One of the biggest issues new streamers face is meeting the average viewership requirement for affiliates. Thousands of excited newcomers throw themselves headfirst into the field, only to stream day after day to few or no people at all. This is very discouraging and causes people to give up quickly. Those who don’t give up, spend day after day trying to emulate what others are doing in the hopes that this will improve their own numbers. They wonder why so many other channels are growing while theirs remains stagnant. Over my time on Twitch, I’ve kept an eye on the newcomers who were able to break away from the pack and grow their channels successfully. Most share key behaviors conducive to community building that I’ll be outlining for you here. Let’s take some of the guesswork out of growing a Twitch channel, so you can have the best start possible!
Network by Making Friends
What many new streamers might not realize right away is that you can build a community and shape the atmosphere of it in no time by making friends with other streamers. Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first, making friends with other streamers and their viewers is a great starting point. This leads to several positive effects on both your own channel and theirs. When you hang out in other streams and become a part of their community, you get a good feel for what positive streamer-viewer interactions are like. When you yourself go live, these friends are likely to support you because you’re their friend. This can even encourage their own viewers to visit your channel.
Second, by having your friends show up and support you, you are setting the tone and feel of a true community. You may find your road to affiliate and partner is more enjoyable when a few buddies have your back. Remember, growing your Twitch channel does not have to be a lonely experience. But how do you do this? Browse categories that interest you to find streams you’ll want to hang out in. Remember, be yourself, but be sincere—support and befriend streamers who you genuinely like. No one likes a phony and we can all spot them from a mile away!
Be Mindful of Categories
With millions of broadcasters and viewers, it can be difficult to grow your Twitch channel. Having your friends come hang out with you will increase your visibility, but it’s not enough. New viewers need to be looking in that category in the first place to find you. You should be mindful of the categories you’re choosing to stream in, so you can be found more organically. Search for the category and take a look at how many people are actively streaming, viewing and following it. A category with no viewers with net you no new followers. On the flip side, a category with a lot of viewers, like League of Legends, drowns you in a sea of streamers. Make sure you are competitive in your category!
Keep a Presence on Social Media
Twitch is a big place and while streaming and networking to grow your Twitch channel will certainly help, there are millions of people across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook that you can bring over to your Twitch channel. If you don’t take advantage of social media, as soon as you go offline, you no longer have a presence. It’s good practice to be in the habit of having one new piece of content on social media per day.
Creating YouTube Content to Help Grow Your Twitch Channel
So many streamers are busy streaming for hours and hours, they forget they could be making content on YouTube. While some streamers are posting their past broadcasts, that is not necessarily what it means to grow your Twitch channel using YouTube. People go to Twitch for a different reason than YouTube. A YouTube video is something that is more fast pace and in your face than Twitch. Twitch streams are places to chill out with friends for longer periods of time. So you need to find a differing topic for your YouTube channel. This could be a new take on game reviews, a cooking channel, or even notable videos like speedrunning.
Get Involved in Streaming Events
There are a lot of organizations connected to Twitch, and sometimes they hold events. Twitch streamer cynOmatic has taken advantage of speedrunning events with GDQ and charity streams like RetroBlockParty. These events can help get your channel in front of more eyes, which is a huge deal when trying to grow your Twitch channel. Always keep an eye out for the next big event and don’t be afraid to apply to them.
Stream Less to Grow Your Twitch Channel
Believe it or not, most channel growth does not happen because of what you do on Twitch, but what you do when you’re not live. Streaming every day for hours on end might get you a follower here and there. But actually taking the time to create content outside of Twitch will net you a faster gain in audience. You can use the time to improve your alerts, craft meaningful social media posts and make unique YouTube content. So get out there, make friends, create content and most importantly, have fun doing it!