Balancing Yourself with Twitch
Firstly, have reasonable expectations. Remember: All of this is just advice and ideas that have worked for my cast and my lifestyle. Due to timing, commitment, opportunity, and luck – even the best effort put forth may be swept under the unending wave of other content to compete with out there. It may take a while to achieve the various goals you have. This is not an exhaustive or personalized list on how to succeed, but my random, short musings based of off conversations I’ve had lately. If you have specific questions about these and other various tips, message me or join my guild (https://streamlabs.com/guilds#/jessyquil-s-quillective) so I can personalize the response.
- Put real life first. This is absolutely the most important point I will hammer into my conversations. For instance, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory in psychology depicting five basic tiers of human needs. It starts with two basic needs on the bottom of the pyramid: physiological (warmth, water, food, rest) and safety (security). These tiers are the largest and the first to pay attention to - they take the most effort and time to balance correctly, and are also the main contributor of issues and success in day to day tasks. The middle tier depicts psychological needs: belongingness (love, intimacy, friendships) and esteem (self-worth, feelings of accomplishment). These tiers help motivate us to continue to impress others through personal growth and socialization. Finally, at the top is self-actualization, which encompasses achieving personal potential, especially through creative activities, which is where activities like Twitch fall. If your job performance is suffering, if your relationships are failing, if you aren’t healthily stable —you need to work on putting yourself on solid ground in the real world first before putting too much effort into the virtual one. Plus, having a happy, healthy life full of hobbies, friends, and work makes topics you can talk about on cast and in conversations more interesting!
- Stick to your schedule. Like a job or show, you have a time slot you’re expected to put facetime in. You can be flexible with it, such as an hour rolling start time or bonus/extra cast days, but be sure to commit to it. If your current schedule isn’t working - adjust it. If real life pops up and demands attention, communicate with your viewers about the temporary (or permanent!) change.
- Be motivated. Why do you want to stream? Do you enjoy streaming? Do you have a unique flare? When viewing VODs, are you interested and entertained by the various things you say or do? What makes you feel like you’ve had a successful stream? What makes you frustrated during or off cast? Is your attitude during and off cast conducted to the type of community you’re building? Keep these questions in mind and reflect on how to improve and grow from them.
- Technical quality. Make sure that your video/audio (and content) settings are of excellent quality. This varies a lot depending on the equipment you have available. There are a plethora of guides and reviews for various products and settings. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the idea that having the biggest battlestation means you’re successful, just focus on stable video/audio/content quality to start.
- Interact. Engage with what your viewers comment on during your cast. If there’s a period of silence, keep a dialog going, even if you’re not getting responses. It doesn’t mean people aren’t listening, they just may want to lurk and enjoy instead.
- Engage. Twitter is the biggest ‘outside’ Twitch place that the community uses to communicate with each other. Check out various Steam groups, Reddit subreddits, Discord/Curse servers, and more to find and interact with other communities. Be active, but without pushing yourself and your cast on others.
- Network. Be friendly and engaging with other casters via raiding, chatting in cast/discord/curse/Twitter, retweeting their major events, and such. Approach like-minded and sized casters or teams to set up stream events or bounce ideas off and give support to each other. Genuinely care about their growth, and don’t look at them as a means to an end.
- Change. Add theme weeks. Get a rebrand. Add bot games and features. Don’t be afraid.
- Have fun. Enjoy yourself. You’re playing games or creating art and sharing it live with other people. Keep that in mind!