So you want to be a streamer... But how do you start streaming?
Just do it. So often people just keep thinking about it, or try it once and give up because they don’t get hundreds of viewers instantly. Everyone starts at zero when posting or creating anything, and it takes time to learn what works for you. You can read every guide and listen to every streamer story in the world, but without getting your feet wet, how will you know if it’s for you?
You will learn a lot from trying out streaming for yourself and seeing if it is the right path for you, and what aspects of streaming you enjoy the most. Finding ways to leverage and develop your own unique skills will help you grow as a streamer.
Live streaming is quite different from other mediums, as you receive immediate and direct feedback in terms of live analytics, chat, and reactions. And at the start, putting on a show for no one is difficult. Focus on entertaining yourself first, and make the content interesting. Think: what would you want to watch? Content, after all, comes before - and then attracts - viewers. Too often people expect to have 100 viewers show up on their first broadcast, but creating and maintaining entertaining content to attract return viewers is what you are trying to master.
There is a lot that goes into streams, from deciding which game to play, to how you play it, and even to your personal overlays. It’s easy to get carried away with graphics and designs, where your camera goes, how big should it be, etc. These are what we like to call “gimmicks.” While gimmicks can be extremely powerful at getting viewers to stop and spend time on your feed, you still need to ensure that the stream itself - your core content - is interesting and engaging, to make sure those viewers come back.
So if you’re spending too much time worrying about the tiny details of your stream, stop. It won’t replace your voice, commentary, or content, all of which should be rolling before people tune in. Turn off your live viewer count if it is holding you back, and focus on the content you are delivering for your audience. Everyone has their own setups - some have awful overlays but keep their viewers engaged and eager for more, while some have outstanding visual designs but can’t hold their audience’s interest for more than a few minutes at a time.
Although you don’t want to spend too much time on customizing a stream, it’s worth taking a few moments to cultivate your own personal style. Whether you’re using titles, descriptions, backgrounds, or graphic overlays, everything you do will help your stream reflect you who you are as an individual. True, there are some streamers who make it big with no facecam or design, but these are exceptions, not the rule. People are there to watch your stream, so have some basic elements to make it more personalized to you and who you are.
If you are streaming for fun, it is a terrific hobby to have! But if you want to turn streaming into a career, you’ll need to build and maintain a consistent audience. While this is fun and rewarding, it does take time and effort to learn and put it all together!
Need more specifics on starting up your stream? Find our essential checklist here.