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Tips I've learned so far on Twitch
#1
Heart 
Hey guys, Zorvax here! I've met many of you through various streams on Twitch, but if we haven't met - it's nice to meet you! I wanted to share my experiences as a new, small streamer on Twitch to maybe give some help and insight to other new streamers. Apologies for incoming wall of text!  Big Grin

About me/backstory for context:

I found Twitch a couple years ago, I'm not even sure how anymore to be honest, but it quickly became a favorite site for me. Watching and chatting with streamers about games, life, and everything in between was such a cool thing. The past September I decided to try it out for myself, and it's been a heck of a ride!

Personally, I'm almost 30 years old, married, and manage a department at a fairly large University. This leaves me with few precious hours of free time, which I generally dedicate to my stream in one way or another. My nights off from streaming are also often spent working on or testing things for my stream (addicted? perhaps Sleepy ). I do this as a hobby, but I do take it seriously and hope that it can blossom into something more.

Mistakes were made  Confused

First and foremost, don't be afraid to make mistakes! I can't begin to tell you all the mistakes I've made and still DO make. Being new to streaming can be extremely overwhelming. "Is my software setup right? Is my volume good? Why won't this %^&# program capture!!". Don't stress! I know that technical difficulties are the WORST but it happens even to the best of streamers. There are tons of great sources for info online and I'm sure within the community, ask questions and try things out! Don't be afraid to ask your viewers/team members for help and feedback, or to go back and watch your previous broadcasts for mistakes/ideas. 

“You gotta make it a priority to make your priorities a priority.”

Make a set stream schedule!! This seems like such a simple thing, but we all know that work, family, and life in general can destroy a well-planned schedule. Twitch is a lot like TV in regards to the top shows being on a set schedule. Viewers like knowing what days and times they can be sure to catch your stream, and doing this helps build a regular community.

When I first started streaming I went from 7pm-11pm because I wanted to stream for as long as possible each day. After a couple weeks of being late all the time I realized that a 7pm start time just wasn't feasible for me. I HATE being late! It makes me feel unprofessional, rude, and like my viewers can't count on me. Make a schedule that works for you and stick with it!! Even if it's only a guarantee of an hour with the possibility of going later if you have the time.

"i r pro strimmer guyz"

Fill out your bio, info panels, avatar, banner, EVERYTHING. Make graphics for your stream or find some nice free templates online. I can't tell you how many times I've been complimented for my stream production value, and I honestly couldn't figure out why. Over the course of time I realized why: many small streams do not take any of this seriously.

Empty bios, info panels, and the dreaded "lightning bolt" avatar picture are all little things that make a huge impact on how someone looks at your stream. A startup screen/countdown have become a pretty regular thing on Twitch as well. A nice intermission/AFK screen when you need to step away is a great idea. A green screen can look really nice, otherwise make sure you have a border/overlay for your camera to make it look nice. Intro's and outro's are something that I've gotten a LOT of compliments on, however this would be more along the lines of "extra credit". Just because we're small doesn't mean we can't stream like there's a thousand people watching right?? Big Grin 

Stream like nobody's watching...literally

We all know that the best thing about Twitch is the community interaction. Talking with a streamer while they play your favorite game is AWESOME! Talking with a viewer while you stream your favorite game is, again, AWESOME! What is definitely not awesome is going into a small stream and being completely ignored/overlooked. I can't tell you how many times I tried to help people who were streaming to an empty channel by popping in and chatting, only to be completely ignored.

Streaming to an empty room SUCKS. What sucks even more is realizing you missed EliteGamer007's message 10 minutes ago and he left because of it. When you don't have much interaction it can be easy to slip into "game only" mode and forget to look over at chat, but it can be devastating for a new channel. At the same time, don't try to force a conversation with a lurker that's watching your stream. If NoobGamer00negative wants to chat with you, he'll say something - calling him out will probably just make him leave.

