Or in this case, month.
It’s been just about 7 months since I started my journey into YouTube content creation. My progress has been steady and I thought I would share a bit about it, along with documenting my progress for posterity. It’s been such a ride. When I started my channel, my thought process was “why not do something more with this hobby I love?” Clearly I’ve played Magic: The Gathering for a large portion of my life, and I’ve written about it here in years past. I was always brewing and playing with my IRL playgroup but eventually we all moved apart and I was stuck in a place without the ability to play with anyone. I still collected cards and was still brewing new decks, but not being able to play regularly took its toll. Eventually my Sister and her Husband invited me to play with them at family gatherings, but it still wasn’t enough. It took the pandemic to really turn this into a nearly-daily thing. The advent of Discord servers dedicated to MTG matchmaking, and the progression of tools like Spelltable, Moxfield and OBS really solidified playing paper MTG with strangers over the Internet. That eventually took on a life of its own, to the point where I joined a ton of servers and decided to get into the content creation end of things. I had been watching other creators put out gameplay videos for so long, and having decided to go ahead and do it myself, I realized that I could now play with the same people I used to watch regularly. Becoming more entrenched in this community has opened the door to doing even more, and I have additional projects in the works that are still relating to this channel but will expand reach.
Starting out I knew that my setup was crude, and I knew that eventually I would need to make some upgrades. One of the first things I did was get a new microphone. Despite the fact that I wanted to get a Blue Yeti, there was a sale around the end of last year that pushed me in the direction of the Hyper X Solocast Microphone. Previously I was just using my Hyper X headset to record, and I figured they were a reliable enough brand. The sale really pushed that over the edge. It was a standalone USB mic that came with its own stand, but I prefer the ability to move it around so I bought a boom arm for it which you can see here:
Early reports from viewers note a marked improvement in audio quality. I’m happy with the purchase. Another purchase I made that isn’t equipment but was still very important to me was the following:
There was a deal over on Inked Gaming to basically upload an image and have it printed onto a playmat. Many creators have their own logos emblazoned on their mats, and I wanted to join the club. The mat is high quality, looks amazing in person and on camera, and didn’t cost all that much. I want to start offering this as part of a merchandise lineup but unfortunately have not yet found the right option to where I don’t have to spend a ton upfront without knowing if they will sell. Perhaps a Kickstarter or another option I am unaware of will be the right choice. For now, I really enjoy having my own mat and I use it regularly.
On to stat tracking, we’re getting quite close to another one of the requirements for YouTube partnership. As you can see above, the 4,000 watch hours requirement is nearly met. Honestly though the subscription numbers are starting to worry me. I was averaging about 150 new subscribers per month in the first few months of the channel’s life, but in the past couple of months it’s dwindled to about 40 per month. I haven’t really changed anything about the formula that should somehow affect the YouTube algorithms, but here we are. I still have about 5 months to go during my first year so it is definitely still attainable but I still wonder why the subscriptions dropped off so rapidly. I attributed some of this to the holidays but we’re into February and that shouldn’t be the case anymore. I’ll keep an eye on it and hope that some of the bigger guests and collaborations along with starting up some supplemental content in the coming months will get me there.
Last time I checked in I only had 3 patrons and was making about $20/month. I’ve now earned about double the Patrons and double the income. It’s still not entirely where I’d like it to be, but it is also progress and getting paid a nominal fee to do something I’d be doing anyway feels good. There are other supplemental funds coming around as well. I’m proud to have people willing to pay me for my efforts. This is quite a time investment compared to things I’ve done in the past.
My Twitter following has grown as well. Last time I was under 100 followers, and now I’m on the uphill side of 200. Followers come in spurts, but I find the more I interact with the community there and the more I collaborate with people the wider net that is cast. I follow people and they follow me back, and vice versa. Par for the course. I still have not yet passed my original Twitter that is linked to this blog in terms of followers, but I imagine that will happen soon enough.
Last time I was not yet to 50 followers on Twitch and was talking about how I was trying to become an affiliate. We hit affiliate status within a month of that last post, and are now sitting at 100 followers. Getting affiliate meant the ability to get subscribers (which = income) and I have had a dedicated handful of subs that have kept up with it for a few months now. We had our most successful stream to date this past weekend, where we had at one point almost 40 viewers. Normal average of views is around 10, so that was nice. There were gift subs given out, bits used to cheer, and a raid from one of the other channels I had collaborated with. Twitch seems to be my fastest growing platform at this time, but I still believe that the YouTube channel will bring in more dinero overall. Whatever the case Twitch has a policy of taking half of what you make and then only pays out once a certain threshold is made, so I have not yet seen any of the money from this, but will eventually.
As I said earlier I was always watching MTG gameplay videos on YouTube and had followed a ton of channels that I watched regularly. This really took off during the pandemic and quarantine when I had nothing better to do than go down rabbit holes on the website. One of my favorite channels to watch started up back then, a show called “Play to Win.” When I started my own channel, it was immediately on my bucket list to get some games in with them. That is finally happening this upcoming Saturday. I’ve already played with a slew of other channels but this is one of the bigger ones. I’m hoping to not only have a blast but to bring more eyeballs onto my own content in the process. I’ve been making “fliers” like the one above each week for my streams and I think it’s done its work getting more people to watch the show.
I should also mention that I have an active Discord server, with over 100 members. If you are interested in playing MTG over webcam, we can help you get into it and learn the ropes. We primarily play cEDH but most members have decks of various power levels. We also have a sub group of regulars that play MTG Arena, and I’ve even featured a video of myself dueling Discord members in the game along with Streaming it occasionally on non-primary stream days. Others play a variety of video games as well, so there’s something for everyone.
If you have followed me here, there are links below where you can follow me on all of the platforms that I’ve spoken about today. Following costs nothing and really helps me out, so I’d appreciate the couple clicks it will take to do so. We’ll check back in soon. Until then.