A while back, I dicussed the viability of creating a YouTube channel using the PS Vita. Since we dipped our toes into the world of content creation, we’ve made great strides with our channel. We’ve released over 120 videos covering an incredibly diverse range of subjects in addition to the PlayStation Vita. While we’re still learning more about the platform daily, we’ve picked up plenty of great tips along the way.
Many of these have helped immensely with the development of our channel. For those of you still creating with the PS Vita, or who are curious, we wanted to share some of them with you…
Update Your Hardware
For our PS Vita YouTube videos, as well as our video capture card we used a standard PlayStation TV. While that was more than enough for our needs, anyone planning on covering the Vita these days needs to step up and not only get a PSTV, but look to get the console modded as well. Being able to access the full range of games on the system, as well as the vibrant homebrew scene, will give you an edge and futureproof your channel and allow you to keep covering the console for as long as games are still being developed.
There’s More To YouTube Than The PS Vita
As much as we all love the PS Vita, its days as a commercial gaming platform are long gone. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still cover commercially released games on your channel. For PS Vita exclusive games, treat your reviews as taking a retrospective look back at the games to keep the content relevant and to ensure that you can still engage with your viewers.
For games that have been released on other platforms as well, this is where you can be more creative for your PS Vita YouTube channel. Treat your review as a multi-format game review, regardless of which system you capture the footage from. This allows you to cover the Vita equally with other systems and – more importantly – in the video title you can refer to other systems as well. We’ve done this with many of our own Vita game reviews, even if we have only made a passing mention of other systems.
Let’s be realistic here, most people will never get rich from YouTube content creation. And truthfully, most channel owners won’t earn a great deal even when they are able to make use of YouTube’s monetisation program. But as well as putting in a lot of hard work in terms of content creation and promotion, you still have to meet the criteria set down by YouTube before you can even apply to make money. These were changed a couple of years ago and became far stricter, leaving many creators unable to monetise their channels.
But briefly, it’s all down to how busy your channel is as to whether you are approved by YouTube. To achieve this, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and have had 4,000 hours or more of views on your videos in the 12 month period prior to applying. This certainly isn’t easy to achieve for those of you with channels comprised of shorter videos (“Playthrough” videos certainly help in this instance) so how can you rectify this?
Growing Your Channel
As I said, there are several key things that you need if you want to achieve monetisation. Increasing views on your videos is probably one of the most difficult. Getting Real Youtube Views UK on anything you create is often a challenge, even for the most prolific of creators. YouTube’s algorithms can help in promoting your videos to potential audiences, but optimising your content isn’t easy. Optimising your titles, keywords, and tags can only go so far in drawing attention to yourself, especially if your videos are likely to have a lot of competition.
You can certainly promote your channel amongst friends and any followers you might have on social media, but even that only works to a limited degree. You can’t assume that everyone who follows you on one outlet will automatically choose to be a subscriber to your YouTube channel, no matter how good your videos might be. The reality is that only a fraction of your social media contacts are likely to become subscribers, and only some of those will actively play a part in your channel.
Sub 4 Sub?
Something often talked about on networking groups is the idea of sub4sub. YouTubers offer to mutually subscribe to channels and promise to watch a brief amount of content. In theory this can help fledgling channels to grow, but the reality is quite the opposite. While you might see an initial growth in the number of subscribers you get, these are passive. After the initial viewing to show that they are genuine, the chances are that they will never interact with your channel again. No more views, no likes, comments, shares or anything else. And this is something that YouTube’s software will pick up on in time and flag them as being passive subscribers.
What is a better plan is to promote your channel directly to groups that cover your channel’s niche. Those people are already interested in what your videos are about and instead of asking people to subscribe, invite people to watch your latest videos. If they enjoy them, ask them to subscribe. Your channel may not grow as quickly, but those who stay are more likely to be returning viewers.
Time To Engage
I’ve briefly talked about YouTube’s algorithms when it comes to promoting your videos. But one of the most important elements, for the most part, is out of your control as a content creator. When it comes to people searching for videos on YouTube, it’s not just the search terms that determines whether or not your video is listed or suggested to someone after a video has been viewed.
Three additional factors play a part in drawing attention to your videos in the long term, and sadly these are all in the hands of your audience. First is the number of views your video receives. As with anything on YouTube, the more views a video gets, the more likely it is to be promoted and there really is nothing you can do to influence this. The only consolation here is that after a while, you will notice a more rapid growth in views to your older videos as more people have seen them.
The ones that are more important are likes and comments. Every single one of these counts as an “engagement” and the more of these your video has, the better. It gives YouTube the impression that viewers are more interested in your video than they would be in others, and as such they are more likely to promote it. To improve this, during your video you should always encourage viewers to like the video, and to comment on it.
That’s the first step, but next you have to make sure that you reply to as many comments as possible, and liking them. Don’t worry about the negative comments or ones trying to troll your videos. Let the comments slide and don’t rise to the bait with them. Just remember that these comments still count towards engagements. So while these people think they are harming your content, they’re actually helping to promote it!
Nobody Likes Me…
Finally, one thing you will find as you create more content is that not all of your videos will be fortunate enough to have a 100% rating when it comes to likes. As they say, you can’t please everyone all the time so don’t feel disheartened when you do get dislikes on some of your videos. People will like and dislike videos for different reasons, some of which may surprise you so it’s never anything to worry about.
Video game reviews, for example, will constantly draw dislikes. Not because viewers don’t like the quality of the video or the way it is presented, but because they don’t like the game in the video. So it’s not a reflection on you or your work, but the subject matter itself. We created an unboxing video a couple of years where I opened a number of limited edition PS Vita games on camera. Sealed, the games are worth between £500 and £750 but after opening them the value dropped to less than half that.
Just the very thought of these games being opened had some collectors up in arms and lead to dislikes. But I knew that the video would attract that sort of attention before I even sat down in front of the camera to record it!
That’s A Wrap
While I can’t tell you everything to make your channel a complete success, I hope these tips will help you gain some growth. Above all else though, make sure you have fun as a YouTube creator. This will come across in your videos, and your viewers are more likely to come back and subscribe and you’ll feel more motivated to keep going even when things are growing as fast as you hope.
There is still more I can cover, but I’ll leave that for another time…