Twitch is where the world goes to be voyeurs in the online gaming world. Whether it’s Counter Strike, League of Legends, Minecraft, or online slots, you can tune in to your favorite players while they play and chat about your favorite games.
With an ever-increasing viewership of an average of 2.9 million concurrent viewers, the platform has seen huge growth over the past year. Twitch streaming has now truly gone mainstream.
Entrepreneurialism in the new normal
It’s 2021 and now much of the world has shifted to online working thanks in no small way to Covid. Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, plenty of people have got to thinking about how to make entrepreneurial moves online – and in which fields they might be able to have a swing at success. Content creation has exploded, across TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and others, as people have found themselves with more time on their hands and the sparks of creativity taking hold.
If you’re a big gamer and rate yourself pretty highly in the chatting department, then Twitch might just be the platform where you carve out your success as a content creator.
Before you start out, it’s a good idea to put in the hours watching both highly successful as well as niche Twitch streamers. Breaking into the market is easiest where it’s not already saturated, or you have a new take on the game, your setup, or just your personality.
What you need to start streaming on Twitch
Have your PC already configured for gaming? Then it’s easy to get started streaming. Although there are plenty of customizations that you can make, the basic setup involves:
- Your PC
- A solid internet connection
- Quality headset
- Twitch Studio software
You’ll need to make sure that your setup is capable of gaming and streaming at the same time. This means hardware upgrades may be necessary. Once you’ve set up everything, configure Twitch Studio and get to playing your fave game to test it out.
And if it’s slots you want to play? To stream your slots session is pretty simple. If you’re already streaming your PC games, nothing has changed except the focus window. Don’t expect a high viewership if you are only going to play with free spins. People want to see real money at stake.
While there are other configurations for XBox gaming, streaming music shows, or even your tabletop D&D game, these are the basics. Head to Twitch’s Creator Camp to learn more about the process for whatever type of streaming you’d like to do.
Tips from the experts
“In terms of personal early discovery, it is crazy the difference that five viewers have over zero or over one.”
– xQc during a livestream question, Twitch’s most popular streamer in March 2021
It’s in your early days that you’ll see how viewers behave. In fact, xQc points out that there is really not that much of a difference between 2000 and 20,000 viewers – but those first initial steps from zero to five viewers make a huge difference.
“These days I have a big power smoothie with all the essentials. I’ll also have my first meal of the day while playing, which is 5 or 6 ounces of protein, 6 ounces of carbs, and a whole lot of veggies. There’s a lot of water constantly.”
– Nick Merc, top Call of Duty streamer
If you’re putting in plenty of screen time – which you’ll need to do to hook viewers – you’ll need to take care of your body to ensure it’s up to the challenge. Make sure to exercise a bit each day and be careful about nutrition.
“The main essentials for me are a comfy headset! Also a 144Hz monitor. I didn’t realize what I was playing on before, but goodness gracious it’s like day and night when you go from 60 to 144 – get one!”
– TimTheTatman, professional full-time streamer since 2014
Once you’ve started streaming you’ll realize that perhaps the gear that you have isn’t quite up to scratch. If you have a bit of cash to splash make sure that you upgrade your AV equipment for the greatest effect.
“You have to be the most sure (sic) person on the planet if you’re going to get into this… when you’re reading “You suck [expletive]” 20 times in a chat, it’s going to get in your head.”
– Ninja, Fortnite streamer and dedicated husband
A thick skin helps in streaming. By putting yourself out there online you open yourself up to the inevitable trolls that come along with it. This will wear on your mental resilience. Be prepared with a support network to talk to – a perhaps a therapist.
The grind to get there
“I am thankful that I just kept streaming for like six months with an average of five viewers and that I kept grinding for wins in Fortnite–it paid off”
– Ewok, 14-yr old female streamer and Forbes 30 under 30 candidate
Streaming takes hard work and dedication. It’s not something that you’ll be able to become successful in straight away (unless you’re already well known in gaming league circles or other parts of the internet). Consider this your real-world game grinding.