New to streaming? First time? Read this

New to streaming? First time? Read this

Hey guys, in this short post, I will be going through what you should do and need to have a successful stream. I have come up with a sort of pillar system which I follow, and it has worked pretty well for me, mind you, I have 300 followers and about 10 viewers per stream.

  • My first pillar is a bit demotivating, and don't let that get you down to much, but, DO not expect anything. Don't expect donations, don't expect 500 viewers and a Twitch partnership within the first couple months of streaming. Some of the more successful streamers have been on Twitch for 2 years and/or longer, and with the rise of console streaming with the Xbone and the PS4, being found in the catacombs of Twitch is become rarer and rarer. However, continue reading and don't let this first pillar influence you too much, its only supposed to lower your expectations so you wont get disappointed.

  • Goals: This is a very good way to keep yourself motivated to keep streaming. Some people want to stream everyday for a year, others want to stream till they hit 1k followers and then come up with new goals, but just like with anything in life, having a goal in mind will make things easier. However, I would not recommend making your goal "I want to be a Twitch partner and make hella $$$". That will take away the fun of the stream, as it will be noticeable that you want the $$$. Keep in mind when you stream, you should have fun and your audience should have fun. Don't think about the potential $$$. That is a nice bonus later on down the road. You also have to be careful. This is a double edged sword. If you say "Road to 1000 followers" or "Grind to 100 views", that could come off bad. People, are just that, people. When you "Grind" for people, it dehumanizes those who watch your stream, and some might not like it. This is something you need to decide for yourself.

  • My next pillar is consistency. Wouldn't you hate it if your favorite TV show comes on once a week, and suddenly, it comes on every second week, and then it takes a month, and then every week again? Well, the same principle applies to Twitch. Having set days and set times which you as the caster try to maintain will increase your audience retention and increase how much your viewers come back, because they know exactly when you stream, and can plan for it. This is also to make your own life easier, since you can plan around having you stream on a set date.

  • Quality: This is tough one, and I cannot give you the full rundown in this post. I will try to cover the important parts. Yes, you want your stream to look good. This include maybe a simple banner, good video quality and decent audio quality. Video quality is most affected by your streaming bit rate. I would suggest following Twitch's guidelines and stream at around 2500kbps. You might have the best internet in the world, but many Twitch viewers do not, and since you will most likely not have the quality options, viewers will get see and get exactly what you stream to them. Here you can see the average speeds based off of Netflix, which is a very good indicator. If you look at Bacon_donut, his stream quality isn't the best, but people still enjoy his content, and more people can watch due to the low bit rate. Don't you think the viewer would rather watch a lower quality(Im not saying bad) stream, rather than seeing the buffer icon every 5 seconds?.
    • Something which in my opinion a lot of streamers do wrong is having an overlay which takes up half of the stream. I want to see the streamer and the game, not all the social media links, Twitter feed, family photos etc. You know where im getting at.
    • When speaking about quality, your Twitch channel, not just the video stream comes into mind. Nothing is more irritating than seeing lots of different size banners, logos and images below the stream. Get yourself GIMP, a free photoshop-like program, and make yourself some simple tile images. It will go a long way with the viewers. Here is a nice example.

  • Interaction. Remember folks, Twitch is live in every sense of the word. Yes, there is a 30 second delay, but that should not discourage you from talking to your viewers. Always keep your dashboard, or the pop-out chat open. You don't want to lose a potential viewer because it took you 10 minutes to answer his simple "Hello" message. Have fun with your viewers. If someone is watching the stream, say hi, greet them, ask them how their day was. Bonding with viewers is a key to ensuring they come back, and it will be more fun once you guys get to know each other. And for me, I sometimes talk about more personal things from my life, and who knows, maybe the viewer has had the same experience. I have made some good friends from streaming.

  • And last but not least, BE YOU. There are thousands of people streaming every day, and you want to stand out. Yes, maybe look at what successful streamers do, but then do it differently in your own way. People want to watch you, not a copy of someone else. The trick to Twitch is to find your niche. Are you the BEST FPS player? Got the most wins in game X? That sort of thing. It might take a bit, but the more you stream the more you will realize what people want to watch, and I encourage you to ask for viewer feedback.

I think that's it folks. If you follow these couple pillars, I think you will find streaming can and will be very fun, and again, give it time. You may not have any viewers for the first couple weeks(Speaking from experience).

-Shrimp :)

PS: If you have any thoughts or points I should add, let me know below!
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I wish you would have elaborated a bit more on the interaction point. Everything is fairly straight forward but being able to talk to "nothing" while playing games isn't quite so. Overall a great article that has really helped me in my early days of streaming. Thanks.