Whats up y'all!!?
I've been a broadcaster / internet entertainer for going on 4 years. Over this time period I've learned a lot about what it takes to not only build, grow, maintain and succeed but I've also learned a lot of the does and don'ts. You might be thinking to yourself "but Paul you never became partnered" and this is true. I know why I'm not partnered and I can sum it up to inconsistency and inability to keep a steady broadcast schedule. This will be one of the points I'll cover, schedule and maintaining consistency with it. I wont claim to know everything nor will everything I say be apropos to everyone. I'll cover a few overall key points from schedule, interaction, entertainment and more.
Is it okay to become a broadcaster in the hopes to building a career out of it? of course but with the amount of competition in the market you'll have to work really hard and need a lot of help getting there. Setting the right expectation of growth, success and having a road map on how to reach your goals as a broadcaster are some ways to keep you focused through the ups, downs and plateaus of growing your channel and brand. Building a solid foundation for your channel is key but more than that is needed. There are people who are just broadcasting for the fun of it and aren't really worried about growing a channel / making a business out of being a broadcaster but I feel my experiences may help even them.
There are literally millions of people broadcasting on multiple different platforms every month. Twitch being the big elephant in the room with beam, hitbox, and youtube among others sites being in the mix. Don't be fooled thinking you are only competing with those broadcasting on your specific site. Every single broadcaster is competing against each other no matter which site you decide to call home. In my opinion by selecting a site that has lower population of viewership you will fight a harder up hill battle trying to grow your channel but you do so with greater functionality and quality for your show. Just like real-estate location is key unless you are okay with taking the long slow approach and are able to handle the growing pains in exchange for better support and functionality / quality.
If you don't have a reason why you are a broadcaster / online entertainer than your viewers wont have a reason to watch you. Everyone has something special about themselves but not everyone is cut out to be a gaming broadcaster. Just like not everyone is cut out to be a singer but some of us still enjoy singing from time to time doesn't mean we are the next Adele.
Contemplate that there are thousands upon thousands of people broadcasting game play in which they just flip a switch and start playing a video game. They have no theme, they have no reason why they are doing it, and they have no idea how they are going to entertain those who are watching aside from just watching them play a video game.
No energy, no excitement, and hardly any interaction will result in hardly any viewers. Broadcasters need to be excited that people might come and watch. Show passion for what you are doing and that people are taking time out of their lives to come watch you do it. But you cant force something that isn't natural for you and that is when you have to be realistic and determine whether or not this is something that you can do, that you'll be good at naturally. For the most part nobody wants to watch Eeyore play video games they'd rather watch Tigger. You can have the best setup in audio and video equipment available but you cant purchase or easily learn to naturally be charismatic, passionate or entertaining.
Most people aren't going to watch someone just play video games unless that person is extremely, and yes I mean EXTREMELY good at the game or they have a lot of charisma, energy and commentary. There are very few people who have both extremely good game play and can be entertaining. For most people if they aren't the first then they need to be the later. Ask yourself, what is going to make my broadcast stand out amidst all the other million broadcasters just staring at their game barely ever saying anything to chat? You can go to twitch and find the most broadcasted game and scroll to the bottom of the list and find literally hundreds of people doing just that so stand out and make a difference!
Tools of the trade to help you succeed as an online entertainer gaming broadcaster that can work on any website you choose to deliver your show to.
Pick a realistic schedule you can keep so people can plan ahead to watch you.
Get some generic buttons for the bottom of your show for your social media, build specs, rules and information needed for viewers.
*(Do not only throw up a donation button and call it good it'll be taken in poor taste)
Figure out your alert interactions for follows, hosts, raids, tips aka donations. Example is how I react to every follow while I'm live.
"Thank you for that follow welcome to the ateam gaming community, that is what we call ourselves around here and they are going to DROP ABOMBS IN CHAT to welcome you to the community!"
Use a bot to help with announcements a good starter bot is Nightbot or Branebot.
Do not focus on follower count because the only thing that matters are those who are watching when you are live. Follower count is pointless in my opinion.
Do not watch the viewer count when you are live you should focus on gaming commentary and interacting with those typing in chat. Just because nobody is chatting doesn't mean they aren't watching / lurking.
The quicker you can set a consistent schedule for your broadcast the better. People want to know ahead of time when you'll be live so they can plan for it. I've learned this the hard way because of my limitations I cant keep my schedule most of the time but I do have one so people know the possible times I'll be live. Someone to look at as a great example for this is http://www.twitch.tv/LibrizziLoL among other things his schedule is stable and consistent.
A good bit of advice that http://www.twitter.com/PrettyPh3nom gave on getting use to constantly commentating during your show when chat is dead is to use your bot. Give your bot timers to say things to you. Have your bot ask you vague questions about what you are doing or why you are doing it. This will get you use to constantly talking about what it is you are doing and why you are doing it in game. This is what some call the "Big Caster Mode" because if you go watch big casters such as Gassy Mexican or Man vs Game when they have upwards of 1k+ viewers and their chat is flying by. Those casters are barely interacting with chat but they are constantly commentating on what is going on, what they are doing and why they are doing it along with their alert interactions.
One of the biggest don'ts is do not go into other communities and poach to build your community. No matter how much you may shout out that other community nobody will consider it cross promotion, rather they'll consider it poaching and you'll burn bridges causing animosity between you and other broadcasters. If you do visit other communities become part of them and enjoy what they have built. Trust me they'll notice you are a broadcaster without you having to say a word or shamelessly self promoting. You'll be more respected for this than the temporary small growth poaching and shameless self promoting may bring. Gaining the respect and trust of other broadcasters and their communities can pay off tremendously in the long run by raids and shout outs. To top it off you'll make friends and valued alliances.
While growing your channel interaction with chat is paramount. Seconds to viewers is equal to minutes and the longer you go without responding to chat the more those precious seconds turn into new viewers walking away from your channel and never returning. I've found that practicing looking at chat every 10-15 seconds is the perfect time to be able to grab key things from chat and begin bantering. Once you've began bantering on one comment keep checking to see if you can pick up another topic to discuss to continue the flow once you've finished the first topic.
Use this time growing your channel to practice and hone your skills as a broadcaster. Practice commentary and get accustomed to talking when there is nobody to talk to. Take this time to become the broadcaster / entertainer you want everyone to watch and start broadcasting as if nobody is there but yet thousands are watching and wanting to see what you do next and hear what you say next. Give people a reason as to why they should watch your show and make them feel like they are part of something special when they are in your chat. Don't for a second think just because nobody is chatting that they aren't watching and listening and learn to cherish the lurker because sometimes they are more valuable than anyone typing in chat.
Strive to improve what you do as a broadcaster every time you go live and dont be afraid to ask other broadcasters for advice because most of us know how difficult the road is to becoming an online gaming broadcast entertainer.
Another great read on this topic is by @KodeTen here: http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/126-kodetens-living-notebook-streaming-tips-tactics/
I love entertaining people with my gaming broadcasts and I hope to help others by sharing my experiences.
Now That's What's Up!!!