Growing a Twitch channel from 0 to 36k followers in 2 years: an interview with WettDesert

WettDesert
In this interview with Twitch streamer WettDesert, we will be covering his crossroad of gaming and rapping, as well as his experience growing his channel from day 1 and dealing with toxic people.

 

WettDesert is a talented Twitch streamer who has been on the rise over the course of the last year. People watching WettDesert’s stream for more than 5 minutes will discover that this guy is passionate about music. He freestyle raps when playing Fortnite, and he has the vibe of a shoutcaster with his distinctive energy, his sense of humor, and his ability to improvise things on-spot without showing any sign of struggles.

 

 

But Jeff (WettDesert’s name in real life) has more to offer than some innate talents. It’s the seriousness towards streaming. He knows how to keep the conversation in chat rolling by offering values to the audience, whether by sharing tips or telling interesting anecdotes.

 

On watching his challenge session on Gimbl, we were amazed by how articulate he is when it comes to explaining concepts to his audience. Like a brand ambassador, he went from talking about the story of our co-founders to explaining what blockchain is to his viewers (and yes he managed to win some challenges too). 10 minutes straight! There was no sponsorship deal here though. Feels like this guy had done some decent research before going live. It’s by no random luck that he soared to 36k followers in 2 years.

WettDesert
WettDesert's typical look on stream

We are thrilled to share with you the interesting conversations we had with Jeff. It turns out everyone in this streaming sphere, no matter how big or small, is sharing the same struggles. Tango your way down and you may find some useful tips for your own channel.

 

Gimbl: WettDesert, my favorite thing about your Twitch channel is the fact that you can freestyle rap while playing games. Can you tell me a bit more about your passion for music? How did you come up with the rapper persona?

 

Jeff: I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been rapping since I was about 17 years old. It started out as me doing Freestyle Rapping on my own in front of no one else, until I got to college. In college, I met a guy named Shelby who also rapped, but he wrote music rather than freestyle rapping. Long story short, we started making music together and did that for about 4-5 years. We did shows in California for a few years and then once we both graduated college things started to slow down and drift apart. When that happened, I know that I didn’t want to stop doing music, but I wasn’t sure where to go from there.

 

Gimbl: What made you switch from music to game streaming?

 

Jeff: One day I heard about Twitch and at first, I honestly found it odd that people wanted to watch others play video games. But then I found TimTheTatMan and everything made sense to me. Tim was funny, energetic and a blast to watch play video games. Tim’s stream made me realize that I wanted to give streaming a shot as I figured I could combine my previous passion for music with my passion for gaming, allowing me to combine my two favorite things to do. I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to freestyle rap while playing video games as I had never done that before, but I quickly realized that I could do it and knew I would improve with time.

 

Gimbl: If I’m not wrong, you started streaming on Twitch in Mar 2019. It’s less than 2 years and you already have a follower base of 36k followers, which is very impressive. Can you tell me a bit about your adventure into Twitch?

 

Jeff: When I started streaming I had zero followings and I mean zero. I also made a point of not telling anyone I knew personally to come watch my stream as I wanted to see how much I could grow from just exposure on the platform and word of mouth from past viewers. Right now streaming is a part-time job for me where I stream about 100+ hours a month, but I do want to make this a full-time job in the future.

 

Gimbl: That’s a bold move you have made. Did you encounter any difficulties?

 

Jeff: I have encountered several difficulties along this journey. The obvious challenges of toxic viewers have for sure happened, but the main one for me is finding a balance of rapping and not rapping while on stream. New viewers are always very eager to hear a rap, but a lot of the time they will show up and ask me to rap right after I just did 10-15 minutes of rapping. I find it hard to balance this act of rapping and not rapping as I know long time viewers don’t want me to only rap all stream and prefer more quality raps over quantity.

 

Gimbl: So how do you deal with toxic people on chat?

 

Jeff: In the past, I’ve rapped about them which has always gotten them to back down, but I think this also is risky on my part as it can scare the viewer away. My logic with toxic viewers is that they’re probably not toxic and more so are having a bad day or blowing off steam from something that happened outside of my stream. Thinking of it in that way helped me not get upset at them and instead I try to level with them. This tactic has led to several occasions where a very toxic person ends up subbing to my channel once they calm down.

