Over the last couple of years, Twitch has become the go-to place for inspiring gamers to make a name for themselves and show off their epic skills. As of 2017, the platform has over 25,000 concurrent streamers and about 737,000 concurrent viewers. These numbers show a lot of room for gaining potential followers, but also plenty of competition from fellow streamers.
Luckily, ever since video games were on TV, audiences have enjoyed learning about new titles and watching the pros beat the hardest games, so this community of viewers will only continue to grow. So, there is room to create your own Twitch channel, but how do you separate yourself from the crowd and gain your personal squad of loyal followers? It may not be easy, but the answer involves hard work, networking skills, and the ability to create killer content.
With thousands of streamers uploading content every day, the most important step to getting more followers is to stand out from the crowd. Start with your video titles. When web designers want to get their websites to the top of search engine listings, they use search engine optimization (SEO) standards to design their sites in such a way that it gets Google’s attention. You can apply this same technique to the headings of your Twitch streams.
Don’t just type out the name of the game you are playing. Make it interesting! Hundreds of thousands of people are scanning the site for that perfect stream to enjoy, so give them a reason to choose you. There are many different ways that you can create an attractive title:
Make it funny.
Insert numbers into your title (“Number 2 Ranked in US” or “24 Hour Stream”).
Use pop culture references.
Add emotion (“Scared to Death to Play Dead Souls 3”).
You can add SEO-type tactics into other areas of your Twitch presence, as well. If you are first starting, you can immediately gain more attention by using a screen name that sticks out. So, instead of using just your first name, try something fun that includes a hobby or your favorite game, but keep it relatively short, so it is easy for others to remember. Finally, have a complete bio. Completing this section will not only let people know that you are a serious streamer, but you can also include keywords and game titles that might attract more attention.
Create Quality Content
Once you create your channel and followers start trickling in, you want to keep them there and create word-of-mouth attraction with quality content. Your priority needs to be streaming on a regular basis. If you are attempting to live the dream of becoming a full-time twitch streamer, then you need to upload new content every day. Your streams should be engaging and entertaining, and they should go on for several hours so you can earn higher rankings and have a better chance of being active when new followers come searching.
Also, invest in a quality twitch layout complete with a webcam in one of the corners, a chat box, and your contact or social media information somewhere on the screen. You can encourage participation with alerts for new subscribers and donations.
You want your streams to be as professional as possible, so splurging a bit at the beginning to buy the best equipment could pay off big in followers down the line. Do your research to pick a good webcam and place it carefully, so the window that shows your face does not cover an important part of the game. Also, look into a headset and microphone combo, which will allow you to hear the game better. The headset is also crucial because viewers won’t hear an echo from the sound coming out of the computer. When you are trying to gain followers, you want to impress them right out of the gate, so start smart.
Game Selection is Key
You also want to be strategic with the games you play. You may think you are the best at the hottest title on the market, but if everyone is playing the same title, you can easily get lost in the shuffle. However, you also don’t want to stream a completely unknown game, or you won’t draw that needed intention. Instead, do a little research.
Search throughout Twitch for games that have between 15-20 streams and see if those games meet your fancy. Once you find one, take some time to get decent at it because people like to see the experts and learn tips and tricks. Plus, you want to make sure that you actually enjoy the game because if you sound disinterested, your followers will tune out and move on.
You can also keep your audience engaged by mixing up the types of games that you play. So, for example, you could play indie titles in the morning and new games at night. Just remember to stay consistent and have a content schedule, so you and your viewers know what to expect when they sign on. If you are going to try a game that has been played many times before, consider adding a spin like getting through the game without using a weapon or with only two lives. That kind of unique content could bring in followers looking for something new.
Interact With The Community
Now that you have your account setup and you’re actively streaming, you should start to get your name out there by interacting with others in the Twitch community. Begin with your current followers. For best results, read and respond to the comments they make in your chat, play games with them from time to time, and take viewer requests.
You should also watch the streams of people who come to watch you and follow them on social media. When their friends see you and what you are about, they may follow you as well, and your community grows. You could even go out into the real world to attend video game streaming events and conventions. While you are there, you can meet face to face with your fans, make new friends, play in tournaments, and network with successful streamers.
Meeting a fellow streamer and teaming up is a great way to increase your followers. Once you find someone you work well with, you can endorse each other’s videos or collaborate on a video to spread awareness of one another. While you are getting yourself established, promote your stream on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even on your own website.
Creating your own website is a great way to have all of your information in one place, and with programs like WordPress, you can find all of the templates and flair you need to create an attention-grabbing site in a matter of minutes. Use your website to post your streaming schedule, social media profiles, and other projects like podcasts, which can also draw the attention of new followers. To top it off, if you have a creative Twitch name, the website will give new members another way to find you when they search on Google, especially if you take the time to optimize all parts of your site to be SEO-friendly.
It is an exciting prospect to do what you love for a living, and playing games for a career is a great way to go for hardcore gamers. It won’t be easy at first, but if you keep streaming, get your name out there, and engage with everyone you meet, the dream can become a reality.