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Want to read the different parts of this series at your own pace? Fast track to:
- Part 1: What Kind of Streamer Are you? ?
- Part 3: Equipment, Software, Tools & Settings ??
- Part 4: Channel Presentation ?
- Part 5: Channel Interaction ?
- Part 6: Channel Growth ?
? You should put as much into the Twitch Community as you want to get back! (UPDATED 08/10/2019)
You will come across as annoying and unappealing if you are spamming viewers with non-stop self-promotion and not giving others the time of day. I am part of 20+ Discord servers (what is Discord?) and I try to be as active as I can, as well as jumping into other people?s streams every chance I get ? even if it?s just for a moment!
My Discord spends a good amount of time helping small streamers get affiliated. We also have some great #Stream-Tech and #Twitch-Channel-Growth channels for anyone configuring their setup and who may need tech support. Don?t hesitate to drop by!
There are TONS of other Discord servers out there to find that are great for new streamers to network and learn more about Twitch. You can even post your own Discord server in my #Discord-Links channel here.
For those of you unfamiliar with Discord, it?s basically an all-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that?s free, secure, and a quality replacement for TeamSpeak servers. Check out Tom?s Guide on everything you need to know about Discord here.
UPDATED 04/18/2020: Discord just added Server Templates to let you clone existing categories, channels, roles, and permissions in order to help you create new community servers easily! I?ve gone ahead and cloned my Discord Server in case anyone would like to use a template around how I?ve built, structured, and organized my community server. Feel free to also come over and use my ?please read? copy as well if you need to!
When someone follows you, always make a point of checking out their channel, too. It?s the least you can do! Not only will you stumble upon great content, but you?ll make amazing new friends and get to know your community better.
? ProTip: after your stream, clip or highlight a shoutout you made of someone and Tweet it at them. A whopping 32% of viewers that watch a highlight return to a live stream within a week!
LOVE YOU MIT!
? Communities are being discontinued by Twitch (UPDATED 07/14/2018)
Even though Twitch only launched communities a year go, they are replacing them to allow streamers to #tag their streams instead.
Twitch said that ?Communities were one solution for giving viewers information to help them decide what to watch, but viewers weren?t able to see that information while browsing within a directory they were interested in.? They also noted that, in fact, less than 3% of total views were from users who found streams through the Communities.
Communities were helpful to a lot of people, but I?m sure the new tagging feature will provide new and interesting ways for people to discover streams! As of now, they are aiming for a mid-September 2018 launch date for stream #tags!
Feel free to skip the next section below, but I will leave it up for historical reference on some ways Twitch Communities were once used!
Twitch Communities were built to help streamers connect to the most relevant audiences and help viewers discover streams that fit their interests (e.g. Nintendo Games, SpeedRunning, Painting, etc). They are a great way to see who?s online to RAID before you end your stream!
Before you go live, you can select up to three communities to feature your stream in. This can be advantageous for new streamers, as often times picking the right communities to stream in can get you more views and generate some amounts of viewer traffic.
I recommend new streamers spend time researching different communities to find the ones that most resonate with them. There are thousands of streaming communities relevant to different games, styles, preferences and interests.
Our streaming community (Spring of Wisdom) is mostly used by those of us in the Discord and is useful for knowing who?s online and who we can all raid when we?re about to end our streams!???
? Raiding other streamers! (ADDED 07/04/2018)
? ProTip: ALWAYS raid someone before ending your stream. If you don?t, it?s a wasted opp for you to connect with a new audience + generate hype for someone else!
A raid is when a streamer sends their viewers to another live channel at the end of their stream to introduce their audience to a new channel and generate HYPE along the way. Raids are by far my favorite thing about streaming and are a huge part of the Twitch streaming community as a whole.
Raiding is similar to ?hosting? in the sense that both show other streamers on your channel, but raids bring viewers FROM your channel to the raid target. Hosting someone just shows their stream on your channel.
Strategic raiding can also be a great way to grow your channel! I recommend raiding other streamers in your community and streamers with similar view counts as you, or slightly higher. This is because you want to cooperate with channels with similarly sized audiences; there is more of a mutual benefit this way.
That being said, you can really raid whoever you want!
?? Let?s talk about networking! (UPDATED 08/10/2019)
? ProTip: don?t follow-for-follow and don?t spam your channel. Build genuine connections and real friendships.
Even if you?re a bigger streamer, you should still be contributing and hanging out in other communities than you?re own.
Networking is so vital to growing your Twitch channel and your community. To be SUPER clear, networking means interacting with other people online within other communities, platforms, and channels, introducing yourself, and sharing tips among individuals and groups with common interests.
There are a lot of streamers that don?t understand the value of true networking and building genuine connections online. Nobody likes the person that comes into a Discord community without introducing themselves, who then proceeds to spam their Twitch channel everywhere. I guarantee this is a recipe to hurt your channel, your reputation, and will most certainly not contribute to your growth; it will just piss people off.
Aside from networking through Discord, online and in other streams? you should also be looking at LOCAL TWITCH MEETUPS IN YOUR AREA! These have been great for my personal growth and have always ended up being well worth my time. Not only for meeting other streamers and getting new followers but also meeting companies/startups in the streaming community. As someone with social anxiety, I know how hard it can be to get out there and talk to people in real life? but if you?re serious about Twitch channel growth, you should do your best to show up at your local Twitch meetup.
Pete from Gaming Careers also has a great video about networking strategies to grow your brand and channel online; check it out below!
? Send notes to your subscribers! (ADDED 03/06/2018)
If you?re a new streamer here reading this guide, I guarantee you it?s only a matter of time before you reach your Twitch Affiliate status. At that point, you can start receiving bits/cheers and people can start supporting you directly by subscribing to your channel.
Twitch let?s streamers download their subscriber emails and also lets them send dedicated messages to their subscribers from the Channel section under Analytics; use this feature!
It?s important to show your supporters that you care and appreciate them! An easy way to do this is to simply send them a nice note to their inbox (they can always unsubscribe if they don?t want them). I attached an example of the types of notes I like to occasionally send to my subscribers. I would only ever consider sending notes like these once every few weeks at the very least. Anything more than that, in my opinion, can come across as spam.
I only send messages this personal to my subscribers.
A lot of streamers are follower-obsessed to the point where it doesn?t seem like they?re enjoying themselves or the games they?re playing ? this immediately turns people off. Don?t be like this.
A big part of Twitch is about meeting new people with similar interests, making new friends and learning new things. Often times, you only need to meet a few people to make that all worthwhile.
? ProTip: don?t forget to recognize new viewers and the people that made your stream awesome in chat. Find them on Instagram and/or Twitter and shout them out!
It?s important to keep in mind that, although this series is about growth hacks, the most important hacks are not about short cuts but about genuinely engaging with viewers, fellow streamers, and building real friendships. Be humble, and give recognition where it is deserved.
With that said, let?s talk about equipment, software, tools & settings!
P.S., enjoying this series so far? Check out my other article on how to take your Twitch stream on the road where I talk about how I kept up my streaming schedule all across Japan for two months!
P.P.S., this series has blown up a lot more than I ever could have imagined! It seems to be helping a lot of new Twitch streamers and many people are writing to me asking how they can support me. Here are a few things to consider: you can donate to me through PayPal directly here, you could share this article with anyone else looking to get into streaming, or you could follow me on Twitch and come say hi when I?m ?LIVE! Click here to see my LIVE schedule! Thanks everyone, and happy streaming!