"Hard Work" and "Efficient Work" When Growing On Twitch
Growing on Twitch becomes harder and harder as the site keeps getting bigger.
There are many different guides on how to grow on Twitch on the internet. All those guides have the same steps of having a consistent schedule, of not calling out lurkers, of welcoming everyone that comes into your chat.
A common complaint that I see in regards of a person's channel not growing is something among the lines of "I work really hard and it doesn't yield results!"
Growing on Twitch becomes harder and harder as the site keeps getting bigger, especially with the Affiliation program in mind luring in new people to stream.
I've been streaming on Twitch for almost two years now and I have still a lot to learn but I certainly know what works and what doesn't. I fully understand that it's easy to get bitter when you don't yield results, but an important thing to remember is that you have to figure out as to WHY you're not yielding results.
For the first year of my stream career I worked hard and it wasn't only until recently that I started to work efficiently. I found astrology (I'm just kidding).
I'm what people would call an "unique" streamer. I look different than most, and usually I put in more work into my stream than the majority of others.
During my first year of streaming I put a TON of work into my stream; the alerts, the overlay, the audio, the webcam, the streaming hours, the interaction, the following of the rules. I had 7+ streams every day, had a consistent schedule, didn't miss a day for over a year. Yet my channel saw barely any growth. I watched my friends' channels explode and quite honestly felt bitter. It left me in a position of thinking "I work harder than those streamers, why do they get the attention and I don't?!"
It seemed like I did the exact same things they did yet I didn't have any luck. I KNEW that I was more charismatic, I KNEW that I was more entertaining.
Growing on Twitch goes beyond that. The thing about that is that you only see what the streamer does live and on social media, you don't see all the behind the scenes stuff that they spend 8+ hours on.
And quite honestly, I and my stream looked like garbage. Fabulous garbage but still garbage. It took me a while to find makeup that matched my skin tone but BESIDE THE POINT!
I didn't watch VoDs. That's the first mistake. I got trough the stream, took my makeup off, and then passed out right after. I didn't even know how my stream was doing, without watching my VoDs I had no clue whether I would even watch my own stream. It's very difficult to see outside of your own head.
I only hung out in two other streams. Those two streamers were friends of mine and they also streamed 12 hours after I would end my stream. I would wake up and watch the first stream, then browse Reddit and YouTube and whatever, streamed, watched the second stream, and then went to bed. I made no effort to make friends or to get my name out there, absolutely none.
I didn't even host/raid anyone after the stream most times. When I did, I would post a raid message, host the person, and make no effort to go into that person's channel. More often I hosted wrong people, like hosting Bob Ross or hosting people that were corporations and would stream a thing once a month. I made no effort to build relationships or friendships.
I had two Twitters, one my main Twitter and the other Twitter for my stream. I didn't mention my stream on my main Twitter at all, and only used my stream Twitter to say "Hi! I'm going live now! [link]" and "Thanks for joining the stream!". I would literally just sign into the Twitter JUST to say that I am live and that I am done streaming.
My stream Twitter was a mess, too. I followed only those auto-retweeter accounts, and made little effort to follow actual people, much less actual streamers. Eventually my Twitter feed became nothing but people using Twitch auto-retweeters to sell Black Ops 2 accounts and shady looking Elgatos.
I once paid some bald dude $5 to give me a script that auto-follows everyone on Twitter that has "twitch", "destiny" and "streamer" in their bio for some hot follow4follow action. (And guys, don't do that.)
But hey, I had a webcam, I had a mic, I had a bot, I was interactive with people that came into my stream. Obviously I should have partnership at that point, right?
First change I did is to find makeup that matched my own skintone and stopped wearing fake lashes. I no longer looked as if I had about three terminal diseases and glaucoma. I'm now down to just one disease.
Due to some life issues relating to a touching backstory, I was never good at making friends and socializing. That attributed to my stream growth. Being an introvert won't lead you very far in life.
I went trough a lot of games before settling on being a Destiny streamer (still am, still want Shaxx's--- that's another thing). Being a variety streamer is a horrible way to keep an audience, you have to be a special kind of entertaining so that people would tune into no matter what game you stream.
Back then, Destiny was one of the top 10 games on Twitch. That's a genius idea in itself to stream an overly saturated game. I wasn't even good at the game. I didn't TRY to be good at the game. The rankings went something like this:
- The Giants
- The Raid helpers
- The Trials helpers
- The Really Good At PVP people.
- The Really Charismatic people
- The Thousands of Streamers with 2 viewers below them.
I was about 15 ranks below that last rank. The "Disease, Famine, and just Overall Backwardness" rank. And there I was being bitter about my stream not going anywhere for about a year. Isolating myself from everyone.
And then I started making friends. I did follow a lot of people but didn't necessarily watch them. I started to spend more time in other channels, I became a regular in a lot of communities. I did not once mention that I'm a streamer (unless it was relevant to the conversation).
I started to use my Twitter more often; unfollowed all those auto-retweeters and followed actual people and became engaged in their tweets. Retweeted when people were going live.
Also, a general thing about auto-retweeters: Everyone uses them to get retweeted, no one uses them to find streamers to watch.
The more engaged I became with people the less bitter I started to be, and the more my own stream started to grow. These streamers became actual friends. To the point where I was completely emotionally ruined for a week when I found out that I won't be able to afford GuardianCon.
It might be different for a different directory, but the principle is still the same: you won't grow if you isolate yourself and actually review your own work.
It turns out that I don't even put in half the effort the majority of other streamers put in (and every time I slack with my usual routine, my channel suffers).
The "more popular than me" streamers interact in other streamers' Discords, organize charity events, giveaways, fun bot games, podcasts, interviews, sign up constantly to get interviewed, show interest in podcasts, sign up for important community events, constantly LOOK for important community events.
It all comes down to getting your name out there and being a positive and supportive influence in the directory you stream it, plus the usual Twitch both written and unwritten rules.
Support and work with people in the same situation as you. Having a multi stream with a streamer with 10x viewers as you will not be beneficial, raiding and hosting Gothalion after your stream will not be beneficial either.
Don't ever support people JUST so that they would give support back. That's how you lose support. Don't ever go into another stream and say "OHAI I AM STREAMER TOO" because that's how you get banned.
Watch your own VoDs and take notes. I don't care if you don't like your own voice, get the hell over it. If you don't like your own voice chances are that majority of people won't like it either. Take notes about weird speech habits, about off putting things you do without noticing, take notes on how you talk to people and learn from other streamers.
A lot of people also have life stuff, they can't join your stream when they're at work, or spending time with family, or doing homework.
The majority of people that are seen complaining about The Grind(tm) they are never seen around, they are never seen being part of communities, only tweeting on Twitter.
If it feels like The Grind, you should either stop, or try to improve. Find the root of the problem. For example, being a "console streamer" is no excuse, I've seen console streamers get partnered. It just means that you have to put in maybe two times the work in networking/making friends.
It could also be you and your own personality.
The point is, that everything can be improved if you're willing to take the time to improve it.
If you can't find the problem, DM fellow streamers. Ask them to critique your stream (but don't get angry if you get negative critiques).
Borderline whining, being bitter on social media, insulting the community, insulting the community leaders, and in general being a toxic influence will ENSURE that no one wants to work or support you.
I'm not sure how to end articles or make articles a reasonable length, but I hope this helped you.