Twitch Channel Growth The Ultimate Guide

Twitch Channel Growth – The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 1/14/2019:

So, you’ve heard about streaming on Twitch. You’ve probably spent a great deal of time thinking about how rad it would be to start streaming and make a living playing a video game. I know I did! So I did what I always do when I decided I was going to throw my hat into the very saturated market of online content creation, I researched. I read or watched anything that I could find that gave me the edge in Twitch channel growth.

The Ultimate Guide to Twitch channel growth is a compilation of all the information I gathered during my research process. It outlines how I effectively started from scratch, received affiliate status in 12 days and built a community of rad people who keep coming back!

Introduction

That’s why you’re here right? You’ve decided you’re going to pursue your dream and now you’re taking a very important step into getting started on your Twitch channel growth. Research. I’m so proud of you! Twitch streaming is an incredibly rewarding experience and people make it every day, however, there are some key things you need to figure out when starting to work on your Twitch channel growth.

Our Twitch channel growth, The Ultimate Guide will be broken down into 6 parts. Each section will cover an aspect of your brand, and how to use it to promote Twitch channel growth.

  1. Streamer Identity
  2. Building your Brand
  3. Tools, Settings, software & Equipment
  4. Twitch Channel Production
  5. Social Media Presence
  6. Advanced Techniques for channel Engagement

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking about gear, programs, and equipment needed to get a successful stream going. Let’s face it right, while gear shopping is fun, there is another important step that should be addressed first. While we certainly go over gear in another part of the guide the first thing we need to do is establish your streamer Identity.

So why do you want to stream?

Are you looking to meet rad new people? Are you looking for fame and fortune while playing video games? Ask yourself what your motivation is for starting this rewarding journey. This will tie into how you want to approach networking and driving twitch channel growth.

A hobbyist is going to have different goals than someone who is planning to turn this into a long-term career and will approach things very differently.

Do you love a game (or genre of games) or do you love community interaction and growth? What motivates you to walk down this path.

This leads us into the first part of our guide.

Part 1: Streamer Identity

The reason we want to identify your streamer identity is that it makes all the other steps going forward that much easier. When you define your streamer identity, you can tailor your whole brand around it. Design work, gear, and social media marketing all come much easier when you have an identity to base it off of. I decided to take the harder route and become a variety streamer. As you can see below in my pinned tweet, it very clearly outlines key features about me and my streamer Identity.

*Tip: Using a pinned tweet as I have below clearly helped define who I am as a streamer. You have about a 15-second window to capture someone’s attention and this method clearly outlines my Streamer Identity.

So what is your streamer identity? You don’t have to create a whole new persona (in fact I recommend you don’t). Defining your streamer persona is as simple asking yourself a few questions.

  • What type of content do I want to create? (Gaming, IRL, Creative)
  • Am I going to be a variety streamer or dedicate myself to one game/ genre of games?
  • Do I want to do speed runs?
  • Do I want to do competitive/professional?

Ask yourself these questions when locking in your Streamer Identity.

Let’s look at a few new content creators as examples.

  •  How about someone who wants to focus on  RPGs. How does there choice to stick with RPG’s effect everything else? Well, when designing their branding, stream overlay, social media and emotes they will want to match something with the RPG feel.
  • What about someone who wants to be a speed runner? They would probably need to gear their overlay and setup to include things like timers. Things the above RPG player will probably never need.
  • What about an IRL streamer? What’s the best way to stream while out in public?

Why is this step so important?

Picking your streamer Identity is important. When you establish your streamer Identity, you can build a good roadmap.  If you start out with a good roadmap, then you can break your journey down into steps and it’s easier to plan out. You can set short-term as well as long-term goals and stay on track. Instead of trying to make your way through it half-cocked and forgetting key elements, you can use the roadmap to keep you on track with your  Twitch channel growth.

It will also save you from just wasting time researching topics that won’t affect you. That is wasted time you could be putting into locking down key elements of your channel. As well as taking steps to push for Twitch channel growth.

Take a look below at a portion of my personal roadmap and how I planned things out:

Twitch “How I Nerd” Channel Road Map

  1. Being unable to compete with the likes of Doc/Shroud ability-wise, the channel will have to focus on being entertaining with humor, community engagement and streaming unsaturated games.
  2. The second part of the niche is putting a heavy emphasis on production so it’s fun for the whole community.
  3. We will be bringing on additional streamers so the channel has constant content. This will provide the Howinerd Community with more chances to see quality content.

Short-Term Goals

Complete all Channel Production
Break 1000 followers
Become a Twitch Affiliate 
Attain a 10 person concurrent viewership
See a consistent twitch channel growth month over month.
Attain a 25 person concurrent average.
Attain a 50 person concurrent average.

Long-Term Goals

Achieve 20 subscribers
Attain a 75 person concurrent average.
Become a Twitch Partner.
Achieve 1200 subscribers
Switch to a full-time content creator.

