Just yesterday I hit
free twitch turbo
partner on twitch after roughly 5 months of streaming (somewhat) consistently. Today I'm hoping to share some decent advice and give my own (learned) opinion on some of the frequent yet not always useful tips shared around here.
Before writing this I did a cursory search through the subreddit for frequently asked questions so hopefully this answers most of the ones that I myself have any experience to answer. My simple request:
I'm not going to be posting any links to my stream or anything but if you go out of your way to find it please don't follow/subscribe to the channel unless you are genuinely interested. Thanks big boss.
Should you stream?
If I have to read another thread or comment of a person asking if they should stream I am going to scream. What do you people expect to hear? Yes, please stream the world needs you, you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams and have all the clout to have ever been cloutted.
I know people who usually type out questions like that probably don't read posts but here is a hack I've used to answer my own dumb questions through out the years. Say that shit out loud and respond to it like someone asked you the question. Nine times out of ten, you end up answering it yourself and on the off-chance you actually don't you should have a more actionable question.
Example: Instead of asking "should I stream?" you end up realizing the only thing holding you back is having no mic or something. The question then becomes "I want to stream what's a good cheap mic?". Which is a lot better and doesn't make people want to pelt you with rocks.
For those of you who ask "should I stream or is it a waste of time?" please, I BEG YOU, stop. Most of the shit you do is a waste of time, you either want to stream or don't. Make a decision based on that.
Webcam, do you need one?
This question is asked so often that I see it every time I come on the subreddit. Unsurprisingly, the answer is always the same as well, yes you do. However I disagree.
I have never streamed with a webcam, not a single time, yet I'm still here and somehow managed to get partnered.
Now, I know why every one parrots the same advice, it is because the people making tip threads, youtube videos, etc., all say to use a webcam. Harris Heller said it once and I'm pretty sure that was enough for the people who copy and paste what he says in text threads here to become their mantra.
The truth is, all that matters is the content. Ask yourself do you do/want to do a lot of react/just chatting content? If so, you probably want a webcam since your content will focus around reacting to content. Lirik doesn't use face-cam because his content is his gameplay and commentary, not his face. Corpse literally blew up and is famous for not showing his face (even though he is still a personality).
I know the whole "Lirik doesn't use a face cam" argument is going to be met with people saying "exception not the rule!!!" but seriously, just use your head. Half the people you watch probably don't need face cams. MoonMoon probably doesn't need a face cam, Critikal didn't have a face cam until he already had over a million subs on youtube, schlatt didn't either, Dream doesn't, AdmiralBahroo doesn't, almost every DBD streamer I watch doesn't, just think for yourself.
The point I'm trying to drive home here is not just that a webcam isn't required, but also you need to look at what you want to create and decide for yourself.
Edit: I saw someone say somewhere that you need a webcam for sponsors. That's cap. I've had a sponsor and nobody has seen this ugly mug.
Equipment in general
People like saying that they need this this and that before they start streaming. This is just stalling. Until last month I hadn't owned a desktop PC my whole life. Before that it was just laptops and using my phone to read chat or look up things. You obviously need SOME equipment to start, i.e. a computer and some form of internet connection, but that doesn't mean you need to pick up a shure, a streamdeck, 4 monitors, 6 consoles, and whatnot.
Here is my setup. Keep in mind I literally just upgraded this last month after saving up for several months:
For those of you who are probably saying "GROSS A PRE-BUILT" remember that part prices are actual aids right now, not to mention the availability of even finding good parts.
- Blue Yeti: Hell ya baby got a free game with it too so I'm for sure pleased with this purchase. Edit: I recommend shopping around for mics since the yeti isn't as much of a "get this for streaming" mic as it once was. Plenty of good options out there for cheaper
- Two BenQ monitors: Like I said, I was using my phone for chat but that got old fast. These monitors are cheap and 144hz. There are some color issues but eff it I barely notice anymore
- Streamer PC from NZXT: My old laptop was from 2016 and made editing literal hell. Averaged 3 crashes every time I would try and render (and the renders took about an hour). Upgrading to this was the most worth purchase I've ever made. Also, the streamer PC got upgraded since I purchased, so you can grab a 2070 instead of the 2060 ti like I have :)
- Red Dragon Keyboard and Mouse: I'm a cheap ass so when I see light up peripherals for like 40 bucks total I am sold.
