So it’s nearly a year since I joined this weird and wonderful world known as the FM Community. In my first year, I have seen pretty decent growth on my channel with 960 subscribers and closing in on 100k channel views with just over 150 videos uploaded. I am hoping this article can give people an insight into what it has been like for me over the past year and possibly giving other content creators some thoughts and ideas to look at their own FM Content especially newcomers on the scene who are perhaps making the same mistakes I did in the first few months of the channel.
Filling the void
Now for people who don’t know me too well, Football has been my life. Since leaving college and for the past 15 years It has been my profession coaching mainly children across North Yorkshire. Playing and managing at a decent amateur level took over my life and after breaking back in a car accident at 20 I decided to focus on managing and in the same year I began managing a local men’s team. As I progressed I took on more responsibility including an MK Dons style relocation of my team to the new 3G facilities where I had begun working. I then took on the local faltering junior club getting further involved to the point where I was managing two senior teams, I was Club Development Officer, Secretary, Treasurer and responsible for around 200 children in my local club and a volunteer workforce of 30. In 4 seasons I had grown the club from 8 junior sides to 24 teams with the introduction of Men, Ladies and Veterans teams. Despite the achievements that I was and I suppose still am immensely proud of, things started to turn sour.
I had managed to build a fantastic Senior side with local players many of whom are joined from bigger rival clubs we secured promotion to a Step 7 league. However, bizarrely over the summer eight of my squad left for teams in other leagues and basically for an easier life. Now, this left my team that I was predicting to finish in the top 6 of the York Premier League were now nothing more than relegation fodder.
I would be lying if say it didn’t hurt as I had worked so hard to put the team and the club where it was and basically overnight three years of hard work had all but vanished. Even when we were flying high I found the lack of commitment from players to train and look after themselves a bit better ( and by that I mean not get hammered on a Friday night) as a bit of a joke and then when a load of players left, most of who were close friends of mine at the time, I decided enough was enough and after just keeping the team in the top division I resigned from all roles at the club. The decision was made much easier for me as in November of what turned out to be my final season Ralphie my boy was born.
FM then started to creep back into life. I had bought every version of the game since I first had CM 97-98, But over the past few years, it had become nothing more than a go-to when I was bored at home with nothing else better to do. However, this soon changed when Ralphie arrived I would quite happily get up at 5am with him for a feed and let the Mrs stay in bed so I could smash the game in once Ralphie had had his bottle and got back down to sleep. Aimee then out of the blue had bought me a new laptop that Christmas as FM16 was released and I the game had started to fill the void left after leaving local football behind. (PIC 3)
The first series I had followed was Teach’s series with Manchester United titled “The Fergie Way”. A series I loved to watch and for me it’s a shame Teach moved across to streaming on Twitch as for me I do think you can get the “story” side of your series across much better on youtube than you can in streams, for me that’s why I watch more content on Youtube than I do watching streams. Watching Teach’s series back recently I hope he makes a return to Youtube one day for a new series as I do admire and enjoy the way he narrates his series. Other Series that started to triggered my thoughts around starting a channel was Doctor Benjy’s “Ispalian Job” and Loki Doki’s first “Journeyman series”.
Making the leap into the FM Community
I keep telling myself “should fucking started my channel years ago” with the FM Community thriving with so many streamers, Bloggers and YouTubers it’s become a very competitive market for views and subs. However, I know for a fact I was never brave enough five years ago to make an FM channel and put myself out there. To this day all of my friends have no clue what I have been doing the past year. There is a few that do know including my boss, a lad from work and a local lad who found my channel on youtube all of who I persuaded to keep quiet about my channel as I still don’t quite feel I’m ready for all my former rival teams, players and friends know about me little geeky new hobby. As the channel grows even more over the next year It won’t be long before I don’t care about who knows.
FMWEC The “Light bulb” moment
After watching Loki’ Doki’s ramble early last year he mentioned the FMWEC competition run by Bidstack and it was the first of its kind with a crazy £25k prize pot. I quickly filled in the online form and entered the competition. I was then instructed by the boys at Bidstack that I had to do a video of myself explaining why I should be one of the 32 players to enter the inaugural FMWEC. My first thoughts were “fuck that” and ” no chance” that I would be able to have the confidence to make an audition like a tape. The night before the deadline I think FMWEC put an email out saying they had around 90 entries and were after more to enter before the deadline. I decided there and then to set up Aimee’s camera have a go a recording myself. I jotted down a few things I wanted to put into the video and off I went on five-minute ramble on why I should be in the FMWEC. I smashed it out in one take which was a relief as I had no editing skills or even software to delete bits out. I sent the video off with a new found confidence and the thought that If I got a place in the competition that I may just start an FM Youtube channel.