*An important thing to remember is your roadmap can and most likely will change, just use the roadmap to adjust everything else down the line to accommodate these changes.

Part 2: Your Brand – Expanding on your Streamer Identity

When I made the decision to stream I started by defining my streamer identity. We outlined that process in the previous article “Streamer Identity”. Once I had that identified, I documented it out in my roadmap, then it was time for me to flush out my brand. Branding is important to Twitch channel growth. Ideally, what you want to achieve is brand recognition. From an SEO standpoint , consistency across all mediums helps for searching you and your content online.

Let’s look at Dr. Disrespect. He has a very distinct branding and when you see it, you associate all those aspects with him. “The two time”, “Violence, speed and momentum”, “Firm Handshakes” and “Raaaaaaaaaaul” all identity him and his brand. Visually, his branding is uniform across all platforms, design work, social media, and merchandise. I think he is the perfect example of brand recognition in the Twitch community.

I wanted my personal brand to center around a few things. These are key elements that would be easily identifiable and tie into brand recognition. Below are the key elements I decided that would be integral to my brand.

  1. Be Myself -I declined to adopt a persona. In my opinion (and from research) it’s a lot easier to just be yourself. Being yourself tends to flow naturally and isn’t forced, thus taking up less energy and is more sustainable in the long run.
  2. Focus on my strengths – I have a “big personality” and occasionally people have told me I can be funny. (I focus on this rather than on “Gitting Gud” or trying to accomplish pro plays)
  3. Clearly Define the Style and Design elements – I came up with a concept I liked, 80’s retro. I decided to build around the nostalgia of the 80’s and retro-wave. All my design and stream elements play to this style and are easily recognizable.
  4. Channel and Audience Oriented – A big reason I got into streaming was to meet rad new people.  Interacting with your community is essential. If you want Twitch channel growth, that solely lies on your community and their desire to return and consume your content.

As you can see in the above clip, several of the core elements of my brand jump out at you.  The first thing you notice is visually it fits the retro-wave feel. If you listen to the clip you will see the basis for our loyalty points is named Energon (from the 80’s transformer show). This further adds another layer to the 80’s feel.

Tip: We will go over advanced techniques in another part of the guide but loyalty points are great for Twtich channel growth and community interaction.

As I continue to talk,  my personality comes through with the excitement. Highlighting our leaderboards builds a relationship with members of the community. If  you can make people feel (genuinely) like they are recognized for being part of the community, they are going to keep returning to that community. Doing it in (a genuinely) excited manner gets people fired up as well.  Think about how it would be received if it came through in a flat expressionless voice and sounded like a chore? Probably not well.

What’s Next?

So now you’ve mapped your brand out and have a concept in your head. What’s your next step?  If you have any experience with design work then it’s time to dig in get started on a logo! However, If you’re like me (with little design ability or experience) then it’s time to go about figuring out your budget for design/production and finding a graphic artist to assist you.

Personally, I started with my logo. From research and my personal experience,  it seems like a logo is a good central point to get you started and you can cascade the design out from there. There is a lot of really good affordable services out there if you are just starting out. I have personally used Fiverr for different aspects of my design and production. You can get any element you are having problems with done at a reasonable price on Fiverr.

I also find a lot of  Facebook groups centered around Twitch, Gaming or streaming, in general, have a lot of really talented artists willing to do the work at a reasonable price.  If you get really lucky you can find a newer artist who is willing to work a little cheaper so they can build their portfolio.

Tip:  When using an artist from Fiverr talk to them before you accept a quote and make sure you are comfortable in the artist’s ability to see your vision as well as complete the task. Be very descriptive on what the requirements are and Fiverr will back you up if any issues arise.

I recently had some emotes done from a great artist on fiver (Gabriel Colina) , Link to his services on Fiverr here.

DIY Solution

If you’re the type of person who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and try it yourself, there is a lot of really good information on YouTube.  You can find a ton of tutorials to help in self-designing logo’s, Stream elements, Business cards and almost anything related to design work. I saved myself a ton of money by designing my subscriber-emotes & subscriber badges by simply taking some time to learn the basics of Photoshop.

Tip: you can sign up for a free trial of Adobe Creative Suite and cancel before you get charged if you finish your design work within the first 30 days! When pushing for Twitch channel growth it helps if you can stay under budget.

Another option is you can poll your friends and see if you have anyone creative that could assist you. I am seriously blessed when it comes to talented people in my close circle of friends. I received a lot of assistance from a really good friend of mine (and my tattoo artist) Sean Sullivan & as well as fellow HowINerd team member Skrewbacca.

Tip: Pay your friends when they help you or barter for assistance. I helped him build a website for a project and he was more than willing to help me out with design work.

