Twitch is a site that has developed a large group of real-life gaming celebrities who make their living streaming — but it's not only because they're playing the most recent games or have a snazzy stream setup. The top Twitch streamers are genuine entertainers, with some renowned for their amazing Call of Duty headshots and others famous for recording top notch entertainment.
"Our top streamers are modest, pleasant, highly active, and treat their chat members as if they're the main attraction," Chase said, Twitch's director of public relations. "They're responsive; players enjoy being able to contact them."
"Streaming 101" video by popular Hearthstone competitor Jeffrey "Trump" Shih is a good place to start if you want to learn about the finer aspects of building an audience. Shih breaks down the fundamental elements of streaming into an acronym he calls OPTICS, which stands for Opportunity, Presence, Technology, Interaction, and Connection.
Whether you're going for a major or modest audience, Twitch is the place to be in terms of monetization. You can make bank on Twitch by developing a following that is large enough for partnerships and receiving a cut of broadcast revenue in exchange for providing your audiences unique perks for a monthly subscription fee. Here are some pointers from some of the best streamers
Find your specialty or niche
How can someone differentiate themselves among Twitch's 9 million global streamers? All it took for BurkeBlack was a pirate hat and a little perseverance. After two years of consistent streaming, Black has developed a following of more than 288,000 people who tune in to watch his late-night swashbuckling escapades.
Any of Black's news broadcasts and you'll see him in full brown-and-beige pirate gear, complete with a skull-and-crossbones bandana and an enormous beard to match. The 36-year-old is the furthest thing from threatening, however, as he giggles and cheers his way through anything from Grand Theft Auto
"I think of it as a show rather than just some guy playing games," said Black. "People visit because they enjoy the ambiance... It's a beautiful, warm environment where people can gather and have a nice time with some campy pirate activities."
There are a few different methods to stand out on Twitch as a pirate. Perhaps you're an expert in the most obscure platformer on earth, or you have a very adorable dog who can sit in front of the camera while you play Counter-Strike games. Find your area of expertise and exploit it.
Consistency is key
Consistency is critical; just as people tune in to their favorite television programs at the same time every night, they should know exactly when you'll be live on Twitch. Whether you broadcast in the afternoon or late at night, stick to your plan, and make sure it's clearly advertised on both your Twitch page and social media platforms.
Make some new pals.
It's the perfect opportunity to find out what it's like to be on a streamer's journey, from leading up to and after the stream. Aimee "Ginge" Koyano is another one of Twitch's most notable personalities with almost 1 million followers.
"We started a daily Minecraft stream with the intention of just playing some Minecraft with friends and hanging out," said Reid about "Mianite," a series in which she and other popular Twitch personalities broadcast their everyday amusing.
Interact with your audience.
The unique quality of Twitch streams is that the audience is almost always a crucial element of the experience. There's a chat room for every Twitch broadcast, which allows streamers to interact directly with their viewers. The more you make your viewers feel like they're sitting on the couch with you while you play, the more likely they are to become your fan
Reid refers to her "foxx family" of fans as her "little foxes." She makes certain to keep things personal, even with hundreds of thousands of followers.
"I get to know a lot of my [viewers], and I remember what's going on in their life and talk about it with them on-stream," she added. "Having a community that feels like a family is really significant to me."
Black, who has a special screen solely for viewing his Twitch chat, places a high value on audience interaction. Frequent giveaways, according to Black, encourage fans to return every night.
Don't worry about your equipment.
The first thing to know is that you can't just take your bedroom and turn it into an all-out studio. Yes, Twitch's restrictions are relatively mild, so you should concentrate on growing a following before investing thousands of dollars in equipment upgrades.
"I started streaming on an old HP laptop that overheat to the point of burning my hand, and an old foldout chair from Walmart," said Reid, who has been able to upgrade her equipment as her channel developed.
Don't rush it and make sure to enjoy yourself!
As with any type of achievement, "making it" on Twitch necessitates a great deal of perseverance and hard labor.
"If you're doing [this] just to make money, you'll typically fizzle out after three or four months," Black advised. "It was terrible for the first six months since I had no idea what I was doing. Don't get discouraged; everyone has at some point."
The wait is finally paying off for Black; he has almost 300,000 followers on Twitter, and his feed is filled with photographs of devoted followers wearing T-shirts with his name printed on them.
When the program was just gaining traction and started to attract a small following on YouTube, David stated: "You should enjoy every viewer no matter how few there are at first."
Even if you have three viewers or 30,000, there are individuals that choose to hang around and watch you.
In the end, it's critical to keep in mind that we're all still gaming. Whether you enjoy streaming as a pastime or a future profession, remember to have fun — the more you like yourself, the more others watching you will, too.