So you are at home, watching your favorite player from your favorite esports team streaming the game you love the most! And as you are enjoying the current video that you are watching, your favorite player decides to end the broadcast and hosted an unknown random person that you do not know. And then it hit you! You have an epiphany!
Why does a regular Joe like yourself be able to stream the same content like your favorite player! Is it even doable? Is it even possible for you to be able to do the same thing? And the realization hits you, You are able to do this! This is possible! You will be able to do it!
Trust me, if I was able to do it, so can you! I am a regular Joe like most of you guys and I was able to hit Affiliate in Twitch and currently working my way to being partnered, so it is possible! So it is time to make a name for yourself, and stream! So if you are interested in making this streaming hobby or dream of yours possible, sit back, relax and read on! I will be talking about how to start your own gaming broadcast and someday, you might be as big as the favorite content creator you are currently watching.
So first things first, we are going to be discussing the essential things you would need before you take the first step in your journey towards being a streamer or a content creator.
First essential stuff you would need is a computer. This will be one of the most important parts of your streaming setup as this will be the primary machine where you will be playing your games and also broadcasting out of. The machine has to have enough processing power though to be able to run the game you are going to play and also the streaming software.
Next would be the peripherals. Of course, a keyboard and mouse is a given, I do not even have to explain that. Then you will need a webcam. The camera is an essential part of streaming as you would want your community to be able to see your face and reactions whenever you play. You can get a good webcam for around $15 to $20. However, if you want a quality setup, you can opt for the much more expensive ones.
The next peripheral you would need to invest in is a good microphone. This will be your way to interact with your community chat while you are playing. It would be hard for you to type at the same time as you are strafing away from bullets or executing a combo on a boss, so good voice communications is a must!
Typically, most streamers use a separate USB or XLR microphone on their rig, but if you are starting out, you can get a gaming headset with a good mic on it and use that.
The next one on the list that you need to start your stream is the broadcasting software. There are many to choose from, both with free and paid options. Personally, used to use OBS Studio, which was very good. However, I do recommend using Stream Labs OBS since it is like a one-stop shop for everything streaming related. And it is free!
You will also be able to get free overlays, widgets, alerts, and extensions on Stream Labs. It is also very user-friendly, which is why I switched over to it since the Stream Labs software itself has preset alerts and widgets already activated.
All you just need to do is configure them to your preferences and use whatever images you desire. Also, when you add new widgets, it is as easy as getting it from their App Store and installing the widget or overlay and you are set!
The last one and one of the most important one, your internet connection. If you want to broadcast content with good picture quality, you need to invest in your connection speed. You would need at least 6 MBPS in Upload speed if you want your stream to be viewed in 1080p quality.
However, anything lower than 3 MBPS upload speed will not be good for you if you decide to broadcast. Your viewers will not appreciate the 360p quality that lower speeds will put out since your internet speed cannot handle the high bandwidth.
For the platform you may want to stream at, it depends where your community wants you to broadcast. There are currently 4 big outlets to stream at. These are Twitch TV by Amazon, YouTube by Google, Mixer by Microsoft and lastly Facebook Gaming by none other than Facebook. However, the lion’s share of the streaming market is Twitch TV.
If you are going to dedicate your time to streaming in majority, Twitch TV will be your best bet. If you want to produce more recorded content however with the occasional live broadcast, then YouTube would be the best thing.
Mixer is just starting out, so for people starting out as well, this would be a perfect platform to engage your community in. It has a much easier process compared to Twitch and YouTube to become affiliated or partnered.
Finally, Facebook Gaming fills the niche market. If your audience is built towards more local engagement, then Facebook would be your best bet since you already use social media anyway, and whenever you go live, friends and family will be notified right away about your broadcast.
However, if you want my honest opinion on it, I would go directly to Twitch. Not only they offer the biggest digital market out there, but they also have awesome perks that they give out to their affiliated and partnered content creators.
The Basics, Do’s and Don’ts
Now that you have assembled you broadcasting rig and chosen a platform to broadcast in, we will be talking about the basic etiquette you will need and also what you need to do and not to do. First things first, always dress decently whenever you are broadcasting. This is a no brainer. If you want your community and your channel to grow, you should dress the part. Be professional.
You do not have to put on a suit and a tie. You can wear a regular t-shirt or a team jersey. The most important part is that you would look decent in front of your audience. Remember, this is the internet, where kids will have access to it. You do not want to risk a ban on your channel when you are starting out because of something stupid as a dress code.
Greet your viewers and interact with them! They will be the lifeblood of your channel. Greeting your viewers and interacting with them such as them asking questions and you answering will form somewhat of a bond with them. If they like what they are watching, and they find you friendly enough, chances are, they will hit that follow button and even encourage their friends to head over to your channel whenever you are live since they had fun.
This is the best way to grow your community as well. Remember, good advertising is always good. You do not want to leave your viewers hanging as they will never come back to your channel if they happen to just stumble into it if you are not engaging enough with them.
Try to design and tailor your channel towards your viewers. Twitch TV has panels that you can add on your channel so that you can give a brief description to your potential followers and viewers about who you are and what do you play most of the time. If you can put in a schedule on when you can stream, much better. Show people that you are making an effort in putting up a good show by designing your site as well.
It may be simple looking but that is no problem at all. It is way better than having a blank page where your viewers do not know a single bit about you prior to your streaming. The resources are offered for free by Twitch and a couple of panel designers, so why not take advantage of it and design your site! It will drive more traffic if they find something visually stunning on your channel.
Refrain from talking about politics, religion and other socio-political and economic topics in your chat. Always remember that people have different opinions and they might not share yours. So to avoid the headaches that these topics might cause, just stay away from them completely. Also, keep an eye on your chatbox from time to time.
Just because you are not talking about it, doesn’t mean that your community does not as well. If possible, appoint some people that you can trust as moderators so that they can run interference for you and watch the chat while you go ahead and concentrate on your gameplay and provide quality content.
And lastly, just be yourself!
You do not need to pretend or be someone else. Just be you! You decided to go ahead and broadcast because you want to make a name for yourself or be recognized, so why assume someone else’s persona? To be honest, you are the most important asset of all. Without you, there would be no channel, no content creator, no broadcast.
So go ahead! Stream, create videos and interact with your community. Just do not forget why you signed up for this and just be yourself. Trust me, it works! I made it to Affiliate in Twitch and already on my way to partnership just by being me!