Part 3: The Fun Stuff. Tools, Settings, Software & Equipment

Lets recap on what we have accomplished so far while building our plan for Twitch channel growth. We have used the guide to identify our Streamer Identity in part one.  In part 2 we flushed out the key elements of our brand.  Now we can get started diving into Tools, Settings, Software, and Equipment. I’ll also go over some tips and tricks I have found along the way when picking out gear, programs to use and my set up. I’ve further broken down the guide below to examine the many different parts of gear.

Streaming Software options

Camera

Audio Equipment

Streaming Software

Let’s start with software we will be using to actually delivering our content to our audience. The industry standard seems for years seems to have been OBS (open broadcasting studio). This is a very popular option both among professional and amateur streamers. As a new streamer whos pushing for Twitch channel growth. You might be looking to reduce your costs so OBS fits that price point ($0). However, don’t think because of its price point it will be lacking in stability and the functionality built in.

Recently, Stream labs have instituted their own version of OBS,  called affectionately (SLOBS) or Streamlabs OBS. A lot established streamers have made the switch to SLOBS with positive results. The biggest advantage to using SLOB’s is that it fully integrates with Steam Labs Labels system and widgets. There is no need to use another system to dynamically update things like Top Tipper, Recent follower, Recent subscriber or any other label offered by Stream Labs.

If your having a hard time deciding between OBS and Streamlabs OBS  check out the video below from Nick.

I personally went with Streamlabs OBS because I like the thought of using OBS but with the integration of Stream Labels. I thought this would be a good way with reducing the amount of time I had to put into the production of the stream. Time better spent refining my stream. My experience with SLOBS so far has been amazing. The integration is great and the software is really easy to use.

*Xsplit is also an option, However, the cost of use turned me off when you have 2 other amazing pieces of software that offer as much if not more functionality for free. 

Video Input Device (Camera)

The great news is if you decide to include a live video feed (and I strongly suggest you do if you want to see Twitch channel growth) is that you don’t have to break the bank. There are a lot of good options but what I use (and seems to be the standard) is the $50.00 Logitech C920.  This webcam, while falling under the budget mark is still able to put out 1080P video at 30FPS. This is more than adequate for a video feed as you can see by the below examples.

The option is to spend a bit more (a lot more) and do a DSLR video capture. Eventually, I want to upgrade to this type of setup, but the reality is right now that the Logitech C920 is killing it for what I need. I have zero complaints about the quality of video capture this webcam is able to produce.

When you start to go down this road you are going to be sitting around the thousand dollar mark for just a marginal increase in quality.  Let’s broadly break down the cost of a DSLR set up.

Camera – The camera has to cleanly output HDMI so at a minimum you need something like the Canon EOS Rebel Sl2 which will run you about $650.00.  It doesn’t stop there, you will also need a capture card so that your computer can recognize the video feed. This Elgato Game capture card comes in at around $150.00. Because of the nature of DSLR cameras, you will also need a dummy battery  ($20)that plugs into the wall for continuous power. If you want to take full advantage of having a DSLR as a streaming camera, you will also need a Lens which helps with things like field of view and BOCA. This will run you about $290 dollars.

Camera – 650.00

Capture Card – $150.00

Dummy Battery – $20.00

Lens – $290.00

Total – $1110.00.

For me personally, that was above budget especially when the Logitech c920 delivers such a good picture. If you want a further breakdown, Harris from the Alpha Gaming Channel shares his reviews of the cameras he has experience with.

 Audio

A lot of new streamers get caught up in chasing that perfect video feed and lose sight of another really important (I think possibly the most important) aspect of streaming. Audio. Think about it like this, your community, who come to the channel to do so are coming to hear what you have to say. They might not always be able to watch what you’re doing (at work I tend to have Twitch on in the background listening to someone) and if that audio quality is terrible then they are going to go elsewhere.  In my research, it was stressed exactly how much audio matters to Twitch channel growth, so I placed a heavy emphasis on locking in my mic, music levels, game audio levels, and background noise.

Skullstream is a perfect example of this. His audio (and many other factors) elevate the quality of his channel.

Tip: Always test audio levels before going live to make sure that Windows hasn’t made a change that will affect your audio. 

Microphone

When you start looking into audio you have to evaluate your situation to see what type of microphone you are going to want to use.  Some microphones are better at canceling out background noise. Do you have kids, an air conditioner or something else that is going to be going while you are playing that could come through? Do you have a room dedicated solely to streaming with sound dampening that you can control the level of audio in? Your mic and audio set up have to be tailored for the type of situation you are in.

Cardioid, condenser, USB? So many options your head can spin!

The most popular solutions  I saw while researching were the Blue Yeti USB mic, the Audio-Technica (AT2035) condenser mic, the Rode Podcaster, and the Shure SM7B. There are a ton of other options out there, but when I was making my decision these are the ones I dug deeper into.