Hello!...*crickets*

Going along with the last point, there's nothing worse than the silent streamer. You've joined the channel hoping to find the next big Twitch star, only to find a blank expression and heavy mic breathing. You give the guy a minute or two before saying "If I wanted to watch this I could just prop a mirror next to my monitor" and leaving forever.

Talk. Talk about the game, what you're doing, why you're doing it, what you're going to do next. ANYTHING but sitting there in silence while you play. 30 minutes have gone by without a chat message? That's ok, you still should aim to not go more than 30 seconds without talking. Now if you're playing a game with long cutscenes or story elements this is obviously an exception, as you want your viewers to enjoy it as well, but make sure to pick it right back up afterwards.

Networking is more than just your router settings

This is probably my single biggest hurdle to this day. The absolute best way to grow on Twitch is by working with other streamers via hosting, retweeting, shoutouts, playing together, etc. Communities like fragged are also a great way to do this! Since I'm still learning this as well, all I can provide is some basic do's and dont's.

DO:
Find a streamer you enjoy watching
Be an active part of their community
Host and retweet their stream and support them
Build a relationship organically
Contact them privately when you feel comfortable about asking to work together.

DON'T:
Advertise/talk about your stream in other peoples streams (unless the streamer asks you to!)
Send a donation/tip asking for a shoutout/support
Tag bigger streamers when you go live on Twitter
Get upset if someone doesn't want to work with you

If you made it this far, I'm impressed!

Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope some part of it helped you! As I said I'm FAR from an expert on any of this, but I have learned a lot in my short time on Twitch. If you have any questions for me PLEASE feel free to reply, or you can send me a private message on Twitch!
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#2
Fantastic advice across the board! I strive to follow those DOs/DON'Ts every stream, and it really does make a world of difference. Be friendly, be chatty, be active... that's my mantra!

The rest of your suggestions are spot-on. I think I'm guilty of pulling some fudging on some of them myself, so I need to go back and reevaluate my stream presentation. Thank you for the words of wisdom!
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#3
(30-06-2016, 19:57)Jaarka Wrote: Fantastic advice across the board! I strive to follow those DOs/DON'Ts every stream, and it really does make a world of difference. Be friendly, be chatty, be active... that's my mantra!

The rest of your suggestions are spot-on. I think I'm guilty of pulling some fudging on some of them myself, so I need to go back and reevaluate my stream presentation. Thank you for the words of wisdom!

Thanks Jaarka! You always put on a quality stream. If anyone has any other ideas or feedback I'd love to hear it! I'm always striving to do better  Blush
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#4
(30-06-2016, 19:50)Zorvax Wrote: Hello!....*crickets*

We all know that the best thing about Twitch is the community interaction. Talking with a streamer while they play your favorite game is AWESOME! Talking with a viewer while you stream your favorite game is, again, AWESOME! What is definitely not awesome is going into a small stream and being completely ignored/overlooked. I can't tell you how many times I tried to help people who were streaming to an empty channel by popping in and chatting, only to be completely ignored.

Streaming to an empty room SUCKS. What sucks even more is realizing you missed EliteGamer007's message 10 minutes ago and he left because of it. When you don't have much interaction it can be easy to slip into "game only" mode and forget to look over at chat, but it can be devastating for a new channel. At the same time, don't try to force a conversation with a lurker that's watching your stream. If NoobGamer00negative wants to chat with you, he'll say something - calling him out will probably just make him leave.

Stream like nobody's watching...literally

Going along with the last point, there's nothing worse than the silent streamer. You've joined the channel hoping to find the next big Twitch star, only to find a blank expression and heavy mic breathing. You give the guy a minute or two before saying "If I wanted to watch this I could just prop a mirror next to my monitor" and leaving forever.

Talk. Talk about the game, what you're doing, why you're doing it, what you're going to do next. ANYTHING but sitting there in silence while you play. 30 minutes have gone by without a chat message? That's ok, you still should aim to not go more than 30 seconds without talking. Now if you're playing a game with long cutscenes or story elements this is obviously an exception, as you want your viewers to enjoy it as well, but make sure to pick it right back up afterwards.