 

Gimbl: I like your approach. Many streamers can ban their viewers in a snap, but they forget those people are human beings with feelings. And more importantly, once we show them we own it, we can convert them and other people in chat into loyal followers. Talking about growing a channel, how did you grow your community?

 

Jeff: For my first 2,500 followers I put my stream title as Freestyle Rap for a Follow. In addition, I did nothing but random duo games where I would rap for my teammate in hopes that they would come by my stream (back then I had Twitch in my Fortnite name) Around the time I hit 2,500 followers, I woke up one day and jumped to about 6,000 followers. Honestly, I thought I got hacked or follow botted or something. After a little research, I realized that a YouTuber by the name of Kaidoz had put me in his video and all the new followers were people who saw me in that video.

 

Gimbl: I watched your streams and I was amazed by your energy as well as the level of interactivity you have with your viewers. Do you have any tips on how to keep conversations going?

 

Jeff: This was something I struggled with at first, but eventually I just let loose and decided I would talk to myself all stream as if there were lots of viewers. It took me 6 months to get 3 average viewers so there were a ton of streams where I sat there and talked as if I had lots of viewers but really had maybe 2 people watching.

 

Gimbl: You’re popular on TikTok too. Did TikTok help in driving traffic to your Twitch channel?

 

Jeff: TikTok has 100% helped drive new traffic to my Twitch. I started TikTok about 8-9 months ago and was blown away by the response I got on my videos I post.

 

Gimbl: If you could give a tip for new and aspiring streamers, what would you say?

 

Jeff: My honest tip here is to start on YouTube and figure out what your content really is. Streaming is great but it’s very easy to stream 10 hours and accomplish nothing. YouTube forces you to organize your thoughts and ideas into a shorter video than a stream would be. Once you get some momentum on YouTube then start streaming from there, so you don’t have to stream to zero viewers at first.

 

Gimbl: Do you have any goals/upcoming plans for your Twitch channel?

 

Jeff: My main goal for my Twitch channel is to hit Partner on Twitch. Once I hit that goal I plan to start a content team where I want to help other content creators grow.

 

Gimbl: Great plan! Thank you very much for talking to us, Jeff. One of the things I try to capture in this talk is the authentic spirit of gamers and the streaming subculture which you embody in an amazing way. Keep up the good work and we wish you well in the future!

 

You can find Jeff’s Twitch channel here.

Want to see more?

Since the launch of the Gimbl blog, we have been working towards interviewing inspirational streamers and gamers to inspire you. If you have great stories to tell and would like to be featured in our #StreamerInsider interviews, email me at [email protected] I’m all ears!
WettDesert
WettDesert@desertwett
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My first thought when I heard about Gimbl was that I wish more big streamers had this on their stream. I would love to go to a big streamers channel and use Gimbl to challenge the streamer. I think that Gimbl has a shot at really taking off as I haven’t seen anything like this before and the idea makes perfect sense with gaming. Also, I think Gimbl is a great way to bring new viewers in your stream by putting challenge me on Gimbl.gg in your stream title for example. The stream title is so important for brining random viewers into your stream and I think having something like Gimbl helps you do this.
AizkaltTV
AizkaltTV@AizkaltTV
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What I love about Gimbl is that by challenging streamers, my viewers have an added value to their donations. At the same time, it makes me feel even more tense/focused and try to go beyond 100%. Gaming is funner that way. For me, Gimbl is a must!
BatQueen
BatQueen@batqueen
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I really like streaming with challenges. Whenever I get some, I'm like "OMG now I need to turn on the tryhard mode". My viewers laugh at me every time.
TiduS
TiduS@ROG_TiduS
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Gimbl is for me an extension that will be essential for all Twitch users. It really changes the streaming experience as viewers can interact with the streamer by challenging them through the platform. The animation of the stream is therefore more fluid and dynamic.
Banksy
Banksy@banksytwitch
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Giml definitely retains viewership and keeps chat up, something that is nice since I'm so focused on the game at times.
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