How To: Get Started as a Streamer

How To: Get Started as a Streamer

Two weeks ago we had a look at what kind of equipment a new streamer might use to get started out. This week’s “Gimbl How To” is all about putting that brand new equipment to good use and getting started as a streamer!

Even Ninja started out somewhere, and who knows, you might just be the next streaming sensation!

Sticking to a manageable schedule

Let’s think of streams like a TV show. If the show you like is on TV at different times and different days each week, how will you ever be able to watch it? Streaming is a lot like that. You’re going to be building an audience from scratch, and getting those first viewers to come back is SUPER important.

Consistency is key. Pick a few days a week when you’re going to stream, and stick to similar times. For example, streaming on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8pm to midnight. Put the schedule in your channel description, and stick to it. This way, if anyone stumbles onto your stream and wants to come back again, it’ll be really easy for them to do that.

Don’t forget you still have work, or school, and the rest of your life. If you overdo your streaming schedule, you won’t be able to keep it up. Start slow, and work your way up. Three days a week is already a HUGE change to whatever your regular routine was before.

Set up your scenes

We spent some time talking about broadcasting software in our last article, and now it’s time to talk about what you need to actually do with it.

There are easy things streamers can do to make their streams look a LOT more professional. For instance, using a plugin or widget that announces new followers gives people an incentive to press “follow” and have their username seen by the entire stream. Or, for example, having your in-game goals listed in a top corner so your viewers can follow along with your progress as you tick them off (this also gives viewers an idea of the content to come and can boost retention!).

Another simple, yet effective, tool is to have a plugin or widget connected to your music streaming account that displays song information about your background music for any viewers that love your taste in music.

Stream titles

This is an aspect of streaming that many don’t recognize the importance of when getting started as a new streamer. Always remember that before people have seen you and fallen in love with your content (we’re an optimistic bunch, here at Gimbl.gg), people need to choose your stream to click on in the first place.

How do real, legitimate, human viewers choose which streamer to watch? They generally look at everyone streaming a particular game, and then look at the stream title.

If you’re playing Fortnite, for example, and your stream title is “Playing with friends”, that tells prospective viewers almost NOTHING about the kind of content that you’re offering. All they know is that you likely aren’t playing alone and that you’re probably streaming in English. Not exactly the most enticing of pitches there.

Take the following:

[ENG] Fortnite Trios w/ bros – Aiming for Level 40 Battle Pass [1080p/60fps/PC]

What does this tell us about the stream?

  • The stream is in English ( [ENG] )
  • The streamer is playing with two other people (Fortnite Trios)
  • You’re playing with people he has a real connection with (w/ bros)
  • The streamer is completing a number of challenges and has a goal (Aiming for Level 40 Battle Pass)
  • It’s a high quality stream (1080p/60fps)

Keep talking

Chances are that as you get started as a streamer, you’ll be spending some time streaming to no one, or fewer than ten people. What a lot of new streamers don’t realize, though, is that the only way to attract a larger audience is to act like you already have one.

If a viewer clicks on your stream and sees you silently playing a game with a neutral expression on your face, they’re going to click away. Not “they might” click away, or “they’re likely to” click away. They WILL click away from your stream.

Streamers are, first and foremost, entertainers. It might feel weird to talk to noone, but the more energetic, entertaining, and engaging you seem to people who stumble across you, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around and continue watching, maybe even follow you.

TIP! Be happy! People aren’t going to commit their time to watching someone complain about how noone is watching them! Keep things upbeat and energetic. It’s like the old cliche, you attract a lot more flies with honey!

Interact!

One of the most essential things to remember as you get started as a streamer is that streamers live and die by their viewers. Where streamers have the upper hand over people who produce pre-recorded content like YouTubers is that streamers have the ability to interact with their audience in real-time!

Make it a point to glance at your stream’s chat regularly. Nothing makes a viewer feel more special than feeling seen and heard. Your viewers are likely to make comments, ask questions, and post advice. While you’re still getting started as a streamer, it’s SUPER important to engage with them and respond. They’re MUCH more likely to follow you and to return to later streams, as well as stick around in the current stream for much longer.

Also, if you have viewers but nothing is going on in your chat, get the ball rolling! Ask your viewers questions, invite them to share their own opinions or experiences. When people pop in and see an active chat and a responsive streamer, it encourages them to stick around!

Plug, plug, plug!

You already have social media profiles. The average person has 7 social media accounts, and you need to be milking yours for all they’re worth.

Chances are that at least a few of your friends are gamers too, and they might be MORE than interested in watching your stream. Not only that, but your closest friends and family are likely to want to help you succeed by sharing your posts about your streams and encouraging their own network to watch and share.

Post a few hours before your stream to let people know when to expect you, and post again just as you’re starting to stream, so people know to tune in!

Once you have a few followers under your belt, consider making profiles specifically for your streamer handle, so that people who don’t know you personally have somewhere to follow you outside of the streaming platform.

Get friendly with the competition

It’s easy to think of other streamers as rivals. You’re all competing for eyeballs, after all. But the best thing you can do is start networking and connecting with other streamers.

More experienced streamers will likely be able to give you tips and tricks to help you get ahead. Not to mention, it’s just healthy to make friends with people who you can share experiences with.

In more practical terms, you can team with other streamers, or play matches against them (depending on the game), which can expose you both to each other’s audiences. As you get started as a streamer, it’s important to focus on your visibility and getting your name and face in front of as many people as possible, and you don’t have to do it all by yourself!

The most important thing about networking, though, is raiding. Raiding is when streamers host each other’s streams on their channel.

For example, if you stream every Friday night from 8 to 11pm, and you know a streamer who streams from 10pm to 2am, you could host their stream on your channel when you finish up for the night. This would mean that that streamer gets more views than they normally would, and they’re likely to host your stream too.

Just make sure to ask the streamer before hosting their stream. 99% of them will say something along the lines of “OMG yes, please! Thank you so much!”, but it’s always just more polite to ask before hosting their content on your stream.

Sign up at Gimbl.gg!

Now that you know how to get started as a streamer, you need to build your audience and hopefully monetize your stream. Most streaming platforms have very specific rules about which streams can be monetized, as most of their revenue comes from advertising. Most streamers typically go more than six months before being able to monetize their content.

With Gimbl.gg, all you’ll need to do is sign up as a Streamr and you can monetize your content from the get-go.

Gimbl.gg will allow Viewrs to set challenges to Streamrs (e.g. get 10 headshots this round). When the Streamr succeeds, they’ll get the reward that the Viewr pledged. This means that not only is your stream a LOT more engaging for your audience (i.e. more likely to retain viewers); but you’ll also be able to start generating revenue from your stream!

Head to https://gimbl.gg now to sign up for early access!

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