Becoming an online entertainer in the gaming field is a dream for many individuals. Although it might sound too good to be true, it is possible to earn a living while enjoying your favorite hobby.
Thanks to the many opportunities provided by online streaming platforms, with Twitch being the most popular, starting a career as an online broadcaster is now available to almost anyone.
Although making a start is relatively easy from a technical standpoint, progressing as a Twitch streamer is challenging when there is more competition than ever before. That is especially true for individuals who don’t have any prior streaming experience and have opted to dive right into the deep end.
In this guide, you will find many methods used by top-tier Twitch streamers that you can utilize to increase your viewer count. These should answer the question of how to get more followers on Twitch. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what you need to know.
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Step 1: Understand The Basics Of Twitch
Many popular streamers were once passionate viewers.
Not every streaming platform is the same, and not everyone has experience broadcasting live to a viewing audience. The first and most important thing a streamer needs to do is to get familiar with the platform’s concepts, rules, functions, and policy.
To get started, take a look at the official community guidelines. This will help ensure your channel doesn’t get sanctioned in the future, which is crucial for a successful career as a Twitch broadcaster.
Based on our previous experience with Twitch, we concluded that most mature viewers appreciate broadcasters who adhere closely to the behavior policy. This isn’t always the case and it all depends on the type of audience you’re trying to build. Even so, it is unlikely that many viewers will want to subscribe or donate to a channel that could be banned soon.
We also recommend spending some time on the platform as a viewer. Watch some relevant channels and see how successful streamers communicate with viewers and promote their content.
Remember to stick to the basics if you are entirely unfamiliar with Twitch. Learn how the website works and what the various functions do. Spend some time chatting, follow and unfollow a few channels, add a friend and receive some notifications.
Become a viewer to understand Twitch from the viewer’s perspective.
Once you feel that you have a decent understanding of the platform, it’s time to start thinking of streaming as a job, which is what you ultimately want it to be. Move on to the following section, where we look at investing in your brand-new startup – your Twitch channel.
Step 2: Think Of Twitch Streaming Like Any Other Business
Twitch is a one-person business, and it requires significant investment.
Despite the demands of this career often being underestimated by those who are unfamiliar with the realities of becoming an online entertainer, streaming requires a great deal of dedication and commitment. It could even be far more demanding than a job out in the “real world”.
This is because streaming is all about how you present yourself and your content to others. There will be nobody else you can rely on (or blame) if things don’t work out as you hoped.
Streaming on Twitch also means facing enormous competition, as this career path seemingly becomes more popular every day.
Full-time Twitch streamers are as busy as anyone else, even if their work consists of speed-running video games and chatting with viewers. If you compare your channel to the average startup, you will notice many similarities.
Invest In Your Channel As You Grow – Equipment And Its Importance
We don’t subscribe to the belief that finance should influence and overshadow creativity, but it’s undeniable that having good streaming equipment will make it much easier to grow your audience.
That doesn’t mean you can’t become a successful Twitch streamer without a top-tier microphone or a fancy soundboard. However, there’s a reason why many broadcasters are collecting donations for a new rig, a green screen, or a studio-quality headset.
None of these investments are mandatory but they will help you present yourself in the best possible light for your audience and make your streams more enjoyable to watch.
However, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you cannot purchase all these things at once. Almost none of the top-tier streamers today could afford all that equipment when they first started. After all, content is king.
Here’s a video where you can see how Shroud’s stream looked back in 2013. Compare his beginner setup to the one he currently uses and you will see a tremendous difference.
Do your best to arrange the best possible setup using what you already have. Some costs are unavoidable, such as a stable internet connection and a computer powerful enough for streaming. If you’re serious about broadcasting, you probably already have these at your disposal.
Make sure you tinker with your settings to ensure viewers can see and hear you without any interruptions. That’s what matters the most.
You can then upgrade your setup as you progress, and pay attention to feedback from your viewers on what to improve next.
Invest In Your Channel As You Grow – Emotes, Graphics, And Design
Twitch is special because of the many “smaller” features that other platforms lack. These include custom emotes, donation sounds, and everything else that makes viewers feel like they’re part of a family while watching your stream.
Investing in your channel is not all about the equipment you use. Top-tier channels on Twitch often have other elements that enhance the overall viewing experience.
For example, these include leveling up the channel’s badge with each monthly subscription or unlocking new chat emotes to show off.
Streamers often rely on others to create these features for them, which is rarely free. The more you invest, the higher quality details and the more personalized experience your viewers receive.
