Is your dream job a video game streamer on Twitch.tv? It’s easy to understand why, when the average pro with an established following can rake in $2,000 to $5,000 a month doing what we all love the most. After all, the great gold mine of the internet offers gamers some fantastic places to get their hands on real money.
Make no mistake about it, breaking through and gaining attention on Twitch is an uphill battle. With a constantly growing swarm of channels vying for previous audience attention, it might seem like the platform is oversaturated at this point, and that the barrier to entry is impossible. However, there is plenty of pie to go around for everyone when you consider the massive economies of Twitch.
Over 100 million active users view Twitch channels every month, breaking down to a daily average of 9.7 million users. At a cost of $4.99 a month per subscriber to support a channel ($2.50-$3.50 of that goes into the streamer’s pocket, plus ad revenue), there are endless opportunities to cash in on. But make no mistake, you’ll have to put in the grind and time into developing your Twitch following to the point it will pay the bills.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, as they say, and you won’t get anywhere unless you start. The first order of business that you need to accomplish is to create a channel and just start streaming. Turn on your broadcast during the times you game for fun. You never know who might stop by.
Then, invite gamers you already know to hang out in your channel. While still a low number, streaming to six or seven people on a regular basis looks better than the one or two random viewers who pop in and out. If you present yourself in an engaging and fun way, your friends will tell their friends and your following will spread by word of mouth.
This same networking tactic applies to social media, where you can attract a larger following even faster. Let your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram crew know that you have a channel on Twitch. Post your streaming schedule, the games you play, and any cool little tidbits about how awesome your channel is as well. For example, offer a special shout-out and Whisper chat session to the first five people who subscribe to your channel from Facebook.
Don’t forget that the primary place to engage with your viewers is on your Twitch channel. So, by all means, don’t neglect it. It can be easy to get distracted or overwhelmed by tending to your other social media accounts as you generate a following, but Twitch is the destination that you’re driving traffic to and the reason for all the heavy lifting in the first place.
Also, remember that many viewers will want to ask questions while you play. Answer them promptly and give frequent shout-outs. Use your personality and humor to create a fun, informative place for your viewers to hang out. They will repay the rapport you build with them by recruiting their friends and fellow gamers to check out your channel.
Another great way to embrace the incredibly huge sea of channels is to use host mode and broadcast the streams of other users on your channel. You can do this while keeping your chat intact, giving your viewers exposure to another channel they might not know about. It’s the old rule of give-and-take in the digital age. In turn, the users you host will host your channel, which introduces you to a whole new audience. Everybody wins.
Finally, take inspiration from other channels that are like yours. What are your fellow gamers doing to lure in followers and subscribers? Can you do the same things but better? Go above and beyond the competition to give your audience a truly memorable experience on your channel. On the flip side, always be on the lookout for ways to stand out from the crowd to make your Twitch channel a unique destination for visitors.
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