If there’s one thing you need to know about me, I love gaming. I’ve been a PC gamer for most of my life and dedicated my whole career to technology. I finally decided to start streaming on Twitch during the spring of this year. After a lot of gameplay hours and support, I became a Twitch Affiliate over the summer. I’ve tried a couple of games but found myself mostly streaming Call of Duty: Warzone.
It’s not about winning, it’s about trying your best and having fun. I’ve met a ton of exciting viewers and streamers through this experience. It’s great to be part of communities where you’re all about good vibes and being on the same page. When your team decides on a gameplay and you know the assignment, things will go smoothly.
Through my 8+ months of adventure through streaming, I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. Check out my Twitch channel!
Set boundaries upfront.
As a female streamer, I’ve been in uncomfortable situations where a few viewers give me major creeper vibes. To be frank, don’t catch feelings for a streamer. Just because someone is streaming doesn’t mean they’re available and are looking for a relationship. Don’t try to read between the lines and don’t take their kindness as a romantic interest.
I was in a situation where a viewer had a crush on me, which was an uncomfortable experience. I made it clear that I had no interest in pursuing anything more and appreciated the support. That got turned around, and the viewer made it seem like I’m not compatible. I was the one who wasn’t interested in the first place.
This turns me to this recommendation: set boundaries upfront. I don’t care if I seem mean; I’ve proactively set boundaries for my own protection. This includes having chat rules, stating no creepers/weridos, and not asking me to play with the viewer. This protects my integrity and gameplay. Sometimes, people just want a conversation, and it’s okay if you don’t have the emotional availability for it.
It’s okay to say no. People can get upset and unfollow, which is honestly a favor more than anything. Follower count shouldn’t impact you.
Set a healthy schedule.
Burnout is a real thing, and the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed over streaming, especially if it’s a hobby. Set a healthy schedule, and don’t feel pressured to follow it, especially if you end up putting life as a priority. I streamed almost every day for several months and felt burnt out in the end. I had to remind myself it’s okay to take breaks and that things will be fine if I take a week off from streaming. If I don’t feel like streaming on a particular day, I won’t push myself for my own sake.
Find your support circle.
I’ve met a ton of amazing people through streaming and online gaming. Find people who you can rely on for high-level support. We’re not talking about therapy-level activities, but have your back in case something were to happen. I’m thankful for my close IRL friends who came in clutch when there was a creep on my channel. We don’t condone any forms of cyberbullying. However, when someone makes you feel uncomfortable, count on your mods and support circle to drive away those weirdos.
Interact with your viewers.
Always be mindful of who you’re partying with; it’s wise to mute yourself if there are multiple streamers in the party or you’re about to address your channel. I’m still trying to learn about streamer etiquette, but know what’s the right thing to do and when.
Sometimes, a viewer has a question or engaging conversation, and you honestly can’t address it right away because you’re in a sweaty situation in-game. That’s fine; save it for after the match or when you are available. I’ve had viewers redeem “Trap Recitation” mid-game, and I had them wait until the end of the match to respond appropriately.
Utilize channel loyalty points.
I’ve integrated a few loyalty point rewards for viewers who stick around when I’m streaming. There are a ton of different ideas, whether viewers can redeem their points to have the streamer drink water or perform an activity. If you can automate some ideas, that would make things easier. This is the time to get creative!
I’m still trying to learn how to market my channel. I found huge success in utilizing hashtags on Twitter, making YouTube videos, and playing with random people who end up being a supporter. There are a ton of resources out on the internet to grow your channel. If you need to adopt a certain persona, do it as long as you’re comfortable and happy!
With that said, enjoy my “Verdansk’s Last Tribute” sniper montage!