This also applies to all the banners and logos in your channel’s introductory section, as well as custom-themed designs for your promotion-oriented social media profiles.
For more information about how to get popular on Twitch, read the following section and learn more about selecting the optimal type of content to stream.
Step 3: Take Time To Analyze The Type Of Content You’re Streaming
The type of content you produce is a major influence on the number of viewers you receive.
Are you the type of streamer who always follows trends and plays the latest releases, whatever the genre? This does increase the odds of good exposure.
Or are you someone who possesses exceptional communication skills and often enjoys broadcasting in the “Just Chatting” section on Twitch? This is also a solid way of getting viewers.
What about someone who is just starting as a gamer and a streamer? Someone who chooses to dedicate their channel to a specific e-Sport title, such as Counter-Strike or League of Legends. These are games for which there already are well-established streamers, most of whom are pro players with thousands of hours played.
Well, that is certainly not the best way to create a path toward solid viewership.
Our point here is this:
Twitch is the home of many broadcasters. According to the statistics, only about ten percent succeed financially on the platform, while the rest struggle to secure a partnership due to poor stats.
Like finding a job anywhere else in the world, you need to offer something that isn’t already easy to find.
If you don’t particularly care about what you stream, and your primary goal is to increase the number of viewers you receive, it’s often a good idea to broadcast games with lower viewer numbers.
This way, you will almost always find a few diehard fans of those games who want to see someone else play them for a change.
This isn’t the only way to get people to watch your streams but it’s important to understand that it’s difficult to compete with broadcasters present on Twitch since its release, streaming games where they are exceptionally skilled.
There’s nothing wrong with streaming a competitive title, but people usually watch competitive games because of the top-level action. Unless you’re exceptionally good at Counter-Strike, for example, like s1mple or Stewie2K, viewers will likely choose their streams instead of yours.
Step 4: Focus On Soft Skills In Addition To Improving Your Gaming Abilities
In the previous section, we discussed streamers earning viewers with their exceptional gaming skills and how you should avoid competing in their area of expertise unless you’re as good as them.
This section focuses on something very different but just as crucial as being skilled at a particular video game.
There are two types of viewers on Twitch. There are those who only care about the gameplay and seeing flashy, perfectly executed in-game plays, and those who are less concerned with how skilled the streamer is but watch for the broadcaster’s personality.
It’s important to display some skill against your in-game opponents and give your viewers something exciting to watch. It’s equally important to be a charismatic and entertaining personality in front of the camera.
For example, Dr DisRespect is one of the most famous video-game streamers, often achieving immense viewer numbers when broadcasting.
He isn’t exceptionally good at the games he plays, though he seemingly believes otherwise, yet he brings other attributes to the table, which have made him a Twitch superstar. His personality is unlike any other Twitch broadcaster, and people enjoy watching him for that reason.
Provide an entertaining act and you can be more interesting than the game itself.
It’s up to you as a streamer to discover the things you’re good at and use them to your advantage as a way to lure in new viewers.
Step 5: Get Familiar With Your Audience
One of the most valuable skills of a Twitch streamer is versatility.
A strong example of a broadcaster who’s versatile with their content is Summit1G. He is the type of streamer who often switches the games he’s playing based on what the viewers want to see. That can be very important when trying to grow your channel.
If your viewers want to watch you play a game of Among Us, there’s no point in switching to something completely different such as PUBG. Your viewership will likely drop as your viewers watch someone else’s stream instead. It has happened countless times before.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with your audience and learn more about why they watch you. That is best done by frequently interacting with your chat but other methods can also be used, such as creating polls and letting your community decide what you do next.
To build a large audience, you need to be brave enough to experiment with different games. If you are a streamer who doesn’t want to commit to a single game, you need a diverse audience to succeed.
Think of it this way. The more genres you have a presence in, the better your chances of earning new viewers. The more you listen to what they have to say, the higher the likelihood that they will remain viewers for a long time.
Sometimes people on Twitch will accidentally find your channel because you’re playing the game they’re looking for. If you are pleasant to watch and your stream is entertaining, they might follow your channel and return to watch you again, even when you’re playing a different game.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to commit to one game but that will limit your channel’s potential growth. Unless you plan to become better than everyone else who is streaming that particular game, which is often near impossible, it’s much better to simply play what the viewers want to watch.
Viewers will often want to see you play the latest releases, which we cover in the next section.
Step 6: Monitor The Latest Trends And Releases
Each new video game release provides an opportunity for Twitch streamers.
