Streaming on Twitch is one of the more popular career choices nowadays, especially amongst the newer generations. It is fun to do, doesn’t require a large investment for you to start, and can help you earn quite well if you are successful.
Some people also stream as a fun hobby. Having only a few viewers and interacting with them is cozy and heartwarming most of the time.
All of this requires you to know how to set up and start your stream on Twitch. And, since you are already reading this article, you’re probably looking to get more familiar with the process!
Worry not, because this guide contains all the answers.
Creating And Setting Up Your First Twitch.tv Account
To stream on Twitch you need to create an account on the official website.
Please note that the username you set during this phase will be the name of your channel, which you can always change later on. However, username changing is allowed only once in sixty days.
So, it is recommended that you think of something you would like to use for the long term.
If the username you had in mind is unavailable, or you’re eager to learn more about Twitch usernames in general, we have a guide that can help you understand the system behind it.
Then, the only thing left is confirming your e-mail and logging into your freshly-made Twitch account. Before you move on to the next steps, it is recommended that you customize your profile a bit. This is not mandatory, but it will help you present yourself as a serious streamer in front of the audience.
Customizing Your Profile And The Importance Of It
Viewers often get “attached” to the streamers they watch on the regular. But, of course, this is because Twitch differs from YouTube in many ways, and content isn’t the only key factor.
Most of the time, viewers choose their favorite streamer based on the personality, how they interact with the chat, their hobbies, the genre of games they play, and many more.
So, why is this important?
Well, by customizing your Twitch profile, you show the audience your dedication and seriousness about the channel, and it makes you stand out more. Plus, by making it easier for the viewers to follow you on social media, you increase the chances of building a large and active community.
Listing your system specs, for example, is also a good idea. By doing so, your viewers can get at least somewhat of a picture of what types of games you’ll be able to play.
Custom overlays and graphics are always attractive. Note how some of the larger and well-established channels have cool graphic designs in the “about” section. Some streamers choose a theme color and build their channel around it.
For example, s1mple, one of the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamers, aims for the yellow-themed look. On the other hand, Shroud, also one of the most well-known streamers globally, focuses on building the channel around the light blue color theme.
There aren’t rules to this, and you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, but it does help your channel become more unique and interesting.
Now that you’re done with customizing, it’s time to choose your preferred Streaming Software.
Choosing Your Streaming Software
There are many options when it comes to choosing your main streaming software. First, however, you need to settle on one and master it.
To help you, here are some of the popular streaming programs and a brief description of each one of them.
Nothing can be more intuitive and easy to use when it comes to streaming on Twitch. Twitch Beta Studio is built for this platform.
This app is developed by the Twitch team, and it makes everything so much easier, even if you have zero previous experience with streaming or Twitch in general.
It includes a guided setup that will get you ready for streaming in under five minutes.
Twitch Beta Studio also allows you to choose from several customizable templates, so you don’t need to hire a graphics designer or work that Photoshop yourself. Instead, you can focus on what matters the most, and that’s growing your channel.
OBS, also known as Open Broadcaster Software, is an open-source streaming program used by thousands of live streamers.
A lot of popular Twitch streamers consider OBS the “OG” of live-streaming programs.
You can use OBS to stream on many other platforms as well, not just Twitch. It’s lightweight, stable, and easy to install. Although the UI may not be the “friendliest” one users have seen so far, you won’t even think about switching to something else once you get used to it. OBS does its job perfectly.
If you’d like to know how to add Twitch chat to OBS in the form of a dockable window, we have a guide covering this exact topic, so it will be of great use to you!
XSplit Broadcaster has some nice features and a user-friendly overlay, which are great things for both new and experienced streamers.
One thing that users seem to like the most about XSplit Broadcaster is the infinite amount of scenes and sources that you can add. This is very useful for professional streams, and it’s one of the main reasons so many organizations use it.
It also has a built-in video editor which can help you create fun-to-watch content for YouTube on the go. Overall, it’s a solid choice, and you won’t go wrong if you choose it.
