You’ve most likely clicked on this article to learn how to stream professionally, and that is exactly the right reason you should be here for. Live streaming on Twitch, or on any other streaming platform takes a lot of energy and work, much more than you may believe. So, how do these popular streamers do it and how can you get your hands on Twitch Affiliate with consistent returning viewers?
Video Game Broadcasting For Beginners
In this article, I, Max Lang-Orsini, will break down the important points to help you become a consistently ‘good’ streamer. We will focus on some nerdy algorithm facts whilst also giving you advice for your broadcasts. But first, how do you begin and what’s the best software to use for your live streaming endeavours?
Live Streaming Software
Picking the right live streaming software to start streaming may seem daunting at first, or easy from what you’ve heard. There are a fair few streaming softwares that are worth a mention, but OBS Studio is the most obvious choice. Compared to other softwares, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is free and is placed at a high standard amongst many other streamers.
What makes OBS great is its user friendly navigation, as well as it’s optimised capability to encode streams effectively and efficiently. Those top twitch streamers you watch are more than likely using OBS (OBS Studio to be specific), and understandably so.
Remember that you will need a capture card to stream from your console to your computer to Twitch.
Even I would recommend OBS, however, if you believe it’s not for you, here are some other great broadcasting softwares that deserve that mention;
The Basic Setup
First, before streaming, you will need to follow some tutorials on building your stream up from the ground. If you know some good editors or artists, commissions are an extra you can do to help improve the quality of your stream, remember, you’re not alone!
Follow these YouTube tutorials to make sure you have the correct settings for your broadcast, no one wants to watch 5fps gameplay. Speaking of people watching, interact with Twitch chat as much as possible, you’d be surprised at the amount of people that don’t talk to the viewers in their stream. Engagement and interactivity is what drives twitch streams, so engage with the viewers the best you can!
Furthermore, setup hotkeys to mute your microphone and headphones and add the ‘noise suppression’ effect. This will help to reduce background noise and the hotkeys can be used to prevent audio you don’t want being broadcasted live.
Keeping Viewers Engaged
Remember that you are here to stream and have fun, not gawk over the numbers. These numbers you keep looking at can prove to be a very distracting factor. I would recommend to hide the viewer count number, as seeing low or less than usual can be very demotivating.
To keep viewers retention, engagement is your best way of doing so, remember that returning viewers are better than unique viewers! You want people to come back to your stream, not watch once and never again, interacting with your chat is key to keep that retention for as long as possible.
Communicating and talking a lot is also important, if you notice things becoming silent, start a conversation about a topic that the viewers may be interested in, or further, tell a story. Streamers prepare their streams throughout the day and some write notes on conversation topics they think of, this is a great improvisation technique.
If you can get them to follow you on your other social media platforms, that would be a great outcome. Posting when you’re about to be live or any other notices on streaming updates
As silly as this sounds, try your best to be yourself and avoid putting on a persona, some can see through this. On top of this, be as positive as you can, as well, it’s a known fact that humans drift away from negativity, so try your best even on days you don’t feel 100%.
For that matter, if you don’t feel like you have the energy to stream, do not worry, it’s better to have no stream than a bad stream. Chances are, those viewers will come back another day when that bad stream might have driven them away from your twitch account.
The Algorithm Tips
Once you’ve got all this, it’s a matter of finding your audience and your audience finding you. However, there are workarounds to help you get these viewers more effectively.
Finding the right categories for your interests and audience is difficult when put together. Starting out will be you finding your footing. Focus on games that are big but are not oversaturated with professional players or the big named streamers, i.e Valorant and CS:GO.
Games like Sea Of Thieves or Stardew Valley are popular games without it being oversaturated. Finding these games that suit you too is that hardest point, but once again, find your footing and where you stand on streaming games.
However, if you play games that you know you can be good at, you may find viewers tuning in to watch your skill. I noticed that on Call Of Duty: Cold War Zombies, most of the higher up streamers are on the high 100 rounds, so if you know you can get to that, do so and put it in your title!
Furthermore, your title is the first impression a viewer gets of your stream, so making them want to click will be important. Puns are a great way of doing so, especially if you give off a ‘funny’ atmosphere. It’s also worth mentioning that only the first 36 characters will be shown before it gets cut off, so make the first 36 characters count!
A huge tip for much smaller streamers is the ‘5 viewer rule’. For those that don’t know, when you have 5 viewers, your chances of discoverability are much higher because you get pushed much higher in the category. This leads onto my next point;
Friends & Family
As much as it may be embarrassing to show your friends and / or family you playing games online, having them simply ‘lurk’ within the stream, or interact every now and then helps your viewer count. Having those friends tune in to help build the numbers will furthermore help your discoverability, and if they talk in your chat, it’s extra conversation starters, it comes full circle.
These are the few tips for live streaming beginners I believe to be the most helpful, especially when I started out. Remember that you do not need a separate streaming PC or even a green screen, let alone a camera, being yourself is why your viewers will keep returning (obviously if it’s watchable).
Please share if you found this helpful and reply with your input, it’s always interesting to read up on other people’s experience.
Written By: Max Lang-Orsini