Streaming on Twitch is still as popular as ever, boasting an average of 15m daily active viewers and 939 million hours watched in the previous month.
The platform doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime just yet, and is well on its way to topping last year’s records in the current year.
If you’re one of the thousands of gamers who dream about being able to get paid to play, prior to contrary belief – there might be no better time to start.
Live viewers will always be searching for the next best channel to follow, and as trends change, people move on or lose popularity; new creativity will always be needed to fill the void.
Whether you’ve been debating to take on this adventurous challenge for some time, or just happen to be actively searching to improve any progress you have already made.
Then you can’t go wrong with these top tips on “How to become a Twitch Streamer“.
10 Tips for becoming a Twitch Streamer
1. Create an eye-catching profile:
Choosing an original but clever, click baity name is a must for anyone wanting to start a new channel. It’s often the first thing a subscriber will see when browsing through pages, and you will want to entice their attention to click on YOU.
This could be something ‘game related’, or relevant to what you might wish to stream. A short name (around 5-10 characters) usually works best, being harder to forget. ‘Ninja‘, ‘DrLupo‘ and ‘xMinks‘ are all examples of good names.
Although writing bios can be a bit of a pain in the arse, it’s important to try and fill in as much information about yourself right from the start. Viewers will want to have an idea of who their watching, so they can begin to develop an interest in you.
Nobody wants to watch someone they know almost nothing about, even if you are streaming something they like.
Try to include as much info as you can, including your name, age, education, interests, height, pets, location, everything! When writing about yourself keep it light-hearted, friendly and entertaining.
All of the top streamers have their own personalized eye-catching graphics displayed on their page to help create an individual and memorable style.
You might want to design and make your own if you have the knowledge to do so or outsource it cheaply on a website such as fiver.
The best looking pages aren’t covered in graphics but use them to break up the text in the form of headings, or eye-candy buttons.
Titles, Descriptions and Tags
Similar to choosing a good name, it’s important to think of well framed titles and descriptions able to grab the viewers’ attention. Be click-baity but also remember to contain the right information on what you are streaming. Make sure your spelling is correct and use capital letters to make key words look bold.
Your clips will be the next place a viewer will head to after clicking on your name so you will want them to stand out and impress!
Trawling through your live stream recordings to find the best bits you have done is essential to helping your channel grow, but can also be painstakingly time consuming. Jotting down a note of the ‘stream time’ after they happen is probably the best way to go.
If you have just started a new channel and don’t have any to show, then creating a short 30 second to 1 minute introductory video is a great way to get your channel of to a good start. Over time your clips will slowly build up.
2. Have a good setup
Don’t worry about your equipment too much when you’re first starting out as it’s important to get streaming as soon as possible.
It’s very easy to get put off by thinking that you need the top specs when really you don’t. As long as you have a stable internet connection and your computer is powerful enough to game and stream at the same time you’re well on the way to go.
Here are some things that you will need to get sorted from the start:
It always helps to have a high quality webcam (1080p/ 720p resolution) as viewers are more likely to skip over channels that have low quality image recordings. If your stream quality sucks then no one’s going to want to watch it, remember that all the top streamers have amazing quality.
It is possible to stream without a camera but we don’t recommend this. Viewers will remember you from what you look like, so if you don’t have an image fresh in their minds this means you will have to compensate with even more personality.
A high quality mic is also essential for being a Twitch streamer. Viewers are often more interested in the commentary of a stream than the actual game play, which sets channels apart.
There’s nothing worse than being tuned into a channel with the sound of a fan blowing in the background like a wind farm. Technically you can get by with using a headset but a dedicated mic with a crisp sound would be far superior choice for what you need.
Click here for a list of streaming essentials to get you started on Twitch!
A messy background with poor lighting is definitely something to avoid if your streaming for the first time. The majority of streamers use green screens which are a cheap and effective way to conceal any clutter In your room. They can be easily attached to the back of a chair like this one here.
However, green screens can only look so good, require a perfect spread of natural lighting, and can restrict the player when they want to move around.
Nothing beats having a large decorated personalised space to do your streams from, and you will often find that the most successful streamers will upgrade away from them once they gain some extra income.
Click here to find out how to get the best lighting for streaming!
To be able to actually start a live stream you will need to download a cross-platform streaming and recording program such as Streamlabs OBS (Open Broadcast Software).
We recommend OBS as it’s free to use, saves all your graphics and layouts, and can do pretty much everything seen on your favourite channels. Although you’re probably going to want to get carried away with all the features, try to keep a nice clean look to your overlay.
