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24-Hour Streams, Should You Do Them?

When I was in college, pulling all-nighters was the norm. Project due tomorrow? Time to pull an all-nighter. Exam next week? Yep, you guessed it — more all-nighters. Although having to pull all-nighters was a symptom of procrastination, I felt like I earned a badge of honor the next morning. I felt cool when I told my friends about the 24-hour session of studying, snacks, and the 3 episodes of Breaking Bad I managed to watch while “multi-tasking.” 

You may have also heard of the term “hackathon”, which is essentially a glorified all-nighter. You show up, find a team, think of an idea, and build it out. Oh, and you only have 36 hours do finish. Most people get very little sleep and exert a lot of energy to build something cool and win prizes. 

Sleeping at a hackathon

But how beneficial are these short bursts of work? 

At hackathons, I met some incredibly passionate people and made some great friends. They were an opportunity to put myself out there and put my skills to the test. At one hackathon, I won some Beats headphones. At another, I slept in a cardboard box. Great memories!

However, be aware of the disruption to your sleep schedule. Sleep is incredibly important. As I get older, I can physically feel the effects of sleep deprivation on my body. I’m less productive the next few days, it’s easier for me to get sick, and it puts a strain on my vital organs.

As Matt Walker says in his TED Talk, “sleep is your superpower.” He argues that even small disturbances to your normal sleep cycle can have long-term consequences. There can also be short-term consequences if you push yourself too hard, like this Taiwan gamer who died after playing games for 3 days straight.

So how does this apply to streaming? Streaming isn’t an exam you need to pass or a quick project you need to deliver. Streaming is a long-term commitment. Short term gains are nice and help boost morale. But without the proper rest, it is easy for you turn burnout and hurt your overall performance. Write down a list of goals you have for your stream. Does an all-nighter significantly help? If so, go for it. But make sure to do it in a healthy way.

If you’re thinking about running a 24-hour stream, it shows that you’re really passionate about what you do. Having passion and commitment towards your goals will go a long way. But be careful. Your sleep is incredibly important.

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GAMINGTWITCH

5 Things That Top Streamers Do That Make Them Stand Out

Top Gaming Streamers

At this point, seeing how successfully the top gaming streamers have penetrated mainstream media, we can no longer deny the success of streaming.

With its increased popularity, however, also comes a growth in public interest. In particular, more and more people are looking to see if they can get their own slice of the proverbial pie.

And, why not?

With reports from reliable sources such as Reuters confirming that top gaming streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins were paid as much as $1 million by Electronic Arts to play and promote one of their latest titles, Apex Legends, it’s only natural to be interested.

But, as enticing as that big load of cash is, the journey to the top isn’t easy.

It can take months, if not years, for a streamer to go from zero or a couple of viewers to hundreds. In fact, there are hundreds of streamers today who’ve been streaming for years who struggle to reach a thousand viewers.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes into your potential viewer count. The game you’re playing is a huge one. You can’t exactly start off playing some obscure and relatively unknown game and expect thousands of people to come and watch you play. But, we won’t pretend to know the secret sauce behind what makes successful streamers as popular as they are.

What we do know is that there are some things that they do that other streamers don’t.

With that said, below, we’ll try to go into detail on some of the things that we have noticed that some of the top gaming streamers on Twitch do that others don’t.

Just keep in mind that these won’t always apply to everyone. But, even so, there’s something here for every aspiring streamer to learn.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Committed to a consistent streaming schedule

One of the first things that you should always do if you want to go on Twitch and be a streamer is be consistent.

After all, how can you expect people to show up to watch you when you can’t even show? If someone’s following you, that means you show up to their “Following” page, and if you stream consistently enough, you’ll show up there often and they’re more likely to subscribe and keep on watching your streams.

Not streaming consistently means that you’re losing out on viewers and giving them a chance to go somewhere else.

Eventually, if you keep your inconsistency up, your followers will start to forget you. Some might even start unfollowing and unsubscribing from you.

You don’t want that to happen.

