This isn’t really something i’m SUPER GREAT at – but I know things that I’ve been taught so far about twitch streaming… I wanted to write about it and maybe give some tips that i’ve seen and heard! Especially for those that are like 0-10 days in going “I wanna quit”.
The things you’ll read about in here aren’t anything that are MY ORIGINAL thoughts and you’ll know this because i’m not some super large channel on twitch. I’m not writing this guide for anyone in particular, and i’m not even writing it for the traffic boost. I’m writing it to try and be helpful, as not everyone has sit down time for videos.
Here are the sections which i’ll try and guide you through some suggestions:
- Dual Streaming (Re-stream etc)
- Wired vs Wireless
- Goal Chasing
NETWORKING WITH TWITCH STREAMING
So you’ve literally started twitch streaming, and you’re frustrated at two things:
- Your Follower Count.
- Your VIEW COUNT
First of all if you’re goal chasing, wait – we’ll cover that in a later section. The second thing is? Don’t sweat it. You’re new. Nobody’s gonna hard fast network and get everything you want or need in two months or less.
Some people are MORE natural at networking than others. The problem you will run into is, that you’re not meant to go into the old “follow for follow”. I’ve actually heard of people getting trolled by bots and getting fast follows. You’re not allowed to do that on purpose, If you have this done to you without your permission REPORT that shit to Twitch ASAP. So how do you network? You walk into people’s streams and you hang out, if they ask you about you – don’t blather about your stream unless they request per se.
There’s no harm in mentioning you stream in a way, but be careful – self promotion isn’t something people always agree on. People have social media accounts, talk to them on there – be in their audience and engage. You’ll catch a community in no time if you follow people’s rules!
Also promoting yourself on social media to say when you’re live always works! Some people’s discords have “STREAMCORD” which is a discord bot which will allow people who’ve gone LIVE on twitch etc to have their stream auto promoted in a specific channel. Just be aware, don’t re-promote three hours into your stream. I’ve done that, and ahem – I got a few no no shakes from popular streamers who were looking out in a way. So just a warning: Doing a 13+ hour stream? Promote it once in people’s spaces, and you can however promote multi times on your own social media as long as you’re not doing it every hour or half hour lol.
Make sure you’re networking and making new contacts – it doesn’t matter how small or large – people will either come back while you’re live, or if your channel has video on demand segments? They’ll come back and check those out. Another added thing that you can do is adhere to a schedule, this is sort of a networking tool so you’re not sort of missing out on people you like hanging out with and want to support new and old friends. If you’re just about to finish and you know someone worth it? Check out the audience section below to understand more about raiding and hosting! They’re great networking tools!
AUDIENCE FOR TWITCH STREAMING
Nobody expects you to be sir funnyman of the century. People just want you to be you. As you learn what certain terms people use are – you’ll figure out how you address your audience. A couple of terms related to audience you should know of so you can get going faster with your twitch streaming:
- Raid – This is like hosting, but it’s supercharging someone else’s channel by sending them a “PAY IT FORWARD”. You’re sending your leftover viewers at the end of your stream by hitting the following command: /raid “insertusernamehere” – and then usually with !so _insertusernamehere_ (Taking the quotes off and the _ bits) – This allows you to set up the raid, and either before OR after you set up the raid (as you wait for those ready to leave with you) – you hit the shoutout command. This tells people what the current person you’re about to raid is playing and a link to view them at other times.
- HOST – This is up to you wether you want to host or raid at the end of a stream . This is basically hosting a certain number of viewers at the end of a stream. OR it’s when you’re in someone else’s stream and you quickly go to your dashboard and “Host” them even if you don’t get a lot of viewers to them – it’s helpful no matter the size of channel!
Just remember that you won’t be able to get certain levels of monetisation until you hit AFFILIATE. We’re covering more on that in GOAL CHASING. So when you RAID someone, remember to say HEY to them when you get in if they haven’t audibly said so. If you’re being raided by someone?
Check your chat, see what’s up and thank the person raiding you by returning a shoutout (!so in your chat commands) to the streamer themselves. If you use microphone, and if you have a moment – introduce yourself to your new audience. If you’re not one to do that, that’s fair too – just make sure you WELCOME your raiders and let them know they’re valid.
Even if you’re unable to audibly do so – they’re here to check you out so when you’ve got a moment – even in text – (Or leave it to your moderator if you’re really busy) – let people know you care! If you’re brand new to this, fear not – people get flustered for not knowing all the terms and lingo. I’m the first to stare at someone and go “WTF” ” GO READ A WEBSITE” – but I’m trying! I’m still not entirely up with everything myself.
Just a Note: If you DON’T have a moderator and you’re unable to respond either in text or otherwise – Fear not, just let people know ASAP you’re welcoming in people. Some people have a raid command, and some people have a raid message they bring in with them. You’ll learn of these things as you go through and network.
You don’t have to raid people you know, you can surf the recommended section of your twitch and see what people are up to!
