Times when it was necessary to spend a lot of time on boring work are in the past. Today everyone can find a way to earn money based on their hobbies. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably into gaming and streams. The success of Twitch stars is inspiring and encouraging. You want to try it yourself but do not know where to start and how to act. Specially for this, we prepared a detailed guide on how to stream on Twitch.
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Table of Content:
Explore the experience of other streamers
Before embarking on anything it is necessary to evaluate people who are already engaged in it. We recommend you before getting started on Twitch to look at the experience of other authors to avoid the mistakes they’ve made and multiply the success they have achieved. It will help you understand what the Twitch audience likes and what’s not appropriate. Be patient, collect all the information, and then proceed to the following points. Otherwise, you can fail right away with hasty, thoughtless decisions.
There are often questions about how powerful computer is required for streaming. Some will tell you about super expensive setting while others say that any device is suitable. In fact, it all depends on the game you choose for your streams. If it’s something like PUBG or GTA 5, then certainly without a powerful device it’s just impossible to handle. And for small indie games, an ordinary computer is just enough. The most important thing you really need is high speed of Internet connection. Without it there’s no point to start your streaming channel. If you find that your Internet doesn’t meet these requirements, ask the provider to change your tariff.
Think of your nickname and image
It is very important to invent a unique and memorable nickname. The reason to it – it will be the first thing that the user will see. Also, it is necessary for your name to reflect your channel adequately. Don’t write overused nicknames like the name of a game character or some celebrity.
Your channel image is also very important. After all, the main thing about streaming is how you pitch it. Here we also recommend to consider your own taste and look for something unique and original.
Now that you have made the image and nickname it’s time to register your account on Twitch. Fortunately, the creators of the platform have made a fairly clear design so there is no sense to dwell on this step in more detail. Just note that it’s a bad idea to use the same passwords for different accounts. This will increase the likelihood of hacking your account and further unpleasant consequences.
You are going to become a streamer, a media person, so it’s essential to create profiles in all popular social networks. Even if you already have personal accounts you need to make new ones, especially for your streaming channel. It is also necessary to constantly update your social network pages, notify the audience about upcoming streams, conduct surveys on different improvements your channel might require.
The channel on YouTube is a great way to attract an audience to your Twitch stream. Often people find out about streamers through this platform. Viewers spread the most interesting moments from streams making a great advertisement for the author. Create a profile on YouTube and update it from time to time with funny or epic compilations of moments from your stream and very soon more people will come to see you live.
OBS is an image capture program with open source which allows many users to modify it. It’s the most popular and demanded solution on the market. The app is fairly simple to use but for greater clarity we recommend you to watch some tutorials on YouTube before using it. Please note that incorrect configuration of OBS may lead to significant problems during streaming and even to distortion of the recording.
What game to stream?
You must have noticed that the most popular games for streaming now are all battle royale like Fortnite and PUBG. But don’t think that by choosing one of these games you’ll automatically become a top streamer. There’s more to it than just popularity of certain genre.
If you are looking for what game to stream on Twich you should consider going to these services to gather insights:
When choosing a game for the stream, you need to consider not only popular trends but, more importantly, your own taste. You can’t perfectly fake emotions forever. Your viewers will eventually notice that you don’t really like what you’re playing and just pretend to get more viewers.
Often popular streamers play little-known indie games and get quite a lot of viewers. People love them not for what they play but for how they play it in the first place.
Of course, there are certain boundaries of what to stream. Some RPGs and strategy games is probably a bad choice for a start. You might get subscribers who like watching you play these games, sure, but it will always be a very limited audience.
Design your channel
Before starting a stream you need to think over the design of your channel. Avatar, integration with social networks, information board. If you own photo editors, you can do it yourself but if there’s a lack of free time, just use different services that can ease the process.
What’s a donation and how does it work
Surely you’ve heard a lot about donations. It’s a monetary reward coming from a viewer and usually accompanied by a short message. When the viewer sends the donation, it appears during the stream and everyone sees it. Many streamers set a certain price list for donations. For different amounts of money they do certain actions. As an example, writing the name of the donated viewer on paper, take a picture with him or send a greeting to someone watching the stream. To familiarize yourself with more information we recommend you to check out our guide on donations.
