By: Papa Minnow

Streaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. The act of turning on a camera and going live with thousands of people tuning in has been a great way for people to connect, socialize and be entertained; especially during the pandemic. With so many flocking towards the streaming landscape I wanted to offer some guidance for first time streamers.

While I’m not a streamer myself, I have been watching streams since Justin.tv became Twitch.tv so I have come to grow in the space ever since it’s inception. With that said, here is a beginner’s guide to streaming.

1. Choose your game(s)

Unless you’re a very attractive woman in a bikini and hot tub, you’ll need to choose what type of gaming streamer you want to be. This initial choice doesn’t have to dictate the content on your channel forever, but it will play a major role in fostering what kind of community you want to build.

As a variety streamer you’ll have a ton of gaming options to choose from which can continuously keep things fresh and exciting. However, there is a risk in that some games may appeal to your audiences more than others and as a result your streams will fluctuate in terms of viewership, subscription rate, and engagement.

On the other hand if you choose to be a solo-game streamer you have the ease of knowing exactly what you’re going to stream every day and that bodes well for building consistency. Solo-game streamers also have the benefit of tapping into a specific audience that they are apart of or enjoy.

The difficulty with this path is that the game’s popularity dictates your potential for growth and you’ll likely be competing within a saturated category filled with major streamers. If this is your path, be sure to choose a game that you won’t get bored of easily.

Whichever avenue you end up choosing, make sure it’s the right one for you, and don’t be afraid to experiment! You’re free to try whatever stream style you desire, especially early on.

2. Consistency

As a streamer one of the most, if not THE most, important factor in retaining viewership is consistency. If your audience doesn’t know what times you’re likely to stream, or if you don’t stream at a consistent rate, then it’s essentially a crap shoot on when viewers will tune into your stream.

Not only does it disengage your audience, it also limits your potential growth to attract new viewers. The more people see you doing something, the more inclined they are to check it out and it’s with that chance that your stream can reel them in.

Be sure to develop a streaming schedule that you can adhere to on a regular basis in order to grow your channel.

Twitch streamer Trihex's schedule
Twitch streamer Trihex’s schedule (www.twitch.tv/trihex)

3. Be Unique

With millions of streamers (9.3M on Twitch alone) streaming each day and vying for the attention of viewers, it can be hard to breakthrough the noise. Don’t let that discourage you from streaming though.

As a smaller streamer it’s important to figure out what you have to offer to the space and hone in on delivering what makes you unique in order to stand out from the crowd.

4. Engage

Everybody likes to know that they’ve been heard and that holds especially true for Twitch chat. Not everyone is comfortable talking in chat, but the ones that do are often looking to discuss with their favourite streamers.

Talking and gaming is no easy task, especially in intense or highly competitive moments, but as a streamer it’s important to not leave your viewers hanging. Find gaps within your playstyle to discuss topics with chat, acknowledge follows, and praise subs and tips. It will go a long way in creating a loyal community.

5. Have fun!

Streaming is meant to be fun. It should be a way to express your passion with other people who have similar interests as you and you shouldn’t go into it trying to make money until that time comes.

Until then, stay consistent and enjoy your streaming!

Featured Image via: Screenrant.com

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