First, if you’re looking for a “How to get successful on Twitch” article, then you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not a popular streamer. I’m a small streamer. Would I like to be more successful? Certainly. Do I try to practice habits to gain more followers? Of course I do. This isn’t that kind of article. This is about how I’ve learned to cope with the ups and downs and how I’ve managed to keep streaming 5 days or more a week for 2 years without getting burned out.
Live streaming can be exciting and fun when it’s going well. I love the interaction with my regulars, and meeting new people who are checking out my channel for the first time. It can be very rewarding and fun.
However there are a LOT, and I mean a LOT of times, especially starting out, where you’ll only have a few people come in and you’re struggling to create content. It’ll feel like your wasting your time, or that no one likes you, or that it’s impossible to get noticed with SO many other streamers out there, so why bother trying? As much fun as live streaming can be, for small streamers, it can be equally as frustrating.
Here is what I’ve learned to keep myself going…
Your mental state is the most important tool in live streaming. Dealing with the roller coaster of ups and downs can be frustrating and depressing. How you cope with that frustration will directly determine if you can handle the live stream long game. Keep in mind that Ninja, one of today’s most successful live streamers, didn’t find success until after over a decade of streaming. The idea that you can be a successful live streamer in a short amount of time, is a lot like trying to win the lottery. Does it happen? Yes. To everyone? No. Most of today’s successful live streamers have spent years and years trying to create content exciting enough for people to support them. This takes a good amount of mental discipline.
This is why taking time out to take care of your mental health is so important. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, you can’t be expected to take care of your stream and your community. This means that taking the time to practice self care is as important as the content that you create.
If you don’t feel like streaming that day, don’t stream.
It’s as simple as that. Forcing yourself to stream when you’re not feeling it will only result in poor content and will only serve to increase your frustration.
Sometimes the grind can be brutal. It’s important to keep in touch with yourself so that you know when you need a break. That can mean anything from lightening your schedule, to being able to tell your regulars that you’re not going to stream that day because you need a personal day.
Manage your expectations.
Why are you streaming? What are you trying to achieve? If you’re looking for fame, you’ll be chasing your tail forever hoping to win the lottery. If you’re looking for success, then it all depends on what it means to you. Is success having 20 regulars every day? Gaining subscribers? Sharing kindness? Teaching others? How you define success is really important. By managing your expectations and creating small goals that change and build weekly, you help to motivate yourself and fend off that dreaded burnout. It’s only when you have unrealistic expectations of long term goals that you become frustrated and want to quit.
Take your time.
This goes hand in hand with managing your expectations. You know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” the same thinking applies to building your live streaming community. It helps to understand that live streaming is a long game. So enjoy yourself along the way. If you’re always feeling frustrated because you feel like you’re not reaching your goals quick enough, adjust your goals. This isn’t a race. Building a community, is a lot like building a house. If you rush it, and don’t pay attention to details, you’re going to end up with a very poor house.
Take care of your health.
I know that this last one sounds simplistic, and it is at heart, yet it’s also something that can easily be ignored if you’re not paying attention. Your health plays a big part in your mood and how you approach frustration or adversity. Getting plenty of sleep, watching what you eat, exercising, and taking the time to meditate, will help you maintain a more positive attitude, and give you the strength and state of mind you need to keep pushing forward.
If you’re a live streamer, feel free to comment below and add your own tips for not getting frustrated and giving up. How do YOU play the long game?