This one is considered the slightly more user-friendly version of the original OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s also used by many streamers, including some really popular ones.
If you are a beginner, this is one of the best choices for you. Streamlabs OBS is very easy to navigate, and the user interface is great because it’s pretty self-explanatory. With that in mind, you won’t be needing a lot of time before you successfully do your first stream with it!
Plus, it’s already so popular and you can easily find tutorials and guides covering its main features.
If you already have an NVIDIA GPU, you don’t need to download any other third-party software to stream on Twitch. You can use ShadowPlay.
While NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay app is relatively easy to use, you should know that it doesn’t offer as much customization and freedom as some of the other apps that you can find above, such as OBS or Twitch’s Beta Studio.
In terms of performance though, it runs great. A nice choice for casual streamers.
Twitch Has Recommendations As Well
If you are still not sure which one of these programs to choose, you can take a look at Twitch’s list of recommended streaming programs. Twitch also states that doing your research is very important, as every software has its pros and cons that you need to factor in as a potential streamer.
Not every one of these is equal to your needs.
Starting Your First Livestream
Starting your first live stream should be one of the most exciting moments in your potential future career.
Before you click that “Go Live” button, it is suggested that you take a look at Twitch’s Community Guidelines. It’s important to know what’s allowed on this platform and what may get your channel flagged for inappropriate content.
It’s also important to enable two-factor authentication on Twitch before you start building your channel. Security matters a lot, especially if you manage to grow your channel successfully into something much larger.
The actual process of starting your first live stream on Twitch will depend on the software you chose. Regardless, once you have everything set up, you simply click “Go Live,” and that’s pretty much it.
Streaming has a lot more to do with proper interaction and being entertaining to your viewers. The “technical” side of it is something you will learn in less than one day.
So, if you are fun to watch or you’re exceptionally good at a certain game, your channel will grow no matter what streaming software you chose or how expensive your equipment is.
Other Useful Things You Need To Know
Here are a few friendly tips to help you get going. Being a Twitch streamer is not easy at all due to the competition you have to face. However, these may help you “kickstart” your experience.
Creating A Regular Streaming Schedule Helps A Lot
Most beginners underestimate the importance of having a streaming schedule. They stream whenever they feel like it, and streams also don’t last for the same duration each time.
Why is this a bad thing?
Well, your viewers need to organize their time to tune in and watch you play. So, if they know you are streaming every other day, they can create a gap in their schedule and spend some time on your channel.
However, if you are not constant and let them down regularly, they’ll find a streamer who’s more organized and on point with the schedule.
Hiring A Chat Moderator Is Important
The things people say in the chat section during streams are not always the friendliest or the smartest things you’ll read. Unfortunately, such comments can make it less attractive for your other viewers to stay and spend time on your channel.
Needless to say, it’s really important to have a moderated chatroom.
Now, there are two ways you can do this. Either organically, which requires you to hire a moderator, or by using a bot on your channel. One of the most popular solutions is Nightbot.
Organically Growing Your Channel Will Yield The Best Results
What this means is listening to what your community needs and wants, as well as utilizing their feedback.
If they say your microphone doesn’t sound good and makes the stream unpleasant to watch, your main goal should be to replace your old one or fiddle around with the settings until you make it better. On the other hand, if everything is perfect -equipment and tech-wise- and they 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 demands. For example, they play games that the community chose or spend some time talking and interacting within the chat instead of playing.
These things help you build your channel organically.
So try them out!
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 the trends; however, you should be unique in your way. Find your niche and set yourself apart!
Copying what other, more successful streamers do is not a bad idea, but you can’t base your entire channel on that. There can’t be a second Shroud or another Pokimane. If people wanted to see what those streamers do, they would 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.
If you decide to put a lot of time and effort into building your audience and improving your stream, you can easily turn this into a full-time job.
After all, who doesn’t love playing games and earning money by doing so?