Top tips for Twitch streaming (2020)

Here’s how you can grow your channel.

Streaming in 2020 has become a very appealing prospect as more people are looking for ways to continue to make friends and socialize while stuck at home. It has become easier than ever, and it’s not just limited to games either, as people with a plethora of talents have taken to live streaming their craft. 

The advent of multiple choices in broadcasting software is suited to all technical levels. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 and 5 and the Xbox One and Series X/S have made streaming directly from console to Twitch a breeze.

However, with more users comes more competition for viewers, and making headway in such a congested space is incredibly tough and requires more work than simply going live and playing a game. By following these tips, you give yourself the best opportunity to get the viewers you need to be successful on Twitch.

Engage with your viewers

One of the easiest ways to start your community is to make anyone who visits your stream feel welcome. The best way you can do this is by making sure that you are always chatting and talking, regardless of whether people are in your chat. If you can talk as though you always have an audience, you’ll have comfortable viewers who are happy to chat with you.

Turning off the active viewer count for your stream can help with this. Peering at the count is an easy way to discourage you from talking consistently, and seeing a low number is a surefire way to get discouraged, especially when you first start out.

Set a schedule and stick to it

Consistency in your stream schedule is the key to allowing your audiences to tune in regularly. It’s not always possible to stream at the same time each week, but if you can find a time that you can keep to, it’s definitely an easy way to retain viewers.

Making your schedule available to your audience is easy. You can either put your schedule in your About section, or you can place it on your profile so that anyone coming in on mobile will also be able to access it. To do this, head to your channel, and under your profile picture will be a tab for your Schedule; then, hit the button on the right that says Edit Schedule.

Consider using a Face camera

Image via PlayStation

Being able to demonstrate your personality on stream is helpful in getting viewers invested in you. Placing a face to the voice makes you easier to recognize, so if you are able to add a camera with your face to the stream, it is recommended.

This is not to say those that do not have a face camera can’t be successful on Twitch. It’s especially not as easy if you are streaming on consoles, but almost all of the most successful streamers show themselves on screen, so using one is proven to be the more successful approach.

Good quality audio is essential

Just like having a camera can help your stream, a good quality microphone will make the listening experience far more pleasurable for the viewer. Using the microphone from a headset or a webcam microphone may work fine when in a game party, but usually, it’s not quite up to scratch for a stream.

If you can invest in an external microphone, you will immediately hear an improvement to your voice quality that makes listening to the stream more pleasant. It doesn’t need to be an expensive microphone either. A good value USB cardioid condenser microphone under the $50 mark can take your stream to the next level.

If that isn’t an option for you, free software such as Voicemeeter can offer settings to improve your set-up, with EQ settings and a voice ceiling to reduce unwanted background noise.

Watch your VODs to improve quality

This one might seem like an obvious one, but if you feel as though you are not growing as you should, take a look back through your videos and watch them. The easiest way to find if something doesn’t seem right is to see it from the viewer’s perspective. Watch where you think there are quiet spots in your chat and look for a potential cause.

Your streams are saved in the Videos section on your channel, with videos from up to 14 days kept, and 60 days worth if you are a Partner, Turbo, or Prime Gaming user. However, you will need to ensure that your previous broadcasts are being saved in your settings to allow this. You can find the setting on your Creator Dashboard, heading into Preferences, and then Channel. The option is called Store past broadcasts.

Network with other streamers

Twitch algorithms make being discovered by new users almost impossible if you’re a small streamer looking to grow. Partners tend to get priority for those searching on game categories, making those who tend to stream more saturated games, such as Call of Duty or Fortnite, extremely difficult to discover outside of the top few people.

This is where social media can be a tool for good. It requires time and effort, but get involved with other streamers on places like Facebook, Twitter, and Discord. Interact and spend time with others on social media or in their stream, especially people with small to medium-sized communities, as you will find that typically they are in the same position as you and will want to repay you in kind by checking your stream.

The worst thing you can do is to go into a network of people and expect them to support you. Not only does this come off as needy, but it’s a poor attitude to take with those you want to have on your side.

Use tools like SullyGnome to help you grow

Data is your friend and lay out the facts about how your stream is performing. This is why utilizing stream analytics tools such as SullyGnome can be extremely helpful to find out where growth opportunities are or where you could improve.

It can present data about each of your streams, including when viewers were watching and how each game performed compared to the typical average. While it doesn’t say exactly what you need to do to improve, it’s easy to pick up on basic trends. For example, if you start off a stream strong with a good viewer count but start to lose viewers within the final third hour of your stream, it could be a sign that you will see better results with shorter streams.

It also provides a game picker tool that calculates which games could help you with growing your channel based on analytics of both your channel and Twitch in general. That said, it is a tool that should be taken as gospel and should only be used as advice to get the viewers you would like to see on your channel.

If the fun stops, stop

Streaming can be a lot of fun, but it’s just like any activity that you enjoy. If you do too much of it, you will eventually burn out on it. Taking on Twitch is tough, can be very stressful, and typically takes a long time to get to where you want to be, and the last thing you will want to do is bring stress into your sessions that are meant to be enjoyable. If you are not having fun, or you feel like you are burning out, take a break from it and come back fresh.