When it comes to the actual stream schedule there can be a number of things you need to remember and consider as a streamer, while live and before even going live. Understanding what to do and how to go about best managing your stream time can leave many scratching their heads. This article aims to go over a few points that will hopefully help point you in the right direction.
Why create a schedule?
Possibly the most obvious definition of stream time would be the time you stream, or your schedule. You may have heard a number of successful streamers go on about the importance of maintaining a stream schedule, and there is good reason for that. In everyday terms, a schedule will help you keep on top of other tasks and are less likely to procrastinate, whilst still being able to stream on a regular basis. For a streamer, a schedule will also mean that your viewers, followers, and subscribers will know exactly when you will be live and on which days, which is possibly the biggest reason to creating a schedule and sticking to it. Imagine having no clue when the next episode of your favorite TV show airs. By creating a stream schedule, viewers will know when to expect you and are therefore more likely to tune in.
Setting Your Stream Time
Deciding when to stream will greatly depend on your personal life, and your personal obligations such as job, school, or family. You will need to find time blocks that work around all other stuff in your life, whilst still allowing you to dedicate the time you want to your hobby. Ideally, you want to set aside at least three hours for each time you go live; it is not the best idea to break up your stream into shorter segments, especially when starting to stream. By breaking your stream up you may find yourself struggling to retain viewers. In addition to setting aside sufficient time, you also need to decide upon a time for going live. Picking a time that allows you to go live at the same time each day will help a great deal with getting viewers to return. By going live at different hours each day you stream you will struggle to build a core viewer base and community, which is the key for you to build upon to achieve what you want from streaming. Also, be sure to include your time zone wherever you post your stream schedule. Platforms like Twitch, Youtube Gaming, Mixer, and Hitbox are international, and not all your viewers will be on the same time zone as you.
Establishing Streaming Days
Now that you’ve decided upon a time for your stream, you need to consider the days you are going to stream. Streaming seven days a week may seem like an exciting prospect at first, but it also might result in you getting burnt out or neglecting obligations in your personal life. For many, streaming seven days a week might not even be an option, so choosing the days when you do go live is important. You need to strike that balance of doing what you love, being able to do what you need to do in your personal life, and not getting burnt out. Taking days off will also give you time to work on the stream and improve it. If you want to boost your chances of achieving your goals as a streamer, realistically you want to be streaming at least three to four days a week, even if it is just for three hours at a time. By not deciding on which days you go live or taking extended breaks between streams, you again run the risk of not being able to build that important core viewer base.
So, for example, a good schedule for a streamer that works 9 till 5, Monday to Friday, and has personal commitments on the weekends could be:
- Monday: 7pm-11pm EST
- Tuesday: 7pm-11pm EST
- Thursday: 7pm-11pm EST
- Saturday: 6pm-late EST
It is also worthwhile taking your time to look into the directories for the games, genres, and entire site to see if you can identify a possible niche for yourself. You might be able to find a time when you can go live when few others are, finding that slot that might present you with opportunities for greater exposure and growth. For example, you might identify a 1-hour slot where there are no major streamers streaming the games you want to. Creating a stream schedule to make the best use of that time would be a great option.
In conclusion, a good streamer will identify and create a regular stream schedule and will stick to it. By creating a regular schedule you provide some much-needed structure to your stream and by sticking to it, it’s easier for your viewers and followers to find you when you are live. But, always take into consideration your other commitments, streaming should be your hobby and passion.
- Shoot for streaming at least 3 or more hours per session for the best growth opportunity
- Setting a start time is much more important than a set end time
- Create a schedule that you can keep to
- Don’t overcommit, you should be looking forward to your stream not dreading it