Entrepreneur: ThatDenverGuy (YouTube case study)

Biz: ThatDenverGuy gaming content, Zero to Legend YouTube Mastery Course

Tilt: Second favorite phys ed teacher who creates video gaming content

Channels: ThatDenverGuy YouTube (1.08M), Den Top 10 YouTube (259K), Twitch (50.2K), TikTok (70.9K)

Rev Streams: YouTube and Twitch subscribers, YouTube ads, course, merch 

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Know it takes a lot of work: Though he found monetary success early, ThatDenverGuy says content creation requires a big time commitment.
  • Don’t be a copycat: Resist the urge to replicate what works. Find a mentor who can inspire your work.
  • Stick with YouTube: ThatDenverGuy believes the world’s largest video platform is the best one for creators who want to earn long-lasting revenue.

The Story

Things get tricky when creating content, editing, and reaching a large audience on YouTube. It’s not an easy job, gaming creator ThatDenverGuy, and YouTube case study, reveals, and no hopeful content entrepreneur should expect a simple income. 

When ThatDenverGuy (whose real name is Denver) started his first YouTube channel, he had just welcomed his first child, worked a full-time job as a fourth grade and physical education teacher, and was generally stressed out. He spent his nights creating content to make a little extra cash to pay some bills, such as his family’s Netflix subscription and other second-tier expenses. 

Five years later, Denver’s main channel has 1.08M subscribers. His dedicated followers return weekly to watch his gaming content, mostly advisory videos on the well-known battle royale game Fortnite or play-through guides for more niche games like Stardew Valley.

Denver always planned to make money from his content and first did so through YouTube’s AdSense program. “I monetized as soon as I could through YouTube but never really got into selling merch and other stuff until much later,” he says. “My main sources were Adsense income and livestream memberships, donations, and subscribers through both YouTube and Twitch.”

2 YouTube channels + Twitch + TikTok

His career took off across platforms. Denver now has two YouTube channels (while acting as the creative director for three others), a successful Twitch streaming account, and even caters to a new audience on the ever-rising app TikTok. Though he’s tried them all, Denver continues to return to YouTube as his favorite and most profitable stream of income, making him a great YouTube case study.

Though @thatdenverguyYT runs his gaming content across multiple platforms, YouTube remains his favorite and most profitable. #contententrepreneur #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet

“I believe that YouTube is the absolute main platform all content creators should strive to capitalize on,” Denver explains. “Twitch is excellent, but once a stream is over, it’s done forever, and hours of work will no longer have anything to show for it minus a few long-term viewers.”

“YouTube, on the other hand, is still rewarding me years later. I have videos from four to five years ago that still bring in a couple of hundred dollars a month each. YouTube also has the best system in place to promote new creators to a wide audience and gives people the best chance at building a community.”

For TikTok, Denver outsources some of the more tedious video editing, so his YouTube and Twitch content can shine for a different audience. “TikTok has been super easy because I hired a little help. I don’t care a whole lot for the platform, but I figured I’d throw my already-made content onto the platform and see what happens,” he says. “Some videos blew up, and it’s fun to see, but TikTok isn’t the best place to earn money for creating watchable content – at least yet. YouTube and Twitch are far superior for the time being until TikTok decides to make some changes.”

#TikTok isn’t the best place to earn money for creating watchable content, says @thatdenverguyYT. #contententrepreneur Click To Tweet

Content creation and more

While his gaming content made a name for Denver, that’s not all he creates. He also issues commentary on others in the creator world, including a conversation two years ago in which he said controversial influencer Jake Paul stole some of his content. 

Being such a well-known creator, copycats are something Denver has experienced. And that connects to his advice for content creators who want to be content entrepreneurs:  Find mentors, not direct inspiration. 

“Do NOT copy. You will sever ties and burn bridges with people that can teach you everything,” he says. “Find a great mentor. If it wasn’t for a few gaming content mentors such as GrayStillPlays, Blitz, and others, I wouldn’t have hit 1 million, and you wouldn’t be reading anything from me today. Ask questions, study, obsess over analytics and data, and never quit.”

#ContentEntrepreneur advice from @thatdenverguyYT: Ask questions, study, obsess over analytics, and never quit. Click To Tweet

He also advises content creators to be realistic on the time commitment of being a dedicated YouTube creator. Denver speaks for a population of content entrepreneurs who found success quickly and continues to innovate to grow their income. 

“It’s hard. Very hard. And very time-consuming,” he says. “But it’s OK because that way only the people that strive for reaching high goals and who really want to live out this dream will make it. If it were easy, none of us would exist because everyone would do it.” 

Because of his YouTube success, Denver has been able to monetize his services and expertise. Along with offering his creator services to other YouTubers as a creative director, Denver designed an online course to teach new creators how to monetize their channels. His Zero to Legend YouTube Mastery course walks hopefuls through content creation and how to launch their channel with optimal early success. 

Denver also sells merchandise, including men’s, women’s, and kids’ clothing and tote bags. 

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About the author

Kelly Wynne is a journalist and creative writer living in Chicago with her pet dachshund. She's an advocate for women's rights, mental health, and chronic illness.