This right here. I'm so used to being in a voice chat while gaming that I forget to talk if I'm not actively talking with someone else. I've made efforts recently to remember to talk despite no one being there. So all of my thoughts and internal monologue is now expressed outward as if I had an audience.
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#5
(03-07-2016, 01:26)Hydrothermia Wrote: This right here. I'm so used to being in a voice chat while gaming that I forget to talk if I'm not actively talking with someone else. I've made efforts recently to remember to talk despite no one being there. So all of my thoughts and internal monologue is now expressed outward as if I had an audience.

Yes! That's exactly the way to go Cool  It was a huge struggle for me when I started and I still slip sometimes. I followed you on Twitch so I can try and catch your stream the next time you're on!  Big Grin
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#6
I think we should pin this thread and I'd like to add a little something to it as well. I could be wrong on this, but this is my opinion on it.

Stream what you want to stream
I think it's important to play games you want to play and not games you viewers necessarily want. You should be doing this for you and not trying to appease the masses.

(Only reason I mention this is I can tell when I get the majority of my views from a specific game and not any other.)
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#7
Very nice guide, Zorvax. The only thing that threw me off was "Stream like nobody's watching...literally" The title seems wrong, but the section is correct. Maybe Stream like a million people are watching? Regardless, good job!
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#8
(08-08-2016, 13:14)Valkyrov Wrote: Very nice guide, Zorvax. The only thing that threw me off was "Stream like nobody's watching...literally" The title seems wrong, but the section is correct. Maybe Stream like a million people are watching? Regardless, good job!

Thanks for catching that Valkyrov, in my flurry I got the two section titles switched up. Fixed!

I'm glad you guys like the post, if my limited streaming experience can help anyone in any way I'm happy!
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#9
(07-08-2016, 14:55)Hydrothermia Wrote: I think we should pin this thread and I'd like to add a little something to it as well. I could be wrong on this, but this is my opinion on it.

Stream what you want to stream
I think it's important to play games you want to play and not games you viewers necessarily want. You should be doing this for you and not trying to appease the masses.

(Only reason I mention this is I can tell when I get the majority of my views from a specific game and not any other.)

Yeah that's what I say Hydro. Jaarka and I were talking about this in my stream the other night as well. I've had great success with certain games (25-40 viewers at times) but I didn't want to play them ALL the time. As soon as I switched my viewership dropped back to the regular 10-15, but I gotta play what I want to play to have fun!
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#10
Quote:
(30-06-2016, 19:50)Zorvax Wrote: Hey guys, Zorvax here! I've met many of you through various streams on Twitch, but if we haven't met - it's nice to meet you! I wanted to share my experiences as a new, small streamer on Twitch to maybe give some help and insight to other new streamers. Apologies for incoming wall of text!  Big Grin

About me/backstory for context:

I found Twitch a couple years ago, I'm not even sure how anymore to be honest, but it quickly became a favorite site for me. Watching and chatting with streamers about games, life, and everything in between was such a cool thing. The past September I decided to try it out for myself, and it's been a heck of a ride!

Personally, I'm almost 30 years old, married, and manage a department at a fairly large University. This leaves me with few precious hours of free time, which I generally dedicate to my stream in one way or another. My nights off from streaming are also often spent working on or testing things for my stream (addicted? perhaps Sleepy ). I do this as a hobby, but I do take it seriously and hope that it can blossom into something more.

Mistakes were made  Confused

First and foremost, don't be afraid to make mistakes! I can't begin to tell you all the mistakes I've made and still DO make. Being new to streaming can be extremely overwhelming. "Is my software setup right? Is my volume good? Why won't this %^&# program capture!!". Don't stress! I know that technical difficulties are the WORST but it happens even to the best of streamers. There are tons of great sources for info online and I'm sure within the community, ask questions and try things out! Don't be afraid to ask your viewers/team members for help and feedback, or to go back and watch your previous broadcasts for mistakes/ideas. 

“You gotta make it a priority to make your priorities a priority.”

