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How Small Streamers Grow on Twitch

These days, growing a channel on Twitch is as challenging as ever before. With over a million different broadcasters on the platform, finding a community and growing takes time, dedication, and a whole lot of energy.

And as a beginner on the platform, it can be tough to know where to begin. Thankfully, for this guide, we sat down with a handful of streamers and interviewed them, asking for their own personal tips on how new streamers can grow on Twitch. Here’s what they told us.

1. Have a Consistent Streaming Schedule

Thorigorn, or Thor as he’s often called, chatted with us and shared some of his personal tips for growing on Twitch. The first tip that he suggested was to form a set schedule, and to stick to it.

“I don’t want to say rigid schedule, but kind of a set schedule. On things where it’s like, alright, these days at this time, give or take a little bit are when I want to go live and when I want to do things because I want there to be consistency. Because if I’m just going to live at random points, who the hell’s going to know what’s going on? Right? People don’t know what’s going on. How are they going to have something to work with?”

Twitch has a built-in feature for creating a schedule, so doing so is incredibly easy. While it can be difficult to get into the rhythm of streaming on a regular basis, once you manage to find a schedule that works and you stick to it, you will more likely start to see results.

“There’s the old saying of consistency is key,” Thor continues. “I think in the industry, whether it be Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, any kind of social media or live streaming, I think consistency is one of the biggest things that you can do for yourself.”

Not sticking to a consistent schedule, regardless of your platform, can make it more difficult for your followers to show up and watch your streams. Making things as easy as possible for your viewers to find your stream, and know when to tune in, is essential if you want to retain and grow your audience over time. 

Thor elaborates on this point: “When you’re first starting out, like of course, your thought process is just gonna be like, f**k it I’m gonna go live. I’m going to do the thing and you know, I hope people show up. But if you’re going live at 7pm, and you have a group of people that are like, ‘Oh, sick, I like this guy.’ And then next time you go live at 10 in the morning, you run into a little bit of a disconnect there, with time zones, work schedules, and everything else. So even if it’s like, one day, a week, two days a week, three days a week, finding a rhythm that works for you. And then the people are going to work with that and connect with you.”

2. Make Sure You’re Streaming for Yourself

A lot of new streamers jump into Twitch with the main intention of making a lot of money or becoming famous – and while doing so isn’t out of the question, it’s important to stream primarily for your own enjoyment.

ChysKay, a variety streamer who started on Twitch in 2021, shares her personal experiences, stating that she’d always wanted to perform even from a very young age. “I’ve been wanting to do this since I was a little kid,” Chrysie states. “I knew when I was really young, I wanted to either be like a dancer or an actor or some kind of performer.”

In a way, live streaming is a form of performance. It isn’t simply just gaming in front of a screen, but a medium of entertainment. And if you happen to be a creative type of person, it can be an excellent outlet for yourself, just as it was for Chrysie.

“It helps a lot because I’ve had some viewers say that they see how much I love what I do. Because I love what I do. And you know that’s kind of what keeps them coming back.”

Like all hobbies, streaming should come from a place of passion – not for the hope of one day making tons of money from it. Streamers who only broadcast themselves with the intent of making it big aren’t going to last long.

“You’re gonna burn out so quickly because if you don’t enjoy doing it, you’re not going to do it for long.”

3. Focus on creating a community

TheReluctantHermit, a full-time Twitch variety streamer with close to 6,000 followers, is about to celebrate his 3-year anniversary on the platform. He attributes his success to the strength of his community and believes that building a positive community is one of the keys to succeeding as a streamer.

“Realistically speaking a streamer space is successful based on the fact that a community feels connected and a part of something as opposed to a creator looking down and dictating or creating something for people to react to,” Hermit shares. “At least that’s what I feel. I think people do disagree with me, but I think holistically in terms of like, you know, your mental health as a streamer, when you feel like your community really is there and present with you and it’s more like a family.”

Not only are strong communities more enjoyable to be a part of as a viewer, but also for you as a streamer as well. 

“It makes it more sustainable,” Hermit adds. “So the hard times are easier because you feel interested and in good, you know, compassion with your community and the easy times feel ecstatic because you created something that feels real, that feels genuine… and what that comes down to is building rapport and maintaining good boundaries. And if you can start that out at the beginning you’ll have a much easier time creating something that holistically maintains itself with joy.”

4. Be Authentic & Genuine

Streamers should also make sure to always put forward their authentic, true self when on camera. Be yourself, and don’t pretend to be somebody you aren’t – if you do, you’ll be better able to connect with your viewers, come across as more likable, and be someone people will want to watch.

