Okay okay, I’m a noob. A noob who likes to read other people’s content. Well, for my birthday, my fiance got a new book. Stream Smarter by Max Wegner. And I have to say, there are some good tricks in here that I never had thought about before!
So, let’s talk about if there is good content here to help you too!
This book reads more like a reference guide than a story. I wasn’t really expecting anything more, but it’s possible you may! The pages aren’t numbered, but there are easily less than 100 pages to read. So already, if your attention span is short, you’ll get through it quickly!
The content itself is generally about how to popularize your stream, more than direct steps to setup. That means, if you want to learn how to setup OBS correctly, this isn’t the book for you.
But if you want information on how to attract an audience, and keep them, there are some great tips.
I’m not going to spoil the book for anyone looking to read it. But, let me go over my top 3 tips that I think this book taught me. And the bottom 3 tips. Now, before I start, I want to give this book a thumbs-up. You probably can find all the information in this book around the web, but getting it all in one place makes this book worth it.
So lets jump in!
Top 3 Tips from Stream Smarter
Steam Groups and Social Media Lists
In Max’s book, he goes over a lot of ways to market and advertise your stream, mostly for free. And to be honest, I heard of a lot of ideas before this. Here is a few for examples:
- Creating a Twitter
- Creating a Facebook Page
- Creating an Instagram
- Writing a blog
- Creating YouTube videos
And really there are a lot more that I’m sure everyone has seen or heard a million times over. But, one idea popped out in this book I never really thought about.
That idea, Steam Groups.
Now, I’ve been aware of Steam groups for a while. And while I have made a few before, I’ve never tried to get them to succeed. But, I can say I’m a member of a load of groups, even if I don’t actively play with them.
Now, this book was written several years ago, so the Steam groups don’t work in the same way they did when the book was written. That doesn’t mean we can’t use that idea in other applications to achieve similar effects.
In fact, I recently reached out to a Twitter user MattCherne. Recently Matt added me to a “Recently Twitch Affiliated” list on Twitter.
At first I saw this list and was like, ooh maybe a bot. But, after looking into the list, I found a lot of other streamers that were in a much similar situation to me in the streaming community.
On top of me getting to meet new people, it gained Matt a lot of followers. I reached out to him on Twitter asking about how this list affected his numbers, and he responded with positive results!
One of the reasons the list idea works is because you’re adding others to it, rather than waiting for others to stumble upon and like it yourself. This means you get more control!
Now before you go out and make a list about anything and everything and add everyone into it. It’s important to make sure you’re being effective with your lists and not just spamming people. You want an effective list that helps you and others. If you just blindly add people, it will likely hurt your brand or potentially break the TOS of the platform you’re using.
Negativity and Toxicity are everywhere in social media. And the techniques to handle this are different from person to the next. In fact, I have some of my own steps for handling this in Keeping Your Chat Non-Toxic.
Much like what I have in my Keeping chat Non-Toxic article, Max mentions you shouldn’t keep toxic people in your chat. Your ban hammer is your friend if it means keeping a grip on the negativity around you.
Max also mentions that sometimes you have to “kiss the frog.” And that sometimes those trolls in your chat can be befriended and turned into your best viewers! But, its worth the effort to embrace them and not just troll back, because that helps no one.
Overall, I can’t say Max had anything in this section that was groundbreaking. But, I’m SOOO happy he included a section on it. So many people jump into streaming expecting to get famous, not even thinking negativity could happen. And that is not reality, pain and hurt are bound to happen along the way.
My last favorite tip, and I really enjoy how Max laid it out. While the section is short, he goes over the fact that you need to break down your tasks into individual goals. And each goal needs to be broken down into what you can do immediately.
For example, here is a quote from his book.
“What is the single most important thing I can achieve someday on Twitch, such that by doing it EVERYTHING else in my life becomes easier or unnecessary?”
Answer: Live off Twitch Streaming.
“What is the single most important thing I can do this year to live off Twitch Streaming someday?”
Answer: Get over 500 subscribers
“What is the single most important thing I can do In the next 2 months to live off Twitch Streaming someday?”
Answer: “Stream 5 days per week consistently.
continued…Max Wegner, Stream Smarter Section 11
I feel like this technique is super effective for people needing to break down these tasks into something easier. Like I said above, pain and hurt will happen along the way, so learning skills to get ahead of that pain will only make you better!
These 3 tips I think are SUPER EFFECTIVE for all gamers and streamers alike. But, what would I consider bad in this book? Lets get into those bottom 3.
Bottom 3 Tips from Stream Smarter
Your Gender is Your Shortcut
Really this was the thing I hated the most while reading this book. As immediately as the 4th page, and several times after, Max mentions how being a girl is a shortcut to success. While it may be true that some viewers are going to Twitch to seek affection and eye candy. Many more are taking their own problems out on these women and being toxic in their communities. On top of that, it’s not like if you are a girl streamer and go live you immediately popup on a list of only girl streamers so people can just find you instantly.
You see, your gender has no role in the mechanics of how Twitch works. The advice that works for a male equally applies to a female. However, I will say a good personality works infinitely better than a bad personality. And I will say I see more quiet males who don’t talk during the stream than I do females. I don’t think this means females get a shortcut though.
As soon as I saw these comments, I was pretty off-put by the book. Not to say it didn’t have useful information. But, I knew I wouldn’t use this book as anything more than a reference.
Message People Who Unfollow You
This one I think is a good idea wrapped in bad words. In the book, Max mentions one of the ways to network with your viewers is to message the people who unfollow you. He goes on to state that you should know the reasons why they are choosing to leave you.
This is scary and dangerous. Feeling the need to understand why your viewers left will only fuel your negativity towards your growth. But, I think the underlying intention is a good and valid tip for streamers. It’s not about knowing why the viewer BobSmith doesn’t like you anymore, but it is about knowing if your content is working or not.
Just like you use analytics to determine if your ads and promotions are helping your channel grow. You need to understand what is causing your channel to shrink too. Now, you can’t really know this without getting feedback from your viewers. But, should you message every viewer that unfollows you immediately? No.
Maybe put out a poll to your existing audience, maybe once in a while, it does make sense to reach out to them, or maybe you just do what you enjoy and try other new things instead. The important thing is that you’re dwelling over the fact a specific person left, but instead trying to understand why you might be losing viewers.
How to be Unique
To be honest, I’m grasping here. This isn’t a bad idea at all. And the information Max provides is pretty sound. But, the reason I included this in the bottom rather than the top is due to people’s ambitions. If streaming is your passion and the only thing you want to do, being unique and finding your “style” is so important! You can’t grow without it.
But, if streaming is just one avenue for you to build a brand around other things as well, it’s a little less important. Now, don’t get me wrong. To stand out anywhere in this world, you have to provide a positive influence to others and that has its own challenges with requiring uniqueness. But if Twitch is a component of yours and not the goal, build off your existing brand. Not what makes you just stand out on Twitch.
I’m Smarter Now
I’ve read the book, and I think it holds valuable information for anyone looking to get into the streaming game. But let me know what you think, is this a book that should be recommended for newbies? I think so unless you have a userbase already. So if you are a Stream Noob, checkout Stream Smarter by Max Wegner. But if you’re a seasoned vet, I’d just move on past this book.