Designing donations and overlays
The original visual design is an important aspect of streaming. You can design overlays yourself, come up with different animations, donation alerts, create notifications about subscriptions and so on. But you must agree that it will take a lot of time. To solve this problem you can use OvrStream app. It has a built-in editor that contains several dozen themes that the user can modify. OverStream has a simple and quick synchronization with OBS and Twitch. If you want to know more, read our detailed review of OvrStream.
DonationAlerts is a very useful tool for streaming. To send a donation all the user needs to do is just clicking the link, writing the message and sending the money. After that, right during the stream, there will be a beautiful colourful notification voiced by a bot. You only need to register on DonationAlerts and configure several parameters. Note that the service charges the commission from each incoming donation.
Should I use the webcam?
A lot of discussions in the streaming community are devoted to the question: should I use the webcam during streaming or should I limit myself to the sound of my voice. After analyzing the history of many streamers we can safely say that the demonstration of your face during the streams significantly attracts the audience.
Viewers better understand your reaction to a particular situation which makes the chat more active and increases the number of donations. In addition, almost everyone now uses the webcam so refusing to use it increases the difficulty of achieving success on Twitch.
Your first stream
Before starting your first stream you need to stay tuned, in a good mood and healthy body. Viewers love to see active and witty streamers so it’s better to practice in advance. It is also necessary to take care of the technical part of the event. Configure all programs, disable everything unnecessary, clear cache and so on. If during the first stream you had only a few viewers or something went wrong, don’t get upset. Nothing can be perfect right away. If it’s your true passion, after a couple of attempts success will not keep you waiting.
Creativity and self-expression
If you look closely on different channels on Twitch, you might notice that the content of most authors may seem extremely boring and monotonous. The problem is that the beginner streamers hesitate to demonstrate their creativity and Twitch is all about personalities.
Therefore, we recommend you to turn on your imagination. Maybe you will come up with a funny catch phrase or an interesting manner of behaviour that will certainly attract people. However, here as always, you need to know the measure. In the end, you shouldn’t force something weird just for the image. Be yourself and your audience will appreciate it.
Promoting your stream
You have created a channel and already started streaming on Twitch. However, there is no efficiency. The number of viewers doesn’t exceed a hundred and donations are extremely rare. Keep your head up. All you need is promoting your stream correctly.
Many mistakenly focus only on the platform itself, forgetting about other ways to attract the audience. We’ve already told about a necessity of creating profiles in social networks. Perhaps you didn’t use them well enough or forgot making updates.
Reaching out to a wider audience when you’re streaming can be challenging. It’s difficult to know what the best way to promote your stream is. Luckily, social media goes hand in hand with streaming, and can be used to not only share your stream, but to interact with the people watching it. The more places that your stream can be found, the more sources you have to bring in a higher viewership.
Social media is also a hub where communities and fan bases are created, which gives the chance for people to closely follow their favorite streamers and be notified of when they’ll be streaming.
Not only that, but streamers can view fans’ comments and suggestions about their streams, and respond to them. It gives the streamers a chance to improve their streams and notify their followers when they’re streaming, and for fans the chance to discuss the streams and follow the streamer’s activity.
Twitter is one of the best social media platforms to use to inform your audience when and what you are streaming. It is super easy for streamers to expand their viewership and save time promoting their streams. Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms, and is one of the best sources to grow your audience due to its widely varied content and special features. Below, we discuss some of the best social media hacks to promote your stream and grow your viewership.
Short and Snappy Announcements
Thanks to the 280-character limit for tweets, you can keep your interactions short and sweet and straight to the point. You can copy and paste links into tweets, which Twitter defaults to 23 characters regardless of its length. This means you can cut out the waffle and unimportant stuff, and fans know exactly when to watch you. Streamers also get the chance to create announcements in a unique way with concise texts, images and hashtags.