Without diving too much into the event where I ended up falling at the biggest hurdle in terms of prize money, losing in the semi-final to eventual winner Dan Fry (fryman7) in the semi-final meaning I took away £500 instead of a minimum £7500. A pretty heartbreaking defeat, to be honest as £7500 would have meant a deposit for a house for the family. But from the event, I took so many positives having Brandon Smith and Richard Buckley (FIFA Esports Commentators) film my progress through the day was fantastic giving me confidence again speaking in front of the camera to them and Hugh Wizzy.
Meeting Content creators along the way and becoming good friends with so many. Both me and Fryman7 started our channels after the event and we still chat to each other most days and not just about FM. Content creators such as Lollujo, Old Man Sudor, Access Euphoria, Fm Guru played and I got to meet Big herb the nerd and his beautiful beard for the first time ( another YouTuber I had started watching on a regular basis before the event). Other people from the event such as Paul (Maddfm), Stuart Armour, Ben (@Chos3nPessimist) and Remco (@fm_lowietje) like me all have since started making FM Content.
The competition WhatsApp group is still going strong and many thanks to Rob Dagwell and James Draper from Bidstack. From the two events they have done I have won £1250 in prize money after winning their mini meet up in Stratford before Christmas. The initial prize money allowed me to buy a Logitech webcam and a Blue Snowball Mic, a week after the event I was ready to start making my first FM Series.
Setting up the channel
I now had the equipment along with a decent enough laptop to cope with recording and editing videos. Just a month or two before I had purchased an MSI laptop for just under a grand. And after watching the fantastic how-to series down by Lollujo and Loki Doki I started to build my channel.
Editing wise I started to use Windows Movie Maker and looking back at my early videos using that along with Canva for artwork and Thumbnails, both of these programmes were more than good enough, my first tip for any new content creator would be not to spend the amount Adobe charge for their packages. Fortunately, because I work in a school I get the full package of Adobe for £17 a month instead of £50 which I have been using since June. Get a half decent mic and webcam (which I think is very important) and off you go!!!
The channel name Trequartista was quickly chosen for its links with FM (even though I haven’t used it a great deal ) a lot of my idols, Baggio, Totti, Cantona and to some extent Rooney a role which can be best described as a number 9.5 usually have more technique than a 9 and more killer instinct than a number 10. It’s amazing how many people cant say Trequartisa when I pop in streams. So here it is spelling phonetically TRECK- WA – TEE- STA
I can remember faffing around with Logos and Artwork for hours on end and despite sticking with this new logo I think over the first 12 months this logo has already been my 5th logo change. Complete waste of time I know but I have enjoyed learning photoshop even though it’s at a very basic level.
The First Series – Der Club Rising
My football geek in me wanted to pick, I suppose an unusual team to start with and I had kept my idea for a Magdeburg save back just in case I ever started a youtube series. Now choosing Magdeburg wasn’t really the best of teams to use as I imagine the number of people typing “Fm18 Magdeburg” into youtube been ridiculously small however this didn’t deter me one bit and was eager to tell the story of Madgeburg, a fallen East German Giant who has languished in the 3rd, 4th and 5th tiers of German football since the ’90s.
I decided to make an intro FC Magdeburg Story to help my early subs and viewers understand the story behind the new series and why I had chosen them. I did a lot of research and even found a Fans Rap about the club which soon became a fantastic theme tune Series Theme Tune. I bought a shirt from classic kits and dived right into making the series. A few days before the beta dropped for FM19 I managed to win the German Cup against Bayern in the final episode giving it a fitting ending. I am really proud of the series for my first attempt at an FM Series and to be honest I don’t see me beating it for enjoyment anytime soon. I do recommend taking a look and as always let me know your thoughts FM18 FC MAGDEBURG – DER CLUB RISING
Juggling Multiple Series
After a few months of making FC Magdeburg, I dabbled with a few other side series and experiments. I do think for a small channel like me it’s important to have a different kind of series running on your channel to attract a different type of audience. There are viewers like myself who can watch any kind of save in FM whether it’s a big club, an LLM save or a Journeyman series. but then there are people who will only watch a particular kind of series. I think the variation in the channel has definitely helped the growth more recently and from looking at my comments I generally have different people commenting on videos in my two series running on the channel. At the moment with my two series on the channel I like to make sure when I know that I am going to record I have both saves ready and raring to go, I usually get my thumbnails done at work so when it comes to recording within an hour I have smashed out two episodes (one from each series ) which then allows me to play the games in between over the next few days and then record two episodes in one night and that’s my four recordings done for the week.
