Twitch stream setup

Making sense of your streaming career

We encounter a lot of Twitch, YouTube and Mixer streamers on a daily basis who wonder if they are going about this the “right way”. They constantly obsess over which game to broadcast or which title will reel in the most viewers. They worry if streaming will prove to be the “right” way to go in life when it comes to their passion to entertain viewers and grow a community. Navigating through your streaming career can be a maze.

Here are some things we wish someone had told us when we first started out streaming…

Focus less on self-labeling

Do what you love, go outside of your comfort zone (even if it’s not related to your stream) and collaborate with other amazing people in the gaming community. It will make sense eventually, trust us.

Even if you advertise yourself as a “variety streamer” – don’t get too invested in the label. Be willing to explore where no one else is.

Streaming is not always straightforward

It’s a lot of experimenting, randomness, detours and even a hint of luck. Just have fun on the ride while you make ends meet. It’s the most rewarding feeling out there. If you need to learn a new skill, take the plunge! Learning new and different skills will be invaluable to you in the future.

Fail more

Failing makes you experiment more. It sends you back to the drawing board when things don’t go as planned. It pushes you out of your comfort zone when you’re relentless in the pursuit of success. Failure is amazing.

Invest in your stream

Like all good things, streaming requires somewhat of an investment at first. You will need a console or dependable PC at the bare minimum. A decent microphone, webcam and stream graphics definitely help as well. Viewers can easily notice who is invested and taking pride in their channel.

We’re not saying you should go broke with the latest and greatest in tech and stream design because that will not necessarily make you great. Your content and personality should be your cornerstones. Having a professional looking (and sounding) stream is a bonus.

It’s not always cool to be cool

You can collaborate with the biggest streamers, the coolest brands, and startups. But it means nothing if the people absolutely suck. Work with the best/understanding people and companies. Trust your gut feeling when someone shows their true colors. You will become a better streamer (and person) once you understand and trust your intuition.

Getting caught up in “who” you work with is a rookie mistake.

Making “the” big decision

A streaming career is a relatively new concept as far as careers go. But, should you quit your job for a career in streaming? Let’s break it down.

There will be some people who do not understand your motive. There will be folks who do not understand what streaming is. That’s OK.

You are the only one that truly understands what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. There are a lot of different questions you should ask yourself when considering the possibility of full time streaming. Here are just a few:

  1. Do you have the discipline to develop a streaming schedule?
  2. What’s your strategy or back up plan if streaming doesn’t pan out?
  3. Have you researched medical insurance providers?

Deciding when to stream full time should not be taken lightly. There’s a lot of things you will possibly need to put on hold. Many of your friends will have significant others, normal jobs, kids and even way more free time than you. Of course, this is all relative to how much time you put into your stream. Your stream should be treated like a business. If it’s going to be successful, you’re going to have to work harder than most people. Of course, this can mean less time devoted to things you used to do before.

This isn’t to say that once you are a full-time streamer, you will never have a life again. The level of effort needed at first is simply so high. It takes a lot of momentum and consistency to get your stream off the ground. Most full-time streamers will tell you that because of the hard work put into the beginning, they are able to have much more flexible schedules now.

With that said…

Regardless of where you’re at in your streaming career, have fun with it & try not to take yourself so seriously. It can be easy (and daunting) to get caught up in the numbers game. Do your best to cling to positivity and the community you’ve built along the way.

Whether you’re a new streamer or a seasoned veteran – you always have the VBI Community at your fingertips. We’re here to help you become a better streamer.

What have you learned from your streaming career so far? Anything you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: /u/IISlapDashII

7 Responses

  1. Infctd GrndZro says:

    Another note, whether you’re variety or have a main game, the people in your shared directories are not your competition. They are your team, your coworkers. Support each other, network and help each other grow. Be a team and you’ll see a shared success. Someone new hosts you that you don’t know, return the favor and pay it forward. Hang out in their chat, become a part of their community and then find someone new to share that with.

    • VBI says:

      Absolutely! I second your statement about the community being co-workers. Streamers are 10x more likely to support someone they saw in their chat showing support for you.

  2. Sam Urbain says:

    Great post!

    But mmm that picture is mesmerizing, what kind of vertical stand are those ? To keep those 24″ vertical, do you know?

    Haha thanks.

  3. Vet says:

    I will say that at the very beginning. It was terrifying! I’m used to speaking to crowds. But never used to performing. I was always told to “be yourself” when you are streaming. At first I didn’t realize what that meant was that each person that comes in, treat them like a welcome guest in your home. And when you start getting regulars. Treat them like friends who came over to visit. Took me a while to get that. And also learning to talk to yourself too. Once I showed my passion and in being genuine. The community started to grow. But almost just as important I figured out early was how important networking was. Because I went out and hung out in both large and small communities. I forged some genuine friendships. Next thing I know I’m getting hosted by larger channels. But one thing I will say to new streamers. Don’t network with the intent to get hosted or get people to shout you out. The opposite will happen. Think about this, if someone comes to your home and demands you get them a drink, how likely are you to even give them water? But if they become your friend, and are genuine. You’ll likely offer them a ice cold tea. Or hot chocolate. Same principle. Streaming is a marathon, it takes a lot of time and patience, and making friendships. In the end. It will pay off.

    • VBI says:

      Appreciate the input, Vet! I love your comment about treating viewers as friends who came over to visit as well as “regulars.” So true!

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