Below are some examples of Twitter announcements from streamers, who want to communicate with their audience about what content they’ll be creating:
As you can see, each tweet is short and direct. From reading these tweets, you know exactly what game the user is streaming, and what kind of atmosphere and mood they create in their streams. Each tweet reflects the style and tone of each stream, all of which are unique from one another. This helps to make their tweets stand out from others.
Each tweet also includes a link to their tweet, and some tag other streamers in their tweets. Alongside the 280 characters, tweets can include tagged users, hashtags, pictures, emoticons, videos and GIFs. Aside from links, the other media formats do not count towards the character limit.
Interactivity between Streamers
As shown by the previous examples, Twitter allows you to tag other streamers in your tweets, and interact with them. Other streamers can then also retweet this on their page, promoting your tweet to their followers. This then shares your stream with all of their followers, as well as yours, reaching out to a much wider audience. Fans of their streams may also be fans of yours!
You can also help other streamers by following them and retweeting their tweets. When they tweet out that they’re live, you can help accentuate the hype behind it by interacting with the tweets. Everybody on Twitter, including streamers, like to be retweeted, and more often than not, they’ll return when you’re tweeting about your streams. Don’t be afraid to interact with other streamers on Twitter – more often than not, you’ve got nothing to lose, and you can potentially grow an audience from it!
This interactivity may also show up on a user’s search for a streamer. For example, if you retweet a streamer’s tweet, you may show up in a user’s search as well as the original streamer. Interacting with streamers is a great way to promote your stream and get your name out there.
One of the most important things when streaming, is to stream at a regular time. Your followers know exactly when they can watch you streaming, and integrate it as something to look forward to at a specific time.
With Twitter, you can schedule tweets in advance to be published at chosen times. This means you can construct your tweets days before you want them to be tweeted, and then set up them up to be automatically published when you begin streaming. This can be handy if you have a tendency to be forgetful.
This is also particularly when you want to tweet during your stream. If you’re heavily involved in the game you are streaming, you may not get the chance to pause and tell your followers what’s going on in your stream. If you have a rough idea of the game you are playing, you can schedule a tweet about it while you are playing, enabling you to simultaneously interact with your followers while streaming. Tweeting with streaming is also important, as you may attract more viewers who didn’t know you were streaming in the first place.
Tweets are collated into threads, so if two or more people are replying to each other, all of the tweets are gathered in one chronological thread where the entire conversation can be read. With other social media platforms that operate a ‘comments section’ format, it can be difficult to understand who is replying to whom, and some comments get lost among other comments on the post. With Twitter, this is avoided, and both fans and streamers can have easy and direct conversations with each other. Specific stand out tweets are also highlight if they have a high number of likes and retweets, as well as certain hashtags.
Images and GIFs
Twitter enables users to include images and GIFs in their tweets. Online data shows that tweets with images and/or GIFs receive 150% more engagement than regular text tweets. They increase a tweet’s visibility, particularly with younger users, and a unique twist to your tweets. For example, you can include screenshots of the game you are streaming, or art from your Twitch channel. Nobody else has your channel art except you, so this will make your tweets stand out from the rest!
Another little trick to promote your channel
There are many tricks that various authors use to gain an audience. We’ll tell you about one popular feature of Twitch you might use to your advantage. Some do it on purpose, some by accident.
Let’s say you start streaming a game that isn’t popular at all. Very quickly you’ll appear in the list of top streamers playing this game. Then you can switch to something more popular and you’ll find yourself much closer to the top in the new list of streamers than you would if you were originally playing a popular product. Then a new audience comes to you and a similar stunt can be done again.
Please note that you shouldn’t use this trick too often. Your viewers may notice it and have a bad impression of you. It is also very important to change the games of the same genre. After all, if you start playing quests and then switch to shooters, you will lose your old audience and unlikely to collect a new one.
Contests and Giveaways
Interacting with your audience brings much joy to the people who watch your streams and help building a friendly community. Some people think that the best way of interaction is reading chat and donations but it’s not enough to engage your viewers. Our advice is to try setting a contest or giveaway.
