How To Be A Successful Twitch Streamer — Seven Real Tips
While there is no set pathway to becoming a successful Twitch streamer, there are seven ways that’ll help you find your way. These are:
- What is your definition of success? ⚡️
- Planning ⚡️
- Find your value ⚡️
- Money talks ⚡️
- Building a real community ⚡️
- Success isn’t just ‘partner’ or ‘followers’ ⚡️
- Balancing work and life ⚡️
P.S. While we are here, here’s some of our guides that’ll also help you reach success on Twitch:
- Getting Started On Twitch: Your First Stream
- 14 Tips for Just Chatting Streamers on Twitch
- What To Talk About When Streaming
- The 10 Best Twitch Extensions
- How To Become a Twitch Affiliate
Let’s run through the seven things that’ll help you become a successful Twitch streamer. But firstly, I need to ask, what does ‘success’ mean to you?
1. What is your definition of success?
What do you want to happen by the end of this — what is the end game?
- Do you want personal freedom to work when you want, where you want and how you want?
- Do you want financial freedom to earn money doing something you enjoy?
- Do you want to find happiness by working on something you love every day?
- Do you want to make friends who enjoy your passions and hobbies?
- Do you want to be known as an expert in your chosen genre or niche?
Some people may be delighted that 25 people watch their live streams and because it’s a hobby and something they love to do — if that’s you, then keep doing what you are doing. Other’s may not be content with that, and wish to have 25,000 viewers…
What are your goals?
- I want to reach Twitch Partner within one year
- I want to have 10,000 followers on Instagram
- I want to make money from creating gaming content
- I want to work with Casey Neistat on a gaming documentary
- I want to change the world
Let’s break down one of those goals… 10,000 followers on Instagram:
- Is your profile setup for growing followers? Is your profile image, bio and contact details optimised? How many people do you follow?
- What does your audience want to see?
- Do your photos and videos have an overall ‘feel’ or ‘look’ to them? What content currently gets high likes and engagement? Do you know why? Can you replicate the success?
- Are you correctly using hashtags? Are these hashtags too popular to stand out? How many are you using? (30 is the maximum!), are they relevant to your audience?
- Are you using Instagram Stories?
- Are you using IGTV?
Nothing is going to happen because you just ‘want’ it to, unfortunately, none of us are entitled to reach these goals through luck and sporadic work. You need to plan, find your niche, constantly engage, work hard, take streaming seriously and endure patience in order to reach these goals.
I cannot stress how important planning your content, brand and time is. If you want to reach any of the goals and successes we discussed in the previous paragraph, how do you reach them?
While writing a 17-page document and spreadsheet on how you are going to be successful could be helpful, there is always a case of thinking & planning, and never doing. Be sure to try out some of your ideas to test them — then learn what went well, and what didn’t.
What should your plan include?
- Why are you doing this and what are your goals?
- What are the video and social channels you are focusing on?
- What is your introduction to new people? How do you sell yourself in one paragraph?
- What learnings have you made so far — what works and what doesn’t?
- What makes it different to everyone else? In ‘business talk’ this is your USP (unique selling point)
Planning also includes your channel design and ‘voice’. Think about who you are and what you want people to think. Purple might be your favourite colour, but think about how that colour choice affects people’s perceptions of you and your ‘brand’ (colour psychology)
Understand how you are currently using your time — do you currently wake up and spent 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram? When you are sitting on the bus home are you adding things to Pinterest boards or messaging friends? Could you be spending this time doing something productive such as networking with other streaming, engaging with your Discord community or answering emails?
It may be that you need to do these things to give your mind a break — if this is the case, don’t stop doing them! Self-awareness is one of the most important things to learn, and understanding when you can (and need to) switch off will be more and more significant as you continue your content journey.
When is your brain most awake? Are you most productive in the evenings before bed, or at 11am on the weekends? Factor this learning in and be sure to plan your content creation around your own body clock and internal productivity habits.
Understanding your good and bad habits and working to remove them, adjust them or work around them will be one of the first steps to success.
While we discussed consistency in time AND games in our guide to ‘Building A Community and Growing Your Following’ guide, it’s always worth reiterating over and over again.