DUAL YOUTUBE OR TWITCH STREAMING
Oi vei, the daunting task of wanting to make sure you’re on multiple platforms. Unless you’re a current popular DJ on other services, I don’t recommend this. If you’re not already established on any other platform – stick to one. This isn’t an attack on people who dual stream, likely you have your valid reasons. A valid reason could be: You’re a popular indie radio DJ, and you’re using twitch for the first time, but also Restream to Mixcloud. You’re live at the same time as your radio station, as well as the virtual world platform that you’re live in. (Ahem, kinda specific, but it’s a good example!) Dark Star Radio, has a valid reason to Dual Stream.
It may not be one I always agree with, and the reason I chose this example is it’s the Largest most VALID reason I could think of! So if you’re already established on one platform and wanted to test another one while streaming at the same time elsewhere – it can’t hurt. However, the reasons why I don’t suggest even if you have a valid reason are as follows:
- You’re splitting your focus between several platforms at once. You’re unable to focus when people are chatting at you on different platforms and you can’t fuse them into one.
- Unless you’re reading the next section on WIRED VS WIRELESS – you won’t understand why you’re getting delay like mad.
- Cost, some services cost a lot – and it depends on who you’re using for making layouts – if you’re using all the “BIG STREAMER KID TOOLS” you’re likely costing yourself close to forty dollars a month and you haven’t even started streaming yet. Pro versions of StreamLabs and Restream aren’t cheap and you’re not even ready to write these off your taxes yet!
- It really depends on the hardware you’re running your stream on, if you’re restreaming with nearly no lag and barely any delay – you’re doing it right. If you’re streaming with severe lag, and a TON of delay – check your settings, and check what hardware you’re running on.
Overall, DUAL STREAMING is your choice. NO matter my opinion, you’re still valid! There are plenty of reasons to be different. I’m not the be all and end all of twitch streaming – and i’m only here to suggest!
WIRED VS WIRELESS
WIRED VS WIRELESS!! The TWITCH STREAMING DEBATE RAGES ON!
This is an extremely hefty debate, and it’s not one that can easily have an endgame answer. Even HIGH END STREAMERS sometimes use wifi and get away with it. I’ll explain in the bullet points below on WIFI being OK and then i’ll make a new section of points why it’s not good and why we could need wired!
- If you have a damn good connection, you’re on fibre/ultra fast broadband – and you have a good router set up. As long as you’re monitoring what devices are running in the background you can still use wifi. Just be aware the limitations of range. Just because you have the latest and greatest multi room set up – doesn’t mean it’s going to pick up your laptop that you’re sitting in front of the modem – while you’re on a chair in front of it. (Your back’s facing the modem, and the chair is covering it).
- You manage your bitrate and hardware correctly – Again i’m not genius on twitch nor am I popular. I’m a single machine, no capture card in sight user! I have to actually say – I buck against what i’m told to use. I use Apple’s hardware because it gives me less CPU issues, and less dropped frames. A few things here adn there get laggy but it could depend entirely on what i’m doing wrong. Do a test with twitch see what they suggest for bitrates etc.
- You’re a single individual in a single household and only your dogs are trying to hog the wifi looking up doggy porn. While this is an extremely impossible case – there’s still a silly thing called “NETWORK INTERFERENCE” – but you’re on the tab of “WHY WIRELESS IS GOOD” – So you’re doing well ahead of time because you’re not putting your modem and/or router in the same area as your microwave oven.
- You’re not dumb like me and enable silly things like “MU MIMO” or “IMPLICIT BEAMFORMING” – because it depends on your router what these things do. In our house? It made sure the ps4 wouldn’t connect to wifi, and it lagged my network out on my mac. Yea, i swiftly turned those off LOL.
- Your stepdad (MINE LOL) decides at like 9pm at night it’s time to watch the cricket on SparkSport. You’re streaming a bunch of art on wifi, and you’re already lagging out hard because people are binge watching Sweet Tooth on netflix and you stupidly enabled MU MIMO on the router. Even if you didn’t do any of the above – devices take up bandwidth.
- WIFI is funny, it is a wavelength that dips up and down with time – and you’re never gonna receive a consistent speed. Regardless of the broadband situation – there is a thing called “NETWORK TRAFFIC” – and sometimes we don’t always have the same connection we thought we did or the ISP isn’t managing the hubs as well as they can. (Maintenance nights your screwed even ethernet wont’ fix this.)
- Dogs are on DOGINDER – trying to swipe for a better human friend – because you’re streaming PS4 games all day long. Fix this, go on ethernet. Until they find you and chew your cables!!!
- Some games take up more Wifi than your streaming does – and if for example FFXIV is on a super high ping day? You’ll need more room to process the speed to stream it.
So you want to understand bitrate? You may need to look this up with twitch, but i’ve found on Wifi that a 2500-3500 max bitrate for a 720p 30fps stream. These settings vary depending on if you’re on WIFI or wired – and twitch has a guide and test for your network. I’m on UFB/Fibre and i’m on wifi and in New Zealand. Another thing to check is your speedtest! Here’s an example of what those look like:
RESULTS will vary, and I was being a dumbass in how i tested the the speed. This wasn’t entirely without cause – the different speeds sort of explained how international data was being transferred. It was easily explaining why Twitch and the internet was being twitch that day. Why did I personally pick St Cloud MINNESOTA? If you’ve read my about section on my website, i’m originally from the twin cities in MN. So my picking those two sections were because Twitch has servers in Australia, and I was testing speeds to somewhere besides California.