So, how does it work? While streaming you announce that you’re intending to start a giveaway. To participate the user must perform certain actions. Often it’s just a repost in social networks but you can be creative and think of something more interesting. Next, you assign a date when the giveaway is going to end. Random winners are selected during the stream.
The advantage of such events is obvious. Who doesn’t like free stuff? Your viewers will start participating in this giveaway and more people will know about you. Thus your place in the list will get higher. However, such things should also be approached wisely so we recommend reading our guide on this topic.
Monetizing Twitch stream
Let’s say you already have some stable audience. Activity around your person is already sufficient but a new problem arises that separates you from your dream. You don’t know how you can earn money on Twitch. It seems that the answer is obvious. Donations, of course! However, if you look on popular streamers, only about 50% of their incomes are donations. And what about the other 50%?
Well, in the first place, of course it’s advertising on Twitch. If you have a large enough audience, you can negotiate with advertisers. Different managers have different terms. Some want integration during a stream, others would like you to mention a product or service in the description of the channel and so on. It is worthwhile, however, to filter the offer. Even if somebody is willing to pay a substantial amount of money for mentioning a questionable service, it’s better to decline. The impact on your image can be very significant.
Secondly, communities in social networks, too, bring a good profit to the author. If it’s profitable, you can even hire moderators to update them. So, there are plenty of ways to get money from streaming but the most important thing is to get at least a certain amount of stable audience for starters.
Merch and personal website
Almost every popular streamer or blogger has a personal website and merch. Clothing and other accessories with the symbolics and design related to this person. Of course, usually it applies only to very famous figures of the Internet. And if you’re one of them, you need to create your own website and sell your merch.
Creating a website is not as simple as it seems. You’ll probably have to hire a person or a team capable of implementing this. Thus, only dedicate to it if you’re sure of the income you’ll get.
The production and supply of merch is actually not that difficult. You can order a small batch through different services and promote the merch during your livestreams and on social networks.
Commercial platforms for streamers
Many streamers are willing to devote more time to creating their content but they can’t do it because of uncertainty about profits. After all, donations are often not regular and everybody wants to have a stable income. Commercial platforms were created right for this purpose.
If viewers like your content, they will make a subscription on the platform and pay a certain amount monthly. In return, you as an author will need to provide some reward whether it’s unique content that’s not available to ordinary users or a set of stickers in the messenger.
The most notable commercial platform is Patreon. A well-proven service where streamers have a stable income and their audience acquires various bonuses. However, don’t expect it to become your main source of earnings. This is only an addition to the main channel which can bring a small but stable income. We also recommend creating a Patreon account only if you already have some stable subscribers. Otherwise it will simply be unprofitable.
Chat bots. What is it and how does it work?
If you have a Twitch channel, you should be familiar with such problem as spam messages and other unpleasant things appearing in chat. It is difficult to deal with this on your own and chat bots can help you in this matter.
The perfect solution for this issue is NightBot. In addition, this bot is able to do a number of useful things. For example, sending predefined messages at regular intervals. This application is necessary for every streamer so check out our review on it and try NightBot yourself.
Most streamers you know have a background music on their channel. You probably don’t want to play in silence as well. However, it’s problematic to find the right music. Because of license restrictions you’re not allowed to turn on any track you like.
But we live in the digital age. The Internet is a huge source of good and, most importantly, copyright free music. With the help of search engines and special services you can find something suitable. If you don’t want to waste your time looking for appropriate tracks, check out our article on services with copyright free music for streaming.
If you like playing computer games, you definitely need to try yourself on Twitch. Nowadays people can dedicate themselves to their hobbies and make money at the same time so if you dream of becoming a famous streamer, stop wasting your time. In this article, we collected answers to all the questions that disturb the beginners who are only getting started on Twitch. We hope our article was useful for you and wish good luck in starting.
Here are the guides you can use to zoom in closer to categories:
Stay tuned! More to come!