Tips for New Twitch and YouTube Live Streamers
Just starting out streaming? Looking to level up your stream but don't know where to begin?
Today we will go over a bunch of tips for beginners to make sure you hit the ground running. The overall goal for all these tips below is to make your stream as professional and engaging as possible.
Tip #1: Define your niche and be very strategic about it
Just like a business, it is important to look at the market you wish to target, analyze your competition, and figure out your value proposition (i.e. what you have to offer that makes you standout in this particular target market). You need a clear idea about the type of content you want to create and what audience you want to attract you can begin.
Let's say you love first person shooters. Well there are a ton of popular games you can choose from (Call of Duty, Battlefield, Apex, Valorant, Halo, etc). Once you choose a game you have to ask yourself some questions. What is this market like? What does the competition look like for these first person shooters? If there are hundreds or thousands of of people streaming this game at any given time, how can I stand out (i.e. what is my value proposition) from all these other streamers? Am I one of the best? Am I super engaging? Am I really funny? What are you good at? Your stream needs to cater to your strengths. If your strengths do not align with the niche you wish to stream in, it might be best to look for a specific sub-niche within your niche of choice (assuming you want to stream professionally and grow in this niche). For example, the sub-niche of Fortnite custom games, can be a great option if you want to stream Fortnite but you can't compete in the general Fortnite niche. But don't choose choose a niche you are not interested in, as viewers will be able to tell, and this will turn them off.
If you are unable to compete in an over-saturated niche, consider finding a different smaller niche where there is less competition. Maybe find a game that is very similar, so as you build your channel, your viewers will stick with you if you attempt to transition into the original niche you wanted to be in. To compete in this different niche is very simple, check out your competition in that niche, and make sure every stream of yours is better. Find your value proposition and cater to your strengths. Since there is less competition in the niche, there is a higher chance that viewers of this niche will discover your stream, especially if you constantly aim to out-do your competitors.
As you can see, without a proper plan in place to stand out in your particular niche, it will be very difficult to grow your following. But once you find a solid niche, it will bring you new viewers, followers, subscribers, and donations every time you stream, helping you quickly become a Twitch affiliate / partner.
Tip #2: Be consistent
Try to stream regularly and stick to a schedule if possible. This will help your viewers know when they can expect to see you online, and it will also help you build a loyal fan base as you become a part of their weekly routine. You will notice regulars pop-up more and more frequently, who are the people most likely to tip larger amounts, tell others about your stream, and offer to help out by being a mod.
Tip #3: Engage with your viewers
Interact with your viewers as much as possible during your streams. Respond to their comments, answer their questions, and ask for their feedback. This makes each individual feel special and as if they are a part of the stream, which will help you build a strong community around your channel. Keep looking for new and exciting ways to engage with your audience.
Even if you have just a few viewers, always talk and act as if hundreds are watching your stream. This makes the stream more engaging and professional, so when a random viewer pops in to check out your stream, they are more likely to stay. Also, when these new viewers join the channel, a friendly greeting goes a long way.
Tip #4: Invest in good equipment
Speaking of being professional, you absolutely must invest in quality gear / tech for your stream. There is no way around this if you want to be competitive in your niche. A good microphone, webcam, and lighting makes a massive difference in the quality of your streams. You don't need to spend a lot of money, but investing in some basic equipment can help you produce professional-looking content, which is necessary to grow a following.
And before you ask... Yes! You need to have a mic AND a webcam these days to be competitive. While it is possible to be successful without them, it is highly recommended to have both a microphone and webcam active during every stream in order to grow your channel. It allows your personality to shine through, makes the stream more relatable, and gives viewers something to identify with.
So what are the best microphones for new streamers? If your are looking for the top picks, check out our post on the best microphones for streamers (updated 2023). If you are on a budget, check out our top 5 budget microphones for streamers.
Tip #5: Have a clean stream layout and a clean background
Along the same lines, the layout of your stream also has to look professional and make sense to your viewers. Less is more when it comes to the layout. Mainly because you don't want to block any part of screen. For example, in many games, if you put your webcam in the corner, there is a chance you might block out the mini map or another important part of the HUD. So choose the positioning carefully. Be sure to also have on screen whatever goals or main objectives are most important to you. If you are trying to get to 500 subscribers, having a tally of the current subscriber count is vital. If you are trying to drive donations of bits, make sure to highlight every time someone donates, to keep donations top of mind for your other viewers. A thank you for all donations and followers and subscribers also goes a long way.
In addition to a clean overlay, the background of your streaming room also has to be on point.
Nobody wants to see a mess. A simple clean background, with a cool light or some interesting objects related to your stream or personality is enough if you are just getting started. Check out your competitors to see what they are doing and try and be as professional as possible.
Tip #6: Use music to enhance your stream
Time and time again it has been proven that music will help enhance your live stream. Music is essential in setting the mood of your live stream. For example, upbeat pop songs can create a high-energy atmosphere, while slower, more relaxed tunes can set a more laid-back vibe. Consider the overall tone and theme of your live stream and choose a genre that aligns with it. While it's important to stick to a certain mood, don't be afraid to mix things up and include a variety of songs in your playlist. Just make sure to carefully select the songs to ensure they fit with the overall atmosphere you're trying to create. The way you transition between songs can also influence the mood of your live stream. Consider using crossfading or other transition techniques to smoothly move from one song to the next. This helps maintain the flow and continuity of your live stream.
Music is great for new Twitch and YouTube streamers because it can help fill in any awkward silences or lulls in your live stream, especially as you work on growing your following from scratch. If you’re not sure what to say or do next, a quick transition to a music track can help keep the momentum going. Music can also help you build a sense of community with your viewers. By incorporating music that your audience loves and shares a common interest in, you can create a more connected and cohesive viewing experience. This will make you and your brand stand out from the competition, and make your streams more unique and memorable.
Now there is only one thing left to discuss... the MUSIC! Using music on a streaming platform can be very complex and risky if you don't understand the rules regarding DMCA and copyright. So it is vital you only use a source of music you trust so you don't run into any copyright strikes or takedown notices (or worse have your account banned).
This is why we recommend only using StreemTunes for all your music needs. We handle the copyright side of things so you can focus on what is most important: creating. All songs are safe to use on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, TikTok, and other streaming platforms. And the best part? All the music is 100% free to use. There are over 1000 songs in all sorts of styles (LO-FI, Hip-Hop, Synthwave, EDM, Rock, Latin, Trap, Dubstep, Chill Out, Chiptune, Holiday, Content Creator and more). No license fees required. No attribution required. All you have to do is search for StreemTunes on your favourite music platform and hit play.
Tip #7: Network with other streamers
By connecting with other streamers who share similar interests, you can collaborate and promote each other's streams, which can lead to increased exposure and new viewership. For example, on Twitch, every time a streamer ends their stream, they have the opportunity to raid another channel and send all their viewers to this other channel. The more streamers you know within your niche, the more likely you are to get raided, which does wonders for growing your channel. Networking with other streamers also gives you the chance to learn more about their streams, so you can improve your own stream and find ways to set yourself apart. The camaraderie of connecting with and interacting with other streamers will also help keep you motivated, especially during the early stages of growth.
Tip #8: Be patient
Building a following on Twitch takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Keep streaming, engaging with your viewers, and improving your content, and you will eventually see success, especially if you follow all the above tips. Keep on creating content that resonates with your viewers and make them come back for more.
And that concludes today's post. Constantly promoting your stream and implementing the above tips is the best way to elevate your stream and get you on the fast-track towards monetization and earning a living off of streaming.