“How do I get more viewers and/or followers?….”
…. is probably one of the most asked questions on Twitch by newer streamers, and for good reason! It’s what drives your channel and yourself as a streamer.
I might as well start with the bad news.
There’s no secret and definitive way to start gaining viewers and followers. There are tons of variables and factors that involve your channel’s growth but there ARE things you can do to improve your chances. I believe everyone has the capacity to gain viewers and followers but the rate at which they gain them is always going to vary.
There is also not one single road to take that will gain you viewers/followers. Some things are going to work better for others that might not work well for you and vice versa. In addition, there are many strategies out there that could make this article far too long.
Because of this, most of this article will be going over just basics plus other things that I’ve learned through personal experience.
But let’s get on to things shall we?
The very first (and probably best) thing you can do is just be online. No matter what, you can’t gain viewers if you’re not online so get to it!
Of course, that’s not all you should be doing so I’ll go over a few things that will improve your chances of gaining followers and viewers.
I’m sure if you’ve asked for advice before you’ve been told already that keeping a streaming schedule is extremely important. When you stream at the same time consistently, it means any viewers you keep will have something to look forward to and will know when you’re online. This is best when you don’t have (m)any social media outlets to let people know you’re going to be live. This also means before you go live, you can already have some people in your channel waiting for you to start! Try and avoid many short streams as well. I believe you should at least be online for a minimum of three hours to make any lee-way. If you have the choice, do a few longer streams per week rather than 2 hour streams more often throughout.
When I talk about consistency I’m also not just talking about schedule. Having some consistency in other things too is helpful such as the game you stream. When you’re starting out it’s sometimes best to stick to one game. Bouncing around different games when you don’t have much of a following can make it tough to keep viewers and gain followers. Older, but well known games can be good to stream as a full play-through as there aren’t a large amount of players streaming them but at the same time many people may remember the game which will interest them.
There are always going to be people that have a specific interest in streamers when looking for people to watch. Figuring out which category you fit in can help your stream have a focus. I’ll list some of the popular “categories” you can place yourself in. If you’re just starting out, take some time to explore different areas of Twitch! There is nothing wrong with being a variety streamer but it can be a bit tougher to gain viewers if you’re brand new to Twitch. It can be done though!
Think you have what it takes to be top of the leaderboards?
People enjoy watching the best of the best. This is probably the toughest category to position yourself into since as the name suggests, you have to be extremely good at what you do. Having previous experience in a competitive environment can help the validity of your stream. It will hurt your stream MORE if you end up having false claims about your skill level. However, competitive doesn’t mean you have to be part of a professional eSports team or play any of the top multiplayer games such as League of Legends. For example, the Speedrun community is a great way to be competitive at something that (for the most part) is not multiplayer oriented. It also is a good scene to steam in if you can since the games that are played are a lot of the classics that people played when they were kids.
Some people may also like to see people’s progression into the competitive scene. Having a goal such as achieving “X” Rank in a game may interest people. It can also help keep things consistent as you’ll want people to be coming back to your stream to check in on your progress.
Positioning yourself within this group of streamers is tough but it can be an easy way to pick up viewers/followers if you have past experience!
Most games nowadays have some sort of assorted achievements to go along with their game. Whether it is 100% a game, or beating it on the hardest difficulty. There is something entertaining about watching someone take on these challenges. If you’re doing a playthrough and you’re confident in your skill, maybe try knocking it up to that max difficulty. Some games are renowned for their difficulty such as Super Meat Boy and I Wanna Be the Boshy, so just by attempting those games you may be able to draw in viewers. Creating your own challenges that aren’t in-game is another way you can make something difficult and if you’re creative enough you can possibly bring in a large audience! For example, a Dark Souls player decided to play the game with an XBOX Guitar Hero controller. The same player recently finished a playthrough with a Rock Band Drum Kit which is insane.
Don’t be afraid of failure! By challenging yourself you can create some amazing moments that will have viewers on their edge with you, waiting for that moment of triumph!
Some games can allow for creative gameplay and excel at bringing people together. Minecraft is a great example of this as there are so many different ways to play and it is a great creative outlet for all types of gamers. As a streamer, you can use these types of games to build a community both within your channel and within your game. Even if you don’t have the intentions of building a community in the game, creative games give you plenty of different ways to play and that can interest viewers since they might want to compare your experiences with the game to their own. This especially goes for games that involve choices such as Dragon Age, Skyrim, Deus Ex, etc. This is a great way to interact with your viewers as well since you can take their input to help decide where you want to take your playthrough.
This is a great way to gain viewers while also re-experiencing many old and renowned games! There are many games out there from the past that many people still love today. Classic games can be good to stream since they usually don’t have a ton of streamers playing it but still have a great deal of popularity. If people see some of their favourite games from the past being streamed it can definitely catch their attention to come check out your channel! It’s even better if you’ve never played the game before as I’m sure people who have played it would be interested in your first experiences.
Part of success on Twitch is definitely associated with “Who you know”. Having a community you’re already a part of backing you up in your streaming endeavors can help you over that starting hump many new streamers fail to get over. Even though my channel isn’t extremely large, I can definitely say the success so far has been greatly attributed to networking. To better explain why this is, it’s time for a bit of background on my channel.
Before I started streaming I was lucky enough to have come across CohhCarnage’s channel (who is one of the more prominent personalities on Twitch) and get involved within it. People started recognizing me more and once Cohh started doing Sub Sundays and allowed people to advertise their channels (for a short time), I received many follows and more importantly, many people came to check out my channel afterwards due to seeing/recognizing me from chat. Additionally, because I streamed Magic: The Gathering and was associated with a popular YouTube channel, Roguedeckbuilder, I had another community behind me. As a cherry on top, one of Cohh’s old moderators, Streamer Square’s very own Lowco2525, started streaming which I came across early on and now her community continues to support me as well.
Needless to say I would be MUCH further behind if it weren’t for the amazing people I knew before I started streaming. That being said, there is a large amount of luck involved. I would say I was very lucky to have been a part of Cohh’s Sub Sundays and also a part of Lowco2525’s community before her channel grew fast. For people who aren’t as lucky as me, there are still other ways to network. For example, if you’re part of some other Twitch communities maybe reach out to one you’re close to and see if they would like to do some collaboration work. Or maybe you have a service you can offer them such as making overlays/GFX.
However, don’t go reaching out and shamelessly advertise your channel. The point I’m trying to make is that networking and community relations is a great supportive method to gaining viewers and followers but it has to be done properly. If not, it can end up hurting your channel more.
4. First Impressions
I have already written an article about this but I do believe first impressions are important when trying to retain new viewers. Check out my article on how first impressions can make a difference.
I think it’s good to mention that when all’s said and done, you may be doing everything right but still not growing very fast. Many different things have to come together to be successful on Twitch and success definitely fluctuates. There will be good days and there will be bad days but keep going online and do your best. The more you’re online, the better chance you have to get that lucky break. Success on Twitch is also determined by the work you put in outside of being online. Properly advertising on social media outlets, networking with other streams, or working on new ideas/goals for your stream are just some of the things that can be done when offline to help grow your channel.
Finally, make sure to read the many guides StreamerSquare has to offer for helping to improve your stream. But enough of this article. You should hurry and get online because thousands of potential viewers are waiting for you 😉