Thorigorn added to this, sharing that “being authentic, whether it’s authentic, just the raw you is what I tend to do. I don’t really put on a mask or you know, a specific show necessarily.” 

Thor notes, however, that there is a difference between inauthenticity and having a stage persona.

“Like, I’m going to use Dr. Disrespect as an example. That whole thing is orchestrated. We all know it’s orchestrated and that he’s putting on a character… but he’s still authentically himself at that moment.”

Hermit is also a firm believer in being your truest self while streaming: “The level of being genuine. I think that’s really, really, really important because it’s not a false positivity thing. You need to really be honest with people so you can still be honest and positive about what’s going on.”

Authenticity, as Hermit comments, shouldn’t only be limited to sharing positive energy with viewers. Faking a smile can easily come across as forced, and turn away viewers. By being true to yourself, even when you’re having a bad day, is showing vulnerability which will make others naturally feel more comfortable and relatable.

“You can have a bad day and still be positive about that. And that doesn’t mean that you have to put on a smile. It’s like, everything’s okay. It’s like no, I’m upset right now, but it’s okay for me to be upset and be present and be like breathing through it.”

5. Play Games That You Enjoy

Quite often, streamers will simply play the newest or most popular games in order to try to reach the widest possible audience; contrary to what some may tell you, we strongly advise against that. Not only are popular games usually not great to play for discoverability reasons, you may not have the best time playing them if they aren’t games that you otherwise wouldn’t play.

Instead, play the games that you actually want to play – the most important part of streaming is having fun while doing that. If you’re having fun, it’s more likely that the audience will too.

Hermit shares, “as a streamer make sure you’re playing games to have fun… don’t just follow what your friends are playing. Unless you’re interested in that thing thoroughly.”

Don’t copy what other streamers do, have a bit of originality. If you’d rather play less popular games that fewer people are streaming, then that’s completely fine. In fact, you may wind up breaking into an untapped market in the process.

6. Think Outside of the Box

One issue that many new streamers run into is failing to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, Twitch is such a massive platform that many great and talented streamers aren’t discovered because of the sheer amount of competition on the platform.

In order to stand out from the crowd, you really need to think outside of the box sometimes. Instead of doing what everybody else does, try to find other games or activities that you can do on your stream that not many others might be doing. Do you have an oddball hobby that others might find interesting to watch? Trying new things on stream can’t hurt, and may end up finding a niche crowd.

ChrysKay, who primarily plays games on stream, noted that she started getting great feedback from her viewers after she began sharing an uncommon hobby of hers on stream.

‘I have liked snow globes since I was a little kid. And you know, just over the years I moved around a lot and every single one of them would get broken. And there was this one time I think a couple years ago when a snow globe broke and I had it I was like, You know what, I’m gonna learn how to fix these things. And I did and I kind of realized like, what if I just did this on stream? What people would like it? So I started doing a snow globe repair on the stream and people loved seeing that.”

Whether you enjoy making art, singing, playing an instrument, or repairing snow globes, it doesn’t hurt to share a unique passion of yours on stream – it may end up really connecting with others.

7. Invest in a Good Microphone

Having the latest and greatest recording equipment simply isn’t necessary in order to stream good quality content, however, it is important that you invest in a solid recording microphone. Audio is very important, arguably more so than video, so make sure your sound quality is good.

TheReluctantHermit emphasizes the importance of good audio: “Your audio is the most important thing. It’s very challenging to listen to a stream if you feel like you know someone who’s shouting into an empty room because it’s hard to hard to listen to them. You know, it’s kind of like, you know, I describe it as you have a hard time listening to your parents and the shouting from across the house. Right? Right. Why would you listen to that for hours?”

With tons of options out there for great, affordable microphones, there really isn’t any excuse for not having decent audio quality on stream.

“You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on audio equipment,” Hermit adds. “You can actually go and find really, really good reviews of certain USB microphones.”

8. Take the Time to learn how to use Streaming Software

On a similar note, it’s incredibly important for streamers to comprehend streaming software before going live, and fully understanding how everything works. While there are many different streaming software options available, most Twitch streamers recommend OBS above all of the others.

“I recommend people to just get OBS,” TheReluctantHermit shared. “It’s a lot easier to run on your system. And also if you were to update OBS, make sure it’s not on stream day. Don’t do that to yourself. Also, look up your upload speed and then figure out your bit rate which is accommodated. By that, you can look it up on the internet. That’s a simple Google search. There’s literally a calculator that you can find for that. That’s super important.”

Getting a full grasp on your internet speed, optimizing OBS, and other technical aspects of broadcasting are all vital in order to have a smooth live streaming experience right out of the gate, therefore you should expect to set aside at least a few days to get everything set up properly.

