How to Become a Successful Twitch Streamer
We’ve all dreamt of pursuing something we love, and for most of us, it doesn’t get better than earning a living from gaming. Almost anyone can buy a webcam and a mic and start streaming their gameplay to the world, but you have to be prepared to spend anything from weeks to months streaming to an almost non-existent audience.
Finding success on Twitch is not easy, and it is common to hear stories of people giving up after a few weeks of streaming. The world of streaming can be lonely, but those who put their heads down and keep trying almost always find some success.
We’ve compiled this list of tips based on the journey of successful Twitch streamers who walked the path from zero viewers to turning streaming into their full-time job. While we cannot guarantee that you’ll blow up in the first month, we can assure you that these tips will make your journey to the top less of an uphill battle.
Taking Your Streams to the Next Level
Growing your Twitch channel and enticing new viewers is crucial to your streaming success; here are just a few steps you can take to ensure your streams are flowing in the right direction:
Create Milestones for Yourself
By setting achievable yet challenging milestones, you give yourself something to aim at but do not expect overnight success. As fun as gaming and streaming can be, the most successful people on Twitch treat streaming like it is a business.
Attracting new subs and viewers requires well-thought-out milestones that ensure you are constantly working toward your end goal of being a full-time Twitch streamer. Everything you do should be aimed at achieving your milestones, and when preparing to stream, you should ask yourself if that particular action is pushing you in the right direction.
Set Stream Schedules & Stick to Them
As mentioned above, successful Twitch streamers treat this as a business. If you want a successful career as a Twitch streamer, you should set yourself “business hours.” Create a schedule for your streams, share it on social media, and stick to it!
This shows your audience that you are a professional; it also allows them to make watching your stream part of their routine. Having this schedule will ensure that viewers are waiting for you to get started once you log in and commence your stream, and from the first minute of your stream, your concurrent viewer numbers are being impacted.
Create Value for Your Audience
Despite what you may think, most viewers are not just watching because of your fantastic gameplay; your audience needs much more than that. Audiences tune in for advice on improving their gameplay, for guidance on future purchases, and most importantly, entertainment.
The most successful content creators are loud, boisterous, and have over-the-top personalities; this is no accident. They portray a character to keep their viewers entertained and, in turn, coming back for more.
Find the Right Games and The Wrong Ones
Wanting only to play that one game that pulled in a decent audience that one time or only playing games that you love can be a death blow to your stream’s growth. You must find balance and add some diversity to your streams. While streaming the most popular game can draw in decent numbers, you also have a ton of competition in an over-saturated niche. Finding other games that may not currently be as popular is a great way to potentially attract a new audience that will keep coming back for more.
Keep in mind that games like Among Us weren’t all that popular when they were released, but streamers like Disguised Toast and Pokimane created the stir around that title.
Much like split testing a website helps determine the best option, testing out different games on your streams for a couple of weeks each can launch your stream to the forefront for a specific game’s followers.
Attracting Sponsors through Metrics
In the not-so-distant past, the only way for people to check out that new game release was on the limited review shows on TV or magazine, or by looking over the shoulder of your friend or family member that was lucky enough to get their hands on a copy. Nowadays, streamers are the influencers who draw attention to the game, which has caused gaming companies to find new ways to advertise their product by collaborating with streamers.
Non-gaming companies also actively partner with creators on Twitch, sometimes via direct sponsorship and sometimes by introducing affiliate programs for streamers.
These companies are always on the lookout for streamers who can help them acquire new users but gone are the days of people measuring your success purely based on the number of viewers your streams have. The new approach brands use to evaluate a successful Twitch streamer includes specific metrics you will need to consider when working on your channel’s development. Let’s take a look at what potential sponsors are looking for:
Interacting with your audience had become a game-changer; in days past, when YouTube was the only way for gamers to put their content out there, viewer interaction wasn’t an option. Successful streamers on Twitch are constantly shouting out their viewers’ comments in the chat; they answer questions and address feedback, even getting people from chat to join them in a game in some cases. This interaction creates a loyal audience willing to keep returning to your streams to be part of more than just a viewership but an interactive experience.
For advertisers, high activity in the chat is an indicator of good engagement of a streamer’s audience.
Potential sponsors and even viewers are looking for streamers whose audience keeps coming back; this is a good indication of your potential to grow your viewer base continually. It shows you are offering engaging content and can hook viewers on your streams. For viewers, joining the same streamer and his loyal followers is akin to entering a community. Your influence on your viewers is an excellent sign that you could influence them to purchase that new game or product for potential sponsors. Remember, follows is a vanity metric; it means nothing if you do not have viewers coming back.
The higher the number of concurrent viewers you have, the higher your rank on Twitch’s directory. This metric also provides both you and potential sponsors with an excellent way to measure which parts of your stream are the most engaging for your viewers. Gauging the most entertaining factors of your stream allows you to focus on increasing the particular component to retain your audience better.
This metric is often ignored but not paying attention to this can be fatal for your stream. Potential advertisers and sponsors are always looking for streamers with an extensive reach, and unique visitors show them your streams are reaching wider and drawing in new audiences from across the globe. Finding ways to increase this number constantly also increases your chances of finding a sponsor.
Whether kicking off your streaming journey or looking for ways to increase the success of your current streams, remember that producing your content in a way that promotes loyal viewers and rewards those who keep on coming back is essential. Having your streams highly interactive and inviting your audience to get involved also ensures they turn into loyal fans.
Both viewers and sponsors look for consistent, knowledgeable, and, most importantly, influential streamers. While it may seem like you are lightyears away from influencer status, hard work and persistence will increase your chances of succeeding on Twitch. No matter how many nights you spend streaming to yourself, keep pushing.
This article was written by Amy Williams. Amy is a senior content writer based in New York. She works with PickFu shaping the future of split testing to increase conversions for brands.