How To Start A Successful Twitch Stream

Posted: May 15 2019, 12:00pm CDT | by


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How to Start a Successful Twitch Stream
How to Start a Successful Twitch Stream

Want to Make a Successful Stream? Here’s How to Start

Twitch has exploded onto the scene as a media platform of choice for gamers—as well as other entertainers—and because it’s so accessible, anyone with an internet connection has the potential to create a profitable channel. The top Twitch channels in terms of subscribers are getting 20,000 or more subscriptions per month, translating to a potential income of hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.

Obviously, these numbers aren’t a realistic goal—the stars have to align for you to achieve this level of superstardom—but it is possible to make a sustainable income by streaming on Twitch, if you take the right approach.

Start With a Niche

What, exactly, are you going to stream? Many newcomers make the mistake of trying to stream multiple games, or content from multiple areas of personal interest. However, it’s usually better to get started with a field of specialty: one game or talent that will help you achieve recognition. Attracting new subscribers is difficult for new channels, and having one core focus will help you earn that recurring audience. Once you have a stable fanbase, you can always expand from there.

Develop Your Personal Brand

People don’t subscribe to Twitch channels because of the games their hosts are playing—there are thousands of streamers streaming the same game. Instead, they subscribe because of the host’s personality. It’s entertaining, or relatable, or hilarious, or otherwise distinctive, setting them apart from other streamers and allowing them to cultivate a unique community.

Your job, then, is to develop a consistent personal brand for yourself—one that will appeal to your target audience and distinguish you from similar streamers. This may be “yourself,” or a slight variation on your typical self, with embellished features. For example, you might include a unique way of dressing, like wearing custom gold grillz or a colored wig, or adopt a different pattern of behavior, like being more obnoxious or sarcastic. The more distinctive, entertaining, and consistent this is, the better.

Talk to Other Streamers in Your Niche

If you’re going to stream a specific game or a specific type of activity, start by talking to other streamers in this space, both successful and unsuccessful. Get involved on their community chat and watch their streams regularly. What do they all have in common? What characteristics or behaviors seem to set the successful streamers apart from the unsuccessful ones? If you get the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with any successful streamers, ask them directly if there are any tips they have for someone just starting out.

Nab Your First Viewers and Subscribers

Once you’ve built your channel, you’ll face one of the biggest obstacles to long-term channel growth: attracting your first few subscribers. Assuming you can hit a threshold for growth, your existing subscribers can help spread the word about your channel, and get you featured in “trending” sections. But without existing subscribers, your channel will remain stagnant indefinitely.

There are a few ways to get these initial subscribers. You could ask your existing family and friends to follow you, if you have a strong social circle in real life. You could also announce your streams on any social media channels where you already have an existing following. Some games may allow you to publicize your Twitch channel in-game, and you may be able to host someone else’s channel as a way to get exposure.

Nurture Your Community

After you have your first several followers and subscribers, you can start nurturing your community. Your goals here are twofold; first, encourage your existing subscribers to continue subscribing to your channel, and second, attract more subscribers to your channel for the first time. You can accomplish both goals by spending more time interacting with your existing community.

Answer their questions, talk to them casually, and pay attention to the type of comments they leave. You might not always like what they have to say, but it’s your job to make them feel heard, and make them feel like they belong. If you ignore your followers or don’t appear to value them, they’re going to leave your channel for good—and you’ll scare off potential new subscribers before they have a chance to follow you.

Learn and Tweak

Like with growing any social media audience, one of your biggest keys to success is listening to your followers’ feedback and incorporating it into your stream. That doesn’t mean you have to comply with every request you get, but if several people seem to have a problem with your hours, or your game of choice, or a catchphrase you came up with, it’s probably a sign that it needs to change. Streaming is an ongoing learning process, and the best streamers are the ones who can adapt to their audience’s needs.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.




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