It’s amazing how many Twitch streamers became famous purely because they hopped on the hype train early.
This means being among the first streamers to play a freshly-released game before others. This method of following trends works even better if the game is hotly anticipated by many people.
A good example is Among Us, one of the games that have singlehandedly built careers for numerous streamers. When a new game is released, potential buyers will want to see live gameplay, so they often choose any available stream if their favorite broadcaster is not yet playing it.
If you manage to hold onto that swell of new visitors to your stream, you could earn quite a few long-term viewers, which will only help to grow your channel.
In the next section, we explore collaborating with other streamers, which should further answer the question of how to get more viewers on Twitch.
Step 7: Collaborate With Other Streamers To Broaden Your Audience
New streamers often underestimate the power of collaborating and squad streaming.
Collaborating with other streamers often means increasing your chances to earn new viewers, especially if the other streamer is well-established. Think of it like a musician appearing on a song with someone who already dominates the charts.
To create squad streams and find collaboration opportunities, broadcasters usually join streaming teams. To learn more about Twitch Teams and how they work, check out this official article.
Step 8: Don’t Forget To Promote Your Content Outside Of Twitch
Sometimes an exciting moment going viral is all it takes to become a recognized Twitch streamer.
As important as it is to advertise on Twitch, it’s equally helpful to promote your channel on other websites.
Doing so won’t clash with Twitch’s policy in any negative way, as some users might fear. It’s something you should focus on in your free time if getting new viewers is your goal.
Post highlights of your gameplay, funny moments, fails, and chat interactions, and don’t be afraid to do so frequently. Anything that might interest someone or grab their attention is useful. Make sure to always include a link to your Twitch channel when promoting on other sites and platforms. Reddit and YouTube work best, but there are many other options available as well.
If you have the budget, a digital marketing agency can manage your socials while you focus on your Twitch channel itself.
Step 9: Create A Streaming Schedule
Creating a schedule demonstrates dedication and commitment
One of the main mistakes made by beginner Twitch streamers is being inconsistent with their broadcasts. That often leads to viewer disappointment and can sabotage your channel’s growth.
Adhering to a streaming schedule means your viewers will be able to organize their time around it. It also reduces the chances of them missing your stream due to uncertainty.
Regularly look at your statistics and interact with your viewers. This will give you a deeper understanding of where they’re from and at what times of day they prefer watching Twitch streams. This method will help you avoid situations where your viewers are unable to tune into your stream because it occurs too late at night or during working hours.
Planning your broadcasts is not only about when you will stream but also the type of content you will be streaming.
Some popular Twitch streamers have days where they allow their viewers to decide what they’ll play. Unsurprisingly, those are often the days that they have the highest viewer counts.
If some of your viewers want to see you play your main game, while others want to watch you try a variety of games chosen throughout the stream, it can be difficult to satisfy both sides. However, with proper scheduling, you can designate streaming days dedicated to each part of your audience. In the long term, this will maximize your viewer count and help you avoid disappointing your fans.
You can also schedule days on which you play with followers and subscribers. The more organic interaction you have with your viewers, the higher the chances that they will remain fans of your stream for a long time.
Step 10: Focus Purely On Organic Channel Growth
A dozen long-term followers are worth a lot more than a thousand temporary ones.
In the battle for coveted exposure on Twitch, people utilize numerous tricks to increase the amount of attention their channel receives. It’s often tempting to utilize these so-called “black-hat” methods for temporary channel growth, but it’s important to understand that it isn’t worth it in the long term.
Many online services offer to increase your viewer count for financial gain. However, this is only temporary and carries many risks, one of which is being banned from Twitch.
Based on what top-tier broadcasters have shared, nothing beats hard work, dedication, and organic growth when pursuing success on this platform.
Instead of spending your budget to get a few bots to watch your stream, use it to improve the soundproofing in your streaming room or invest in a rig upgrade. This will be a long-term benefit to your streaming career, while these short-term solutions are temporary and not worth it.
Organic channel growth goes a long way.
Hopefully, you now know a good deal more about how to grow your Twitch channel. You’re probably also aware that success on Twitch is no easy task. However, anything is possible with enough hard work and dedication, and we believe you have what it takes to achieve it.
Monetizing your work is also very important throughout your Twitch journey, as this keeps the lights on and allows you to invest further in your channel. We cover this in one of our guides, which you can find here.
The first steps are often the most difficult but don’t let that discourage you from pursuing your goals as a Twitch broadcaster.