Undoubtedly the hardest part about making FM Content is the grind, recording, editing and playing games in between and more importantly not overstretching yourself. I am regularly making FM content in the early hours of the morning with the Mrs at work and the little one in bed. last night, for instance, my latest tactic video was finished at 2am after finishing work at 10pm getting the little one to bed and sinking a bottle of Pinot Grigio, making regular content for the channel does become very difficult. Some times it is good to take a break, during my year I have taken 1, 2 and a 3 week breaks from making content. The hardest thing is the longer you leave it the harder it is to get back into it. After my three week break, I found it so hard to find any sort of motivation to record. In the end, I forced myself to record and after 2-3 days I was back into the swing of things. It’s about striking a balance of trying to produce regular content. I don’t see the benefits of putting out 3 episodes in successive days and then disappearing for the two weeks after that. I think to get into a rhythm recording as much as your time allows you is the best way for me especially to keep producing regular content with the channel.
Twitter, what a weird and wonderful place. Up there with one of the first things I did when starting the channel, “this will help me grow ” I said. But in actual fact, I don’t think it actually does. It’s great for interacting with other content creators. I like to check to see what series people are making or planning. One of my mistakes early on was to hammer my twitter with watch this latest video tweets, but as it turns out me posting a picture of myself celebrating it’s been a year without cutting my hair gets way more likes and comments than when tweeting about my latest episode. I now just try and use twitter a bit more personally and try and interact with people rather than using it purely as a tool to grow my channel.
Twitter has been brilliant for advice, Cleon, Nerdphonic, Loki Doki, Big Herb, The FM Editor, Mozza, Kegman Plays, Tom FM and FMU Paul have all helped me at some part of this year regarding anything from writing a blog, to audio and recording issues. From day one I have asked certain people for honest feedback, over the year I have found which creators to bother, which people you can tell haven’t watched more than a minute of your video and with that, I don’t ask them anymore. I think this is vital for any new content creator wanting to see their channel grow.
The new in thing seems to be groups of creators forming new pages where they basically just retweet uploads and when people go live. In this regard sometimes I don’t see the point of them can’t see myself ever joining a group of other content creators. That is obviously not including We Stream FM, I am a regular pod listener and do genuinely enjoy their content, recently found myself watching Curty FM series on twitch with Aldershot and even though I don’t generally read Blogs myself I always do enjoy Friday Night FM’s tweets and blogs. Viking Dan’s streams is another member of the WSFM team that I watch on twitch more than most.
Streaming is a strange one for me, As a viewer, if I had to choose between watching a youtube series or a stream it would be a Youtube series all day long. Not just for the practical side of being able to watch youtube whenever but I do enjoy the story side of the game which you can get across so much better in a Youtube series I think. Streams are great for a chat and I do pop in Kegman Plays, Mozza, Curty, Doop, Viking Dan, FM Mickwell, Kangar, Mr Tomox and Big Herb, from time to time. Streaming as a content creator for me is difficult having the little one and my girlfriend working away 3 nights a week, I would struggle to stream on a regular basis as he either goes to bed very late (10pm plus a lot of time) or if he does go to bed on time I would want to keep ditching streams halfway through if Ralphie decided to wake up and come downstairs. I did find time to stream around Christmas for four Sundays in a row starting at 10pm and doing it on Youtube and not Twitch. With the Twitch FM stream market been very overpopulated, I decided to put my streams on Youtube and not Twitch for two reasons, Firstly to try and gain more direct subscribers for my Youtube channel and with the added bonus I could add my recorded streams straight to my series playlists and keep everything in one place. Secondly, as a viewer of Lollujo streams on youtube, I for some reason just enjoyed the layout more than what I did on twitch.
