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“How to become a big Twitch streamer” is the million-dollar question these days.
Anyone who enjoys video games has spent time on Twitch. For some people, that time is spent checking out new games. For others, it’s tuning into a particular streamer, like you would a daytime TV show.
As the platform continues to grow, the variety of content keeps expanding. The volume of non-game content continues to soar.
Getting onto Twitch is straightforward, but actually building a channel isn’t exactly cut and dry. Sure, it’s easy to play games and chat into a headset. But if you don’t have a strategy, you’ll end up streaming to the same 5 viewers...and they’ll just be friends or relatives who want to support you.
Learning how to become a Twitch streamer takes planning. It might not become a full-time job right away, but remember that people like summit1g, DrDisrespect, shroud, and pokimane all had to work their way up too.
If you follow three steps, your success will be in your own hands. And with a platform as competitive as Twitch, that’s all any of us can ask for these days.
Twitch By The Numbers
The Twitch we know and love evolved from Justin.tv, which was more of a sideshow curiosity than anything. And in just 13 years, the platform has exploded and spawned an entire industry for content creators. It’s a stage where people can build careers around the hobbies they love.
According to a report from March 2020, Twitch averaged 1.44 million concurrent viewers. Those viewers watched 2.3 billion hours of content in Q4 2019 alone.
That sounds like a wide open market that anyone can jump into, but it’s worth remembering that there are also more than 3.8 million unique broadcasters who already have a grip on the market. That is a lot of competition, and there are thousands of new broadcasters joining every day.
You are reading this because you want to make your own mark on Twitch. Maybe you’re a lifelong gamer, or an aspiring eSports player, or an influencer looking to build a new audience. Whatever the reason, you want tips to break into this platform, and I’m here to give you a plan.
Let’s get started.
Step #1: Invest In Some Gear
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend $5,000 on a gaming rig, a studio mic, a professional camera, or multi-tone LED lights. You know the people I’m talking about — we’ve all been blown away by streamers who look like they’re working on a film set for some epic new Alienware commercial.
Having expensive gear can help give the sense that you’re a successful streamer, but that’s not an investment you should make early on. In reality, with how tech is advancing, you could even get away with using a games streaming service to save on PC hardware.
You only need two things (in addition to your PC or console) to get started as a Twitch streamer: a webcam and a headset.
And yes, you absolutely need a camera. If you spend any time on Twitch, you’ll have a hard time finding popular or trending streamers that don’t use a webcam. Viewers want to feel a connection with who they’re watching, and it’s much harder to do that without a webcam.
Step #2: Stick To A Schedule
If you follow many successful streamers, you’ll notice that everyone follows a schedule. Most play every day, and they post the dates and times on their channel or on social media.
Successful streamers think of Twitch like a part-time job. Very few viewers watch an entire session, but if they know someone streams every weekday between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., they will have an easier time tuning in on more than one occasion.
In other words, new viewers will stumble across your channel all the time. They might love your on-screen personality or the games you play. But the only way they will keep coming back to watch is if you make it easy for them to watch your channel consistently.
And unless you’re getting promoted on Twitch’s home page, the only way to help people find you is to create a streaming schedule and stick to it.
Step #3: Add A Little Flair
Investing in gear and sticking to a streaming schedule are absolute musts. But at some point, you’ll settle into things. Twitch will become your new side hustle, and you will become more confident on camera and get better at splitting your attention between gaming and talking.
When that happens, the next challenge is to create a vibe or style that people associate with you. Sure, keeping things simple will help you find your footing early on. But you also need to think of ways to set yourself apart from the millions of streamers you’re competing against.
This is the step where your channel starts to become a community, a place for viewers to interact with you and each other. Choosing interesting games or having a fun personality will help, but presentation plays the biggest role in how new viewers perceive you.
One easy way to start is with music. If you don’t have a large and active chat, you’ll have moments of silence on your stream. (Trust me — we’ve all been there!)
Those periods are frequently the spots when viewers drop from a stream to find something else. And that means the sooner you get rid of those silence spots and add Twitch music, the faster your channel will grow.
Even if you aren’t familiar with Twitch’s music rules, the most important takeaway is that you can’t use music you haven’t licensed. And the best way to avoid a copyright claim is to use royalty free music.
A Soundstripe subscription covers all of your channel’s music needs for the price of a few cups of coffee, and it’ll give you the peace of mind knowing you’ll never have to worry about that awkward silence during a stream.
How To Become A Twitch Streamer
And that’s it. These three things are baby steps — clear action items to help you start your Twitch channel on the right foot.
As you grow your community, you'll also be keep one eye on the day when you can generate revenue from streaming via the Twitch Affiliate payout. But remember that bigger audiences have different needs, and it’s your job to get to know your viewers and evolve your channel as needed.
But with some basic gear, a consistent schedule, and a little personality, you’ll have a strong foundation to build on for years to come.
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