If you’ve ever considered becoming a Twitch streamer, you probably know that it isn’t easy. Putting together a setup and dealing with the technical side of things is tricky, but it probably isn’t the hardest part of Twitch streaming. That dubious honour goes to actually gathering followers once you’ve set your channel up. It’s this aspect of streaming that sets amateur Twitch enthusiasts apart from true professionals, and it’s this aspect that proves most elusive whenever anyone decides to set up a channel.
Getting people to actually watch your content doesn’t necessarily need to be as tricky as many people make it out to be, though. It’s true that it’s the most difficult aspect of being a Twitch streamer, but if you keep up regular content streams and stay dedicated to your channel, you’ll see the follower numbers roll in. Of course, there are more things you can do to up your follower count and get yourself established in this competitive world. Here are our tips on how to develop a Twitch following.
Establish yourself on social media
You’re probably already on social media, but if you want to gain more Twitch followers, you should be engaging with social media on a regular basis. That means creating yourself a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page (if you haven’t already) and posting regular updates to those pages. Having a social media presence has many benefits. You can update people on your streaming schedule, keep people abreast of your life, and engage with questions or comments your viewers may have.
Think about what you’re streaming
You might be tempted to immediately opt for streaming the most popular games on Twitch, but think again. Doing this will mean you’re jostling for space against thousands upon thousands of streamers who are already established. Try to find yourself a niche. Many games only have a few people streaming them, and those games are more likely to have a dedicated fanbase who will appreciate more content being thrown their way.
Don’t stream gaming if you don’t want to
There are actually quite a few streamers on Twitch who aren’t streaming gaming-related content. Gaming is by far the most popular category on Amazon’s streaming service, but that doesn’t mean that’s where your audience lies. If you’re more talented in another area – movies, say, or even IRL streaming – then don’t feel pressured to be a gamer. Your inexperience will show, and your audience won’t appreciate it. Stream what you’re best at.
Build a schedule and stick to it
The one thing that will help you build a Twitch audience – perhaps more than any other thing – is consistency. Having a regular schedule that people can rely on means your audience will always know when you’re streaming. If your schedule is sporadic, then people won’t know when you’re streaming and won’t be able to add you into their viewing rotation. A schedule has the added benefit of keeping you motivated if you start to flag.
Stream for long stretches of time
Many Twitch streamers recommend four-hour blocks during which to stream your content. This isn’t a hard and fast rule; some content lends itself better to shorter bursts, while other people will be more comfortable with entire days spent streaming. As a rule, though, streaming for longer attracts more viewers and keeps you consistent. If you just stream for half an hour to an hour at a time, then your stream will come and go without anybody noticing it’s there.
Don’t neglect your tech setup
Twitch streamers don’t necessarily need the most powerful rigs to attract followers. Your personality and your unique style are more important in gathering followers than simply showing off your graphics capability. That said, your PC will need to be powerful to handle the task of streaming in the first place. In addition, if you’re streaming a graphically demanding game and don’t have a decent setup, people may just flock to someone else who does. Less powerful rigs should be fine with indie games or titles like Minecraft, though.
Get a good Twitch layout
The best Twitch streamers don’t merely present their content using the default interface. Instead, they create custom overlays for their channels that show off their unique personality and demonstrate what their channel is all about. If you want to compete in the world of Twitch, it’s a good idea to pick an overlay your audience will like and that shows who you are. Without an overlay, your content will look drab and unadorned, leading audiences to seek people who do use overlays.
If you don’t love what you’re doing, it’s going to show in every second of your content. Twitch streaming is a privilege; many people don’t get the chance to do it, can’t afford the equipment, or can’t access a strong enough internet connection. The fact that you can, and that people want to watch you doing it, should be thrilling to you. Sometimes you’ll flag, of course, but by and large, you should love what you’re doing. If you don’t, it’s going to be obvious.