We have recently moved home and I now have the luxury of having my own gaming room whereas before I was recording in the corner of the living room, this does give me a bit more flexibility to stream having multiple screens and with a much bigger and better set up.
That been said since starting this blog three weeks ago, I have streamed twice on twitch smashed 50 followers, and my averages mean I should become an affiliate by the end of the month. I think if I can find time once a week to stream I think that will strike a good balance with my YT channel and cure the streaming itch I had.
Streaming and talking for hours on end has become pretty easy, however, setting up the stream and get alerts and audio all working has been my biggest problem as a Noob and I like to thank Mozza for allowing me to ask him some no doubt simple questions.
This has been pretty overwhelming at times, from the day one I had pretty decent growth and then had a real boom when I started making FM Teams to manage videos which at the time I found quite bizarre as loads of other FM Youtubers had done the same and not hit the number of views I had hit . They are love and hate sort of videos but I do watch a load myself in anticipation of the new game getting released. They do get a few bloggers slagging them off but it’s done wonders for my channel and I do genuinely enjoy watching other creators coming up with interesting teams to manage. My two tactic videos have gone down very well and I have had over 700 downloads\subscribes on steam. I have made a point (disclaimer) in saying I don’t pretend to know everything about the game and simply enjoy playing with these tactics and that they have proved to be successful. The MUFC series has also helped my channel grow immensely, another lesson learnt that you don’t have to pick an obscure team, series or idea to get views or good interaction on Youtube.
I never knew how much anticipation there was surrounding new FM’s until this year, with my first year using social media to follow the FM Community. To their credit, Football Manager did a great job in promoting the game this season and all the new features. Having the capture event weekend was great and having some of the more popular streamers and YouTubers having the early access was a great way of promoting the game. However, for me, this spoilt the anticipation of playing the game myself and almost became an anti-climax when I first started playing, It was a bit like seeing a film advertised and then going to the cinema to watch it only to realise that all the best jokes were in the advert. So a lesson learnt for next year and I will try and hide away for a few weeks leading up to FM20 been released which should help me have that new game feeling in the beta.
FM19 for me has been fantastic and probably been my most successful in terms of saves and building a couple of effective tactics. In November I won an event held by Bidstack in Stratford, We had a tour of SI before playing in a 32 man knockout competition, I was the only person out of the 32 who chose Man Utd, a team I had played within the beta and using my 4231 with Pogba in as a shadow striker it probably turned out to be the easiest £750 I had ever won winning most games pretty comfortably over two legs.
This year I have had a mixed bag when it comes to the series I have done, The high note has been The Manchester United series, I always play with them in the beta and didn’t really expect to play longer than 2-3 seasons but the series has really helped my growth with the channel and despite having 36 episodes, I still get between 200-300 views per video. I also have enjoyed the save, having lots of money to spend has been really enjoyable and now mid building a new squad and offloading players such as Pogba in season six has kept up the interest in the series and we have had a brilliant rivalry with Liverpool and City in the series so far. Some times the easiest and simplest of saves can make an enjoyable series.
I had planned on making my main series the story of Roberto Baggio, having me play as him in the game as a sort of Journeyman story with the aims of managing a few of his favourite clubs and eventually winning the world cup with Italy. I was lucky enough to get the Fiorentina job however that ended in disaster getting sack within a year, I then moved to Gent and won the treble with them before moving on to Sevilla and then Monaco. However after my break from FM that I took in the new year for a couple of weeks the series was dead. I can’t decide whether it was because I was enjoying the United one so much more or it was the journeyman style series (something in which I hadn’t done before ) was the problem. Even though the series was getting 100-150 plus views I decided to pull it and end the series. Something even looking back now I don’t regret, as to have long term success creating content the channel always needs to be enjoyable more than short term goals chasing views and subs.
I think this has been proven with my create a club series in Caldogno Calcio starting in Italy’s Serie D. Now I knew from day one before spending hours in the editor that this wasn’t going to be something that was going bring in a load of views and subs but it was something I had in my head for a while and thought the backstory to the club and channel made the series more interesting and enjoyable for me. I am generally buzzing when every episode hits 50 views. I am hoping to get one more save in FM19 at least and toying with the idea of using it as my twitch stream save. So hopefully in the next month or so I can get a Flamengo series going on twitch. I Think Brazil has been overlooked a lot especially in terms of streaming and youtube and after watching them twice in the Maracana on my SA travels I have always followed them and of course bought the shirts!!
