Looking to start broadcasting on Twitch but don’t know where to start? This is the guide for you! We’re going to cover three key areas: Basic Twitch settings, your channel page, and your dashboard. If you’re already a broadcaster on Twitch, this can serve as a great refresher and ensure you’re utilizing all the tools Twitch has to offer. Feel free to check out the full video below or scroll down to read on!
Basic Twitch Settings
So you’re all signed up and logged into Twitch – now what? Click on your username, select Settings and let’s get started.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked things you can adjust here is Display Name. This allows you to customize the capitalization of your username, which is especially important if your username consists of 2 or more words. No more wondering if that alias is SpeedoFart or SpeedOfArt!
It’s worth mentioning here that under Profile is where you can upload your profile photo and write up a short bio. This is a great space to let people know who you are and why you’re on Twitch. It also allows people to better connect with you when they first visit your page, especially if it’s while you’re offline!
Channel & Video
The Video Player Banner is essentially your offline screen and is an awesome place to showcase important information such as your broadcast schedule, social media links, or contact information. Heck, you can even use it to show off your personality or reinforce your branding.
Hosting allows you to showcase other broadcasters on your channel while you’re offline. While it’s a great way to support fellow streamers who you already enjoy watching, it’s also a great way to discover new content and network! When you’re new on Twitch, probably the most relevant or important feature here is “Auto host channels similar to yours”. Twitch will start hosting other broadcasters on your channel that you might not know who have similar content and communities.
If you have a community designed for 18+ (i.e. you don’t want kids coming into your channel) be sure to check off Mature Content. When someone visits your channel for the first time, they’ll be greeted with a notice telling them your channel is intended for mature audiences. This helps protect you as a broadcaster and also helps protect younger viewers on Twitch.
Enabling Archive Broadcasts is really important, especially when you’re just starting out. This saves your past broadcasts for 14 days allowing you time to create highlights or review your previous content. This is huge when it comes to some self-analysis and spotting areas where you can improve. Having past broadcasts available also allows people to see your content if they view your channel while you’re offline.
This next part is really important! Do not ever share your private stream key with anyone else – ever. If you still want to allow someone else to broadcast content to your channel, this is where Authorized Broadcasters comes in. Simply add the email addresses of people you want to give permission to broadcast on your channel and they’ll be sent their own unique stream key.
We’ll cover more details around activity feed a little later under channel settings but from here you can control if you allow comments on your activity feed and who exactly can comment.
A lot of people rely on 3rd party applications for chat moderation but if you’re just starting out there’s no need to worry about that! Twitch provides some great tools right out of the box.
Automod automatically holds back any potentially risky messages for review by yourself or a moderator before ever making it’s way to chat. There are different levels of moderation available from “None” to “A lot of moderation” covering Identity Language, Sexually Explicit Language, Aggressive Language, and Profanity.
Here Twitch also provides you the ability to block hyperlinks to prevent the posting of any links in your chat by anyone other than you, a moderator, or a Twitch admin.
The Banned Words section is really useful not just for profanities but also if there are any topics you don’t want discussed in chat. Simply add any key words in there and it will block those words from appearing in chat by replacing them with “***”.
Chat Rules lets you enter a list of guidelines that first-time viewers will be asked to agree to before they start chatting in your channel. No longer can people claim they didn’t see the rules – Ban away!
Security & Privacy
The only thing I want to highlight here is Two-Factor Authentication. I highly suggest everyone sets up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) especially as a broadcaster or a moderator for someone else’s channel.
Your Channel Page
There are several things Twitch allows you to change and adjust directly from your channel page. The first thing we’re going to look at is the top banner. Here is another awesome section of branding and marketing real estate where you can showcase your schedule, social media, or really anything you want! Click the edit button near the top right of your channel and then you’re able to upload a new image or remove the existing image. The recommended banner size is 1200×380 and less than 3MB. You’re also able to change your profile picture directly from here.
Beneath the video player is the option to enable your channel feed. This section allows you to post updates directly to your channel for things like scheduling changes, events, contests, or even conversational topics to connect with your community. You can also have this connect to Twitter so your updates gets posted to your Twitter feed and link directly back to your page.
Panels are an important part of any channel so thankfully editing panels on your stream page is a breeze. Simply click Edit Panels and from here you can upload panel images, have them link to external pages, add in various text, and format it using markdown. Adjusting panel layout uses a simple click and drag mechanic. The will always get resized to 320 pixels wide so keep this in mind when designing your own.
The dashboard has great tools not just for managing your stream while you’re live, but also for dealing with the day-to-day management of your channel including analytics.
The live tab contains a variety of awesome metrics ranging from your chat and current stats (such as viewers, clips captured during the broadcast, followers, etc.) to stream health via Twitch Inspector. You can move each one of these modules around with a simple click and drag and show or hide the sections as needed. Everyone has different things they care about monitoring during a broadcast so definitely spend some time here looking at the available options and what best works for you.
If you’re broadcasting as a casual hobby, this section might not be of much interest to you. Here is where all your day-to-day analytics are tracked. While there are lots of services available that give detailed breakdowns of your stats, Twitch provides a basic and easy-to-navigate analytics section that will help you analyze your channel growth over time.
We mentioned this earlier but do not ever share this key with anyone! This section is worth pointing out as you won’t be able to go live without entering your unique stream key into whichever broadcast software you’re using.