Over the last few years, Streaming has become a trendy hobby, part-time job or fully-fledged career for many people. It’s so popular that many people want to start their own stream.
It’s pretty easy to see why Streaming is so popular, as it’s technically a type of entertaining. Many top-end streamers are incredibly well-off, and even smaller streamers get a pretty nice income from the platform. This combination of getting to entertain how you’d like while making money attracts many people to start a Stream. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. So, are you looking to get into Streaming? Here are all of the streaming basics as well as some stream tips to give you a head start!
Selecting your Streaming Software
There is some excellent software out there for streamers. However, a few are ahead of the pack in terms of being user-friendly and streamlined. OBS (open-broadcast software) is arguably the most popular of the bunch. Streamlabs, another favourite source, have also made their own version, called Streamlabs OBS. These two are fantastic tools for Streaming; however, Streamlabs OBS has a few extra perks to using it. Unlike the original OBS, Streamlabs has its own integration and many more features. It’s much easier for first-time streamers or users that don’t want to get technical. The only downside is it can be a bit harder on your PC, so make sure to do a few tests runs before setting your stream up.
Setting up a Stream Overlay
Most platforms have free-to-use streaming overlays that take your stream from zero to one hundred. The importance of having a nice, clean overlay is usually overrated, but having your stream looking professional is undoubtedly a great start. Of course, production value and overall content are always paramount and staples of streaming basics. Still, the look of your stream is what will attract people to you. Your personality or entertainment factor is what makes them stay. So simply getting viewers to notice you in the first place is usually based on how your layout looks. Take your time selecting (or making) an overlay that fits your theme or dynamic. Your viewers will thank you later!
Designing Your Profile
Once you’ve got your overlay sorted, it’s time to make sure your Twitch profile matches. On Twitch, users have their own pages that act as a front-page for their content. Here, you’ll find an about section and any links to their other online or social media accounts. This extra space is an excellent opportunity to let people get to know you a bit more and a great way to incorporate your stream overlay, too. Usually, streamers like to add banners below their streams showcasing different things. Such as emotes, computer specs and donation buttons. To set up your donation button, we recommend this nifty guide on YouTube.
The Art of Talking to Yourself
Larger streamers usually have no problem keeping the conversation going, as they can bounce a few jokes back and forth with their active chat. But for a newer or smaller streamer, it’s not always that easy. Learning to talk to yourself or openly is a huge curve that many fresh streamers can’t get used to, but it’s a crucial skill. It’s also arguably the most important of all our stream tips.
Sometimes, your chat may go stale, and it’s up to you to get it going again. The one thing to avoid is going completely silent! Regale an exciting story or experience, or speak your thoughts aloud. Asking questions (but not expecting replies) is a great alternative, too, as it prompts chat but doesn’t leave that awkward silence. Sometimes, especially as a new streamer, you may have very little or no viewers at all, but you’ve got to push past this. Just keep talking!
Stream Tips: Fun Extras
Leading on from our last point, keeping your viewers engaged is critical in doing well during a stream. Some viewers may stick around to watch. However, in most cases, many enjoy the feeling of being involved in or a part of your stream. So why not give them a few fun tidbits to allow for more engagement? A great example is setting up a sound bot that plays specific sounds to spook you during horror game playthroughs. Doing this means that your users have the opportunity to prank you live on stream and makes for an even more fun viewing experience.
If you’re into the more cute aesthetic, Kappamon is a good shout, too. This program sets up Stream-pets that interact with your chat based on commands you set up. Viewers can feed the bot, make it dance or even ask it for jokes! Take a few minutes to browse through the many Twitch stream add-ons available, as they are an easy way to add variety to your broadcast.
Now You Know the Streaming Basics
Following this short guide to streaming basics and stream tips is sure to set you on the path to achieving your broadcaster goals, whatever they may be. The journey should be exciting, so always remember to have fun during your streaming adventures!