Once you’ve downloaded OBS you can link it to your account using your unique Twitch streamer key.
3. Choose a niche of popular games to specialize in
Observe the rules of supply and demand. A top-tip is to stream games that are popular or trending with a large audience, but don’t already have so many people playing them. To do this you can go to the categories directory on Twitch and look for games around the 15-25 mark.
These games are likely to have less viewers, but also less competition. This means you will stand a greater chance of getting noticed on the front page of the category.
If the category is full up with more than 30 streamers (each having a large number of viewers), then you might want to try and play something else. I would avoid going past the first 25 categories, as the majority of people do not bother to browse past this point.
Once you have built up more regular followers then you can then slowly begin to climb the ladder and stream the more popular games. Refrain from ever playing the top 5 categories, unless you are highly skilled at them.
What to play?
Choosing two or three games to play can be better than one so any followers you make don’t start to get bored with your channel. Begin by streaming games that you actually enjoy.
On a platform like Twitch, It’s very easy to tell if a streamer is genuine or not, and no one wants to witness fake emotions. If you aren’t having fun and enjoying the game, the viewers won’t either.
‘Jumping in’ on new games with potential can be present a great opportunity when they have first been released, as very few people are playing them..
If the game manages to exceed its popularity expectations, (such as Fortnite when it was first released), you will have a strong chance of “riding the wave”, to build a large fan base of followers very quickly.
4. Use unique features on your channel
Having a variety of unique features that you can incorporate into your channel will help to make it pop and stand out amongst the crowd.
Broadcasting games for the whole stream can be fine if you’re really skilled and some of your viewers are into that, but otherwise why might they want to come back to you?
Splitting up your stream so you have let’s say 30% features will help to benefit you in many ways depending on what you might choose to do in that time. It will also make your stream feel less predictable.
Examples of features before they became popular include; integrated chat with games, chat loyalty points, contests/viewer voting, custom emotes, chat loyalty points etc.
All these things can help to build a connection with your viewers so that they remember you, provide extra entertainment, and will also give you a break from streaming games for hours on end.
Amouranth has made a name for herself by including sexy cosplay into her streams which includes dressing up as animals or specific well-known characters such as Lara Croft during her side games. Like many other players she also likes to include lots of dancing and singing in her performances as well as party games.
Click here for the top 10 Cosplay Streamers on Twitch!
Pokimane is famous for including hang-outs and live streamed vlogs at her friends’ houses – so her viewers can actually see what she’s like to be around in a real life situation. She’s even been making brownies while streaming more recently!
Use your imagination to conjure up something entertaining for your audience that other streamers haven’t thought of and you will be well on your way to climbing up the rankings.
5. Follow a set schedule
Consistency is key to becoming a reliable broadcaster, develop a schedule and keep with it.
You will need to work out how many hours you can realistically devote to Twitch before starting. With full time jobs and other commitments getting in the way this will vary greatly from person to person.
Maintaining your Twitch presence can be a challenge.. How many hours are you free each day/ week? How many extra hours do you have spare to plan shows? When are the most viewers watching Twitch in your time zone? (evening is probably best).
Once you have answered all these questions you can begin to create your schedule but make sure you don’t frequently change it. People will remember their favourite programmes schedules so make sure they can remember when yours is. If you want to stream for longer, no problem, but always stick to your start times!
You might also want to create a schedule for work that goes on behind the scenes, if you are serious about broadcasting as this can also take up a lot of time. e.g. Preparing shows, setting up equipment, etc.
6. Advertise your channel
Advertising can be one of the easiest and quickest ways to build up a popularity on Twitch. With the help of social media accounts and other platforms there are many different ways to directly transfer audiences across to your channel. Of course, it always helps if you have those accounts setup with a decent following already.
Uploading entertaining clips not only to your Twitch dashboard but also to a YouTube account can be a great way to pull in viewers if they ever go viral.
‘AriGameplays’ is now the second highest followed female streamer on Twitch, thanks to her readymade YouTube channel containing walkthroughs!
Joining related groups, and sharing your clips to popular video game pages, can help to bring in extra viewers. Sharing to you your friends and family will also help to get you above the dreaded 0 count. You don’t want to be sat in a stream pretending to chat to yourself (this can be very demoralising).
If you have bigger aspirations (and a spare chunk of cash lying around), you could even pay to advertise your streams live on a trending feed like many Asian gamers do.
Love it or hate it but using discussion websites with a large such gaming demographic such as Reddit could help to provide a huge extra boost to your channel.
Refrain from spamming to prevent your links from being taken down and instead post ‘short’, entertaining clips that might be able to grab someone’s attention.