MODERATION WITH TWITCH STREAMING
You will need a baseline set of moderation rules set up on twitch, as well as possibly letting StreamLabs, Stream Elements or even Own3D etc to actually manage your auto moderation. If you’re new, also ask a friend or two to become your moderator. Heed this advice that I never took: DO NOT TRUST EVERYONE YOU RUN INTO ON TWITCH. People aren’t always who they say they are – and no i’m not pointing fingers. There are people that you run into that CAN be dodgy, but in reality – the slightly dodgy are just ones you don’t engage with. But you really have to vet the hell out of people you don’t know. Mature or not, people that aren’t close to you are hard to be moderators because you’ll stress them and yourself out. I mean… you could just go on a whim and ask Theo? (This is an inside joke, he’s a moderator on like a million and one twitch channels, and he’s a hilarious guy and really fun.)
I suggest sticking to auto moderation and when you have friends available on twitch set them to moderators. All you’re doing is batting off bot trolls, and if you really need it – hefty moderating comes later on. Just be CLEAR when setting your channel rules – what etiquette you want people to abide by. Specifically for people who are neurodivergent or even GENDER DIVERSE – you need to have rules laid out so you can hit people hard with them later on. If you don’t have your rules set – people won’t follow them.
BRANDING WITH TWITCH STREAMING
This is not specifically a REQUIREMENT. This is all depending on one question:
ARE YOU PLANNING ON LONG TERM STREAMING – DO YOU HAVE THE CAPACITY TO WORK THINGS OUT AS IF IT WERE A BUSINESS?
Branding isn’t just picking a pic as your twitch pic – and i mean even then business doesn’t mean branding is important. Just have a theme with colors, make sure you’re consistent to you. It isn’t about always of the “GRAPHICALLY PROFESSIONAL BRANDING”. – you just be you. However if you WANT to be consistent in THAT way, it’s A OK – you can pay or you can find free and great themes for your twitch. It’s all about consistency regardless of how casual you are. Once you hit affiliate you’ll be able to make emotes. People subscribe for those, they won’t always watch you to get them – but you want memorable emotes. I say this halfly because i’d imagine there’s some channels with brilliant emotes – but they’re in a time zone you can’t always be around to watch in. You’re still supporting them, you’re still paying for their content – so if someone does the same for you it’s A OK! Consistency also just means if you’re all over the place in colors, but that’s who you are? Then that’s OK, you just have to be consistent in your branding for who you are. Don’t be someone else.
GOAL CHASING FOR TWITCH STREAMING
THIS IS FOR ME AS MUCH AS IT IS FOR YOU THE READER:
Your goal isn’t to become popular. Your goal is to HAVE FUN.
You can’t just achieve everything, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and you’re not going to argue that it was because if it was – you were playing Minecraft and that’s cheating! There’s an overarching issue with chasing the hard goals – I mean sure we all want to monetise what we’re enjoying so we can make a bit of side cash or a living? The thing is, the dashboard is the devil. Unless you’re finagling your about section or you’re already on stream… Stop reading your analytics. At least only check them once in a while. It’s OK to plan, it’s ok to figure the mathematics that fail you every time.
What’s not OK is to chase goals that are out of your reach because it’s dependent on an outside factor. This is something yes, i’ve picked up from a popular streaming youtube channel that talks about twitch and goals and more. It’s not just one source.
Your outside factor is: The people who watch your channel. You can’t force them to stay, and they can’t be forced to watch you longer than they can stand to watch you. This isn’t on you, you can’t force an audience – people have their own set of tastes and you can’t change who you are just to suit people around you.
Overall this is NOT a be all and end all guide to twitch, it’s just some things I needed to post it note to my own brain. Things that I also wanted to share with newer twitch channels that are popping in and out of my networking circles.
I mean it on the chasing goals: Some people hit affiliate before they’re at 100 followers, and some people don’t get it at all. I had up to 5 people watching me play FF7 remake today – Did i get 3 average viewers? No, and you can’t get cranky at lurkers for lowering the volume on your stream – they want to watch you and they may not add to your view count – but their spirit is still with you. It is a daunting task sometimes, and today I had the dogs Barking BARKING BARKING barking through my stream again. That can put people off, it’s not like I could shut the dogs up though! I tried everything but every now and then they just came back in the living room to yell at me.
You can’t perfect you, you just have to exist. This was NOT a promotional tool for my own twitch, I wrote this article in a way that I wanted to share what i’ve been learning. You’ll note that I have reshared and re-hashed ideas from several youtube channels, friends and colleagues i’ve met on twitch and otherwise.
For MORE INFORMATION ON ME however you can go here: https://linktr.ee/kieranxsomer That’s my link tree, it has my merch site, my twitch and everything else. If you’re a twitch streamer and you want to be featured on here for the hell of it (I get like not a ton of traffic anymore) – just flick me a message! People still read blogs!