How NOT to Start Your Twitch Journey.

Chances are, if you’ve stumbled on this article, you’re either thinking about starting, or just beginning, a stream. This is an exciting time! And its an awesome opportunity for you to grow as an individual, an entrepreneur, and a content marketer. Prepare for it to be a rough and long journey.

Do not let me scare you, streaming is not hard at all! You’re going to want to signup for a Twitch.tv accounts, get a stream key, and plug it into a streaming software like OBS. Then all you have to do is press go live and do whatever you want to do! See?! Streaming is very easy!

No, the hard part comes when you have higher expectations than what your results are actually showing. Most new streamers, stream to 0-3 viewers for a long time. Obviously, there will be a few standouts that break out quick. The thing that makes the breakouts stand out though, their methods. Those streamers who break out quickly likely have excellent content and spend more time on their creative process than their hopes for the future.

This was me for years, always wanting to have high numbers, but never actually putting in the work. Well… I thought about what I wanted my content to be like, so I thought I was working. I can assure you though, it is not the same.

So now we know the process is going to be hard and there will be a requirement to focus on your content. Let me take a step back and explain what that means to me. And since I’m a noob, and you’re a noob, hopefully this mindset can help you.

There are a few key points of how NOT to start your Twitch journey. First, what does it mean to be your content. Then how do you decide how you’ll stand out. And lastly, how can you keep realistic expectations.

So let us jump into your content. This means a lot of things to a lot of different things. In short, though, your content is media that comes out of your brand to show your audience what your style is. That content could be gifs you make, commentary you give, articles you write, or even events you run. The important take away though is you need to do something. Pressing Go Live in OBS and then just sitting there and playing games does nothing. It does nothing for your growth, it does nothing for your potential audience, and ultimately just wastes your time.

Now, I used to have the mindset that I had no skills. I figured I’d just try to be funny on stream and I’d grow by being online a lot! This might work for someone, but, it definitely didn’t work for me. It did something else for me though, it stressed me out. It just made me want to quit streaming because I thought I was not funny, or people do not like me, or that it was impossible to grow. In time though I realize I had to learn how to make content. So here I am trying things, making youtube videos, writing articles, participating on twitter, and my primary focus talking with other streamers and trying to help them improve their own community growth!

Now I’ve heard from many people they don’t know how to stand out. This is an easy trap to fall into, and its really hard to figure out how you can make content that is different enough to make people want to check you out. But, I’m CONFIDENT you can find a way to put your own spin on your content. I’ll let you in on a secret though. You do not need to be 100% unique. You just need to be 25% different. Look at how many photography channels there are on youtube, how many news sites, how many gamers there are on twitch. All with varying viewer counts, and it is not because one streamer is better than the rest. No, everyone just has different tastes. The people who want to watch people on twitch do not all want to see the same thing. Some like high action gameplay with minimal conversation. Some want table top games that act like a tv show. Some want to watch a guy build furniture out of wood! Maybe you like programming, making art, knitting, or anything else. These are all hobbies you could bring into your gaming rotation that would help make your content standout. And this is only the tip of the ice berg for option.

Now my last, and probably the most important point. You need to set realistic expectations. The more you focus on things you can control, the more you’ll enjoy the process. And the less stress you’ll have in your life. This really is a hard mindset to convey, because its near impossible to convince you to see it how I see it. Instead, I’ll list out the unhealthy expectations I used to have, and how I turned them into healthy goals.

Negative ExpectationRealistic Goal
I can’t wait to have 1000 viewersI’m going to post 3 youtube videos this month with good SEO titles, descriptions, and thumbnails.
I’m going to make a ton of moneyI’m going to try and learn something new every time I work on a new piece of content
I’m going to get free stuff from companiesI’m going to educate my peers on why I chose the hardware I own, and lay out what my savings goals are.

That’s all I have for now, thanks for coming to my TED talk. I hope to keep releasing content in time both here and my YouTube Channel. Feel free to drop your Twitch Channels in the comments and subscribing for notifications when my posts go live.

Also feel free to let me know what content you’d like to see next and I’ll see what I can get for you.