Twitch has been a streaming platform for about a decade now, and in that time, countless people have tried to make a living streaming on it. In fact, in the last few years, there’s been an 88% increase in new streamers joining the platform. It’s a tough gig, no doubt. Live-streaming, whether you’re a professional or recreational gamer, it demands a huge amount from the individual.
Beyond actually making the game enjoyable to watch, it’s often a prolonged performance for potentially thousands of people, all while keeping your concentration centered. At its best, Twitch streams are brilliantly engaging, interactive, and satisfying to watch. For the content creator, it’s a chance to avoid the time-consuming editing that many Youtubers might wrangle with, and play their favorite games, surrounded by fans. What’s not to like?
At the very highest level, some of the best streamers have millions of subscribers and can hop online once or twice a week for serious gaming streams. Others opt to be more casual, setting up hangouts around their streams to interact with fans more directly. Others might aim for a far more comedic style.
Each approach carries its own challenges, and anyone considering starting on Twitch should aim to play to their strengths above all else. But some rules remain the same for all but maybe the top 0.01% of streamers. Adopting some of these as you set out on your Twitch career, and can be a tremendous benefit to helping you build a sustainable and engaged audience.
Keep Them Watching
This seems obvious – in some respects, it is. If you aren’t entertaining, nobody is going to want to watch. However, it’s naïve to think that the most successful streamers are simply just total naturals. The very best streamer isn’t necessarily just the funniest person in the room. They just understand and adopt the right mindset during streams.
Checking researching some materials like Ninja bio should give you an idea how to turn passion into a career which should keep you audience amused.
It’s about being highly opportunistic and reactive, being able to think on your feet – but above all else, being proactive. Many streamers make the mistake of waiting for things to react to. You can’t afford to wait. It’s an aggressive approach that pushes the best to the top. Look at some recent of the most recent breaking Twitch news on win.gg – the title of top live streamer changes often, but recently was claimed by a relative newbie. Going by the name Ironmouse, this female streamer ran an uncapped ‘sub-a-thon’ (essentially, a running timer increased by 15 seconds every time someone donated $5 to her). The set-up was an aggressive and direct move to both engage and interact with her audience – and it worked like a charm. Gamifying the donation process complimented her personal streaming style well – you need to be thinking about your own engagement style.
Social media is your best friend as a Twitch streamer. It goes hand in hand with your consistency and scheduling patterns, too. Outside of streams, they’re the best way for gauging your audience’s reactions to your content. The most obvious examples are Twitter and Instagram. Use them to keep fans abreast of when you’re next going to be live – and stick to it! It’s one of the biggest asks of streamers, but if you want to make Twitch your sole income, you need to treat it as a self-employed role. It can and should be fun, but people will still only pay for your product if it’s high-quality.
Be Your Own Harshest Critic
Still, don’t be too hard on yourself. A bad stream can happen. It’s more about self-awareness. Even the very biggest streamers, the likes of Ninja included, have experienced subscriber plateaus and dips. The main thing is not to blame external factors on this.
This can also mean experimenting with new concepts, too. Knowing your strengths can also mean knowing how to apply them in different ways. Some of the best content creators are masters of reinventing how they stream and create new content from unusual sources, including their audiences.
The above tips are stretching the surface of the kinds of planning and research you be doing to maximize the impact of your Twitch channel. Online platforms can be a fickle business, and not everyone makes it. The best thing you can do however long you intend to stream is now why you’re doing it. If you want to make some money, treat it like your own business in any other industry. If you want to simply have some fun and build an audience, don’t forget that’s why you started.
Online success is being adaptable to changing circumstances. If you can keep up with that unpredictable flow, you’ve got a great chance of running a stream people really want to watch.
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