8 Ways to Improve Your Stream
Okay kids! So… You’re a Twitch Streamer and you want to grow your stream. Yeah, I get it. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. Well… I’m here to help. Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert across the board, and I don’t claim to be raking in a steady living from Twitch, but that isn’t because I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s primarily because my real world responsibilities don’t afford me the time I’d like to stream. So.. that being said… if you want to improve your stream.. attract viewers.. be more successful.. and in general, GROW… here’s a helpful list of 8 things you can do to improve your stream right now.
1. Play the Games YOU Enjoy.
Don’t worry about what’s popular. The more popular the game, the more people playing it, the less visibility you may have with it. So don’t worry about it. Play what you have fun with, because if you’re having fun, it shows, and your audience will see it. So focus on games you like. The audience will show up. If that means playing the latest releases, then go for it. People still look for smaller streamers so there’s always an audience out there waiting. You just have to let it find you. Best to make sure you’re having fun when you do. The other half of this is that, if you’re not having fun with what you’re playing, it WILL show on your face. If you aren’t having fun, no one watching will be either.
2. Establish YOUR Brand.
You are NOT the next DrDisrespect, Ninja or Grimmmz. Sorry. But… why would you want to be? You’re you! And YOU is wonderful! Probably. I mean… I don’t know you personally. But regardless, don’t try and be anyone else. Be yourself. Be personable. Be funny. Do NOT be toxic. It spreads and it will get you the wrong kind of attention and a name as someone no one wants to go watch. Instead, be a good person and be positive. Learn to have fun in your stream. Leave “edgy” and “trying too hard” to people who don’t want to actually succeed. Positivity is a golden ticket that can lead you a lot of places, including up the viewer count board.
3. Make Yourself a Schedule.
Then stick to it as much as HUMANLY POSSIBLE. This is easier said than done because life gets in the way, but the absolute best piece of advice I can give you to get started is to set yourself 2-3 days a week a minimum where you can devote at least 2-3 hours a day to streaming and stream, like clockwork, at those times. Make it a routine. Always be there. People will expect you to be once they start tuning in. If they can depend on you to be there when you say you’re going to be, and they like you, they’ll keep coming back. Give them a reason to and the firm belief that when they tune in… you’re going to be there.
4. Stop Looking at Twitch as a Competition.
It’s not. It’s a Community. Treat it like one. I know it FEELS like a competition because you want the most viewers or more viewers than the next guy but, that isn’t the mindset you need going in. And if you want to succeed, you need to be a part of the community. That means networking, so, find streams you like. Visit them. Become part of their communities. Get out of the mindset that ANYONE can “steal your views” or that anyone owes you anything. They aren’t YOUR views and no one owes anyone jack. It you want this, you’re going to have to earn it and the Grind is VERY real.
5. Be Professional.
This is still a Job. That means having a decent logo and headers and making sure you have panels and information on your channel. That means putting effort into the look of your channel with decent overlays and notifications. It means treating your channel like a representation of yourself as it’s the first thing people see besides your face. And yes, you do need to be using a camera most likely if you expect to get anywhere. It also means your on-screen representation of yourself, so, dress accordingly. Wear clean clothing that actually looks like something. Remember that you are the product you’re selling to whatever viewers are watching. So brush your hair, clean yourself up, clean your room or your streaming space(if it’s visible….or even if it isn’t, you heathen) and make yourself presentable.
6. Have the Right Equipment.
You cannot get away with a low end microphone and a low end camera unless you are the HEIGHT of wit, and in today’s day and age of high definition quality built into every phone… probably not even then. You need good audio quality and at least pretty decent video(720p). If you need suggestions, I can give them or you can ask in people’s channels as well. People are usually happy to help with their recommendations. Mine? For Microphone: The AT2020 by Audio Technica and and for Camera: The Logitech c920 or c922. I use both. Both are excellent. You can’t really go wrong with either one.
7. Never. Stop. Talking.
Okay, not NEVER. But the point is that you’re there to be entertaining. To entertain. By streaming, you become an entertainer as much as you are a gamer. To that end, you need to talk. A lot. Even if no one is watching, you need to be in the mindset to be speaking. Narrating what you’re doing or what you love about the game or…really anything relevant. And when you DO have an audience, talk to them. Learn about them. Use that time to build your community. Remember them and be personable and they will remember you and come back. Paying attention to your community is how it gets to stay being a community and not just people who occasionally drop in on you. This gets a bit easier if you have people to play multiplayer games with because you can talk to them, but always have an eye on your chat. Respond if people talk in it. DO NOT ADDRESS LURKERS. They don’t like it. Wait for them to speak.
8. Be Patient. Be Realistic.
Success does not happen overnight. Even if you have Ninja’s skill and Doc’s personality, it won’t happen. It takes time. It takes dedication. It takes a world of patience and realizing that even with all of that, it STILL might not work out. But it also might. And the only way to even have a shot at it happening, at finding success with streaming, is to not give up when things are tough.. when they seem pointless.. to keep talking when no one is watching.. to keep streaming when you think no one is going to show up. And to realize if you keep trying, that it can happen for you in time. But it won’t be overnight. It may take months or years to make real headway. Ninja is averaging over 100,000 viewers every time he streams right now, but a few months ago he was only at a few thousand at most, and it took him SEVEN YEARS of streaming to get that far. Be prepared for the long haul. If you aren’t prepared to be patient and put the time in, you’re going to burn out early, so go in with both eyes open and understand…. This will be hard work.
Enjoy! Good Luck! Good Streams! Stay the course. I believe in you. Come see me sometime. More to come in the next article…