Having a consistent streaming schedule might be exhausting, but it’s what you need to do to give interested viewers a chance to know when they should tune in if they want to watch you play and entertain on Twitch.

For example, Ninja often streams for around 11-14 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 6 AM to 7 PM.

Prior to him becoming as popular as he is today, Ninja used to stream even more often. In fact, he used to stream everyday! He’s since toned down his streaming schedule to pursue other endeavors, but if you’re still starting out, find a way to stream as consistently as possible — do it everyday if you can!

Whether you only have a dozen viewers or a record-breaking number of viewers today, being consistent is important.

Be on your stream as stated in your schedule, even if you have to force yourself to do it.

If you can do that, then you’re already way ahead of the curve.

2. Flexible enough to adjust and improve themselves

When you stream for a living, you have to treat it like a job.

That means taking it seriously and not doing it solely just for fun.

Being flexible can be extremely helpful in these situations.

Having a back-up plan for your back-up plan when things go south, or being able to roll with the punches and take things as they go, are great skills to have as a streamer.

Sure, consistency is great, but you can’t always predict everything.

Your reaction to things that you cannot control, from simply having a bad day and going on a losing streak to having a couple of trolls try to get on your nerves, says a lot about you as a person.

This doesn’t mean that you have no right to get mad.

Rather, what we’re trying to say is that you should try to do it in a positive manner in a way that won’t drive away your viewers.

Having a positive attitude and disposition can go a long way in attracting viewers because it greatly improves the viewing experience, as well as the quality of your stream.

3. Self-awareness and open mindedness

If you’re going to take streaming seriously, you must exercise the power of self-awareness and being open-minded enough to assess when you become your stream’s biggest problem.

So many streamers fall into a rut because they blame everything but themselves when things go wrong in their streams.

Remember, 99% of the time, you are the reason why your stream is not growing.

It’s not because the top gaming streamers are also on when you are, or because you have a crappy gaming set-up, or whatever it is that you came up with to make yourself feel better about why your stream is going the way that it is.

As a streamer, you are your own boss, that means you have to learn how to criticize and tell yourself when things are going wrong.

Also, being open-minded helps because it makes you more open to experimentation.

The road to being a successful streamer isn’t always going to be clear and straight — you have to be willing to fix problems as they come and forge your own path.

4. Business-minded

Streaming is a business, whether you like it or not.

The sooner you agree with this statement and treat it like a business, the better your stream will be.

The top gaming streamers know that what they are doing isn’t just a job. Streaming is a business and they are their own brand. They treat everything professionally (even if sometimes, that may not seem like the case). They also do everything they can do to further the brand, not the other way around.

As you start growing your audience, you’ll inevitably receive offers from various companies and individuals.

It is up to you to decide whether you should work with them or not.

Once you do come to a decision, you’ll have to come to terms to a contract as well. This is where being business-minded and having a good nose for business comes in handy.

If you don’t treat yourself as a business and don’t know how much your value is, you might end up underselling yourself and sign a sponsorship deal that is not in your best interests.

That’s not something that one of the top gaming streamers do.

5. Uniquely entertaining in their own ways

Being entertaining is one thing — doing your own thing is another.

Being yourself works great when streaming, you just have to take it up a notch and make your stream entertaining.

If being yourself means being one of the best players in the world, then by all means, do that.

Artour “Arteezy” Babaev remains one of the top gaming streamers in Dota 2. He doesn’t stream consistently, but people still watch him. Why? Because he is literally one of the best players in all of Dota 2.

He doesn’t try to be entertaining or anything. He just plays the game and puts on some music. Sometimes, he doesn’t even interact with the viewers.

But, of course, that’s Arteezy, and you’re not him.

In streaming, the people who copy other streamers are those who end up failing. They may find some success temporarily, but in the end, streamers who have unique content end up enjoying success and a strong community.

In order to be a successful streamer, you have to find out what makes you different from other people.

Once you find it, you need to do your best to keep on working at it.

The Endless and Random Journey to Becoming One of the Top Gaming Streamers

The truth is, there’s no set path when it comes to being a successful streamer.