- Earbuds: Legit don't know the brand. I stole them from my sister like a year ago. I prefer these over a headset anyway since I don't want that gamer dent lmao
If you have the cash go pre-built that shit is amazing. My recommendation:
Stay with your shitty set-up as long as possible but make sure to pick up a good mic first. Big streamers (looking at you Ludwig) shit on the Yeti, but straight facts all you need is to EQ that shit a lil bit and nobody will bat an eye. You don't have to pick up the Yeti (there are lots of cheaper options) but that's just the one I and many others have gotten since it is reliably a good ass mic.
Audio <- chat engagement <- pc upgrade
How many people have to tell you bums to focus on YouTube before you do it? Twitch sucks ass. I'll say it, i'm brave. No discoverability, especially to those of you at the very bottom. Make a goddamn YouTube and start pumping out videos, it is not hard.
Ludwig made a power point on how to be a streamer that talks about a few things but the most important point of all was what he said on creating content for stream/YouTube. This isn't the exact timestamp but it do be close: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/896089267?t=01h24m14s
That advice is coming from a top streamer who also has over a million subs on YouTube by almost exclusively taking twitch vods and editing them for YouTube.
As for getting views on your videos here is my advice from my personal experiences:
- Thumbnail and title are important but there are outliers that can thrive without doing shit. One guy I saw has their most watched video (over 250k views) with a title like "[game] [character] gameplay" and the literal default thumbnail that youtube makes. AND to top that off it was just a VOD from their twitch channel.
- Audience retention matters. There is a reason massive YouTubers have these weird zoom in pans and flamboyant gestures all the time. Lots of movement and noises keep our tiny attention spans happy and frequently cutting is usually the key to success, although don't overuse it. I do very light edits and have been growing but that's more of my personal preference rather than a growth strategy.
- Respond and engage. If you have one comment on your video and they are complimenting you, why aren't you responding? This is by far the easiest way to get someone to continue to engage with you and trust me, that is the most important thing in the algorithms eyes.
My understanding of YouTube
So obviously, clickthrough rate and audience retention are the things that are constantly brought up when talking about gaining more views and what not, but I am fairly comfortable in saying that there are other metrics that you should be paying attention to.
Let me hit you with a something that would make Dream shake in his boots. I don't subscribe to anyone on YouTube. *gasp*
The reason for that being, I almost always have the videos I want to see on my home page. I never have to go, "wonder if x YouTuber made a video" since YouTube knows I watch and enjoy their stuff. The question for most people being, how does YouTube know what people like and how does it suggest it to them? Basically, by seeing how often people engage with your content AND also what type of content you create. (although keep in mind, youtube tries to throw new videos at you a lot as well, these are usually in-line with content you engage with though)
For engagement, think of it as like affinity points in a video game but in reverse. Before you get to bang that smoking hot sim, you got to woo them. Every time someone likes your video they get a point, every time they comment they get two, every subscription counts as like 10, watching an entire video might be 20, etc. Obviously, these are made up values but I hope you follow what I'm putting down here. Once they get enough points you start showing up more in their home page.
I know this because I have a different account on my phone that doesn't have the same suggestions as my main account because I watch different things on my PC than my phone. However, I do like to look at the comments while I'm taking a dump or something. Problem was, my videos were rarely every recommended. I solved this easily by liking a couple videos. I didn't even watch them, just liked and read comments. LITERALLY NOT EVEN SUBSCRIBED AND I GET NOTIFICATIONS ON MY PHONE SOMETIMES WHEN A VIDEO DOES WELL! In other words, by getting people to like and comment on your videos you are almost guaranteeing they see future videos from you.
