Over the last few months I have been livestreaming on Twitch every few days and have grown a small audience. Now that I have this audience, people have asked me to give them tips about starting a live stream channel. So, here are 10 important tips when starting a Twitch channel.
1. Make sure your mic isn’t horrible.
The reason people watch live streams is for the commentary and not so much the gameplay. Make sure that you don’t sound like you’re in a wind tunnel next to a construction site. Your mic doesn’t need to be amazing, just make sure it doesn’t have a ton of static and that your voice is clear. Also, use ear buds or a headset so that there isn’t any feedback from speakers.
2. Have a good internet connection.
Your internet does not have to be lightning fast but it does need to be decent. Make sure that your internet is fast enough to broadcast your video at 720p or more.
3. Get a webcam.
The whole point of live streams is for the streamer to interact with their viewers and your viewers like knowing what you look like. I find that streamers with webcams tend to do better than ones that don’t. Just like with your mic and internet connection, your webcam has to be decent. Make sure that it can record at least 720p and what it does record looks good.
4. Make a HUD.
Now that we have all the hardware under control lets jump over to the software side of streaming. I use OBS to do all of this but there is other alternatives like xSplit. Make sure that your stream looks good and stands out of the crowd. Put a border around where your webcam is and make sure that you have a pop-up notification when someone followers or donates. This will encourage other viewers to do the same.
5. Stream something that people watch, but don’t stream.
If you want to stream Starcraft, Minecraft, League of Legends, or Hearthstone just give up on those games. You need to stream something that many people watch but not a lot of people stream. Go to the list of games on Twitch, just skip over the first 10-20 games on the list. Once down the list a little ways, start looking at games you like, click on them and see how many people are streaming. If there is already at least 30 people streaming that game try something else. The whole point of this is so that you appear on the front page of a game. You want people to see your stream. If you’re on the first page you are a lot more likely at getting viewers that being buried under thousands of other people streaming the same game.
6. Get a chat bot.
I’m not talking about view bots. Don’t view bot, you will get banned. If you have watched a few streams you probably have noticed someone either named Nightbot or Moobot in streams. These are chat bots, they check the chat to make sure that no one posts links or anything else that could be dangerous. You really don’t want a bot coming into your chat, have it post a malicious link, one of your viewers clicking it and then getting a virus. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
7. Interact with your viewers.
Keep refreshing that viewer list and every time someone new joins the stream say “Hello (insert name here), welcome to the stream.” Be nice, answer viewer questions, and ask them questions. Talk with them just like you would talk to someone in person. Don’t argue with people, if someone is doing something that annoys you just mute them and end it fast.
8. Talk to someone when you are streaming.
Before you start streaming start up a Skype call with one of your friends because for a little while no one will be viewing your stream. If someone joins your stream and no one is talking they are going to leave immediately. If you are talking to someone it’s a lot more likely for people to stick around in your streams.
9. Be consistent.
I’m not the best at this but try to set up a stream schedule. People are more likely to watch your stream if it is at a set time than just streaming whenever.
10. Be persistent.
Streams may go great or bad. Not every stream will be fun. Someone may join your stream and start harassing you or other viewers. There are tons of things that could go wrong when you stream. To start a successful channel you have to keep going even when things go wrong.
These are my top 10 tips for starting a Twitch channel. I hope that they help any of you starting one.