Each successful streamer got where they are today via their own means. Some made it there because of their skill. Meanwhile others made it there because they were genuinely good people and people loved watching them playing games, even though they were not as skilled.

Regardless of whatever it is that you find that makes you different, the most important thing in pursuing a career in streaming is determination.

You have to be determined enough to continue pursuing this endless and random journey.

It also helps to be open-minded, self-aware, and be obsessed with improvement. You have to keep on working on yourself every day and you have to learn how to fix every problem as they come. More importantly, you have to be willing to listen to feedback from others.

Of course, the path to being one of the top gaming streamers don’t have to be so lonely.

If you’re persistent enough, you’ll find other streamers that can help you progress.

You can do the same for them as well.

Ultimately, the most important thing here is to never give up.

Because, well, if you do, then what’s the point?

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TWITCH

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Streamers

When viewers scan the long list of streamers in Twitch, they probably see a bunch of people having fun and shouting with glee at their latest in-game find. The life of a streamer might seem like it’s all fun and games, and a lot of people attempt to try it as their new job. How hard could it be, right? It’s just playing games.

But behind the laughter, the video games, and the upbeat personality are difficulties we don’t see. Like a seemingly calm duck floating on the lake, you actually have to paddle and wade through things beyond just playing games. This is not an overnight success route, and a lot of people have been burned out due to how long they waited already to build a following with little to no results.

The reality is not everyone can be a successful streamer, especially if you’re someone who views it as something easy and quick. There is more to it than just putting yourself and your video games on camera. You have to consider the financial aspect of things, marketing yourself, and being consistent and patient, not to mention having the passion and drive for doing this. Being a streamer isn’t like most jobs where you can just leave your work at the end of your workday – it consumes a lot of your time and you have to interact with your community constantly. When you consider all that, it is amazing how streamers continue to chug along.

But this article isn’t meant to crush your spirits. Instead, we wish to give a little slice of the reality pie, as well as instill hope in veteran and newbie streamers alike. The new year has just started and resolutions are being made left and right, so here’s our take on 5 New Year’s Resolution ideas for streamers that will hopefully inspire and guide you this 2019.

1. Set a goal and work on it

What kind of streamer do you really want to be? Where do you see yourself after a couple of months of streaming? How about a year from now? Do you have other creative outlets you want to explore? If you’re only having this as a hobby, do you want it to become a full-fledged career? A bit of direction on your streaming activities will greatly help, and one way to stay on track is by writing things down. Write down your goals and what you want your streaming hobby or career to become. You can also make a vision board and hang or place it in an area where you can see it all the time.

2. Don’t forget your roots

Some people tend to follow trends to please the crowd. While that’s not totally bad, you should also not forget the things that make you, well, you. Being genuine goes a long way and your audience will appreciate it. 

What games do you really love to play? What’s your personality? What started your streaming career? What inspired it all? By keeping these in mind, you won’t stray too far from yourself.

3. Be mindful of your health

While it’s commendable that a lot of streamers work so hard and so long, one’s health shouldn’t be neglected. How else would you properly game and stream if your health gets compromised, right? You could start with something simple, like walking some more, sleeping some more, or swapping the usual junk food and soda with healthier snacks. You can even get into the meal prep biz and prep “gamer” snacks. Making it fun will help.

Aside from physical health, be mindful of your mental health as well. Are the games and community affecting you, or are real life issues affecting your streaming? It’s okay to take a break and deal with these things, and keep in mind that your mental health should be a priority.

4. Learn new things

Learning something new can be beneficial to your channel. You can pick up a new hobby that you can share to your community, or learn the tricks of the trade and improve your channel. Can I entertain my community with my fanart? Would it make things fun if I make costumes and cosplay my favorite characters? What new apps, programs and gadgets can I use to make my streaming better? It keeps things from being stagnant and can help with your growth, streaming career-wise.

5. Enjoy your time

This last entry might sound cliche and obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people actually need this reminder. Gaming should be fun. You will get a more positive outcome if you also enjoy what you’re doing.

