Streaming is hands down the greatest job in the world for most modern gamers. You get to do what you love whenever you want and not only be appreciated for it but also make good money off of it. But just like every other glamorous undertaking, success as a streamer is anything but easy to come by.
It’s not enough to have mad skills if your internet service can’t keep up and it’s not enough to have fiber-powered CenturyLink Internet if you can’t build your brand. You have to do everything right to be stream-worthy and then add unique value to win an audience.
Here we’re going to cover 8 tips (inspired by our favorite streamers) to succeed as a streamer in 2023. So let’s put our game faces on and begin!
Set Up a High-Quality Video Streaming System
Almost every popular gamer streams their live video along with their voice while streaming. Unless you have a unique and interesting voice like Corpse Husband, you should keep your video on while streaming.
You’ll need a decent camera for this. As a beginner, you don’t necessarily have to invest in a DSLR as you won’t be making content with maximized live video, but it’s good to be conscious of your video quality in the long run.
A high-quality mic is going to prove its worth from day one. Mics also aren’t that expensive, you can find a good condenser mic online without breaking the bank.
The most important part of your streaming system is your internet service. You need high upload speed to stream your game in high quality. Low-resolution video with buffering is simply not acceptable when there are so many other streamers playing all the games you play. You also need a low ping to play competitively online.
A fiber internet provider such as CenturyLink will give you the most reliable symmetrical speeds with the lowest latency. But if fiber internet is not available in your area, a 10G cable service such as Xfinity Internet is the next best thing. DSL, Satellite, and 5G home internet are the least recommended types of internet service for streaming.
Choose the Right Platform
Twitch and YouTube are the two most popular platforms for streaming. As a beginner, you’re going to want to stick to one of these to build your audience.
Twitch is built for gaming. Almost every gamer uses Twitch and some of the most popular streamers play on Twitch for millions of viewers. It’s also easier on Twitch to get an affiliate status and start monetizing your content. Unless you already have a good number of subscribers on YouTube, you should start with Twitch and build your audience there.
YouTube is primarily a video hosting platform, but it has become a new destination for gamers in the last few years. You can live stream your content on YouTube as well as upload on-demand videos. You can post walkthroughs, reviews, and guides, and edit content from your live streams to upload as on-demand videos.
YouTube is more rewarding once you have a fan base. However, it’s harder to monetize on YouTube and it takes more time to increase discoverability.
So you should start with Twitch as a beginner—and once you’ve built your audience, start a YouTube channel and start putting out content on both platforms.
Bring Unique Value
But how do you build an audience? Well, that’s the tricky part. There’s no sure-fire formula you can use to guarantee your popularity as a streamer. The only way to build an audience is to offer them something valuable and unique that they won’t find anywhere else.
Your uniqueness is only limited by your imagination, but your content also has to be interesting. As we said earlier, there’s no trick to it. But you can take inspiration from other streamers, such as Dr. Disrespect, an arrogant, hyper-masculine character played by streamer Guy Beahm. He’s a bit provocative which makes him stand out but the audience knows it’s just a fictional character and not his actual personality
Creating value also means actually being good at the games you’re streaming—after all, that’s what people come for. Adding a unique, interesting touch is a cherry on top that’s now necessary to set yourself apart from all the other streamers who are just as good as or better at gaming than you.
Stream the Right Games
You have to put a good amount of thought into what games you want to stream. There are two aspects you’ll want to consider:
- Playing genres and niches that you’re good at
- Choosing games that are currently trending
As a beginner, it’s better to keep a small portfolio of genres that you play instead of being all over the place. This will let your audience know what they can expect from you. If someone starts watching your streams for a specific type of game and you suddenly switch things up, it may not sit well with them. It’ll also be easier to master games in genres that you’re already good at than trying out new mechanics.
You should also consider the kind of games your personality suits well with. Your commentary may be more fun with light-headed games such as Goat Simulator 3 or it may be more compelling with story-driven games such as The Walking Dead.
Some games have more demand at times than others. Streamers are quick to jump on long-awaited new games as people want to watch the gameplay and see what others think of them before buying.
Some games may be trending because of events in popular media. For instance, Twisted Metal games are popular right now because of the new Peacock original series based on the games. You can keep an eye out for older trending games using Google Trends and be the first to put out content for everyone seeking a trip down memory lane.
Engage With Your Audience
Engaging with your audience is key to keep them coming back. Responding to comments on your live streams makes people feel more of a part of it and elevates the experience. You won’t be bombarded with comments when you’re starting out but you can play it to your strengths and respond to every comment. This will also encourage others to comment and improve their experience so they’re more likely to tune it for your next stream.
You should also make a Discord server, a Twitter page, and profiles on other social media platforms to improve engagement. You can post your streaming schedule and announce what games you’ll be playing. You can also ask your audience what games they’ll like you to play next using polls. As your channel grows, so will your social media pages, improving engagement and bringing you more ways to monetize your content.
Collaborate With Other Streamers
Collaborating with other streamers is a powerful way to gain new audiences while creating quality content for your current audience. You can collaborate with streamers who make complementary content and have similar audiences, introducing them to your audiences and yourself to their audiences.
You can co-stream on the same channel, multi-stream collaborative content on your own separate channels, or host each other consecutively. You can also interact with each other’s audiences to improve engagement and invite them to your future streams.
If you create unique and quality content, you will impress new audiences and gain new followers regardless of how you collaborate with other streamers. You can find complementary streamers to collaborate with streaming communities on Reddit, Facebook, Discord, and Twitch.
Have Fun and Enjoy Yourself
Success as an entertainer is a bit paradoxical. If you want to succeed, you can’t be thinking about success. The stress of numbers and not growing fast enough can affect your ability to create quality content. Stress can directly and immediately affect your cognition, rendering you less entertaining and making it harder to grow your channel.
You have to make peace with the fact that streaming will be a passion project for you before it becomes a career. You can only get there if you actually enjoy it even if you’re not making any money off of it.
Look for Characteristics of Other Successful Streamers
Think about what makes your favorite streamers so appealing—what makes you watch their streams rather than anyone else playing the same games. It may require careful analysis to identify what exactly separates them from others, but the lessons will be invaluable.
Here are characteristics we found that our favorite streamers have in common:
- They have a network of streamers that they collaborate regularly with.
- They stream consistently, mostly at the same time every day.
- They have a niche that they’re particularly good at.
- They interact with viewers as much as they can.
- They’re funny and entertaining beyond the game that they’re playing.
- They have a distinct personal brand.
- They have something unique to offer.
To Sum Up
As a beginner, you need a camera, a quality microphone, and a high-speed internet service such as Xfinity to stream high-quality video. Once your video quality is up to the mark, you can start collaborating with others and add something unique to your content to attract and maintain followers.