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.
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?