How to become a streamer: Essentials for beginners

If you’ve ever wanted to earn an income and cultivate a following, all while doing the things that you love from home, online streaming might be for you.


Rida Jaleel

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Published: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 11:55 AM

Today, streaming has become a popular way to make a living and express creativity online. And no, we’re not talking about watching a movie on Netflix. A streamer broadcasts themselves doing an activity that invites viewership on an online platform. It’s similar to posting videos on YouTube but in real-time. Streamers worldwide have tapped into an unprecedented way to connect, create a much larger global community, and make a fortune while at it.

Want to become a streamer? Here are the basics:

Find your niche

Before starting to stream, you should decide on your niche that will define your target audience and tailor your content to their interests. Identify what you're good at and – more importantly – what you’re passionate about and enjoy doing. Do you have a flair for enjoyable commentary, live painting, conversations, or quality storytelling? If you’re willing to put in the work to hone and market your skill well enough, very soon, you’ll have a growing population of viewers.

There are multiple kinds of streamers today. The most popular streaming types include gaming. You can either be a Variety streamer playing different kinds of games or a pro gamer focusing on advancing in any one game. Other types include music, art, and makeup streaming. Not to mention Host streaming (where you host interesting guests on your channel), as well as ‘Just Chatting’ streaming, where streamers focus on having open, engaging conversations with their viewers.

Invest in quality equipment

The quality of your equipment can make a big difference to the quality of your streams. You don't always need the most expensive state-of-the-art gear to make an impact, but you need to start by having a good-quality webcam, a microphone, good lighting and, of course, a stable internet connection. Additional accessories would include green screens, audio mixers, a tripod, LED ringlights, etc.

Choose a streaming website

Even though Twitch is the most popular streaming website – with over 35 million active daily users, there are multiple other streaming websites that you could opt for, depending on your niche, audience, and accessibility. A few other options include Vimeo, Periscope, Restream, Streamyard, etc. Do your research, follow the streaming journeys of other streamers you admire, and choose a streaming site perfect for your content.

Build your community

The entire point of streaming is to undertake an activity in the presence of an active audience. Building a community is key to success as a streamer.

How can you do this?

•Display a compelling and unique personality.

•Encourage your viewers to interact with you by asking them questions, responding to their comments, and creating polls.

•Talk through the process; if you’re doing a makeup look, top it up with a Storytime, or take them through the steps of the look.

•Be educative or, at the least, engaging. If you’re not going to be guiding your audience into how to win through multiple levels of Fortnite, have conversations that will keep them around.

•Create a discord server or other social media channels to connect with your audience on other platforms.

Consistency is key

Being consistent is crucial to building your audience. Create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Your viewers will then expect your streams at specific times, which will help build a loyal following. It might be hard to attract viewership in the beginning but consistently showing up and putting up quality content each time is bound to see results sooner or later.

Network and collaborate

One way to be seen on streaming websites is through networking and collaborating with other streamers. Reach out to other streamers in your niche, and work together to create content or promote each other's streams. This will help you gain exposure and harness the power of their viewership.

Promote your streams

Making a Twitch account and streaming twice a week does not mean that your job is done. Establishing a social media presence means putting in relentless hard work for your streams to be noticed amidst heavy competition. Promoting your streams is essential to increasing your visibility and attracting new viewers. Paid advertising, upon gaining some traction, also goes a long way in creating a name in the community.

Begin monetising

Aside from building a community and doing what you love, streaming is also a great way to earn an income. Once you attain a considerable following as a streamer, you can gradually monetise your viewership. Now there are several ways to go about this. You can ask for donations or tips, sell your merchandise or goods (live shopping), paid subscriptions or through brand deals and sponsorships once your streaming career really takes off.

The internet has brought about many new and creative ways to interact with people and make earnings. Streaming is one of them. While streaming can prove quite lucrative, it is noted that only a very small percentage of streamers make it that big. So, if you do want a career in streaming, begin not to make money but to broadcast your skill and form an online collective of like-minded people!

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