Consistency isn’t just creating a schedule, but being consistent in the games you play, the rules and values you set down, your community engagement, your brand messaging & design and lastly…the times you play.
3. Find your value
Earlier we talked about USP — what makes you different to everyone else? What values do you want your community to live by?
Consider what you already spend your time on. Do you have 600 hours on Overwatch? Why not stream some of it?
Let’s go one deeper… do you main D.VA? Could you teach people? Could you show off some of your skills live on stream or in YouTube highlight videos? That’s value.
While not everyone needs to find their own ‘unique niche’, some are going to find success by being themselves and doing something similar but different enough to somebody else! Let’s face it… it’s not all about winning and there is always 2nd place and 3rd place.
4. Money talks
How much can a streamer make from donations? How can I make money from streaming? How can I get more donations on Twitch?
Sometimes the desire to make money quickly will ruin your chances of making even more money later on. Some streamers don’t even set up a donation page until somebody asks them “how can I donate to you?.”
Let’s be honest — what is more likely to make money? Streaming and asking everybody who comes in to join your empty $0 Patreon? Or building an audience to 10,000 people and then saying “if you want to support the channel, you can join our Patreon which is launching right now!” and seeing 250 people instantly jump in because you’ve entertained them for 6 months.
Be patient and wait until the opportunity feels right.
One thing to always consider is your call-to-action (or ‘CTA’ in marketing-buzzwords…lol). This is the ONE thing you want somebody to do when they consume a piece of content. Do you want them to follow you? Join your Discord or donate? Then make sure your content, the words you use and
Be aware that asking somebody to donate is likely to make them not want to do it, donating is a voluntary action somebody does when they want to support you or feel you deserve a reward for something you have done for them (whether this is entertaining them, helping them, inspiring them or teaching them). Don’t spam somebody by asking them for money… you wouldn’t do that in real life would you?
5. Building a real community
One of the major reasons Twitch is such a big platform and such a big community, is the instantaneous nature of the platform. It’s like if your favourite TV host could talk back to you, listen to your feedback and get to know you. There is an exclusive feeling of watching it live, viewers don’t want to miss out.
Engagement with your viewers (and potential viewers) is everything. While Twitch is instantaneous and you are expected to respond to viewers while streaming — you cannot ignore their questions, messages and support across all your other social media channels such as Twitter, Discord and even YouTube comments.
Networking isn’t ‘follow 4 follow’ or leaving emoji smiley faces on their Instagram pictures, it’s spending real quality time engaging with them and their content. It’s just like being a friend in real life..
You should be hosting and raiding other streamers after finishing your stream, you must be in their chat talking and engaging with their content, you could be a part of discussions on Twitter and Discord with them.
You can learn more in our guide to building a community and growing your following:
6. Success isn’t just ‘partner’ or ‘followers’
Yeah… we all want to be more popular, become a partner or make money doing it. But you’ve got to fall in love with the actual process of doing it. If you’re not enjoying what you do day-in and day-out, not only will it be obvious to the people watching you, but you’ll make lower quality work, lose patience and give up.
Happiness is the ultimate aim. The joy in ‘doing’ streaming, building a community and developing friendships.
Remember there are ways to translate your success into more success, for example:
- Content on other channels
- Subscription platform growth
- Social media channel growth
- Making friends to play games with
- Merchandise sales
You can find out more here
7. Balancing work and life
I talked about time management further up, but understanding the best way to balance your work and life balance is crucial to seeing long-term success on Twitch. Many streamers work incredibly hard for a few months, but it burns them out, breaks some of their friendships and their real-life suffers as a result of them trying to chase 1,000 followers or following the path to partner.
A healthy balance between the two is the best way to grow as a streamer. You are rarely going to see instant success so you must try and take this slow & steady…
Build up the time you invest into streaming, as you build your channel and develop your content. You’ll see rising returns every single time.
I hope that’s helped you in some way to understanding what it takes to become successful on Twitch.
There are no ‘right’ ways or ‘wrong’ ways to do this, it’s just a case of understanding what you want to happen, understanding yourself, working hard, being patient and making friends.
Good luck and let me know how it goes over on our Twitter.
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