How do I get started? What should I focus on? How do I grow? We hear these questions all the time, so we put together this guide to help you get into the right mindset and hit the ground running. Brought to you by Pipeline, the leading training and mentorship platform for aspiring streamers.
1. There is a roadmap, but you have to adapt your situation to it and put in the work
There are many similarities between the paths that streamers take, but almost every successful streamer has created their own content style and cultivated their own audience. The most important thing you can do is create entertaining content that comes from your unique voice and perspective.
Does everything seem taken? It’s most definitely not. This is a hard hurdle to overcome, but it’s all mental. You can start by iterating on ideas you think of, even maybe in other content types (like TV), and see if you can apply something similar to that on your own content or style. It takes time to create your style and with each trial and analysis you will decide what you like and dislike.
Embrace failure, because part of the process is having failed attempts that you can learn from and rework, especially when it comes to creative ideas. There is no replacement for hard work and experimenting, but a great way to speed that up is to learn from those that have already been through it. Write down ideas you think of and look to others that you enjoy — see if you can apply something similar to your own content or style.
2. Consistency in your content creates habits, and the reason for someone to return
Many people have a dream of making a viral video or getting a big shout-out, but unless you have a base of content and a consistent skillset to showcase, then viewers won’t stick around. Even on a smaller scale, when you get new viewers who stop by, if you do not have consistent new content coming what’s the reason for them to follow?
The content must be there before the audience comes. Too often I see people waiting for others to watch before they start delivering content, but you need to be putting it out everytime you’re on because people won’t wait around. Make sure you’re being consistent with your time, and with your quality.
3. Find your niche, but more importantly, identify the opportunities there
Find your niche by looking inward and finding what you’re passionate about and building knowledge there. You will generate more ideas the more you know about a niche, what you want to see, and checking if it’s missing. If there already is a community or content around it, then contributing and being a part of it in a genuine way can start to build a reputation.
There are thousands of niches, from different games to categories within those games including: playing professionally, being an entertainer, explaining secrets and guides, giving advice and tips, and so much more.
If you’re an educator, do people ask about your streaming set up? Tell them about your Lightstream plan and offer some advice out. Are you a gamer without a powerful PC who wants to help others start their console streaming journey? Or maybe you’re a podcast host who wants to show others how easy it is to use Studio 2? There’s always an opportunity to foster a community somewhere.
Keep in mind that trying to create content around a mainstream game is more difficult, as there is far more competition and content already out there to fill the demand. Often the top creators already in the category have built an audience for it by being in that niche early or providing higher quality content that keeps them ahead. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do it, it’s a great place to start, but unless the content exceeds the predecessor or the competition is low, it’s difficult to gain traction and it may be worth looking into other areas.
4. Expand your potential reach and diversify by focusing on more than one platform
While focusing on a primary platform is important, diversification sets you up for more stability in viewership through greater potential reach. Also, if Twitch is your job and you receive a ban for whatever reason, you may need backup revenue until it expires or, maybe you just need another outlet to engage your audience. Often there is so much synergy between platforms that it will require only marginally more work for faster growth.
Make unique content of/from/about your stream. That could be a highlight clip or video from your content, tips or guides about what you’re playing, or whatever you discover or are working on in your stream. Think of it as your recording or studying session for the content you want to put up elsewhere. Regardless of what you do, having VOD content gives your audience who may miss a stream something to enjoy until next time and is a great source for discoverability. That piece of content can work while you’re offline or asleep, and having an arsenal to send new viewers to, that will show them a bit about who you are builds credibility.
5. Maximize the potential of your equipment, and upgrade only when necessary
First off, you do NOT need the best equipment to be the best streamer. Most creators start out with a terrible setup and slowly invest as they learn. With Lightstream, you can even start doing so from your console! It’s worth spending some extra time to ensure, regardless of where you are, that you’re sending through the best quality feed.
Fortunately, Lightstream takes care of the most important things so you can focus on putting out the best content you can do. However, there are still a couple things you can do to make sure the content is as professional as possible.
Use this checklist to ensure you are covering the basics:
- Balance your audio levels so they are consistent between your voice, friends, and the game with a potential yell not blowing out speakers.
- Shock mount — even putting a towel or something under your mic if sitting on the desk will reduce the noise picked up by your controller / mouse hitting the desk and other bumps that may clip audio levels (you can also use a sock as a pop filter).
- If you’re using one, make sure you maximize the editing capabilities that Lightstream studio offers you. Overlays and alerts are a great way to make your content more attractive and user friendly.
- Remember, your community is the most important thing to have as a content creator. Make sure you have a place where you can read the comments. Focus on interactions and make sure that your content is attractive and engaging. Put out the content you’d like to watch!
We hope this helped fuel your fire, now get out there and start creating!
Want more tips? Come check out Pipeline for all of your content creation resources and needs! Lightstream users now get 10% off their first month or year membership with Pipeline! Click here to go there!