Living off Streaming
So that’s the basics. That’s the very detailed intermediates as well as the basics, actually. You have everything you need to start a stream and have fun with your set up, but it takes a lot more than just widgets and overlays to succeed on Twitch. Your content and personality will be the forefront of the community you craft, but there are always things you can do to help move things along and encourage more growth.
1. Schedule: The most important step to growing your stream and audience. Even if you stream once a month, to have that day and time set in stone will mean people can always find you, and that will make them more likely to actually catch a stream. Streaming more often is always going to be better, but if you stick to the same days and advertise that schedule clearly, it’s going to be the best thing for your channel
2. The Benefits of Using a Mic: Some people just aren’t comfortable using a microphone, and it’s definitely understandable. Whether it’s anxiety or just disliking the sound of your own voice, it can be hard to want to turn it on if you aren’t used to doing so. The biggest difference a microphone can make for an art stream comes down to productivity, and being able to talk to people while you work, instead of having to constantly stop and type out responses and lose your place and flow. It also means you’ll always be heard and no one can miss one of your messages in the chat. Aside from productivity, talking directly to your viewers simply helps bridge that connection between you better.
3. Tell Everyone: Going live and hoping someone will find your stream isn’t going to get you anywhere! Be sure to cross promote yourself where you know your existing community will be able to find you. Every time you go live make a tweet with a link to the stream, post on Tumblr, notify on Tapas, join a discord for communal promotion and share your stream there as well! Places like Twitter and Tumblr are even more ideal because others can retweet and reblog your live notification to extend your outreach.
4. Crossing Communities: Networking is just as important for growing a stream as it is for growing a comic. Much like you can’t expect anyone to find you if you don’t tell them where you are, no one is going to know you if you stay inside a little bubble. Watch more streams, host and raid others, get involved with other communities and encourage others to make content as well. The best kind of community is a community of peers, and you’ll all play your own part in encouraging and helping each others streams grow. Furthermore, networking with the intent to make friends is always going to be more beneficial than networking for the sole purpose of getting yourself ahead. You’ll form meaningful friendships and your content will be all the more worthwhile when you’re being genuine about it and the way you share it.
5. Embrace ‘Sellout’ Culture: This one sounds kind of tacky, but listen. If you want to make a genuine living off streaming, money is going to come into it sooner or later. By ‘sellout’, I don’t mean endless, constant, and harassing self promotion within your streams. It means that if you have a tip jar, people might tip. But if you don’t have a tip jar, people can’t tip. Make custom alerts through Streamlabs for different donation amounts, keep the alert list visible on your page so people can find it and play with their options! Celebrate anniversaries with special streams and make your own merchandise. There’s no loss if nobody buys anything, but if you have it available, you might just make something of it. You need to give people the chance to support you, and you’ll probably end up pleasantly surprised by the level of generosity on Twitch.