Twitch streaming is becoming increasingly competitive every year. If you’re not keeping up with the latest trends and constantly improving
One of the most important skills for Twitch success in 2019 and beyond, is having a personality. While it may seem like this goes without saying, the reality is that many streamers don’t actually let their personality show on stream. Spend some time refreshing LonelyStreams (a site that shows you people streaming to 0-1 people) and you’ll see many people never saying a word. Cameras also have a tendency to ‘flatten’ your reactions, meaning that even if you are talking, you lose something along the way.
Talk aside, personality is also what makes you worth watching. It’s about the way you talk, the jokes you make, the way you speak and how you interact with people in the chat. These are all things that the AVERAGE person may struggle with. But, it’s a skill that CAN be learned – your personality may currently be lacking, but you can bring it out with some effort. Improv classes perhaps?
Everyone will tell you that consistency is important, but I don’t think people realize JUST how important it is. If you can’t stick to a schedule, you’ll be hindering your chance at success. Now, what that schedule looks like is up to you but aim for at least two streams per week. If you need to miss a stream for health or other reasons, let your community know as early as possible. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but get back on your schedule ASAP. Being consistent in streaming will mean your viewers come back consistently as well.
High Level Gameplay
Twitch is a platform with a gaming focus, and one of the best ways to stand out among other streamers is to be exceptionally good at a game. If you’re good at a popular game, that’s even better – but excellence at any game is ideal. Without this skill, you’re going to have to rely on other skills to make up for it.
Knowing Your Channel’s Intent
Why are you streaming? What do you want your audience demographics to be? What value will you create for your viewers? These are questions to consider as a streamer. If you don’t know what your channel is about, and what it offers your viewers, you’ll struggle to grow. Having an idea on the niche you want to create will benefit your channels growth and overall success.
Building a consistent experience is an important element in building a community. That means branding you and your stream effectively. When we talk about branding, it’s not exclusively things like a logo, but rather the consistent experience your viewers will have. Color palettes, layouts, cross-social media consistency, and other elements are all part of branding. Make sure you know what your brand is, what it looks like, and then stick with it.
Streaming has become much easier in recent years thanks to things like SLOBS (Streamlabs Open Broadcaster Software) and XSplit. However, that still means learning the ins-and-outs of production for a live stream. Poor sound, either through your mic, or in-game audio can break a stream. You may need to experiment with lighting in order to improve video quality. Tech issues like dropped frames and lag have to be figured out. There’s a lot of technical production you’re going to be involved in, so having existing experience will be helpful. If you don’t know much about technical production, get on YouTube ASAP and learn something new daily.
Business and Marketing
Modern streamers need to think about their streams as a business. This isn’t the case for established streamers who rely on their existing audience to help grow. Granted, some big streamers are shifting more towards this mentality. As a ‘business’ streamer, you need to think about MORE than just what game you’re going to play. It’s considering everything from business registration, accounting, and legal matters. How will you monetize? What brands should you approach for partnership? You also need to be the engine that helps get your name out
With 3 million streamers going live each month, you need to be creative in how you present your stream. Hosting special events, offering something unique or being creative in how you stream will all help your stream get noticed. When someone stops by your stream, you have only seconds to grab their attention – make the most of them. If you’re a creative person, don’t get caught up in what OTHER streamers are doing. Instead, build something from the ground up ignoring all the ‘status quo’! You’ll have a much better chance at success if you do things differently.
While the talk in the media is how Ninja made $10M this year, and many other streamers are making hundreds of thousands… you might be new or small. Your income is going to be very unpredictable. One month you might have 500 gifted subs, the next month, none of those people may resub. In order to properly prepare yourself for building on Twitch, you need to be very careful with money. If you have a job that provides financial security, keep it while you stream on the side. One day, you may be able to go full-time on your stream revenue, but it’s very hard to make it in your first couple years.
Look, it’s not exactly a great ‘skill’, but pretty people do better at attracting an audience. If you’re going to be looked at for hours on stream, people will be more likely to do so for a pretty face. It’s not fair, but that’s how it is. If you don’t have the good looks, you just have to work harder in other skills to make up for it. That said,
When we talk about networking, everyone gets the idea wrong. It’s not “connect with x streamer in hopes they host you.” We’ll have a whole other post on networking etiquette, but for now, recognize that it IS important. Networking is about building connections. Knowing people in the industry is crucial to success. If you don’t know how to network properly (both digitally, and in-person), you may struggle with growth.