Anybody can click that ‘start streaming’ button on OBS, but to actually grow and become a ‘successful’ streamer is going to take a lot of work. You will need to learn how to market your content to gain exposure and even will need to learn some social skills along the way. It really isn’t a career choice for everyone, even the most top streamers have at one time probably asked themselves that question… ‘Do I really want to do this?’ If you are serious about streaming, this article will give you a clear idea about what you will need to do and how you need to progress to become a successful streamer.
What You Need to Become a Twitch Streamer
As you would expect, you are going to need some equipment before you start streaming. Though you might be able to stream without a camera, a microphone is essential and a camera will help you grow much easier. You are also going to need something to stream off of. For an irl streamer that might just be your phone but for most, you should look into a computer capable of running a live stream. Twitch recommends that your PC has at least an Intel Core i5-4670 or the AMD equivalent, and 8GB of ram. Graphics cards are not as important but, if you want to play games you are going to need at least a GTX 1080 are at least a card with DirectX 11 or 12 to be able to even run anything new.
- Camera and Microphone
- PC capable to run stream
Is it Better to Stream on Console or PC?
Though it might be possible to stream from a console, especially with the use of great services such as light stream bridging the gap between console and PC streaming, the best way to stream is definitely for a PC. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how you need to start. There are plenty of streamers out there who started on consoles and have achieved great things, just make it your aim to upgrade to a computer eventually.
Difficulties of Twitch Growth
With all great things in life, streaming does come with its downsides. Whether it’s battling with your own social anxieties or having some of the more toxic trolls joining and putting you or your stream down, it can sometimes feel like too much. For me, the biggest issue I faced was having people understand my passion instead of judging it.
Though you must always put family first, streaming can take up a lot of time if you are serious about it and loved ones might get a little hurt, or even see it as you would ‘much rather play your games then spend every waking minute with them’. If you ever come across this issue, you need to try to not let that bother you and try to understand where your loved ones are coming from, but also try to explain to them about why you are so passionate about Twitch. That’s not me saying ignore them and keep streaming as much as you do. If your loved ones are noticing your absence to the point where it is becoming a problem, they might be right – you may well be streaming a bit too much!
2. Excessive Streaming
Streaming excessive amounts of time can be quite damaging to growth also. If you are live 7 days a week for 4 hours a day, your audience will know that they can catch you at any time so may not put in the effort to actually turn up to every stream. If you even reduce that by 2 days, you’ll be limiting the time that people can interact with you, that means more people will likely turn up whilst you are live.
3. Social Anxiety
One of the biggest difficulties you will face affects those with social anxieties. Streaming may well help you overcome that issue and help you build confidence overtime, but in the beginning it might make your content a little awkward to interact with. This is another issue I had to face with streaming and streamed for 6 months to no one because of it. I managed to turn this around, you can do the same. It will already give you a confidence boost and help your stream go more smoothly if you are streaming with somebody you already feel confident with. For me this was my brother. We would play less popular games we enjoyed (rather than oversaturated titles) and both interact with any comments that came in together, until I was confident enough to stream on my own.
4. Oversaturated Titles
In April 2021, Twitch had approximately 9.36 million active streamers on the platform. What this means is the more popular games become oversaturated and discoverability in those categories become near impossible. Though you may be able to utilize tags to gain more exposure in these titles, you’ll find growth a lot easier streaming less saturated titles such as stardew valley.
5. Not Engaging Enough
A lot of smaller streamers make the mistake of not engaging enough with their chat. Remember, the reason viewers come to Twitch is to get that real-time interaction and become part of a community. Too many people think they can do a Ninja or Shroud and ignore most of the comments that come in. Here’s a fun fact for you… They have thousands of viewers at one time and can’t physically read every message that comes that people send. If you do not have hundreds or thousands of viewers, you should make an effort to read every message you can and engage with your audience. As you grow, you will miss more and more messages, but even still you should make an effort to interact with those interacting with you.