Choices

The easiest solution here is the Blue Yeti, which is a USB plug and play Mic and out of the options provided,  is the most affordable and easiest to use. New, it’s coming in at about $128.00 and there is a lot of really good documentation out there on tuning the mic to get the best audio possible out of it. This was the first non-headset microphone I used and funny enough I was able to pick one up from Craigslist for $25 bucks. Let me say this, this is a great starter microphone and a lot of successful streamers continue to use it. It just didn’t work for my room so I decided to step it up.

The Road Podcaster looked like a great option for me but one area it seems to fail is sensitivity.  In my stream, sometimes  I whisper for effect and I needed a mic that could pick that up well. While this mic is great for podcasting and a lot of people use it for streaming it wasn’t going to work for me.

For me, the Shure SM7B, while being the standard among the professionals out there (streamers, musicians and audio engineers) didn’t fit into my budget at the time. Coming in at about $399.00 for just the mic. You would need to add a stand, pop filter and mic activator it was just way too much overhead. About $600.00  in total for the setup.

After a ton of research, I decided to go with the Audio-Technica (AT2035) & Scarlett USB Audio Interface.  My audio is very clear, I get no audio artifacts, it picks up my whispering well and I have no complaints.  For $210 it was a vast improvement over my Blue Yeti.

James Seville produced three videos on audio tuning that are super helpful, check them out below.

Part 4: Channel Production

So, now you have your Streamer Identity, a clear brand, and some equipment. Now its time to move into your channel production. Whatever streaming software you have chosen is going to be your portal to your community. It’s going to be your overlay, represent you, help your audience understand who you are and help to drive Twitch channel growth. You have about a 15-second window to grab someones attention, let your channel design and production help you with that!

Stream labs OBS comes with a lot of great overlay aspects and widgets, they also have a built-in market for people looking to take their channel to the next level. Outside of that, there is a bunch of resources on the web to get overlay work done.

  • Fiverr
  • Facebook Groups
  • Graphic artists
  • Videohive

You can buy a prepackaged set up that can be tailored to fit your channel. If you are going to go the prepackaged route I would suggest budgeting some money for a graphic artist (if it’s something you can’t do yourself) to tailor that package to your brand.  The goal here is to stand and out. If you buy a prepackaged setup and keep it stock, then you aren’t exactly going to stand out against a channel with the same package. The good news here is that alterations like personalizing cost a lot less than working with a designer from the scratch on a brand new setup.

Tip: If you already have branding and logos from an artist you can layer them in within your streaming software to brand your overlay differently. It’s as simple as adding an image, resizing and placing it where you want it.

As examples, here are a few screenshots from my overlay to get an idea. First is my starting screen, I have this screen going about 10 minutes before the stream starts to give people time to get on, get settled in and start chatting. It helps to bring the energy level up, so that when I get on people are hyped and ready to go.

Let’s look at all of the branding elements.  You can see the style is consistent across both screens.

  • Username
  • Logo
  • Avatar
  • Schedule for the week
  • Social Media Links
  • Labels (to spotlight community members)
  • Overall Aesthetic fits my Brand as outlined above.

What kind of scenes should you have? While this is a personal choice, I personally think you should have at least the following.

  • Starting/Welcome
  • Live
  • AFK
  • Ending

I believe this is the bare minimum you should use to convey a certain level of professionalism. Professionalism promotes Twitch channel growth. When you elevate your channel, it shows your commitment to your stream and the community. This directly, in turn, affects your level of Twitch channel growth. I see so many new streamers start out and jump in with their overlays rushed through and it’s really self-evident. If I can pick up on it, then your prospective community members can as well.

Channel Panels

Panels are another great way to flush out who you are. Panels are a really effective tool because you have readily available information there for your users. In my research, I found that there is some really important information that can be listed here to help you see some Twitch channel growth.

  1. Schedule
  2. About
  3. Rules

Schedule

I’m going to go over exactly how important this is in another part of the guide but I can’t stress how much having your schedule (and sticking to it) needs to be in the forefront.

About

People come to your channel to connect with you. If you are able to personalize this and let people know who you are it makes it that much easier for them to connect with you.

Rules

Clearly defined rules leave people with no doubt about what’s acceptable and what isn’t in your community.

Alerts

Alerts let people know channel events like Cheer, Donations, Followers, Subscribers, Hosts, and Raids.  These things let people see what’s going on with your channel and bring a deeper sense of community to it. They get people hype! People get super excited when they see a fun animated alert come through. Especially if it’s personalized and fits the theme of the channel. It’s a great way to generate some hype in your community. It also makes your community members feel appreciated when they get mentioned via the alerts or in response to the alert via you.

Labels

Labels are a great way to spread your appreciation throughout your whole overlay. It shows your community that you appreciate everything they do to contribute to the community. They are also a set it and forget it feature that dynamically update. Very little overhead with a large return in terms of Twitch channel growth.

Popular labels people use are:

  • Recent follower.
  • Recent Subscriber.
  • Top tip.
  • Recent Tip.

