The Guide to Streaming

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to have a successful stream channel and attract a loyal fan base. Sometimes people don’t have the time or resources to build a successful production. Maybe they aren’t as skilled or entertaining as other streamers. And perhaps many times, hopeful streamers just get lost in the ocean of channels are vying for people’s eyeballs and directed attention. There are winners and losers just like any game. If you want to give it a go, however, this starter guide will help by giving you a few pointers to get you off on the right track.

Choose a Platform, Choose a Game

The first thing you need to do is choose a platform. Are you a console gamer or PC gamer? You’re both? Then choose the platform that has a game you are proficient at and also is popular. An easy way to measure the most sought after gameplay titles is to view Twitch and sort by games. Anything that stays below 1000 concurrent viewers is probably a no go. The next step is creating an account. Twitch sort of has a monopoly on streaming so that’s going to be your best bet for now. By getting an account you will be able to communicate with other streamers, users, and follow other channels. This is a good idea if your starting out because you can follow the most successful streamers for your selected game and see what they are doing to maintain an audience.

Setting up the Stream

twitch-tv-botStreaming from an Xbox or PS4 is easy as pie.. as long as you have a good internet connection. You can simply search how to set up a stream for your console if you can’t figure it out yourself. What’ll you’ll need to do though is get a camera so you can broadcast your face, this generally attracts more viewers. Streaming from your PC is a different ballgame. The fact of the matter is not all PC gamers are going to be able to simply set up a high quality and non-laggy stream. The minimum system requirements are at least a powerful CPU such as an Intel i5 or i7, 4 GB of ram, and a high end graphics card with directX 10 capability. It’s also a good idea to have a quality microphone or a headset with a microphone combo. You’ll also want a camera. This makes it much more interactive for your viewers. Lastly, you’ll need some streaming software. Open Broadcast Software (OBS) and Xsplit are the two most popular solutions. We won’t go into the details here on how to configure them, as it will be different depending on your specific set up.

Building an Audience

The next part of course is the hardest. Building a loyal following is much harder than setting things up (as long as you have the money to do so). What really helps is if your streaming on the PC to have a super powerful system and strong internet connection. Then you can broadcast in really high quality that will set you apart from less desirable channels. A minimum requirement is being good at the game your playing. Realistically, you need to be exceptional or have come up with a unique playstyle or strategy that will draw people to watch your stream. This goes hand-in-hand with our next point, that you need to create a brand for yourself. We don’t mean to sound to “businessy” here, but if you’re persona is congruent with the type of music you play, your general attitude, and what you wear then people like you will want to watch you and follow you. Think of streaming as a performance basically. Another thing to do is stay active on social media and use platforms like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook to promote your channel. Keep a schedule so you get return viewers who come to trust you’ll be there and are on Twitch at the same time as you. Lastly, do giveaways. People love free stuff and if you able to consistently give out goodies it will keep audiences coming back for more.

Good Streaming Guides:

PC Gamer Streaming Guide

High Ground Gaming Streaming Software Guide

The Complete Guide to Streaming Games on Twitch by CNET

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