Enter gaming competitions
Former CS:GO player ‘Shroud’ is a great example of someone whose risen to the top largely on the back of his success of being a competitive tournament player.
If you have the skills, then competing in, or attending gaming events is a great way to gain recognition within the community while marketing yourself in the process.
Click here for a full list of video game tournament platforms!
7. Interact with your viewers
It’s fundamental for every Twitch streamer to interact with their viewers, and is often what pushes the most popular channels to the top. Interact with anyone and everyone who wants to chat. Joke around with your regulars as if they’re your friends, and explain anything that needs to be explained.
Expressing your personality by chatting with others can help to keep the stream more interesting, and provides an added amount of entertainment.
Remember that if viewers wanted to watch a static video then they could of went to YouTube and this is not why they have gone to Twitch!
New streamers might find it quite difficult to alternate between playing, and commentating at the same time – as this might take some getting used to.
Click here for a list of the 26 Best Games with Twitch Integration!
Moderating your chat
Moderating your chat can be much easier when you’ve just started as you won’t have a tonne of people chatting, as your channel gets bigger things can become a bit more difficult.
You might want to look into getting a chat bot that’s able to moderate, greet new viewers, post scheduled messages, and add extra functionality to the livestream.
You can use Streamlabs to monitor the chat by showing the delay of the stream to let viewers know that you saw what they typed. Having alerts for donations, or a followers pop-up, can also act as a helpful reminder that somebody has responded to your steam in which you can show your praise and gratitude.
8. Collaborate with other players
Making friends with other streamers and communities is an excellent way to grab some extra attention to you and your channel. They might also be able to help you out in one way or another.
You can make friends by hanging out in other peoples streams or even in real-life at special events such as (TwitchCon, BlizzCon, PAX, etc). The more people you talk with, the more you will become known and who knows who you might run into and have a connection with?
Twitch players commonly raid each other’s chats when the stream is over. Making friends with viewers/players from other peoples chats can give you direct access to people you know watch live streams who you’re going to want in your audience too.
I’ve seen many people who never streamed, but went from 1 viewer to 200 viewers overnight, just because they networked and were active in multiple channels.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other streamers you follow. This might seem a bit scary at first but once you’ve made friends with other people, new opportunities can present themselves.
Being able to host joint shows together is just one benefit that can arise, and is an excellent way to provide more entertainment. It can also take away some of the burden of having to do everything yourself.
Co-streaming is actively encouraged on Twitch, and you’re going to need a bit of a breather at some point!
9. Consider your presentation style
Think about your favourite Twitch streamer. Most likely, this channel has a unique style in the way it is portrayed, not only in the visuals but also in the personality of the broadcaster.
The most successful streamers are those that understand how they want to be perceived by their audience creating an image that is different to others.
Do you want to be known as an entertainer? Who’s funny, adoring, cute, sexy, glamorous, laid back, controversial, provocative, etc. Or for being more of a skilled player? Who might come across as being more serious, arrogant, complex, knowledgeable, etc.
Of course be yourself and be authentic as people love that. But understanding what you are like as a person, and what you are comfortable with to build upon those traits, is an excellent way of forming a winning formula that’s super entertaining.
Pokimane understands that coming across as cute and adoring has built her success. She does this by having a soft tone of voice, bubbly energetic energy and likes to display actions and emotes similar to video games.
Whereas ‘DrDisrespect‘ presents himself in a very outspoken “action-figure” way.
Both of these streamers would rarely choose to step out of line by changing the way they present themselves, because they know it would work against everything they have built upon.
10. Be a dedicated streamer
Nothing is going to happen overnight and If you’re not willing to stream as a hobby first then don’t consider it as a career. All good things take time and becoming a dedicated Twitch streamer means sticking to your schedule, putting in an uncounted amount of unpaid hours and being in it for the long term.
The beginning can be rough journey. Not only do you to learn loads of new things as previously mentioned in this article, but you will also have to stay committed on the bad days when no one is watching your stream and everything feels like a waste of time.
The top streamers are the ones that have been dedicated through the whole process of getting there, while the ones that haven’t have faded away. Remember to stay motivated and put in the extra effort, to help turn you dream into a reality!
We hope you enjoyed this post on “how to be a Twitch Streamer”.
Click here for a list of streaming essentials to get you started on Twitch!
Click here for a list of the Top Female Streamers on Twitch!
Flickr by dronepicr at https://flickr.com/photos/132646954@N02/36042431203. It was reviewed on 29 August 2017 by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.
Twitch @ https://www.twitch.tv/DrLupo