Now, keep in mind, engagement is only a small portion of the whole pie. And even though you might engage with a content creator often, there is still a chance you miss some of their videos because of one other reason, the content's genre.
You might have noticed this phenomenon on various different creators YouTubes, but sometimes they create a video that bombs. Usually, this happens when they create something outside of their niche. This could be as simple as changing games, or as radical as changing the entire direction of the channel. Even if you engage like crazy with a creator, if they change the content enough, you won't get that shit recommended to you.
This is the main reason some creators have several channels and why some even get pigeonholed to one type of content. The reality of it is, if you build your audience on one piece of content and then want to change it, you will be fighting an uphill battle. One of the best ways to fight that is to diversify early OR better yet, emphasize your personality over the content. Jschlatt shits views and he does whatever the hell he wants really. Same goes for jacksepticeye, markiplier, Ludwig, Critikal, XQC, and numerous other creators.
That being said, doing one game/genre isn't a bad strategy either. A metric fuck ton of OfflineTv's videos are the same game. DisguisedToast played Hearthstone on repeat, then switched to TFT, THEN switched to among us, and his videos absolutely kill. Valkyrae is one of the biggest streamers period and all she does is play/upload among us and rust. Then of course we have all the minecraft streamers too.
It's really up to you to decide, but I'd recommend going towards personality content since that allows the most flexibility.
Other Social Media (Twitter, IG, etc)
Lots of people here seem to think that they don't have time to do YouTube or some other BS they think up as an excuse, so they think that twitter, instagram, tiktok, etc are all ways to grow. Trust me, they are not good ways to grow.
These are all stupid treadmills that trick you into thinking you're doing something when in reality you aren't moving the needle by much if by any at all. Posting ten dumb tweets and reposting memes on IG seem "productive" if you frame it in the light of "content creation" but the two people that see all of these things don't really give a shit. Spend that time working on a video for YouTube.
Don't give me this "I don't have time" bullshit. Do small videos and work yourself up, become better and faster. Perfectionism is a cute word for procrastination.
Ok, now that I took a shit on them so hopefully, you won't
grind on them all day, these are still ways to grow and are important. Having multiple platforms for fans to communicate and engage with you is always a good idea, but don't spread yourself so thin early on when nobody knows who you are. Prioritize the thing that will get eighty percent of your results.
I personally have a discord for people to come and chat in. Thing is, I had no intention of doing so because I don't really use discord that much. The only reason it exists is that people kept asking for it in the comments on my YouTube videos so I made one. TL;DR: Don't put the cart before the horse :)
Edit: Oh ya I forgot to mention. TikTok is trash for growth. I won't mention names cuz that's probably toxic(?) but there is someone signed on luminosity who has 690k TikTok followers and 95k YouTube subscribers who barely cracks 100 views on Twitch and has a hard time getting over 1k on YouTube. So don't go thinking TikTok leads to immense fame ya darn kids
Getting hosted/raided means actual jack. I remember pretty clearly when I had like ten viewers, I got hosted by someone with twenty-five or something. I think only one person ended up saying anything in the chat to me about it and although some stayed for the entire stream, by the time I went live again I lost all of the people who were in the host. This seems to be something others have mentioned as well, you won't retain almost any views from hosts/raids.
Edit: Please do try raiding/hosting or otherwise networking with other streamers at least once. Your mileage may vary and it could end up blowing up your channel. Who knows?
Edit edit: Having something that you can do during the stream is huge when getting hosted/raided. Most of the time, if not all of the time, a streamer is ENDING their stream and sending viewers to you rather than timing it for your own content. So if you are doing something uninteresting or are in the middle of something you are going to get less retention than if you did something crazy to impress the newcomers. In other words, having a strategy for hosting/raiding growth is key.
Speaking on stream
This seems to be something a lot of people struggle with on Twitch since so many people ask how to do it when nobody is watching/chatting. Coming from someone who had this problem, the answer is pretty simple, talk for the content not the chat.
What I mean by this is you should be focusing on your content more than the chat. Since I play games, what I do is just say some shit about whats happening on screen and sometimes say something that is hopefully funny. Pick up a garbage item? Say something about how garbage the item is, ez.
