New to streaming? No problem!
We here at Accessible Streamers have been there before! For many of us, we have been streaming for quite some time and put together a list of tips for those who are looking to get started with streaming, whether through Twitch, Mixer, YT, etc., or those who have already started, but have no idea how to get things rolling! We are hoping these tips will help you start your very own journey to become a top-tier streamer!
Having a clear-cut streaming schedule is one of the most essential factors behind a successful stream. 9 times out of 10, a viewer on your stream is visiting because they have free time to spend on the streaming platform at the moment. If you stick to a consistent schedule, you will encourage potential viewers to follow and followers to become regulars, since they can rely on your stream to be available at around the same time.
An additional benefit of gaining regular viewers is that they attract additional viewers just by watching. Let’s be honest – when people look for streams to watch, they will often visit streams that have a few viewers already so that they have the option whether or not to participate in the chat without being obligated or singled out.
Building a consistent viewer base via streaming on a consistent schedule across will not only help you feel more comfortable streaming, but will help build early momentum as a streamer by encouraging potential viewers to drop in, see if they like your content, and stay to become regulars!
Rules on your streaming platform are important. As you stream, any number of things can influence the topics and atmosphere of your stream viewership. From current events in the world to the game you’re playing, discussion in your chat can range from simple topics to heated political arguments.
But you have the opportunity and obligation to establish the kind of environment you want in your stream space. On most streaming platforms, this is accomplished up front via stream rules, which tell your viewers what you expect of them when they come in your chat. Not a fan of political talk? Make it a rule. Don’t want people promoting their streams in your chat? Make it a rule.
You want your viewers to understand what will and won’t be tolerated. Being clear about this from the very beginning will go a long way in sustaining your viewer base when you inevitably have to dispense justice, whether in your own or with the help of moderators.
For new streamers, you should familiarize yourself with the moderator tools. You may need to use them in your own until you find someone you can trust to help moderate your chat.
Thankfully, in the mean time, Twitch has a function called AutoMod. With this tool, you can set up your chat so that you don’t have to worry about active moderation. Instead, AutoMod can scan your chat for bad language, profanity, and links and block them from appearing.
On the topic of links, be careful if you let your viewers post links in your chat – you do not know where or what that link leads to!
Before going live, you may want to make yourself a checklist of things that need done before you go live. For example:
- Are your on the right scene?
- video and audio set up correctly?
- Do you need to prepare your captions?
- Have you set up stream tools like a chat bot or deathcounter?
- Have you announced your stream on social media?
Show your viewers you mean business!
Games are where a lot of new streamers get overwhelmed!
There are so many games out there, what do you play? How do you play? When do you play? A lot of streamers change what games they play to attract a larger audience, while other streamers stick to a specific set of games and maintain a dedicated, though potentially smaller, audience.
Just remember that, as a new streamer, playing really popular games or brand new games that just came out risks you getting lost in the crowd. For a new streamer, finding 2-3 games to play and stream for a month or more will give you consistency and help establish viewers for that game, meaning you will sustain a more dedicated viewer base that is likely to come back to see what happens next.
Ultimately, we recommend that you play whatever genre you want! Want to be a niche gamer? Do it! Want to play the big games or a wide variety? Go for it! Whatever you choose has it’s benefits and drawbacks.
You may find that you get a lot of streaming advice from viewers and other streamers as you go, and that’s great!
Sometimes, you will even get advice on what equipment to buy for your stream or what game to game to play. Don’t feel pressured or obligated to take their advice. Your stream should not become a money sink unless you are willing to buy new things because you want to.
If you get advice on technical adjustments to you stream, just make note of those recommendations and adjust after you finish your stream unless there is a major audio/graphical issue with the game or your overlay that impedes your ability to play the game and interact with your viewers. For everything else, just file under, ‘Will look at later.’
Additionally, as a new streamer, avoid giving out your gamertag unless you trust the person you’re giving it to! Doing so can lead to stream sniping, griefing, and sometimes awkward social situations you would rather not be in while on stream.
Social Media is a streamer’s best friend!
Tell the world you are going live on Twitter, Facebook, IG, or whatever with the appropriate hashtags and a link to your stream! Doing so makes a load of difference! New visitors and friends may drop in from your social media and your followers can get a warning about your stream in advance so they have time to get ready.
Also, Stream Teams are big deal on Twitch. If you get invited to one, PLEASE RESEARCH IT FIRST. You do not want to find yourself stuck in a Stream Team that has a bad reputation, as it can easily carry over to you.
Many streamers, new or not, get discouraged when they do not see viewers flocking to their stream. This is to be expected, though – especially at first!
It takes time and patience to build a fan base, so keep it at it, be consistent, and be vocal on social media! You will surely be rewarded in due time.
Keep in mind, that viewers do not want to come into silence, they want engagement! You should always talk and act like there are people in your chat. For starters, talk about the game to get things rolling. Consider the following topics:
- Is this your first time playing the game?
- What did you like about the game if you played it before (without spoilers!)?
- What drew you to this game?
- Comments about the graphics, audio, characters, weapons or skills of the game.
Just keep engaging your audience. If they like your content, they’ll engage back!
Stream Information and Accoutrements
As a new stream, there are tons of sites out there to help you get things started, ranging from guides for your tools, stream overlays, or graphics for your stream’s site.
If you need panels for your stream? We recommend starting with the free basic options at https://nerdordie.com/resources/free-resources/customizable-twitch-panels/ .
Want to play music without worrying about Twitch muting it in your VOD? No problem! Check out royalty-free music at https://www.pretzel.rocks/
If you use SLOBS (Streamlabs OBS), they have tons of free overlays that are both animated and static, give them a look through to see what best fits your needs!
At the end of the day, we want you want to be a successful streamer and to have fun doing it. We hope this helps streamers, both new and old, so that they can get the ball rolling and become a better streamer!