News! Paranerdnicky will be streaming for charity, for the Millions Missing campaign for ME Action, all of next month (May 2019)! She’ll be streaming a mix of things such as Scribblio, Marbles, Soulworker, just chatting, etc… check her out and support her on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/paranerdnicky
If You’re A Twitch Noob, Paranerdnicky Will Show You How!
As a follow up to the “what the hell am I doing on youtube” guide for starting out, I decided to make a sequel as I’ve moved over to twitch!
I’m going to take you through the basics on how you can get started, creating a community of your own.
Twitch is quickly becoming a top site, where streamers and the community can interact instantly and you can connect with people all over the world. It’s vast in different arts and is used for many different things be it just talking and and hanging out, music, gaming, art and much more.
As a bit of background, I moved away from YouTube for two reasons:
1) I didn’t really feel connected with YouTube anymore, the way it’s run or the community
2) Due to chronic illness, shooting, editing, thumbnailing, promoting took up far too much time and energy, whereas twitch is live and instant!
I was lucky enough to make Twitch Affiliate in a little over a month! For those who do not know what that is, it’s where you can earn revenue through bits, a twitch currency that people “cheer.” One bit is one cent, so 100 bits is a dollar, 500 is 5 dollars and so on. Also, people can subscribe to your channel, there are three tiers that go up in price – dependant on which one they subscribe to – and they unlock custom emotes! Subscribers can then use that all over twitch while subscribed. Emotes are essentially custom emojis that you create that are specific to your channel.
So, now that’s out of the way let’s begin the basics!
Creating a Twitch account
Obviously you are going to need a twitch account. Choose a good profile photo, it could be you, a logo, a drawing but something you want to represent you. It is also good to make a banner at the top, also showing what you’re all about and the vibe of the channel.
My equipment (camera, mic etc) has not changed since my last post about doing YouTube, I recommend you check that post out if you want the specifics of what I use, but here’s a picture of my set up!
While these are not essential it is good to at least have a microphone for commentary and talking to your audience while playing. A camera is also good, even if you invest in a cheap one for now. While again, it isn’t 100% needed, it makes the viewers feel more connected to you as they can see you as they interact.
There are info panels in the channel editor that you can create to tell your audience a bit about you, set up donation links to paypal and post your schedule. There are many fancy extensions but as we’re going through the very basics I’d say do them later. Focus on giving your audience a small profile about yourself.
If you are able to create a schedule for when you are streaming, I would 100% recommend it. This way your audience know when to find you live and gives a sense of regularity. Again, it’s not needed as some people work shifts, people like me have energy issues and other life problems but it is extremely helpful if you can.
Setting Up The Twitch Stream
Once your profile is all set up and you’re happy, the next thing you want to do is download Streamlabs OBS. From here you can set up your stream! Twitch is very user friendly and even has pre-made scenes you can look for and download so you can have a fancy looking set up with little effort. There are many to choose from, find what fits you best!
Scenes are the different panels streamers use, so things like your live scene where you can capture your webcam and game, intermission scenes when you need to pop on a break and so on. Make sure during long streams you take regular breaks, pee, stretch etc! Your body will thank you.
Custom alerts aren’t necessary but are nice for the channel to give it more of a personal feel. If you want custom gifs and/or sounds when people follow you etc, simply find what you want and download it, go to the Streamlabs website, login, go to the alerts panel and you can change them to whatever you want from there! There is a tab in OBS but when I did it it didn’t seem to work until I did it through the website.
Once you are happy with your setup, you’re nearly ready to stream! The last thing I would recommend is to get yourself a bot. Stream bots connect to your twitch, regulate your chat, so if there’s anyone spamming links or all caps etc it will auto time out or ban them. This is the internet and unfortunately there are a lot of trolls. (Dangers of the job yo.)
I would recommend nightbot as a starter, it has pre made commands and it’s easy to get started on if you’re not sure what you are doing. Bots can also cover song requesting, mini-games and other ways to get interactive with your community!
So, now you’re finally ready to press that “go live” button! Make sure through the Twitch dashboard you have a catchy title on what your doing, the correct game/category and relevant tags so people can find you!
If you are gaming, I’d do a little research first. It’s good to play what you want to, after all its your channel but sometimes you can run into problems if a game is too oversaturated *cough fortnite* or there is no others playing/watching watching and no interest. This doesn’t mean “don’t play them you’ll never get anyone in” but I’ve found playing less popular games can make for slow growth.
Viewers will fluctuate naturally and there will be good and bad days where lots of people turn up or no-one at all!
Viewer based games (for example jackbox) are always fairly popular but can bring in trolls so it’s good to keep an eye and if you have any good friends whom you trust, set them as moderators to help you. All you need to do for that is /mod -username- in your chat box and voila. They can now timeout or ban people from the channel through chat too if you run into troublemakers.
Hit The ‘Go Live’ Button!
So, people are watching now! Oh no what the hell do I do?
Enjoy it! Make sure you are interacting with both individuals and the chat as a whole. If no-one is really talking, make sure you don’t go silent too much. If people come into the stream and it’s silent, they’re more likely to leave. Talk about anything! The game, your cat, what you had for lunch, it doesn’t matter! Bright, chatty people will attract viewers and hold their attention.
One thing I would look out for is lurkers (people who are watching but don’t interact.) They are the backbone of the twitch community but rarely like to be called out. Letting lurkers as a whole know they are appreciated too is fine but calling out individuals tend to make people scarper. Appreciate them but let them chill. One day they may interact!
Another good way to reach out is raiding people when you finish your stream!
Is “Raiding” Where You Steal Everyone’s Loot?
“Raiding” is where you send your viewers to another channel when you’re finished using the command /raid -username- and off you all go! Create a message or a “raid command” for people to copy and paste in their chat to let them know you’ve come to say hi. It’s nice to raid friends or people doing a similar/same type of stream. This way you can make new friends within the twitch community, network and find people you like to watch too!
A big no-no is going in and self promoting though. It’s a dick move, just don’t.
And there we have it. You’re now growing your own community! One final word of advice is to plug your social media, discord or whatever you have outside of twitch so your community can communicate with you outside of your streams! It’s good for your viewers to know the real you and feel a human connection.
You don’t just now have a community, you have a whole bunch of new friends!
Good luck on your journey, have fun and I hoped this crash course helped you get started! There are many other things you can research to tailor your stream for yourself but I hope this got you started!
Streams a variety of things from games, to music, to IRL chatter.