If you're streaming to NO VIEWERS you shouldn't be streaming to stream anyway. What you should be doing is making a YouTube video in the hopes of getting viewers to watch your stream. The only way to do that is to have good content planned out that should effectively act as your script. Again, Ludwigs stream on this is good (it'll probably be a video soon) so make sure to check it out.
A more recent problem I've had was just how much I engaged with chat (suffering from success I know). When I went to edit the videos I had to cut large swathes of the video because I was just chatting to people. Make sure to avoid this when you are actually trying to get content out for YouTube as it can mess up the flow of a video and make it harder to edit. You still can chat with people just make sure not to go overboard. Again, Ludwig is a perfect example of this, just look at his videos and streams and notice the difference between the two.
Streaming as a job/hobby
I hate this dumb argument of streaming isn't your hobby or twitch isn't your job. You have 24 hours in the day, subtract 8 for sleeping and depending on your job, 9 for work. All that extra time can be spent doing whatever the fuck you want. Want to get big and make money streaming? Do work. Want to just stream while you're playing games anyway? Do that.
IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL AT SOMETHING YOU PUT IN THE AMOUNT OF EFFORT REQUIRED TO DO SO! So stop telling people it has to be a hobby or it has to be a job. It can be either for christ's sake.
I have a checkmark which makes me a better person.
No, but seriously, partner doesn't really do much other than add more emote slots and some quality options. Also, you don't gain extra cash as a partner either. I don't have the mystical bounty board or god-tier split, just the checkmark to flex baby.
Opinion on affiliate
Devin Nash made a video about how affiliate is a scam, which is kinda true but only for people with no viewers. Having the sub button is huge and even when I was small small, affiliate gave me a couple hundred bucks a month for no effort on my part. Patreon is probably better though, no lie.
If you stream 5+ hours a day without making content that lives somewhere else please form a neat line so I can smack you all. People saying they have no time drives me nuts, but when they also "grind" all day AND say that, it makes me want to punch air.
- Stream YouTube friendly content
- Stop stream and edit content
- Upload and plug twitch in the video
That is the only "grind" you should be on. Affiliate is stupid if the 3 viewers you have are all just you on a different ipad.
You know what? Maybe PewDiePie got lucky and that's how he is such a big YouTuber. Maybe early twitch streamers got all their views because they were early adopters. Or maybe these people only got lucky because they showed up and actually put the effort in.
There are plenty of videos on my channel that looked like flops at first. They got like a couple of hundred views and didn't do well. However, after continuously publishing, a whole bunch of them ended up blowing up and becoming some of the most-watched. Without publishing more videos they would have ended up dead in the water. Consistency > luck.
I don't believe too much in luck when it comes to doing very simple things (LIKE MAKING A YOUTUBE VIDEO) but you literally cannot win the lottery if you do not purchase a ticket, it's that simple.
A couple of people asked this so I thought I should add it here. I use davinci resolve for my videos. Previously, I used hitfilm or something like that I can't quite remember the name, but I had to switch because they don't allow you to have split audio channels (i.e. one for desktop audio and one for mic audio).
I've literally never touched any paid software like premier or anything because, again, I'm a cheap ass.
What should you upload to YouTube?
Seriously just look at Ludwig, smallant, DisguisedToast, literally every top Twitch streamer with a YouTube. All three of the people I just mentioned are over one million subs on YT and are top streamers, so they are definitely doing something right.
In terms of off-stream content, guides are king. If you're a small YT channel with ZERO subs you can still get thousands of views by hitting the search algorithm of YT. My first 3 videos were uncut gameplay, guide video, guide video, in that order. Guess which ones have tens of thousands of views and which has less than a thousand? Guide videos are insane for small channels.
Edit: Actually, let's just call it searchable content. Searchable content is king
I think that's about it for this post. Hopefully, I covered everything although I doubt I did. If you have any questions I'll try my best to answer them and will probably edit the good ones into the post.