Facemasks

Recently Steamlabs has instituted face mask integration allowing your community to do things like “tea-bag” you or kittens to your face. These face masks move with your face, sort of like a Snapchat filter.

Stream Titles

Your stream tile draws attention to your stream (If done correctly) and lets your potential audience see what your stream is about. When I say “If done correctly” I mean this. As a Twitch viewer, do you really care if a streamer you have no connection with is trying to get to 1000000 subs that month? I wouldn’t care and I’m sure potential people viewing my channel don’t either. Well, they don’t care yet. It’s our job as content creators to get them engaged and start to care. We do this through providing engaging, quality content.

Use that stream title as a tagline to entice people into your stream. Then it’s your job to get your audience to keep coming back by providing great content and community involvement. This will help drive twitch channel growth organically.

Let’s take a look at two stream titles:

Good: Lotro Newb Gameplay| Day 7 | Fumbling through Middle Earth together.

Why is this a good headline? It outlines the game you’re playing, It adds a layer of attraction because its “Newb Gameplay” and a newer player might be looking for this content. Then it ends with a funny tagline, letting the user know this channel is fun.

Bad: 100 away from sub goal | Come Support Us Fam!!!!

Besides the points outlined above, it also seems extremely desperate.

Also, don’t be afraid to work pop culture references into your tagline to grab people’s attention. Especially if that reference is something that’s reoccurring in your community.

Tip: Remember if you change games during stream to update your tags and the name of game being played.

Tags

Twitch explains tags as this “Tags are used to describe a live stream beyond the game or category being broadcast. Viewers can use tags to find streams they’re interested in watching by filtering streams within a directory, searching for specific tags, or when they’re browsing front page recommendations.”

Tags are a relatively new feature that helps people in the Twitch community discover your content.  At this time there doesn’t seem to be a ton of tags, but it’s worth doing to get your content seen. Again, we use these systems to get potential viewers into your community initially and then it’s up to keep them coming back with engaging content.

Video Production, Meta Data and SEO in your Video’s and Highlights.

Alright, now it’s post-stream?  You had a fun night, had some laughs, your community had fun and you made some new friends. Now it’s time to work on your videos, highlights, and clips.

Twitch doesn’t allow for much Metadata management. It’s limited to tag, title, game, thumbnail, collection, and language. One of the best tools to promote twitch channel growth (and your overall online presence) is to go into your videos and highlights post stream and enter key relevant data that helps your users find your content.

Lets’ take this highlight for example.

Watch Lotro | Charity Stream | Community Member leaves me speechless. from HowINerd on www.twitch.tv

let’s break down the data included above.

Title: Lotro | Charity Stream | Community Member leaves me speechless.

This tells the potential viewer a few pertinent pieces of information while drawing them in to consume the content.  The game being played (lotro), that it’s a charity stream and an intriguing “click baity” comment to draw the user in to consume the content.

Description: HowINerd community Member “Blitz_Krieg” hits us with a stunning donation during our charity stream to benefit the AAUSS foundation during the first annual John R Hanson Charity Stream.

The Description data have keywords but done in a naturally flowing way so it doesn’t just appear to be littered with SEO keywords. It also mentions a particular user highlighting them as a part of the community. Our main goal is to entertain and engage our viewers while pushing for Twitch channel growth. All these little things add up and turn a channel into a community.

Part 5: Social Media Presence & Content Funnel Channels.

Social Media is an integral part of everyday life now. People get up, get ready for work or school and settle in to check social media. Social media is a billion dollar industry and a very beneficial tool to drive traffic to your channel. If your content is compelling the social media funnel will be integral to driving Twitch channel growth.  The caveat is that it has to be done correctly. No one likes spam, and a just randomly blasting your content out there spam style is going to alienate rather than draw in an audience. That brings us to our first point.

Be Relatable.

Personalizing content and making it relatable is a great way to draw an audience in. We spoke before about the channel panels and how it helps to include content that outlines who you are personally. This goes a long way in social media as well. In my research, a lot of people thought that personal brand social media should be separated. I personally disagree.  Say I’m out and I find a rad video game bar, I can snap some pictures, take a video and check in there. All these actions show a little bit about me personally and it adds to the community feel.

If you are not going to separate your brand and your personal social media, then it’s a good idea to stay away from hot-button topics. Politics or Religion are two key things I stay away from and don’t allow in my community. Always remember anything you say or do is a reflection of your brand. A controversial post can bring a lot of attention to your channel, but also remember that it can kill it as well. You are your brand, represent it well.

Facebook

A Facebook group is a great way to build a community of people who are your key demographic. When you are able to market to your targeted audience it frees up resources that would otherwise fall on a demographic that doesn’t care about your content. It’s also a great way to connect with people who have the same interests.

