With the growing interest in game streaming, many gamers are now broadcasting themselves online to both share their gaming interests and to make money.
There are a wide number of game streaming platforms available, including Twitch, HitBox, and YouTube Gaming. If you’re currently considering live streaming, check out the options available to you and choose the platform that is right for your gaming passion.
But whether you’re an experienced live streamer or somebody who is looking to make their first inroads into this potentially profitable pastime, you need to build and retain a streaming audience. The more subscribers you get, the better your chances of making money, and you will increase your network of gaming friends too. In this article, we will give you a few suggestions that we think will be useful to you.
#1: Equip yourself with decent equipment
Live streams with poor audio and visual quality are a major turn-off for gamers, so this is something you need to consider when first setting yourself up. Look online for the best webcams and streaming microphones, and make sure you have a decent internet connection too. The biggest expense might be your gaming rig, especially if you want to stream some of the more memory-intensive gaming titles out there. So, make sure you have the PC to match the titles you choose or research your options if you need to build your computer or purchase something new.
#2: Choose the right games to play
You need to make sure there is an audience interest for the games you decide to live stream. Check out the trending titles on Twitch and other streaming platforms and speak to the people you know about the games they would like to see being played.
Please note: you don’t always need to choose the latest AAA titles. Retro gaming is popular and there are lots of niche titles that people are interested in. However, when choosing games to play, don’t choose those that people are unlikely to have heard of. Yes, you may pick up a few subscribers if you find gamers that are interested in these but your chances of building a large audience will be slim.
#3: Hone your skills as a gamer
You don’t need to be a gaming pro but you do need to be halfway competent with the gaming titles you choose. People watch live streams for gaming tips and speed runs but if you aren’t able to fulfill these needs, you are unlikely to retain your audience members. Do what you can to be a better gamer by practicing titles before you stream them and by watching other live streamers for the tips and tricks you need to play well.
#4: Promote your live streams
You may start to attract a following of people when you sign up to a live streaming platform and start playing. However, to ensure your chances of building a bigger audience, you need to let people know that you are broadcasting. Promote yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels and announce the games you are streaming on gaming forums. Use any promotional tools that are available on the streaming platforms you use. And let your gaming friends know about your live streams and encourage them to share news of your broadcasts with others.
#5: Talk to your audience
If you sit silently while playing, your audience numbers will probably drop. You don’t need to talk continuously, especially during moments when focus is needed for your game. But you should provide some kind of commentary. Share interesting tidbits of advice about the game you are playing, and offer your impressions on particular titles so gamers know whether they are worth playing or not.
If your viewers are invested in you and your games, they will likely post questions in the chat section. Take note of these and any other comments they leave and reply. You will make them feel wanted if you mention them by their chat handle and give them more incentive to tune in to your streams in the future.
#6: Interact with your audience on social media
You don’t have to become Facebook friends with your audience members and subscribers but you should accept them onto the social pages you set up online. You can use these pages to announce your live streams and to stay in touch with your viewers, some of whom might want to get to know you outside of the streaming platform.
Provided the relationships you form with your viewers are purely professional and gaming-related, the social media pages you use can be a healthy place to have conversations with those that are like-minded. You can also encourage your followers to share links to your page and live gaming streams, as this will give you the opportunity to expand your audience.
#7: Give your audience an incentive to return
If your gaming content is useful and if you have managed to build relationships with your followers, they should return to your live streams on a regular basis. However, there is more you can do, especially when you have started to earn money from your gaming. You could give away free giveaways to those who subscribe, for example. These could be digital keys for game items and gift cards or anything else that can be sent online.
Some streaming platforms have systems in place to reward viewers, so take advantage of these. Check out these Twitch rewards, for example. With so many live streamers out there, anything you can do to ensure people return to you is worth taking advantage of, so research further ways to reward and incentivize your viewers to ensure they regularly return to you.
Don’t expect to build a massive audience overnight. It takes time, as many live streamers will tell you. So, don’t be disheartened if audience members trickle rather than flood in. Consider our suggestions and then speak to the live streamers you follow online for their personal advice. Provided they don’t see you as a competitive threat, you should gain useful insights that can help you build an audience for your live streaming broadcasts.