If you spend most of your free time playing video games or watching your favourite streamers on Twitch, the thought of turning your hobby into a career might have already crossed your mind.
You’re not alone, as the popular streaming platform has gained a steady supply of content from avid gamers all around the world. In fact, a whopping 2.2 million users stream on Twitch every month, catering to around 140 million unique viewers. Out of the thousands of hours of gaming content that these streamers make every day, some have truly stood out and enabled their creators to become full-time streamers. Read on to find out what you need to be part of this handful of successful streamers:
Invest in High Quality Equipment
While some streamers claim that your audio quality and software doesn’t matter to fans, the fact is that they do. Having a great personality is no use when viewers can’t hear your voice properly. Similarly, being a skilled gamer is not enough if you don’t have the right software to capture what you do clearly and broadcast it to potential fans. In our blog post on ‘How to Start Streaming’, we recommend investing in a great headset and reliable streaming software — both of which are available on the market for reasonable prices.
Play Unique Games
With so much content and other aspiring streamers out there, it can be difficult to get a head start when you’re starting from scratch. While it’s helpful to mimic things that everyone else is doing, this may be counterproductive when it comes to choosing which games you play. For instance, you can jump on the bandwagon and devote hours of your life streaming Fortnite — but your broadcast will just be buried under tons of other users who’ve done the same. Instead, opt for more unique games so that your videos come out on top when viewers search for something. Better yet, try your best to always play new releases as early as you can.
Mind Your Income
No one can blame you if one of the reasons you want to be a full-time streamer is that you’re tired of your boring old job — but don’t quit just yet. Not having a day job or side gig while you’re trying to grow your viewership is a big mistake. Unfortunately, a month of good income that comes from streaming can sometimes be a fluke. It’s safer to wait until you’re sure you’re financially secure before making any commitments.
Thankfully, there are ways to make the transition to full-time streaming easier, as juggling an 9 to 5 job with Twitch can be exhausting. The best way is to use your skill set to freelance on the side. Whether as a voiceover artist, video editor, or content writer, there are tons of options thanks to the current popularity of freelancing. It is certainly comforting to know that there are a lot of professionals making their money this way. In fact, an article on ‘The Future of Work’ by Yoss points out how 30% of freelancers get their income from gig work instead of traditional single-income employment. And why wouldn’t they? These types of arrangements often translate into more time to choose your projects and pursue your personal interests. If your interest is streaming, keep this option in mind. It can be very liberating to be in control of not just your schedule but also the amount of work you take on at any given time.
Create a Realistic Timeline
Finally, a key element in becoming a full-time streamer is good old hard work and patience. It may look easy on the outside, but even the most famous streamers have had to churn out years of consistently good content to build their viewership. You can’t expect to have over 14 million followers like Ninja overnight, as even he spent more than a decade amassing his loyal viewers. Create a realistic timeline that you can stick to by outlining milestones and goals. This can also help you figure out if you’re on the right track or if streaming isn’t for you.
If things do work out, the timeline can be something you look back on fondly as a reminder of how hard you worked to be able to do what you love and get paid for it. And if things take a turn for the worse, you can use the timeline to reassess your previous strategies and get back to the drawing board.