Instagram & Twitter

The above are amazing ways to reach a wider audience.  Using key relevant hashtags and tagging games you are able to appeal to targeted potential community members. People also seem to be a lot more comfortable approaching on Twitter and Instagram.

Discord

If your goal is to is to build a community, Discord is a great new medium and one of the most useful tools when it comes to Twitch channel growth on multiple levels. If you take the time to research advanced Discord permissions, auto role assignment, and bots you have a great opportunity to expand upon your community and see Twitch channel growth.

This is a great tool for you to use when you aren’t currently streaming to engage your audience and create a sense of community. It can also be used as a “value add” for subscribers. You can create an exclusive subscriber-only room and use that for reasons why someone should subscribe to your channel.

Tip: Take some time to learn the best way to market to each medium. Twitter and Facebook give weighted values to content that is uploaded (Video/Pictures) rather than external links to content.

Know your targeted demographic.

Facebook has amazing insights into your target audience and the people who consume your content. use them to tailor how you present content. Would you rather post it during a peak consumption time or when your potential consumers are sleeping?

https://youtu.be/0rSWdW2GQI4

Networking 

Networking properly is one of the most useful tools in your arsenal. Keyword being properly. Networking doesn’t mean spamming your links out or targeting them at people who aren’t your demographic. Networking is about building genuine relationships with people in relevant communities. There is no quick-fire way to do this except building those relationships over time by being genuine.  Check out peoples content. Contribute to group conversations. Connect with other people.

Do

  • Build meaningful relationships with other communities. (Facebook groups, Twitch Channel, Reddit, Forums)
  • Become a subject matter expert in your realm so you can speak in an educated manner on a topic.
  • Comment, Like, retweet, share, reply to all your social media. (stay engaged with your audience)
  • Help out when you can.

Don’t

  • Spam blast your links across the web.
  • Go into other peoples channel and promote yourself.
  • Beg for Subs, followers, donations.
  • Follow for Follow,  Lurk for Lurk or sub for sub.

I can’t stress enough how much the above “don’t” actions can hurt your Twitch channel growth. If you promote yourself without welcome in another users channel, you are going to alienate the streamer (potential network chance) and their audience. Once that type of behavior is associated with your brand, it’s really hard to lose that stigma.

Here is a link to a great article on why follow for follow does not work.

Part 6: Advanced Techniques for Twitch Channel Growth

So now you are up and running after going through the previous 5 steps. You’ve Identified your streamer identity. Took time to plan out and build your brand as well as understanding how important it is to Twitch channel growth. Your Tools, Settings, Software & Equipment are all set up and good to go! Channel production is on point and ready to be refined. You have an impressive online social media presence. Now it’s time to elevate your game and really drive home that Twitch channel growth.

One of the problems I had while starting out streaming was the ability to keep up a constant flow of conversation. Let’s face it, If someone comes into your channel and sees you sitting there with a blank stare and no commentary,  they probably aren’t going to stick around. Here are some tips to help that I found during my research and 100% have helped me with my Twitch channel Growth.

  • Before going live,  compile a list of 10 topics to talk about during lulls in the conversation.
  • Become a subject matter expert on the game (or games) you are playing so you can talk about it expertly.
  • Practice your craft. I have an hour and twenty minutes commute to work. What I do is pick a topic and see exactly how long I can talk to the topic without stopping.
  • Narrate your inner monologue. “Oh, what’s that over there? Should I go check it out? Oh, it’s only an unlockable chest. Dammit!”
  • Express opinions on games/whatever you are streaming. This is a great one because your audience tends to be passionate about things and they might chime in with a response.
  • Acknowledge your audience’s comments, Try and draw information out of them. They have come to interact with you. Interact!
  • Talk about your Day. did you have a horrible day at work? Let people know! Going to a convention, Let them know!
  • Talk about your past experiences or stories.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice and then practice more.

Keeping track of  your community chat.

Your channel is about your community and interacting and engaging with them. If you miss comments in chat, people are going to feel alienated and most likely leave. Chat comes first, Game comes second I ran into this a few times when I first started out. I’d look over and had missed 2-3 messages. So I wanted to find a way to avoid that. I found a great little Chrome plugin called “I hear you”.

What this plugin does is make a little sound when someone sends a message in chat. This was great but it offered a small challenge. I didn’t want the audio ping to come through the stream via desktop audio. How I fixed this is  I put a laptop on my desk (positioned behind my mic) and set up a chat window there. Every time someone sends a message I get a little audio queue. At some point, this won’t work because of the saturation of messages coming through, but for now, it’s a great tool.

Tip: Twitch is a little slow in regards to updating viewer count. By the time you see the increase, they could already be gone. That’s why it’s important to keep talking at all times.

Viewer Count.