Additionally, investing some time to set up a Twitch bot is one of the best ways to stay on top of managing your chat. Chat bots are designed to help reduce spam, toxic behavior and more.

ChrysKay commented on this, stating that it took her a long time to get everything ready before she ever went live. 

“Before I streamed I actually took I think like a week to set up my channel, my overlays, you know, all OBS stuff. It took me like a week beforehand before I even started streaming because I was like I want to make sure everything’s working.”

9. Get Involved with Other Communities

While focusing on yourself and all of your needs as a stream is important, you also can’t neglect meeting other streamers, making friends, and growing together with a community of other streamers. One common way for streamers to get involved with other streamers is through Discord. There are literally hundreds of Discord groups, made specifically for Twitch streamers to meet others, and help one another grow.

However, there is a difference between becoming a part of a community and simply joining Discord groups solely to self-advertise. Thorigorn advises that new streamers should avoid simply utilizing Discord servers only to promote streams.

“It feels desperate,” Thor states. “It’s not a good look for you. Sometimes I would even argue not advertising yourself works better than posting in [those communities]. I stopped posting in self-promote Discord channels because I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen anything come from it. Unless whoever owns that discord creates a message or post that says like, ‘Yo, this person’s my friend. I’m not going to go live tonight. Go watch them.’” 

Thor shared that, while simply promoting one’s self in communities isn’t effective, actually getting involved with communities, getting to know others, and actually making genuine connections within communities absolutely can be effective and allow your stream to gain new viewers. As you build up genuine connections, be open to collaborating with other streamers and try fun features like squad streaming on Twitch.

“Just hanging out, talking to other streamers, getting to know them, and being a part of stuff is a much better way of going about it.”

10. Take Care of Yourself

While streamers need to devote a lot of their time and energy to streaming in order to truly become successful on Twitch, it’s also good to make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s very possible to devote too much time to streaming, and neglect other facets of life – so it’s important to take care of oneself.

“This is gonna sound really silly,” Hermit advises, “but there are some really basic things: You’re in front of the computer screen which is light on your body which is heat. You need to stay hydrated. You do need to eat beforehand. And when you’re done for the evening, disconnect from everything.”

Like all hobbies and jobs, streaming should be done in moderation. Spending too much time streaming, and neglecting other necessities, can be detrimental to your health so new streamers should remember this when starting out.

“It’s important also, if you’re pursuing this as a career, I would say that there are some really, really important factors that you need to determine. Are you capable of taking care if you get to the point where you’re affiliated, can you take care of your bills, and have something leftover extra? If not, continue doing what you’re doing during the day and grow that space till it becomes a sustainable thing, but also know that it fluctuates, but being a full-time content creator is not sunshine and daisies all the time.”

11. Use a Streaming Overlay that Matches Your Personality

One big part of growing on Twitch is creating your channel’s brand. And while your actual personality is a huge part of your brand, the visuals, including your stream overlay, artwork, and alerts also play a big role as well.

“When it comes to overlays,” Hermit advises, “I would say that sometimes simple is nice, you know, have a couple of scenes where there’s like obvious branded things that you’re about to find things that you are really, really excited about that resonate with you in terms of a look.”

Using a stream overlay that matches your own personality and brand is important, as your overlay is what sets the tone for your channel as it will be the first thing that your viewers will see.

“Find the things about yourself that you want to share and then create a visual landscape of that. Which is why I think it’s brilliant that there are so many overlays that you can go and find tons of them,” Hermit adds. “If you’re into biking, you know, get biking stuff. If you like gardening, get nature stuff.”

Luckily, there are tons of options out there for streaming overlays. “You can get that through a premade overlay or you can pay an artist to make one for you.”

ChrysKay creates her own overlays and created hers after being inspired by a friend.

“I just loved her overlay so much and I wanted to do my own version. But yeah, don’t be afraid to be inspired by others.”

Visit Hexeum’s Store

For those who aren’t as artistically savvy, creating your own streaming overlays may not be possible. But thankfully, there are many great resources out there for finding fantastic overlays, including Hexeum’s store.

Hexeum’s website offers a large library of custom designs including camera borders, BRB and stream starting soon scenes, alerts, widgets, and more that can help elevate your live stream and really stand out from others. If you want to step up your channel’s branding, then look no further – visit Hexeum’s store today!

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Ben Price

Ben Price is a writer, gamer, and even used to stream on Twitch. His time as a small streamer gave him invaluable insights into the mindset and challenges small streamers encounter. With a passion for video games, he enjoys gaming sessions whether it's on his PC or Switch.

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