Make a set stream schedule!! This seems like such a simple thing, but we all know that work, family, and life in general can destroy a well-planned schedule. Twitch is a lot like TV in regards to the top shows being on a set schedule. Viewers like knowing what days and times they can be sure to catch your stream, and doing this helps build a regular community.

When I first started streaming I went from 7pm-11pm because I wanted to stream for as long as possible each day. After a couple weeks of being late all the time I realized that a 7pm start time just wasn't feasible for me. I HATE being late! It makes me feel unprofessional, rude, and like my viewers can't count on me. Make a schedule that works for you and stick with it!! Even if it's only a guarantee of an hour with the possibility of going later if you have the time.

"i r pro strimmer guyz"

Fill out your bio, info panels, avatar, banner, EVERYTHING. Make graphics for your stream or find some nice free templates online. I can't tell you how many times I've been complimented for my stream production value, and I honestly couldn't figure out why. Over the course of time I realized why: many small streams do not take any of this seriously.

Empty bios, info panels, and the dreaded "lightning bolt" avatar picture are all little things that make a huge impact on how someone looks at your stream. A startup screen/countdown have become a pretty regular thing on Twitch as well. A nice intermission/AFK screen when you need to step away is a great idea. A green screen can look really nice, otherwise make sure you have a border/overlay for your camera to make it look nice. Intro's and outro's are something that I've gotten a LOT of compliments on, however this would be more along the lines of "extra credit". Just because we're small doesn't mean we can't stream like there's a thousand people watching right?? Big Grin 

Stream like nobody's watching...literally

We all know that the best thing about Twitch is the community interaction. Talking with a streamer while they play your favorite game is AWESOME! Talking with a viewer while you stream your favorite game is, again, AWESOME! What is definitely not awesome is going into a small stream and being completely ignored/overlooked. I can't tell you how many times I tried to help people who were streaming to an empty channel by popping in and chatting, only to be completely ignored.

Streaming to an empty room SUCKS. What sucks even more is realizing you missed EliteGamer007's message 10 minutes ago and he left because of it. When you don't have much interaction it can be easy to slip into "game only" mode and forget to look over at chat, but it can be devastating for a new channel. At the same time, don't try to force a conversation with a lurker that's watching your stream. If NoobGamer00negative wants to chat with you, he'll say something - calling him out will probably just make him leave.

Hello!...*crickets*

Going along with the last point, there's nothing worse than the silent streamer. You've joined the channel hoping to find the next big Twitch star, only to find a blank expression and heavy mic breathing. You give the guy a minute or two before saying "If I wanted to watch this I could just prop a mirror next to my monitor" and leaving forever.

Talk. Talk about the game, what you're doing, why you're doing it, what you're going to do next. ANYTHING but sitting there in silence while you play. 30 minutes have gone by without a chat message? That's ok, you still should aim to not go more than 30 seconds without talking. Now if you're playing a game with long cutscenes or story elements this is obviously an exception, as you want your viewers to enjoy it as well, but make sure to pick it right back up afterwards.

Networking is more than just your router settings

This is probably my single biggest hurdle to this day. The absolute best way to grow on Twitch is by working with other streamers via hosting, retweeting, shoutouts, playing together, etc. Communities like fragged are also a great way to do this! Since I'm still learning this as well, all I can provide is some basic do's and dont's.

DO:
Find a streamer you enjoy watching
Be an active part of their community
Host and retweet their stream and support them
Build a relationship organically
Contact them privately when you feel comfortable about asking to work together.

DON'T:
Advertise/talk about your stream in other peoples streams (unless the streamer asks you to!)
Send a donation/tip asking for a shoutout/support
Tag bigger streamers when you go live on Twitter
Get upset if someone doesn't want to work with you

If you made it this far, I'm impressed!

Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope some part of it helped you! As I said I'm FAR from an expert on any of this, but I have learned a lot in my short time on Twitch. If you have any questions for me PLEASE feel free to reply, or you can send me a private message on Twitch!

Awesome contribution! Well done ... this will certainly help me as I build my new rig in preparation for my own streaming channel ... coming soon to a Twitch near you!
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