My first time…(Streaming on Twitch)

“Just hit the ‘start streaming’ button….”

This is the biggest step anyone can take when first starting to stream. Hitting that button and allowing thousands of people to view your face and/or hear your voice as you stream live for the very first time. It’s equivalent to giving a speech you’ve prepared for, having the words displayed on the TelePrompTer and all of a sudden…

It goes blank…

It’s just you, the video game in the background, some hip tunes and curious viewers hopping in and out your stream, waiting to be entertained. Its nerve racking, uncomfortable, exciting and adrenaline inducing all at the same time. For those more comfortable being thrust into the line light, adjusting to the shock of broadcasting yourself to the world is a bit easier.

It took me three months after setting up my Twitch stream to hit that ‘start streaming’ button. Three. Damn. Months.

For others, it can be a hurdle that seems 10 feet high and wide as a football field (alright Kai, too dramatic) what I’m trying to say is, it’s scary. I like to think of myself as an outgoing, extroverted, risk taking spontaneous young man. I’m comfortable being the center of attention and love meeting and interacting with new people. I felt like streaming wouldn’t be that much of a difference as interacting and entertaining strangers in real life… boy was I wrong.

It took me three months after setting up my Twitch stream to hit that ‘start streaming’ button. Three. Damn. Months. And every time I thought I was ready, I’d fall back on another excuse…

“I need to review more about chat interaction,”
“My logo isn’t clean enough, needs to be fixed,”

“I need more followers in Twitter first,”

“Just a few more ‘How To’ videos and I’ll be set…next week,”

All I was doing was building more and more pressure on myself to hit that button. What was I waiting for? I was over preparing and over analyzing my very first stream. I just wanted it to be perfect. I could already imagine it:

  • Chat booming with love and fun conversations
  • The stream running smoothly in high definition
  • I’m smiling and fearlessly showing off my personality
  • Followers trickling in, enjoying themselves and buying in to the theme of my channel…

Bam! Start stream button hit and….

Nothing. That’s okay. Within an hour or two, I’ll see viewers, followers and chat all show some activity.

Three hours later…

No followers.

The stream bugged out along with my glitchy, cheap $20 camera.

I succumb to my nerves and barely crack a smile or say a word.

There’s an uptick and down tick of viewers from 0 to 1 back to 0. Oh and a troll. A very persistent troll. Hey! I had my first dedicated viewer! (I try to stay positive)

This would continue for the next three weeks. It was discouraging to say the least. Eventually, I was able to make some tweaks, discover the power of social media and practice talking to myself and keep the stream entertaining, with or without chat activity.

TL:DR Starting a stream on Twitch can be tough.

You will be challenged in more ways than you can imagine. Building momentum for your channel and growing your community takes time. As cliche as it sounds, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. This is why I chose to share my story, albeit a bit terse. There was so much more crying (kidding.) In all seriousness though, I wanted to paint the ugly picture of where every partnered or larger than life Streamer started: with the big ‘ol goose egg. Yet they were able to build thriving, supportive and ever growing communities on Twitch.

Although I have yet to reach the mountain top of Partnership on Twitch, Affiliate status is a first big step. I’m very fortunate to have such an amazingly supportive community/family that’s been going strong for almost three years. We grow up so fast *tear*

So remember, when you’re feeling the nerves or having second thoughts, know that there’s never the perfect time to start. Just hit that ‘start stream’ button. Today. You never know what can come of it.

Kaitality is a variety broadcaster on the video game streaming platform Twitch.

Be sure to join him and hi. Minions as they enjoy indie, fighting, action and horror games. Oh and talk about food.

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