I saw this little nugget while researching and its helped me out so much. Turn off your viewer count. A lot of people want to see it because they feel its a measure of how they are doing. It was suggested in the research to turn it off as a new streamer because what you really should be focused on is keeping the flow of conversation going. Another reason this is helpful for me is that I don’t see people leave or a drop in numbers. I don’t care who you are if you see a drop in numbers its going to affect your energy level. Keep your energy positive and the flow of conversation coming and the community will follow.

Feedback

Friends are great right, you ask them to come out and support your stream.  They will and do. However, when you need feedback friends really aren’t the best people to ask. Inherently friends do not want to hurt your feelings. So the feedback you receive from them will always have a little bias. So where do you look for feedback?

A good place to start is with building relationships with streamers who were a little farther along than I was. When it became appropriate to do so, I asked them if they would be willing to critique my stream and give feedback. I suggest doing this behind the scenes so it doesn’t feel like you are promoting yourself in their channel, page etc. Our channel received the best feedback throughout this whole process from a fellow streamer.  He offered critical, no punches pulled feedback that helped me improve upon my stream. I am eternally grateful for his guidance.

Tip: send me an email at mhanson@howinerd.tv and I would love to give a critique on your stream.

Schedule

I can’t tell you how important it is to keep a schedule. People look forward to seeing and interacting with you and sometimes schedule things so that they can show up. So you need to respect your community. Think about it like this, If you made plans to go out to dinner with friends and then just didn’t show up with no warning. It probably wouldn’t be taken that well.

We all understand that things happen. As long as you are able to communicate that out to your community it’s generally accepted as O.K. I just try to not let it happen that often. My schedule changes weekly so what I do to adapt to that is I post my schedule on all my social media Sunday.  It’s also listed within an extension on my page.

Extensions

Extension, in my opinion, are fun things to add to your channel. I personally use and recommend Streamlabs Loyalty, Streamlabs Leaderboard, Streamlabs schedule and countdown and gear on Amazon.

Refereum

Refereum is a Cryptocurrency based on delivering content from streamers and game developers to their targeted audience. It’s 100% free and you can either earn points to buy games or take a payout at the end of the season in Cryptocurrency.  Every 10 hours of streaming time, you gain 800 points. If someone uses your referral link you get points. There are other ways to earn points as well. You can either save for the Cryptocurrency, Use the points to buy games for yourself or to buy games and give them to your community.  You can use our referral link to get a bonus in points when you sign up.

Amazon Affiliate

Sign up for an Amazon affiliate account and promote products (that you believe in) to your community. You get a small commission when they buy something you recommend using your affiliate link.

Bots

Bots are a great way to add moderation and interactivity to your community. We personally use Streamlabs Chatbot because of the integration. It has a lot of little games and fun things built in that can help drive Twitch channel growth.

Music – Spotify Integration.

Here is a great tutorial on how to use SNIP and Spotify to add another dimension to your channel. Music is universally recognized as bringing people together. Share some music with your community and they, in turn, will expose you to new music as well.

Audio – Advanced

We had previously talked about audio but there is some advanced tuning you can do so that you get the performance out of it. Gaming Careers did a video that helped me IMMENSELY on noise gating, compression and tips and tricks to reduce background noise as well as keyboard feedback. With the number of people who pick up the Blue Yeti as a starting microphone the second video listed below is a great resource for people who decided on that route.

Video Camera – Lighting

People looking to get the most of out there video feed need to see the video below. Gael Level does a great job explaining lighting types, and the direct effect it has on video feed quality. It helped me elevate my video feed. I discovered the lighting while looking for a way to improve the quality of my stream and researching using a DSLR for my video feed. Lighting doesn’t even have to be expensive. I use clamp led lighting and use homemade light boxes.  Each light cost me less than 7 bucks. (I use four)

Stop Streaming Saturated Games.

I get it, you love playing Fortnite. You might even be really good at it. The problem is that there are so many people out there playing the same thing. What sets you apart from them? As a newer streamer people won’t even get the chance to see you. You will be 50 pages back so the chances of someone stumbling across the channel is slim to none. Also, you will be competing with the upper 1% of Twitch streamers. It’s not the best recipe for success. Look at the below picture. There is over 8000 channels out there and only 3700 viewers. You will be lucky if you make it to page 50.

As a numbers guy, I tend to research the games I play.  I use a great resource called Twitchstrike.  Twitchstrike lets you look at a game, see the ratio of users to channels as well as breaking down other metrics. You can see the ratio heat map, channel heat map, and viewer heat map. This allows you to research and find a game where you can break into this space and push forward with your Twitch channel growth.

Use a Checklist to keep on Track.

Weekly Prep:

  • Post Weekly Schedule every Sunday to channel.
  • with relevant hashtags and picture/video.
  • Share Highlights on all social media.
  • Manage social media engagement.
  • Create High lite Video for YouTube.
  • Network with other streamers.

