What is a clip? Simply put, a clip is a short video capturing an entertaining moment during a live broadcast. It’s common for content creators, at any level, to feel overwhelmed, confused, and pressured when creating clips. I designed this guide based upon my own methods while including unique tips and tricks that I encourage other creators like myself to try! My methods are not a one size fits all strategy, but it’s worth attempting as you’ll never know if something works for you until you try it out for yourself.
• Planning Ahead – Creators may spend six hours of their day planning the stream by organizing what type of content or game they’re going for. The plan will go over ideas on promotion of the stream, if they’re streaming alone or with friends, creating original visual advertisements for their social media story posts, setting up equipment, running tests and audio level adjustments, etc. If that same creator only streams for two hours, then the public only sees the creator for two hours during the livestream and on social media. Once the stream ends, it’s normal for creators to create clips, thumbnails, edits, all in an effort to deliver content across all their platforms.
There’s so much work that goes into content creation that isn’t talked about as often as it should be. For the creator who plans on two hours of stream time for their audience, they might spend anywhere from eight to ten hours on content creation behind the scenes. This is exactly why I like to organize my streams by maintaining what I like to call a base plan. It gives me a general sense of how much time is needed for a successful stream day. Write up notes if you wish to talk to your audience about certain topics during the stream to help yourself stay on track. Plan out what you’d like to do for that stream, regardless of what it is. If you steer off course, that’s okay, but stay focused on your goals and take the necessary preparation time before each stream.
• Time Management – In your base plan, give yourself an estimate on how long you’re willing to stream. Think logically and be sure you give yourself extra time for editing than necessary. It takes patience and self discipline to stay on track with anything. Turn mastering this method into a goal and keep striving to conquer it. I try to keep a base of ninety minutes and I would recommend sixty to ninety minutes for new streamers who are busy with every-day schedules and obligations. Keep in mind, the longer the stream, the more content you have for your clips. Don’t strive for perfection right away, instead strive to be better today than you were yesterday.
• Tracking Time – Many streaming programs and streaming platforms allow you to view the duration of your stream. Some third party widgets or stream based bots may offer a command such as !uptime or something similar to allow you to track how long your livestream has been running for. Something I like to do for minimal clips or highlights that I would like to showcase on my channel, I’ll check to see the time my stream has been running for and take a moment to write it down in my notes. If possible, simply have an assigned moderator check for you and take note of it so you don’t have to temporarily stop what you’re doing. This can be viewed in mod view or by posting a custom command if those options are available. If I’m thirty minutes into a stream and I want to be sure I can go back to clip that moment, I’ll have a mod check and write down how long I’ve been streaming for and make a note of the time. After the stream, I’ll refer back to these notes to find and edit my desired content.
• Desired Content – The most common thing I hear creators say is, “I don’t know what to look for in a clip” and this dilemma can happen to both experienced and rookie streamers. If you’re a streamer who has asked that question, the best advice I have to offer is to not look for anything. Re-watching your videos can be beneficial and important for a multitude of reasons, but can equally be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re crunched on time. Try your best to stay on track and practice proper time management and go with the flow in between.
Be yourself, find comfort within yourself whether you use a webcam, a VTuber model, or anything else. Stay prepared for situations that may make you laugh or bring you any sort of genuine happiness. Maybe you’re playing a game and won, or maybe someone in your chat said something funny or kind. Perhaps you were playing a horror game or maybe you so much as sneezed on stream and your reaction was amazing and everyone of your viewers found that entertaining. Candid moments can be some of the best moments and your audience will feel how genuine these types of moments can be. Genuine and candid moments can not be planned. This is why I recommend keeping track of the time so you don’t have to struggle to find those candid moments when they occur.
• Be Your Own Boss – In my opinion, not every stream needs a clip saved from it, but it’s great to have that content available. New supporters may want to view some of them before following your channel. This is your stream and you are in control. Ultimately, you decide when and how many clips are desired.
• Editing Options – Congratulations, you made it through your stream! Now that your stream has ended, it’s now time to grab those clips and edit them. Every streaming platform has a similar way to create clips, but may offer separate features. For best results, it’s always best to familiarize yourself with the platform before jumping into unfamiliar features. Knowledge about your specific platform gives you an advantage when it comes time to edit.
Be sure to name your clips and give your clip a great description, it can be genuine or humorous or whatever you want that fits your brand. I recommend having your description and title relate to the stream in one way or another. If you have streamed with a friend or two, ask them if they’d like you to mention their channel or username in the description as well. Mutual promotion can be beneficial for everyone involved and most of the time, people love seeing their names when collaborating with others. If thumbnails are an option but you’re unfamiliar with photoshop, I’d recommend an app called Canva for free editing and thumbnail creation options. This is how I create all of my own thumbnails and digital advertisements. Be sure to save the finished product under the desired file and size that your specific platform may require.
• Review Preferences – Take some time to review your designated preferences within your settings on your desired streaming platform. You can enable your settings to grant anyone who is viewing the ability to edit your clips or you can set it up where only you or your moderators can edit clips. Be sure to review your settings every once in a while, especially if you have to reset any stream keys. Just to make sure everything is in order, I review my settings once a month and it only takes five minutes to go through.
• Download & Save – Some platforms may offer the option to download your clips before or after they are posted. I would suggest downloading these types of moments and save them on your device. If saving clips proves to be too difficult due to your personal stream setup, even screen recording on a mobile device can work. Find a way to save them, you never know when you might need to access a clip in the future.
• Repost & Promote – Reposting the link to your new clip on social media is a great way to meet new people by finding other content creators with similar interests, as well as promoting yourself and your channel. Supporters love seeing those beautiful moments that the creator enjoyed enough to clip. Saving your clips is also a great method to create YouTube compilation videos within a certain genre for your channel, or perhaps posting on Hover or utilizing TikTok. Perhaps even reposting on a social platform as a story and tagging or giving a shout-out to anyone else who may have been involved in your clip. If your brand or stream logo isn’t on your overlay, consider posting a link to your own website or channel when posting the clip. As always, remember to utilize the proper hashtags relating to yourself, your channel and your content, along with popular hashtags during that same day.