I want to review some crucial tips that I can offer for anyone starting out streaming, thinking about it, or even streaming for some time but needing to up their game. It’s a long post but worth it. And remember, streaming is a marathon, not a sprint.
Discoverability is difficult on Twitch, so I would highly suggest that you post content from your live streams or other relatable content to other social media platforms consistently. Don’t worry about perfection, just start posting, and you’ll learn how to improve it over time. Posting as often as possible on as many other platforms as you can will help people discover you more quickly than never posting at all because you’re afraid of it being imperfect. Perfectionism can freeze your growth if you allow it to stop you from posting content. Remember, no one is perfect, and the imperfections can be the most interesting parts of a person. So embrace yours! 🙂
The number one priority should be the people in your chat. The only way to get away from prioritizing them is if you are a pro player of the game you stream and viewers are coming mainly for your gameplay, but even then, I still believe that connecting with people in your chat is crucial.
Talk as much as possible, and when you do, then get used to and practice talking even more. If no one is in your chat or you have zero viewers, talk anyway, as if people are there. Practice as if you have a ton of viewers, so that eventually you have a chance of making that your reality. Talk about what you are doing in the game, what you are thinking, why you are making the decisions you are in the game, come up with anything to continue talking as often and as much as possible. You and your personality are what makes watching you play a game interesting. If you choose to be completely silent while playing the game without providing any feedback, most people that stop by your stream will end up leaving shortly after they arrive. This might be harsh for some people to hear, but it is the truth. You might get the random person to stop by who is considering buying the game you are playing and simply wants to see what the gameplay is like. That random person might stay for a while or even that entire stream, but I would guess that they probably will not return after that initial visit. That is, unless you are talking and creating the interest within them to come back. I promise that you have things you can talk about even if you don’t think that you do. It takes reminding yourself to talk and practicing each and every stream. Talk about the sandwich you had for lunch or what the best method is for cleaning your dishes – I am sure you think I am joking, but I promise that I am not. Any conversation on any topic is better than saying nothing. You never know, somebody watching might discover that you have a really good tip on the best method for tying your shoelaces.
Beyond the importance of the people in your chat and talking as much as possible, once you have the ability to upgrade your mic, prioritize and do it. Prioritize audio quality first and then video. Audio quality alone can make a person stay or leave your stream. If a person cannot hear you very well, there is too much background noise, the game or people in your party are louder than you are, there is audio feedback of some sort that is jarring to their ears… any of these reasons will turn someone away quickly. To check how your stream sounds, watch at least parts of your VODs as routinely as you can. If the audio is not great for you, it is not great for anyone else, so make adjustments and keep trying. No one gets it right immediately, it takes listening, learning, and adjustments to continue to make it better.
Lastly, remember to have fun and have that be the main reason and drive every stream. If you are streaming because your end goal is to have tons of followers, viewers, and to be “famous”, you are streaming for not-so-great reasons that may be disappointing and discouraging for you in a short time. Find your passion for having fun with gaming and interacting with people. If you lack that passion, you may be better off trying something else. Growth is typically very slow, over multiple years, so unless you enjoy what you are doing, it may turn out to be a miserable experience of constantly watching your numbers staying stagnant. Stream with passion and fun and those around you will feel that from you and want to join in – that is how you will be successful, find success using that passion to drive you and let the rest fall where it will.