.0 || Updated: 2017–10–30
- Added “Who am I to teach you this?” section with text and two images.
Version 1.1.1 || Updated: 2017–10–26
- Added caption to payout image in Introduction.
Version 1.1.0 || Updated: 2017–10–25
- Typos fixed.
- Added content to introduction.
- Improved content of all lessons for clarity.
- Improved content formatting for all lessons.
- Added gifs to break up monotony (used with permission from https://giphy.com/).
Version 1.0.0 || 2017
- Originally posted on GamingForFunAndProfit.com as a free, three part email course.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will improve the guide.