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How To Make Money Playing Video Games

by John Peters

There are thousands of successful gamers who make a majority of their income simply by uploading videos of them playing games to YouTube or streaming live on Twitch. Here are a few tips to stand out from the crowd. 


1. Pick the Right Game
Unless you are on Ninja-esque levels of Fortnite ability, there is almost no point in starting a channel on games like that. YouTube and Twitch are extremely over saturated with huge titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty, so if you choose to brand your channel around these games be prepared to be buried by other well established channels. A much better strategy is to play a variety of games, and figure out which games you enjoy which also appeal to a wide audience. Some of the best gaming channels play more nostalgic titles on older consoles or mobile apps, while other successful channels play  games you may have never even heard of.

2. Be Entertaining
This one may be a given, but you can’t expect anyone to enjoy watching you if you are completely silent for the entirety of the video. Our advice on this one is pretty straightforward; practice. Record some videos just for yourself, figure out your style and how you want to present yourself. Eventually you will build up enough confidence to produce videos that flow well and engage your audience.

3. Two Heads Are Better Than One
Channels like Game Grumps, Achievement Hunter, TwoBestFriends Play, Funhaus and many other of the most successful gaming channels have all figured out that it is very hard to be engaging by just talking to yourself while playing a game. Sure there are many other gamers who do every video alone, and still manage to get insane amounts of views, but these people possess a very rare talent to be entertaining all on their own. Find a friend or a group of friends and build up a good rapport that viewers will find engaging. This will build confidence and allow you to create content which feels more natural to the audience.

4. Monetize
Once you’ve built up a loyal fan base and become practiced at regularly producing content, it’s time to monetize. There are many ways you can do this, and often times if your channel is big enough you will actually be approached by companies looking to advertise their products on your channel. Obviously most YouTubers opt into pop up ads or videos which play before videos, and while these are a great place to start, the most profitable channels give brief shout outs to various companies or products and include links in their bios.

5. Make the Right Deal
There are many platforms available which connect YouTube personalities with companies willing to pay for promotions on their channels, such as FameBit. While these sites can be an extremely valuable way to make connections, a majority of these platforms actually take a cut of whatever deal you make with advertisers, which instantly reduces the value of your deal. Another common practice is to set a flat rate for a promotion which runs a specified amount of time, for example a 30 second shout out at the beginning of a video for $150. This may be a good deal for your channel, but in many cases channels will prefer this option and turn a blind eye to other deals which could potentially be much more valuable. PPA, or pay per action, is a method of payment which offers you a small amount of money for each user you directly create for a company. For example, if a company is trying to promote an app and offers you a PPI or CPI, that means they will pay you for each install your video generates. This can be an absolutely fantastic option, because you have essentially unlimited earning potential and, depending on how loyal your audience is, you will most likely generate much more income than any fixed rate.

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