Twitch is a platform designed for live content that has been under the ownership of Amazon since 2014. It is a prevalent hub of gaming sub-culture, just-chatting streams, and young artists trying to show off their work and their process. Today I will show you how you can start streaming on Twitch and some of the methods to help you figure out how to grow on Twitch from bare-bones to reaching dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of potential clients every time that you stream.
Streaming on Twitch can be a major time commitment, and might not be for everybody. That said, if you want to really speak to your audience and share your message, plus you are willing to commit a few hours of your time each weekday, then it might be the perfect platform for you.
Below I will share with you some of the methods that I have learned to grow on Twitch.
Reaching Your Crowd
The first thing that you need to do before you start streaming is to decide what kind of content you want to make. If you travel for work and want to explore different cities, then there are several travel streamers who are very successful at Twitch. Podcasts are also a very popular form of IRL stream. Many musicians and artists also grow their popularity and make money on Twitch.
Depending on your goals and hobbies for yourself, your goals on Twitch might differ.
If you are an artist on Twitch, your primary goal might be to score additional commissions via making emotes for other channels or designing layouts. This can serve as a source of income for artists outside of their day job and eventually may even become their primary source of income along with donations and subscriptions.
If you are streaming a podcast or doing gameplay streams, your goals might include growing your subscription count, donations, and directing people to your content on other platforms such as YouTube. YouTube can be a great place to capture your best moments in a highlight reel, post podcasts in a form with a longer shelf life, or capture your best game of the day in a gameplay video. To learn more about YouTube, check out this!
Twitch is also a hub for e-sports and has a growing audience for IRL sports. If you run a semi-professional football team and are already recording games, streaming them to Twitch may be a way to boost your income.
Growing Your Audience
It is important to understand that people on Twitch won’t find your stream on their own until you have already begun to grow on Twitch. If you really want your channel to pop off, it is important to advertise yourself across your social media and reach out to people close to you to share those messages and help you grow. If your content is interesting, the people that come to your streams will want to come back in the future.
Another thing that you must do to ensure that people can find their way back to your channel is to stream regularly and stream often. If you are able to stream at the same time every day, then the people that consume your content will come to expect your stream to be up at a specific time and will return.
My last big tip to expand your channel is to embed yourself in the community of people who stream similar content to you. Go into their chat and interact with them and what they are doing. Do not plug yourself in other’s chat rooms, it is considered rude to do so and may get you banned from their chat, as well as your message deleted – unless prompted to do so.
Partake in raiding or hosting other channels when you are not online, doing so will often send a notification to the streamer and they may give you a shoutout and ask how your stream went. This is a great way to strike a conversation with other content creators during their stream and reach some of their audience. They may even host you back, bringing their viewers straight to your channel!
As someone who has tried several pieces of live video broadcasting software, I can tell you that simple is good. If you want to use pre-made layouts at first, the Twitch Studios Beta is a great place to start.
As your needs for your channel grow, you might find the need to use something a little more flexible. OBS is a great piece of software for this, with a variety of add-ons available for things like tracking subscriber counts on-stream and setting goals for donations. If you want the flexibility of OBS but also enjoy the free layouts of Twitch Studios, something like Streamlabs OBS may be right for you.
Paid software like Wirecast exist and are usually optimized for top-end streaming, they are hardware intensive and can cost a lot of money, but come with better support than software like OBS.
Monetising Your Content
There are three primary ways that most streamers monetize their content. The first is through direct donations or commissions through PayPal. This is absolutely a must if you are an artist trying to earn an income on commission work. Even if you aren’t doing commissions, donations through PayPal have the upside of you not having to share your money with Amazon.
The second method is probably the most important for the majority of streamers. Once you have Affiliate status, people can subscribe to your channel for $5 per month. This is a great way to turn your stream into a real source of income because you can count on that subscriber check every period for as long as you stream consistently.
One of the main ways to encourage people to subscribe is by having emotes that people will want to use in chat. Make sure your emote is something that conveys emotion and something that relates to you. If you stream podcasts and talk about anime, make your emote something related to an anime that you like.
The last way to monetize your content is through Bit donations. Bits are a form of digital currency that can be purchased through Twitch that can have messages attached to them. Many streamers use Text-to-speech to read out Bit donations and have custom sound and animations that play on screen.
Setting goals for your audience for things like subscriber count, follower count, and bit donations can be a great way to incentivize people to give. You can reward these goals in any way that you deem fit. One common method is doing a bonus stream geared around the goal, like if your goal is a certain number of subscribers you might do a stream with subscriber-only chat mode enabled.
Have Fun While Streaming
One of the most important tools to having a productive stream is to be doing something that you are interested in on stream. Pick a topic that you can talk about for hours on end, something that makes you smile. One of the biggest reasons that people give up on their Twitch stream before it starts paying you for your time is burnout. Allow your stream to evolve as you evolve, and if that means a shift in direction which might hurt your numbers eventually, those numbers will peak back up as long as you and your stream are having a good time.
Using things like incentives to launch into new content can be a great way to keep your channel interesting. If you normally stream art and are interested in a videogame, use a subscriber goal to pick a day to stream that game and play with your subscribers. If you normally stream a podcast but dabble in music, use that goal to set up a stream where you jam out on your acoustic guitar or produce electronic music, sharing your expertise with your viewers.
How to Grow on Twitch – Conclusion
I am hopeful that with this information, you can move one step closer to being a successful content creator on Twitch and expanding your personal brand. Streaming on Twitch can be rewarding on a number of levels, money is always an incentive but having a venue to hang out with and meet with new friends over the internet in itself can be a fun experience.