Streaming has grown in popularity over the last several years, even emerging as a career that can earn up to $300,000 per year. In this infographic, we break down everything you need to know—from setup to tips—on how to become a successful streamer.
When you first start streaming, it can be hard to know what kind of equipment will work best for your audience. The truth is that the more expensive and high-quality gear isn't necessary at this stage—just make sure to equip yourself with a decent gaming computer, a camera, a microphone (or headset), streaming software, and a reliable internet connection.
Creating a streaming channel is rather simple nowadays, with various platforms available that will best fit your particular niche. However, one of the main challenges in starting it is building a live streaming audience. So, if you want to grow your stream following, you must:
If you have a skill or interest that makes you unique, then go for it! Not only will it make you more memorable, but it will also help you stand out from the crowd and present you with opportunities to grow significantly within the entertainment industry.
Today, streaming has evolved from producing pure gaming content to a broader range of entertainment, which includes cooking, mukbang (consuming food), sports commentary, stock market reports, and even plain chatting.
Once you've found your niche, get a clear focus on it, and master it. This way, you break through the noise and establish a name for yourself in the scene. It’s also important that your niche is something that you actually enjoy doing. Many successful streamers emphasize that having fun and being yourself is one of the keys for followers to have fun watching you.
Successful streamers point out that consistency is crucial if you want to get a decent number of followers and grow your Twitch channel. Small streamers often give up after the first or second broadcasts due to low viewer counts, yet most of today’s streaming stars have all gone through the same insecurities at one point or another.
This is why it’s important to have a regular schedule of streams and make sure to show up to it regularly. A steady and consistent output is better than streaming in bursts and then going on a hiatus for indefinite periods of time.
This will more likely increase your viewer count. Plus, If you can hop on the computer and fire up the stream every day in your schedule, you will already be thousands of steps ahead of the competition.
What makes a good streamer isn’t just about the content you create but also includes how you communicate and engage with your audience.
Many streamers have learned it’s also best to interact with your audience outside of stream chat and sessions. So, they share their Instagram and Twitter handles and any other social media pages with which they may connect.
This way, it creates a space for their fans to get to know them better and be seen beyond the stream. Likewise, they’re able to connect with their fans in ways that go beyond just streaming.
Posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is also a great way of moving people from one platform into another, increasing your total number of stream followers.
It’s important for streamers to keep things interesting to get people to stick around. For BureBlack, that takes some cheesy pirate stuff, matched with an enthusiastic personality that embarks anything from Grand Theft Auto V to Pirates to keep his more than 288,000 followers entertained.
While entertaining varies from streamer to streamer, most of them agree that to maintain a fun stream, you have to be energetic, learn to be a good storyteller, and have no dead air or radio silence.
According to Black, “People come in because they like the atmosphere… [it's a] nice friendly environment where they can come and have a good time…” The more you interact with your followers, the more they feel like they are a part of the stream, and the more you make your viewers feel like friends sharing a conversation, the better chance you have at building a loyal following.
Top streamers are flexible and have a backup plan for every situation. In streamer Shado_Temple’s words, “Things will go wrong in a stream, whether it be technical issues, broken games, unruly chats, bad timing on anything, etc. A good streamer can roll with the punches, make quality entertainment despite it all.”
Additionally, streamers show flexibility when gaining momentum on their channel, especially with viewer count. Once you have a record-breaking day for viewers, make schedule adjustments the next days, push your limits, and use the momentum to build a larger fan base.
If you’re looking to consistently grow your streaming channel, become a professional successful streamer and reap the rewards of being one, here are some things you should do:
Speaking of pushing limits and using momentum, top streamers always talk about the importance of being active and streaming a lot, which takes a lot of patience and hard work.
Top streamers today have the same storyline: They never gave up. No matter how few there were at the start or what the viewer count was, they didn't give in to discouragement.
Connect with streamers—popular or not—with whom you have some chemistry, and participate in activities, such as multiplayer matches, organizing amazing shows, entertainment acts, etc. Interesting collaborations attract much attention and give you extra exposure to potential new audience members.
Some of the biggest Twitch stars claim that one of their biggest breaks came from working with other streamers. It allowed them to build an audience faster because of the crossover fans they gained.
Streamers emphasize the importance of getting along with fellow Twitch streamers. This way, you will be able to create and join communities and invite them to your streams from time to time. Such occasional variety proves to be one of the most entertaining things for gaming audiences, especially in multiplayer games.
Building a strong brand is essential if you want to succeed in streaming. To do this, create genuine networks with potential sponsorship or affiliation opportunities that can increase your credibility and provide you with additional revenue streams.
Trends are a great way to make your content more interesting and engaging. It also helps you create content that your audience wants, giving them more incentives to return. Regardless of your niche, you should regularly check out the latest trends, topics, and games to stream.
Being a successful streamer is not just about delivering good content anymore. You need to make sure that your stream stands out from the crowd by using professional-looking graphics in order for people will want to tune into what you have going on.
Top streamers hire professionals to create an identifiable brand from the stream overlays to the logo and merch. It's important not only for success as a streamer but also just for general branding purposes.
According to them, having a professional-looking brand identity increases the likelihood of viewers tuning in more closely to your channel and promotes trust while growing your networks.
You can make your audience's viewing experience much more enjoyable by providing top-notch live streaming. As you grow your community, it wouldn't hurt to upgrade old equipment and invest heavily into top-tier streaming gears and tech for better results.
You can also improve the quality of your stream by adding accessories such as a stream deck, a green screen, or even something as simple as LED studio lighting. If you are using streaming to sell merch, you can also use a live shopping platform like Flux Panda.
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