Game, Set, Match: How to Start a YouTube Community


So you want to start your YouTube channel! Starting your own channel can be overwhelming and expensive. Fortunately, I put together some affordable options and basic concepts to keep in mind on your journey. I can’t say that I’m an expert on this, but I definitely have a few pointers to share.


HDMI  In order to capture gameplay on a console (Xbox, PlayStation, etc.), you’ll need an HDMI game capture device. There are hundreds on Amazon for you to choose from, but we use:

QuickTime Player ► If you are recording your computer screen or an app game, you can use QuickTime! Just open up the program, go to File, New Screen Recording, then hit the down arrow next to the record button to customize your microphone input/output. Normally, QuickTime is on your computer already, but it’s a simple and free download otherwise.


External Hard Drive  We use Seagate. #FunFact: these videos take up a lot of space on your computer. If you’re working on a small processing laptop (aka Macbook Pro), then you’re most likely going to need an external hard drive to store your finished videos. There is the alternative of sharing it on a closed network for storage or deleting it completely and hoping you won’t need the files later, though.


External Microphone + Headphones ► The only problem with getting an external mic is feedback from the audio of your game, but this can be remedied with headphones or a mesh feedback screen (cheap on Amazon). We have Audio-technica #ATR2500-USB that is a few years old and from another project, but Blue microphones are pretty good for a variety of audio recording and vary in price.

Kraken Headset ► The only con with these are the price. Any headset will do, I’m sure. The built-in microphone on this is an amazing alternative to buying a separate USB mic. However, those are more affordable.


Final Cut Pro vs. Adobe Premiere ► We use FCPX to edit our videos, but there are definitely more options depending on your price range. When I was choosing video editing software, I watched YouTube videos of people editing using Final Cut Pro X versus Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I chose based on usability, and since I was used to working with iMovie, the transition to FCPX seemed easier than using Adobe.

Apple iMovie + Windows Movie Maker ► These are free programs on Apple and Windows computers. Great alternative if you are not interested in any of the additional perks of FCPX or Premiere.



Who are you speaking to?  Whenever you do any sort of communicating (through social media or in person), you should always think about your audience. For us, it was a bit easier because we have a growing community that is already established; we can see stats on the demographics/psychographics of our viewership.

What would they want to see you play?  Once you understand the audience you are trying to reach, think about their gaming preferences. Do they prefer more RPGs, app games, life simulators, etc.? How does that fit in with your own preferences?

What’s trending?  This is more for how to expand your audience. What new games are coming out that fit with the above categories you’ve chosen to stick with? What is your audience talking about right now?

Ask!  In our commentary, we always seem to ask the Crew something about their game preferences—from romances to favorite characters, from favorite foods to dogs vs. cats. Engage your community in a dialogue in the comments. And this goes with …

Create a safe space!  Be sure to keep looking at the comments that roll in. If moderating comments is not your forte, be sure to like and respond to comments to continue a positive dialogue. Try not to use language that isolates a certain group of people. If you want to learn more about creating a safe space, check out IndieCade’s “Journalism for Everyone” panel.


Branding  Want to have a theme song? Check out YouTube’s Audio Library. It’s free and there are hundreds of songs to choose from (some you have to credit the artist). Have social media accounts (at least one active option) that match your username so your audience can follow you. Logos/icons are important as well, but are not 100% necessary when starting out.

Be consistent.  Have a recording schedule. Plan out recording videos and posting them so you have a video up at least once a week. Make sure you are active on social media, posting at least one to two times a day. For logos and icons, try to match your social media presence. It’s okay to change your look, but make sure to do it all at once.

My last and final bit of advice is just to watch as much YouTube as you can. It’s the best way to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Read the comments section of some of your favorite ‘tubers and try and learn what their audience is like and how their community communicates. It’s a lot of research, but no matter what you create, audiences will be there to watch it! You just have to find them.

Have any more questions? Tweet @GLaDOS_hype! I’m normally complaining about processing, rendering, and editing over there anyways.

P.S. There’s a master list of things to consider on a forum I found on Minecraft. Definitely worth a read if you want some more in-depth options.


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