Over the last few weeks I have been livestreaming on Twitch every day 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. You NEED a Good Quality Mic!
The reason people watch live streams in the first place is for the commentary, not so much the gameplay. You don’t want to 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 lot of static and that your voice is clear. Also, use ear buds or a headset so that there isn’t any feedback from the speakers of your TV or sound system.
2. A Decent Internet Connection
Your internet doesn’t need to be “Barry Allen” 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 Yourself 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. Use an Overlay! It Looks Professional.
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 follows or donates. This will encourage other viewers to do the same.
5. Stream Less Popular Games
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 than being buried under thousands of other people streaming the same game.
6. Get a Chat Box Moderator or 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. Communicate 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. Have A Conversation With A Friend
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. Make A Schedule
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. Don’t Give Up!!!
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 looking to start one.