Video broadcasting platforms such as Twitch are a major source of income for many passionate content creators throughout the globe. Twitch streamers have amassed over millions of followers and viewers ever since the platform was launched in 2011. It has more than 2.2 million monthly broadcasters and 15 million monthly active users which makes it the perfect free platform out there for aspiring content creators.
Ever wondered what will it take for you to start your own Twitch channel? There is more to it than meets the eye and today I’m gonna walk you through some important aspects that should be kept in mind when you start a Twitch channel (Please note that this blog is meant for beginner Twitch streamers so I have boiled it down to the most basic tips)
Choose your rig wisely
One of the most important assets for a streamer is their rig. On which platform would you prefer to start your Twitch career, Desktop or Console. Majority of the population are used to playing on a desktop as it offers better accuracy and you are probably at your best with a keyboard and mouse at your disposal, but owning a gaming computer has its own downsides, the cost!
Be prepared to shell out at-least 2 grand for an average gaming computer if you plan on customizing one yourself. If you want to have your setup by a reputable company such as Falcon NW, 2 grand is what you will need for a basic processor in 2019. Just take a look below at how much a processor will cost you if you choose to go with someone like Falcon who are are known for quality.
Starts at $2,756
Intel’s best bang for the buck chipset and processors with up to 64GB of memory and a 8-core processor.
Starts at $3,285
Intel’s flagship chipset with up to 128GB of memory and up to a 8-core CPU.
Starts at $1,919
AMD’s X470 chipset with up to 64GB of memory and up to a 8-core Ryzen CPU.
Starts at $3,161
AMD’s newest chipset with up to 128GB of memory and up to a 32-core Ryzen Threadripper CPU.
Even after purchasing your rig you will require a variety of software applications and game capturing devices/applications to assist you with your streaming schedule. Gaming desktops also require maintenance from time to time especially if it has liquid cooling systems. You may also need to upgrade your rig if you wish to play games demanding higher specs or for higher frame-rates and 4K gaming.
Now, I know all this can get a little too expensive for someone like me who just started their own venture and have slightly less cash in their pockets. The best solution for this would be grabbing a PlayStation 4 Pro or an Xbox One which will cost you roughly $500. I would recommend the original PlayStation 4 console if it did not have known over-heating issues.
Consoles come equipped with screen capturing and streaming devices built within them. You just need to setup your Twitch account and login with the credentials on your console. If you have some more cash to spend you could additionally grab an adapter along with a keyboard and mouse completing your gaming setup. If you choose to go further, consoles also offer HD cameras which you can use to broadcast your face. The PlayStation console is also known for having a ton of exclusive games which will keep you busy for at least 8 months if you haven’t played on a PS yet.
However, games on consoles are priced higher than on PC. On average a popular new release is going to cost you a minimum of $60 (Standard Editions) and I almost forgot, you will need an Xbox Live or PS Plus subscription if you want to play online which will cost you another $60 per year. Still, it isn’t nearly as expensive as a gaming desktop.
Organize your Twitch streams
Its probably not a good idea to go live when half of the world’s population is asleep. Schedule your streams according to your target audience. You cannot target everybody under 1 stream session but you can target a single region or time-zone for sure. Its like watching a TV serial, people know what time it comes on and if they are really into it they will take out time to watch it. I knew Dragonball Z used to air every Saturdays and Sundays at 5 PM so no matter what was going on, I used to drop what I was doing at 4.45 PM.
If you can afford to stream more than 8 hours a day like Ninja, do it! That will be absolutely fantastic but not all of us are able to stream that much. Many of us have a day job and can only spare 2 to 3 hours a day for Twitch, this is also fantastic, trust me! Use those 2-3 precious hours to produce some stunning content and gameplay. In the beginning the numbers might not be a motivating factor but show your consistency and your channel will grow in due time.
It is also a good idea to have some sort of indication on your channel’s video banner or media panel showing when people can expect you to be live. You can have a countdown timer to when you will go live next with the help of extensions such as Streamlabs.
Coming to actual games, Its always better to have a single game from which you can build a loyal following. There are so many games out there and each of them have their own top-tier players. If you have 7 hours to stream per day and you spend 2 hours each on different games you might not be half as good or popular as the guy who dedicated his entire 7 hours to a single game.
From time to time you can blow some steam off by exploring other games and genres. Some of the popular streamers and YouTubers such as Macie Jay (Rainbow Six Siege) and Ninja (Fortnite) have built their popularity being dedicated to a single game but there are some exceptions to this proven by long time YouTube gamers such as H20 Delirious but Delirious is not a Twitch streamer, although he does have more than 11 Million YouTube subscribers.
Brand your Twitch channel
Your channel is another asset so take care of how it looks. When you are away your channel will still be visible to the public so its best you invest some time into making your channel stand out. Twitch allows you to edit a number of your channel’s areas such as logo, cover, video player art and media panel. Below I have provided the proper dimensions of each graphic below.
- Channel cover: 1200 x 480 pixels (Under 3 MB)
- Video player art: 1920 x 1080 pixels (Under 3 MB)
- Media panel: 320 x 300 pixels (Under 2.9 MB)
- Logo: 1:1 ratio (Under 3 MB)
Start a YouTube channel And Social Media Accounts
If you stream on a console its fairly easy for you to acquire raw videos for editing. Consoles auto record videos in HD which you can later retrieve with the help of a USB. Uploading videos on YouTube is a great way to spread your channel and if you manage to keep up with it and acquire 4000 viewing hours you could also monetize your YouTube channel.
Social Media especially Twitter and Instagram are your source for organic traffic but do not only depend on them, spread the word among your friends and family, persuade them to share your videos giving you a wider reach.