Lacking the proper equipment? Scared that no one will watch? Just not in the mood today? It’s incredibly easy to psych yourself out of streaming long before you even give the medium a try.
Streaming isn’t for everyone. But how will you know if you don’t give it a shot? You might be missing out on a new and fulfilling hobby if you let your anxieties keep you on the sidelines. Let’s see what we can do to push those to the side and finally make progress on establishing your channel!
You probably already have the equipment you need to stream
Don’t have the highest end computer, microphone, or webcam? Odds are, that won’t be a problem! If you play on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you can stream directly off of the console itself. Use your headset so that your viewers can hear you. If you happen to have a supported camera, throw that on too and you’ve got the essentials covered.
Yes, you’re not going to get any of the bells-and-whistles of a stream running off of a PC, but that’s not important for when you’re starting out. What you should focus on is getting a feel for how streaming works and whether you enjoy the process. For Xbox One users who
stream on Mixer, you can add a bit of extra pizzaz to your overlays through Lightstream Studio.
Nintendo players…will need a bit of hardware. You’re going to need a PC, as well as a capture card. An Elgato Game Capture HD60 S is a good place to start, though there are alternatives across the feature and price spectrum that may better suit your needs. You won’t need a beefy PC to run the capture card, but I’d make sure whatever capture card you plan on buying is compatible with your current machine.
You don’t have to be a professional gamer to attract an audience
Does being really good at the games give you a better chance at attracting an audience? Yes, especially in games that have an esports or competitive element. That said, high-level gameplay is just one thing a game streamer can offer. Maybe you’re taking on a game you love with a different approach. Maybe you leverage your conversational skills to keep viewers engaged. Maybe you open up your stream to play with viewers. Maybe instead of gaming, you go as far as to use the platform of streaming to showcase a different talent entirely.
The vast majority of streamers on Twitch aren’t pros. Those who succeed without being experts find other ways of drawing an audience. With practice and research, you may grow an audience of your own.
You set your own expectations for success
Beginning to stream doesn’t mean you’re committing to making this your full-time job. You’re open to approaching the medium from whatever angle you like. If you’re happy with just streaming once-in-a-blue-moon with only your family tuning in from time-to-time, so be it. As long as you approach the hobby with reasonable expectations, it’s a lot easier to manage any inherent stress that might come from trying to attract viewers or making money.
The world is waiting for you
Viewers watch a streamer because the streamer adds value to their life. Value can come in many forms, such as educational, motivational, entertainment, and relational. Playing video games is just a tiny part of the entertainment category.
When viewers watch your stream, they’re doing so because you’re adding value to their lives. What value can you add to the world? In return, the world can add value to yours. They may simply lurk, raising your viewer count and getting you higher up on the directory. They may be involved in your chat. You might collaborate with them on stream someday. You might even make new friends through your stream. There’s nothing quite like that connection you can make with others from around the world through streaming, which is my primary reason for doing it consistently.
If you’re still not interested in streaming after all of this, carry on with your life as if nothing happened. But if you’re sitting on the fence, what are you waiting for? Odds are, you’ve got little to lose and a lot to gain. Give it a try and see if it’s something you’d like to pursue further!
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