How a Fortnite gaming channel grew to 240K subscribers & $8K/mo

Oct 18 2022
Case Studies

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Channel Stats

Name – iRushAlways
Niche – Gaming
Subscribers – ~240K
Watch time – 872K hours (lifetime), ~100K hours (monthly)
Revenue – ~$8K USD/month
Videos published – 905
Date of first video – January 14th, 2017
Employees – 0 (solo)

Why/what made you want to start this YouTube channel?

I started YouTube as a hobby during my early years in school. I was going through a rough patch in my life and went to several meetings with a therapist. 

During one of my therapy sessions, it was brought up that one of my lifelong dreams was to work for myself and run my own YouTube channel (as a lot of young people do).

So I started uploading here and there, but it wasn’t until the pandemic (and being out of a job) that I began taking it seriously and tried to make a name for my channel. 

I’d always found comfort in gaming. That’s why my channel is based on Fortnite; it’s a game I really enjoy.

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How did you get started?

Creating videos in the early days was definitely a process. 

I began by recording videos using the Xbox built-in recorder, sending the footage to OneDrive, and then editing using Windows Movie Maker

I had an old laptop with a terrible graphics card (that took 6 hours to render a video), a makeshift microphone, and little to no space in my bedroom. As time went on I was able to slowly but surely upgrade my setup. 

My first purchase was a Blue Snowball microphone and later I purchased a budget PC which did the job for a good few years (until March 2022).

How & when did you get to 10, 100, 1000 subscribers, and ultimately where you are currently?  

My first 10 subscribers came in early 2017 and were all people I knew. I just told my friends and family about my channel and they subscribed. 

I hit 100 subscribers in early 2017. At the time, my channel was a mess and I just uploaded whatever I felt like consistently without putting in any thought.

I hit 1,000 subscribers in 2018 (~1.5 years after starting). To get there, I started experimenting, trying out live streaming and posting videos focused only on Fortnite. This was around the time I noticed regular viewers watching my videos.

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I hit 10,000 subscribers in March 2020. This time, I focused and put more effort into my videos. I started watching editing tutorials on YouTube by JustAlexHalford which was great for beginner-level editing. I’d also analyze other people’s videos to see how they kept viewers watching. Learning Photoshop in college also helped me improve my thumbnail quality. 

This was during the first lockdown when I was out of work for a few months. Since I was stuck at home, I was able to post daily videos. Due to my consistency, I had my first growth spurt growing from around 7K to 33K subscribers.

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I hit 100,000 subscribers in March 2022. To get there, I uploaded one video that went semi-viral gaining around 450K views in the space of 2 days. Then another video I posted the same week went viral gaining 2.1M views (mostly from Youtube Recommended and Suggested).

There wasn’t much growth from 2020 – 2022; it was getting harder to balance making videos with everything going on in my personal life. But the two previously mentioned videos blew my channel from 33K to about 140K subscribers within 2 weeks

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Around this time, I started putting more time into each video I was making. I tried to make sure there was always something happening on screen to avoid viewers losing interest.

I included B-roll clips to better explain the topics I’m speaking about in the video and my average view duration shot up along with my watch time.

How much money are you making (and how)?

Each month is very different. Since March 2022, I’ve made $55K USD and typically earn between $6-10K per month. Averaged out, the channel earns roughly $8K per month from:

Viewers can use my Epic Games support-a-creator affiliate code when buying cosmetic items in games (i.e. Fortnite); this gives me 5% of any purchases they make. 

I get contacted by sponsors regularly via my business email or via the website MatchMade. I get regular offers from brands/companies such as PUBGYahahaOperaGx and Manscaped.

What does your content creation process look like (after finding an idea)?

From start to finish the creation process takes me around 5 hours. 

Finding ideas

To find ideas for videos, I use Twitter or Reddit; there’s always something being talked about on those platforms.

follow credible leakers on Fortnite leaking forums or social media and stay updated on leaks, speculation, and Fortnite game updates for my videos.

Typically, I spread all of this information out over a 2 week period. If I’m short on ideas, I’ll talk about concepts and my own personal theories about new content coming to Fortnite.

Producing videos

To produce videos, I have to gather gameplay & b-roll footage, prepare what to talk about, edit the video and create a thumbnail.

To capture gameplay and B-roll footage, I use an Elgato 4K60 PRO capture card and record cinematic shots of the game (e.g. overviews of in-game outfits, locations, and showcases of new items).

I’m also currently using a Shure SM7B microphone to record audio separately. Though occasionally I’ll record a live commentary (showing my live reactions) since they tend to perform well. I do all the recording/production on my custom-built PC.

I don’t write scripts (or have a scriptwriter) at all; I’d rather speak in the moment. I write down 5-8 bullet points of different segments so I know the order of topics to talk about.

edit using Sony Vegas Pro. I have a standard template for every video where I reuse clips/assets for my intros, lower thirds, and animations. This makes the process much easier.

All of my thumbnails are made by my thumbnail designer easkate and myself.

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Promoting videos

I have no idea how to promote my videos in a way that’ll catch people’s attention. I mostly rely on the YouTube algorithm.

But when I do promote, I usually post on Instagram or Twitter. Sometimes I’ll trim my videos and post clips on TikTok or Instagram Reels.

What are the key lessons you’ve learned from your journey?

I’ve learned more in the last 8 months on YouTube than I have in my entire YouTube career. 

Make content in a niche that you enjoy. Your passion for a certain topic will show to your audience in your videos.

Reach out and ask for advice from bigger YouTubers in your niche. I got a lot of advice on what to do and the importance of certain analytics statistics (e.g. click-through rate, average view duration, and total watch time) that I would’ve taken much longer to figure out otherwise.

 If you’re a gaming channel, focus on one game you enjoy the most. Playing multiple titles can split your audience (but always have a backup)! One game alone won’t stay relevant forever (unless you’re doing “Let’s Plays" since there’s a consistent audience in that niche).

 All it takes is one video to set up your future YouTube career. Just keep pushing through with your content and always look for new ways to improve.

Where can we find out more about you? And is there anything else you’d like to add?

Aside from my YouTube channel, you can find me on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and TikTok, all with the @iRushAlways.

If you’re thinking about starting YouTube, start as soon as possible. You never know; it could just be the start of an amazing career.

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