As my summer vacations start, I suddenly find myself with the opportunity to actually invest time and energy into improving and developing my channel on Twitch. While watching other people’s streams I see so many great examples of communities and interactions that I really look forward to having the time to spend time on developing my own. When I talk about investing time to improve my channel, I’m not referring to either viewers or general growth, more about promoting interaction, engagement and addressing issues which have been nagging at me for sometime. So here, in bite size chunks, are what I have done or what I am planning on doing.
First up is the software I am using. I have been using OBS since I started to stream back in 2010 but decided that it was probably time for a change. I have used a variety of chat programs from Nightbot through to paying for Deepbot. One which I used for a considerable amount of time was Ankhbot and after realising (I’m slow which things like this) that Streamlabs Chatbot was the same I decided to make a move to this. And, in order to complete the perfect pairing, I switched to Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS). It has taken me a while to transfer everything across but I am making progress. So far, most things are great and Streamlabs has an excellent support chat channel on Discord, so they are getting bombarded regularly. Their help is appreciated.
Change in practice
Someone told me via a Discord private message that lurkers do not like to be engaged with and that this could actually lead to me losing followers and viewers. I was the type of streamer who, mainly because of the small viewing figures, would pounce on anyone in the chat as they appeared and welcome them. I’ve changed this now, so that I only engage with people who are chatting. I am also trying to talk more to the camera rather than my monitor to the side. The one to the left side has the chat on and I often find myself chatting to that rather than the camera when answering questions. I’m also continuing to try to not get too anxious when things go wrong with the technical side of things. You can usually see this because I look very pale and break out in a cold/hot sweat! Positivity and humour are now two of my favourite words!
Trying to be creative
I am probably the least creative person around! I have been watching a wealth of videos about how to improve my channel and many talk about uniqueness. In order to promote this I have created my own overlay – which I am still not happy with and will be changing shortly, and I’m venturing into the world on creating my own alerts and unique button pushes. AlphaGaming, the person’s who’s videos I have found very helpful, actually comments about hiring someone else to create the new alerts etc, but I am both stubborn and too poor to do this, so I am afraid people will just have to suffer my own creations – until I succumb and pay someone!
Content and Frequency
Being on vacation also means I have some extra time on my hands. Rather than spending this procrastinating about streaming, I am trying to hit those buttons and actually stream. I know I will not be able to maintain this once I get back to work, but I thought I would have a go at increasing my presence on Twitch while I can. Interestingly enough, a lot of my medical problems seem to disappear or are reduced when I am not at work and concentrating on streaming. One day I will write a waffle about why I started to stream and that last comment will make more sense. I am also looking at increasing content. For example – I only used to stream Elder Scrolls Online while leveling characters but I have actually started to do some battleground to expand my content. Other games are on their way – just need to think about concepts for them – I’ve already mentioned how uncreative I am so this takes some time!
Rewarding my viewers
I am very lucky to have a community on my stream. Many people are regular visitors and it is really nice to feel supported. Some people donate money or bits and some even go the extra mile and subscribe! But I really do appreciate the people that visit every time I stream, provide advice, lurk in my chat or contribute to the discussion. I really want to acknowledge my thanks to these people so I am working on bringing back my currency – ‘waffles’. These will be given out for time spent in the chat and I have some extra ideas to acknowledge those viewers who chat or provide valuable information and advice while I am playing in the games. This is why I am changing my overlay since although I am appreciative of people who decide to follower, the proclaiming of these is something which often causes me problems – especially when people create false trolling accounts and follow in order to get their name on the screen! I will now be sharing the people who are top of my currency, which will be reset every month, on my screen – with extra currency for those helpers/chatters. More on this in the future!
So that’s it! I am planning on implementing all these things over the forthcoming weeks, so stay tuned. As well as implementing them I am also going to try and maintain them and be consistent. One piece of advice I have taken onboard is one which a Youtuber mentioned about the famous streamer – Ninja. It is important to work on your stream and grind at it – both which I am prepared for and will be doing over the next few weeks – let the grinding begin!