Stream Prep

  • Post Schedule to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with relevant hashtags and picture/video.
  • Get Streamlabs set up.
  • Open Streamlabs Chatbot.
  • Set up channel window for Energon.
  • Configurechat audio alert and test.
  • Get 10 topics together and links for talking points.
  • Test Audio.
  • Test Scenes.
  • Set up green screen.
  • Check webcam lighting.
  • Set title stream, list game being played.

Go Live

  • Post Schedule to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with hashtags and picture/video.
  • Set stream starting scene.
  • Mute Mic and Desktop audio.
  • 1 minute before the hour kick off the intro.
  • As scene transitions, enable mic and desktop audio.
  • Introduction and welcome and summary.
  • Review Recent events (follows, Energon, subs etc).
  • Get into game.
  • Keep Talking and engage chat.
  • Update Goals status.
  • At the end of stream find a channel to raid.
  • Ending 30 second speech letting people know the schedule signing off.

Chatbot Advanced Commands

Found these on Reddit courtesy of u/LahiruVIP and they have helped with channel engagement.

  • !hugme

bot hugs you

command: /me hugs $userID

  • !randhug

you hug a random user

command: $userid hugs $randuser

  • !hug

hug the person/things that is written after the command doesn’t reply if nothing is written

command: $userid hug $dummy $touser

  • hug can be changed to other things like pat,kiss,lick(why not),slap,etc
  • !lovemeter

the name says it all

command: $userid is $randnum(100)% in love with $ dummy $touser

  • !randlovemeter

again name says it all

command: $userid is $randnum(100)% in love with $randuser

  • !lovemeterme

again this time with the bot

/me is randnum(100)% in love with $userid

  • !randfight

fight with a random user

$userid fights $randuser and $readrandline(text.location)

possible text lines:

lost becuase he/she was caught cheating
won by KO
lost by submission
lost because he/she fled
won with the most points
  • !drop

give you a random place after fighting in the arena

$userid was placed #$randnum(1,100) after fighting in the arena

  • !run

bots lets you run a certain amount of meter(you can change to any other
unit)

$userid ran $randnum(10000) meters

  • !randlolchamp

bots give you a random lol champ(you can use other games/movie characters)

$userid you are $readrandline(text.location)

possible champs:

Ahri
Lux
Etc.
  • !gopokémon

let a person/thing use a pokémon move

command: $dummy $touser uses $readrandline(text.location)

possible move:

Blizzard
Bubble
Earthquake
Explosion
Acid
Growl
Icy Wind
search online for more
  • !rdrop

random drop location for fortnite change locations for pubg or other battle royale games.

$readrandline(textlocation)

write this in your text:

Junk Junction
Pleasant Park
Tilted Towers
Loot Lake
Snobby Shores
Greasy Grove
Shifty Shafts
Anarchy Acres
Dusty Depot
Salty Springs
Fatal Fields
Moisty Mire
Flush Factory
Lucky Landing
Tomato Town
Retail Row
Wailing Woods
Hunted Hills
Lonely Lodge

(credit goes to TwitchRemixx’s post )

  • !commands

bot show all your commands

command: $commands(10) number tells how many commands will show in 1 message

problem is that this doesn’t show what the commands does. I’m working on a script/command that also shows this.

  • !8ball

Have the magic 8 ball in your chatbot

$readrandline(textlocation)

write this in your text:

It is certain
It is decidedly so
Without a doubt
Yes definitely
You may rely on it
As I see it, yes
Most likely
Outlook good
Yes
Signs point to yes
Reply hazy try again
Ask again later
Better not tell you now
Cannot predict now
Concentrate and ask again
Don't count on it
My reply is no
My sources say no
Outlook not so good
Very doubtful
Etc.

I will keep this updated as I find more commands. Reply if you have an idea for a command and I will try to make it.

Bonus: Resources that have been invaluable.

Skullstream – My personal stream mentor. Listen to this man and you WILL grow. check out his guides here.

Timthetatman

Great video on starting out with Twitch and things you should focus on.

Gaming careers

Youtube Channel Centered around providing information to aspiring streamers.

Frugal streamer

Another YouTube channel dedicated to providing information to streamers.

Alpha gaming channel

Advanced and New streamer information.

Gael Level

Great channel that has a few videos that helped me immensely.

JomoSenpai

Streamer who wrote a great guide that helped me get going. Also, Provided me amazing feedback to further my Twitch channel growth.

Disclaimer: Links in the article,  if used give the author a small commission with no increase in cost to you, the reader. Please consider using our links if you found this guide helpful.

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Comments (2)

  • Jen
    October 12, 2018 at 11:37 am Reply
    How have you handled things like trolls? I find because I'm female I get targeted a lot more. Thnx! for teh guide, I learned a lot.
    • admin
      October 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm Reply
      I try and give one attempt at changing the behavior by making a joke and getting them to come around. If you can turn a detractor into a promoter then its a solid win. Otherwise, Either myself or Mod will hit them with the Banhammer. The quicker you end the negativity the less chance it has to affect other people in your community.

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