Have you ever thought about streaming on Twitch but don’t know where to start? If so, you could learn a lot from Twitch Partner Lindsay Peck AKA Pehpper who gave an informative presentation at this year’s PAX West. We’ve pulled out the highlights of the talk so you can get the information you need to get streaming. If you want to watch the full presentation which lasts about an hour, check out the original recording on PAX West’s Twitch Channel.
Before you start streaming
Pehpper starts her presentation by suggesting you find the thing that makes you original. Simply try to express your personality when thinking about how you will stream. She warns, though, not to create an overly exaggerated or fabricated character. “Don’t be fake.” The other big thing to do is to remember to talk to people in your chat. Engage with viewers whenever possible. These two focuses, Pehpper advises, will help build up a community of people like you on your Twitch channel.
These two points are important to keep in mind, but you also need to think about why you’re streaming. Do you want to entertain people? Do you want to talk about game development? Do you want to be part of a community centered around a specific game or series of games? Pehpper warns that you should not stream with the goal of making money. It’s possible to turn a profit, but you’re more likely to find success if you stream for fun.
Once you’ve decided why you’re streaming, it’s time to put together your streaming set up. Do you have and want to use a webcam? Do you have a microphone that works? Have you done a practice stream and set up things like OBS and Twitch Alerts? Preparation is key for being successful on Twitch. These are all great things to have, but if you it stops you from taking that first step into streaming, just start with what you can.
If you want to stream as a career or to make money, don’t hide it. Instead, embrace it. Pehpper recommends you treat streaming seriously in that you should set goals and determine milestones for your broadcasts.
Now that you’re mentally prepared, Pehpper recommend setting a streaming schedule. Consistency is key to growing a following. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes or an hour, being consistent will help people tune in an remember you.
When you start streaming, you won’t have a following. You may not even have one person watch you for the first couple of streams. Even if there’s no one chatting in your chat, keep talking, be like a crazy person, Pehpper says. Sometimes the viewer numbers don’t reflect the people actually watching, especially when they’re lurking. By talking and addressing anyone who might be in chat, you give people opportunities to interact
Beyond your stream, be engaged on social media. If you don’t want to use your personal accounts, create accounts for your streaming personality/channel. The two best social tools for Twitch are Twitter and Discord.
To help keep you invested and interesting in streaming, talk to other people who are streaming. Despite playing a game or talking about something alone in a room while streaming, there’s no reason to feel isolated as a streamer. You don’t have to do this all by yourself, Pehpper assures. Discuss your thoughts and problems with others on Twitch.
Pehpper also recommends looking for a meetup group for Twitch streamers. She started a meetup group for people in her area called Twitch Seattle. The organization seeks to create a community for Twitch broadcasters and game developers in the Seattle area that want to share, learn, and collaborate. If there’s not a group and you don’t feel like making one, you can always create a digital support group through a Twitch Team. A Twitch Team is a group of streamers that have a common goal, mindset, game, or approach to streaming that binds them together.
Next level stream tips
Even the best streamers see stagnation from time to time. Pehpper recommends playing other games or trying something new on your streams. Can’t think of anything? Try polling your viewers and get them to decide what you do. Interacting with your viewers is a great way to get input on what they want to see. Try adding interactive contests with prizes. Prizes don’t have to be physical. They could have rewards such as a chance to play with you as a streamer, a drawing, or a piece of writing. Even small, simple, free things can entice viewers.
A more unexpected piece of advice with Pehpper about streaming: Let people into what’s going on in your life. When you’re honest with people and tell them what’s going on with your job, other hobbies, or love life, you can build a deeper connection with your audience. She suggests taking a few moments at the beginning or end of a stream to simply talk to viewers. Sometimes, Pehpper admits, she starts a stream and all she does is talk with people.
Ultimately, Pehpper says, just get out there and stream. Be confident, know why you’re streaming, and try to have fun.