When it comes to creating content on Twitch, experienced streamers will tell you that the job doesn’t start when you click the “Go Live” button. In fact, many successful streamers will often spend the same amount of time planning and preparing for each stream that they do actually broadcasting.
This post will cover 5 things that you should do before each stream to progressively improve your channel’s quality over time.
1. Plot Out Your Stream
In order to grow on Twitch, you must consistently produce entertaining content that will entice people to return to your channel over and over again. One of the best ways to do this is to preplan some content ahead of time.
This tip isn’t about scripting your stream word for word. Rather, you should think of themes, ideas to generate interaction, and continually try to become a better streamer. Creating content that connects with your audience will encourage them to join your community. Many viewers on Twitch and YouTube are looking to connect with streamers and other viewers.
Here are a few things you could plot out:
- Question of the Day – create a chatbot command that will allow your viewers to see the question of the day. Find something that they will have an opinion about (coffee vs tea) or that will spark conversation (what is the top thing on your bucket list?).
- Stories of Your Experiences – streaming isn’t your whole life. As you go about your other activities, take note of funny instances, inspiring moments, or anything that can be turned into a personal story that will help your community to connect with you. Practice telling the story ahead of time.
- Tips/Information About the Game – research the game you are playing and find out a few Easter eggs that the general player may not know. Point them out to your viewers or invite questions about how to improve playing the game better.
- Social Media – if you post go-lives in your Discord or on your Twitter feed, take a little time to write out something that will interest other people. Give them a hook that will make them want to click through to your channel rather than state, “I’m live now.”
There are dozens of things you can do to plan for your stream. Find the strategies that work best for your channel and continually look for more.
2. Set Up Your Equipment
Before you go live, turn on all of your equipment and make sure it is set up properly. Ensure that your webcam is in focus, your lighting is hitting you and your background correctly. Check to see that your computer needs to be restarted.
Audio is arguably the most important technical aspect of your stream. Record yourself speaking for a few seconds, then listen back to make sure everything is clear. Make sure anything wireless is fully charged so that you don’t have issues mid-stream.
Once you have finished setting up your equipment, make sure that your software is set up and ready to go.
3. Launch Your Software
Open Twitch (or the streaming platform of your choice) and your Lightstream client. Log in and make sure that all your scenes are laid out correctly and that they are responding to your stream deck if you have one. Make sure your sources (both video and audio) are working.
Check your Rainmaker chatbot to ensure that it is working and that your viewers will be able to use it. If you use custom commands that periodically change, make sure they are updated correctly.
Title your stream (work on title ideas as part of the pre-planning process) and make sure that it is tagged and in the right category.
4. Check the Mirror and Gather Snacks
You are the star of your stream so make sure that you check the mirror and make sure that everything is just right. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, and put your shirt on. It only takes a few seconds and can save some minor frustration later if something happens to be off.
Even if you don’t snack or eat on stream, make sure to get some water or an energy drink. Streaming for a few hours is challenging work and if you are talking the way that you should, you will frequently need to take a drink.
5. Final Check Before Going Live
Right before you go live, check everything one last time to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
You should also take some time to focus and prepare yourself, however best that works for you. Take a few breaths, watch a motivational video, message a friend, or meditate. Many streamers, even experienced ones, will still feel nervous or anxious before a stream. Take the time you need to hype yourself up, then click the “Go Live” button and shine.