Streaming on Twitch is an increasingly popular career choice, particularly among the younger generations. It is fun, doesn’t require a large investment to start, and can potentially earn you a lot of money when done right.
Some people also stream as a hobby, without ambitions of significant growth. Having a few familiar viewers and interacting with them is enough for many streamers and is a fairly realistic, modest goal.
Whatever your goals on Twitch, you must know how to set up and broadcast your stream before you begin. If you are reading this article, you’re probably looking to do exactly that.
Don’t worry, this guide contains all the answers you will need.
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Creating And Setting Up Your First Twitch Account
To stream on Twitch, you first need to create an account on the official website.
It’s important to know that the username you set at this point will also be the name of your channel, and you will be able to change it later. However, you can only change your username once every sixty days.
It is worth taking the time to think of a username you would like to use for the long term.
If your preferred username is unavailable, or you’re eager to learn more about Twitch usernames in general, we have a guide that can help you understand the username system.
After setting up your username, you only need to confirm your e-mail and log into your brand new Twitch account. Before moving on to the next steps, it is recommended that you take the time to customize your profile. This isn’t mandatory, but it will help you make a stronger first impression on your potential audience members.
Customizing Your Profile And Why It’s Important
Viewers often become “attached” to the streamers they watch regularly. This is because Twitch differs significantly from YouTube; content isn’t the only key factor.
Viewers usually choose their favorite streamer based on their personality, how they interact with their audience, their interests, the genre of games they play, and many other reasons.
Why is this important?
By customizing your Twitch profile, you will make an immediate statement that you are taking your channel seriously, and you give other Twitch users a better sense of your personality. By making it easier for your viewers to follow you on social media, you increase your chances of developing a large and active community.
Listing your system specs, for example, can be a good idea. This information will give your followers some idea of the types of games you will be able to play on your streams.
Custom overlays and graphics will make your profile more visually attractive. Many of the larger and more established channels have cool graphic designs in their “about” sections. Some streamers select a particular color and base their channel’s appearance around it.
For example, s1mple, one of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamers, decided to go with a yellow-themed channel look. On the other hand, Shroud, another of the most well-known streamers globally, designs his channel around a light blue color theme.
There are no rules to this, and you don’t need to do it if you don’t want to, but it will help your channel become more unique and interesting visually, as well as easier to remember.
Now that you’re done customizing, it’s time to choose your preferred Streaming Software.
Choosing Your Streaming Software
There are many available options when it comes to choosing your primary streaming software. You should try to settle on one and master it.
To help you make a decision, here are some of the most popular streaming programs and a brief description of each.
Nothing can be more intuitive and simple to use when it comes to streaming on Twitch. Twitch Beta Studio is built specifically for the platform.
This app is developed by the Twitch team, and it makes streaming very easy, even if you have no prior experience with Twitch or streaming in general.
Twitch Beta Studio includes a guided setup that will get you ready to stream in under five minutes.
The program also allows you to choose from several customizable templates, so you won’t need to hire a graphic designer or purchase a Photoshop subscription. You can focus on what matters the most: growing your channel.
OBS, also known as Open Broadcaster Software, is an open-source streaming program used by thousands of live streamers.
Many prominent Twitch streamers consider OBS the “OG” of live-streaming programs.
You can use OBS to stream on many other platforms, not only Twitch. It’s lightweight, stable, and easy to install. Although the user interface might not be the most straightforward, you will soon learn how to use it and will be unlikely to switch to another application. OBS does its job perfectly.
If you’d like to learn how to add Twitch chat to OBS as a dockable window, we have a guide covering this exact topic!
XSplit Broadcaster has some nice features and a user-friendly overlay, which are highly beneficial for both new and experienced streamers.
One of the most popular features of XSplit Broadcaster is the infinite amount of sources that you can add. This is very useful for professional streams, and one of the main reasons that so many organizations use it.
It also has a built-in video editor, which can help you create content for YouTube on the go. Overall, it’s a solid choice that you won’t regret choosing.
Streamlabs OBS is considered the slightly more user-friendly version of the original OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It is also used by many streamers, including some very popular ones.