Target and Goals
I think when I started an had a target of 100 subs before FM19 was released, and looking back there’s not much in terms of action planning to help achieve these goals, so I no longer set targets on followers and subscribers no more. Apart from making regular content on the channel, I don’t know what else people can do. Over the past few months, I stayed clear of FF bollocks which I think in general just annoys people seeing the same GIFS over and over. Now don’t get me wrong I do sometimes promote my channel on Twitter etc but as I have said previously I don’t think it has any sort of impact on the growth of my channel anyway. I would like to think my channel is natural and genuine no sub for sub bollocks and I unsubscribe from channels I no longer watch or enjoy as I would expect people to do the same to me. I don’t see the point in racing to 1k subs if I am only getting 10 people watching my videos it just doesn’t make sense to me.
I have had messages off people saying “Hi subscribe to my channel” and for me, I think it’s the completely wrong way to go about growing your channel. People get fixated on reaching milestones they aren’t bothered how they get them and if their subscribers are genuine watchers of the channel.
The only way you can see genuine channel growth is to put out regular content and make it as best you can that’s all you can do and be patient with it. Don’t get me wrong I keep constant track of my channel growth and when I reach milestones. I use Social Blade and Tube Buddy regularly. SocialBlade as I like to compare myself against other channels who have started roughly around the same time as me and see how their growth is different to mine and then find out why this could be. Tubebuddy is a very good app for notifying me of subs and how my videos are doing analytically. I have soon learnt not to take a dip in views personally its happens with every series and every channel. However, a loss a subscriber on a bad day can be like a dagger to heart haha haha.
Plans for the next 12 months
Well without goal setting I would just like to sit to a rigid schedule of streams and uploads over the next 12 months and have a variety of different content on the channel that’s all I can do to help the channels grow. My mind never stops in terms of ideas for new series and save ideas. I already have my two main saves for FM20 already well thought out in my head. Sad I know but for my brain never stops for good or bad, whether its work related, future plans, FM, money problems etc. FM is just one of many things that can keep me awake at night and has probably helped my channel grow in that respect, with my series been planned in my head months in advance.
That’s it I think for my first 12 months. Numbers wise it couldn’t have gone any better. The Content Creating has definitely filled a hole and I think it has definitely helped me get out of the low I was in after leaving football behind. I have a new group of lads I interact with on a daily basis talking about the game I have played passionately for the past 20 years. Having people comment on your videos saying how good your episode was is a massive boost not for my ego but more for my confidence and does keep me going when some times wonder why I put all my time and effort into the channel.
Over the next 12 months, perhaps a hair cut. Since starting Content in April 2018 I am yet to have my hair chopped something people keep saying I need to get sorted !!!
I would like to thank Big Herb for advice when I first started the channel, Loki Doki for his superb playlist on creating your own youtube channel and for a taking the time to give my 100th upload a quick review. Kegman Plays for making artwork for me all for free and for tips on streaming. Mozza for answering so many stupid questions on how to stream on twitch (thank you for your patience ). Nerdphonic has answered a number of questions about audio setups and OBS. Football Manager for sending one of the worlds last FM doormats for my new gaming room. The boys at Bidstack for holding two fantastic events from which the winnings has helped me start and improve my gaming and recording set up. Cleon who regularly retweets my new video tweets which have helped me gain new followers and in turn probably channel subs. Fryman7 who I stay in regular touch with and helped each other over this first year, a good lad and a good friend. Dazza FM for very kindly allowing me to have this blog on his website. Other people such as Thomas Paine, The FM Editor, Top Notch FM, Bobby G Gaming, Access Euphoria, Tom FM, The Nonceman (sorry couldn’t resist) and The Wideplaymaker who have all helped me and the channel over the past 12 months.
Finally not forgetting Mrs Trequartista who has been so supportive since day one, I think a lot of lads get issues from their other halves for playing the game too much but Aimee pushes me when I need pushing to get content out there and also thanks for putting up with banging on about my saves she has no interest in. Aimee loves football and gaming but hasn’t fallen for FM yet, but there’s still time……
Thanks for reading