“But what if,” you say, “that the things I like and enjoy won’t give me success?” 

I say that having fun is a form of success already, but if that’s not the kind of success you’re looking for then there are decisions you gotta do and choices you gotta pick. Life’s tricky that way, and at the end of the day all I can hope for is that your decision will still lead you to happiness!

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TWITCH

‘Game Queue’ Twitch Extension is Live!

Invite your viewers to game with you, completely hassle-free.

We are happy to announce the release of our latest Twitch extension panel — Game Queue!

Game Queue makes it easy to invite viewers to game with you. Viewers can join your game of Overwatch, PUBG, and many other games with a simple chat command. With full Twitch integration, users don’t need to leave the site to join the queue and we have built hassle-free controls for streamers. Game Queue is fully customizable and handles queue management, prioritization of subscribers, and gamertag collection, so you can focus on your stream.

How do I add the extension to my Twitch profile?

You can install the panel here: http://bit.ly/2A8sI9H. We also made a step-by-step video guide for getting Game Queue up and running! It takes less than 5 minutes and you can start engaging viewers in an exciting new way.

What features does the Game Queue have?

Game queue has many exciting features. In addition to being completely free, we have highlighted some important features below.

Simple gamertag management

Manage gamertags with a simple whisper command

Subscriber-only mode — Subscriber priority queue

Customizable colors and messaging

How can the Game Queue improve my stream?

We have talked with hundreds of streamers and viewers to understand what tools are missing and what challenges exist. During this process and during our beta testing, we have distilled our learnings into 3 key improvements.

Increased engagement

Game Queue is the only extension of its kind. Many extensions are read-only, and don’t allow for much interaction. Game Queue allows viewers to interact directly with you and have unforgettable experiences. This is also a very new extension and will help differentiate your stream.

Improved subscribe rate

Many streamers have activated subscriber-only mode. This is a direct incentive for people to subscribe to your channel.

Better donations

Last year, over $100MM was donated to streamers. This level of generosity and engagement is unheard of. Now imagine giving someone a more hands-on, unforgettable experience during your stream. “Remember that time I won a PUBG duo with DrDisRespect? Or when I had that amazing Zarya ult playing with TimTheTatman?” Game Queue gives viewers a stronger incentive to donate, and leaves them a bigger fan than ever before.

What our users are saying:

— “This is unlike any panel I’ve seen. It’s very interactive and gives viewers something to look forward to.”

— “I could see myself using this for charity streams. It could motivate more viewers to tune in and donate to charity in return for a fun experience.”

— “I have a really hard time managing gamertags for my viewers who want to game with me. This completely solves that problem.”

Game Queue was built by the community, for the community. Your feedback is incredibly valuable, and we will do our best to build tools and services to help create exciting new experiences.

Pixels Team

^_^

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TWITCH

5 Essential Twitch Extensions for Streamers

If you aren’t familiar with Twitch Extensions, you should be. Last month, Twitch announced support for developer-created extensions that can be installed directly to your channel.

The capabilities of these extensions are endless, and more and more are being created each day. We have compiled a list of the best extensions to help you differentiate and grow your stream.

Streamlabs Loyalty, Music, Polls & Games (learn more)

Streamlabs is a must-have extension that allows you to process donations, reward viewers, and engage them with polls and music.

Porcupine’s Kappa Pet (learn more)

Keep your stream alive with this creative pet that “lives” and “dies” based on certain levels of viewer engagement.

StreamLegends (learn more)

Let your viewers fight monsters, level up, and earn rewards with this viewer-driven panel.

Game Queue (learn more)

Invite your viewers to game with you, completely hassle-free. This extension takes viewer engagement to the next level, and provides your viewers with unforgettable experiences.

Gear on Amazon (learn more)

Showcase your gear and custom swag directly on your channel. The best part? Amazon shares a cut of the revenue for viewers who buy from your stream.

There are 100s more extensions live for you to install, and I encourage you to check them out. Many of them provide you ways to make your stream more interactive and engaging.

Stream on!

^_^

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