If you are a beginner, this is one of the best options for you. Streamlabs OBS is very easy to navigate, and the user interface is pretty self-explanatory. You won’t need much preparation time before successfully broadcasting your first stream with it!
The application’s popularity also means you can easily find tutorials and guides explaining its main features.
If you have an NVIDIA GPU, you don’t need to download any extra third-party software to stream on Twitch. You can simply use ShadowPlay.
While NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay app is relatively easy to use, it doesn’t offer as much customization or freedom as some of the other apps on this list, such as OBS or Twitch Beta Studio.
In terms of performance, it runs great. This makes it a good choice for casual streamers.
Twitch Has Recommendations As Well
If you are still unsure of which program to choose, you can take a look at Twitch’s list of recommended streaming programs. Twitch states that doing your own research is very important, as every application has positives and negatives that you need to consider as a potential streamer.
Not every streaming application will be the right match for your needs.
Starting Your First Livestream
Starting your first live stream should be one of the most exciting milestones in your potential streaming career.
Before you click the “Go Live” button, you should take a look at Twitch’s Community Guidelines. It’s important to understand what is allowed on the platform and what might get your channel flagged for inappropriate content.
It’s also important to enable two-factor authentication on Twitch before building your channel. Security matters a great deal, especially if you successfully grow your channel into something much larger.
The process of starting your first live stream on Twitch will vary based on the software you choose. Once you have everything set up, simply click “Go Live,” and your first stream will be underway.
A successful stream has more to do with interaction and entertainment than it does with technical aspects. The “technical” side of streaming is something you will probably learn in less than a day.
If you are fun to watch or exceptionally good at a certain game, your channel will grow regardless of which streaming software you choose or how expensive your equipment is.
Other Useful Things You Need To Know
Here are a few helpful tips to help you get started. Making a living as a Twitch streamer is not easy at all due to the competition you will face. However, these tips might help you “kickstart” your experience.
Creating A Regular Streaming Schedule Helps A Lot
Most beginners underestimate the importance of having a consistent streaming schedule. They stream whenever they feel like it, and streams don’t last for a similar duration each time.
Why is this a bad thing?
Your viewers need to organize their time if they want to tune in and watch you play live. If they know you stream every other day, they can create a gap in their schedule and watch your channel.
However, if you are not consistent and regularly let them down, they will find a more organized streamer whose schedule they can rely on.
Hiring A Chat Moderator Is Important
Sometimes, people say things in the chat section during streams that are not friendly or respectful. Such comments can ruin the enjoyment of your other viewers and make them less likely to spend time on your channel.
With this in mind, it’s really important to have a moderated chatroom.
There are two ways to achieve this. Your channel can be moderated organically, which requires you to hire a moderator, or you can use a bot. One of the most popular solutions is Nightbot.
Organically Growing Your Channel Will Yield The Best Results
It is important to listen to what your community wants, as well as implementing their feedback.
If they say your microphone sounds bad and makes the stream unpleasant to listen to, you should respond by replacing your old one or adjusting the settings until it sounds better. If everything is technically perfect but viewers demand more interesting content, maybe you should change the types of games you play.
Some very successful streamers have days when they do everything that the community asks. For example, they play games that the community selects or spend some time talking and interacting with their viewers instead of playing.
These ideas will help you grow your channel organically.
Take Examples From Successful Streamers But Don’t Rely On Copying What They Do
Yes, famous streamers usually play the hottest games, and they know how to keep up with trends, but you should try to be unique. Find your niche and set yourself apart!
Copying other, more successful streamers can help if you’re feeling uninspired, but you shouldn’t base your entire channel on that. There can’t be a second Shroud or another Pokimane. If people wanted to see exactly what those streamers do, they would simply watch them instead.
Now that you know how to set up your Twitch channel and start streaming, it is time to explore the wonders of online entertainment and make a name for yourself.
If you decide to put a lot of time and effort into building your audience and improving your stream, you could turn it into a full-time job.
After all, who doesn’t love playing games and earning money while at it?