How to get Into Streaming. It's a big question that's become even more common recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, that's what we're here to answer for you today.
If your webcam still hasn’t heated up and cooled down yet from streaming, not even once, then you are at the right place. In the following article, we will talk about the early beginnings. What to consider and look out for when selecting your hardware and software? What kind of hardships can you expect? How to start gaining viewers, keep them around and entertained? We’ll also keep on giving you a bit of encouragement along the way. So you won’t feel all alone in this big wonderful world of entertainment we call streaming. As a whole, we will be referring to Twitch as the streaming platform. There are many other different ones that you could consider, but let’s stick with the most popular one for now.
Your idea behind streaming
Every stream starts with a good idea behind it. You would like to show the world something interesting about you, right? What you do, your surroundings, and your gaming skills. Streaming is letting the world get a view into your life, how much, it all depends on you. Hence, the people who watch you and tune into your streams are your viewers. That might sound a bit intimidating if you are camera shy, but do not thread. You can stream without your camera. This brings up a more intriguing route that you could take. Becoming a VTuber for example, streaming yourself as a virtual avatar. We are getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, as we are still talking about humble beginnings. These are some options you might want to consider before beginning streaming.
Getting back to the theme of your stream, there are a lot of categories to choose from. Setting a category will assure that your target audience finds you easier. Another good idea is using tags on Twitch, of which there are hundreds to pick from. Each can depict who you are and what your stream will be about. So, now you know what you would like to stream and why, but you don’t know how to do it yet.
Streaming hardware and software
Everyday tech is now so advanced, that even office laptops are suitable for streaming. I mean, look at the device you are reading this article from right now. I am quite sure, that by downloading the Twitch app onto it, you would be able to make an IRL stream right away. As if you would be doing a Facebook Live or an Instagram Live video. That brings up the question, is streaming live onto social media streaming too? We’ll get back to that a bit later in a different section.
Getting back to hardware, as we said, you can start streaming from whatever is at your disposal. As long as it fits your needs. Having a good enough webcam helps in making better quality content. For optimal results, make sure that it is at least 720p or higher. Any regular webcam will do if your focus is the gameplay, and you’ll only display yourself in a small square. One more thing that is important to mention when it comes to picture quality. The lighting. You wouldn’t even imagine how big of a difference it makes in picture quality if you are lit well enough or not.
Talking a bit about audio, as long as your headset has a microphone on it, you are set to go. Or even your webcam’s microphone will do well. Although, if you have a headset with a microphone muffler at the end of it, that will boost your audio quality. You can check if your audio is good enough, by rewatching your past streams. Indeed, we all dread doing that, but someone has to. One other thing to consider is the echo in your room. It can completely ruin the experience and have your viewers running to the hills. To counter this, you can put sound-isolating foam on the surrounding walls. One simple and nifty trick in soundproofing yourself is to have a rug beneath you. Under your chair and table, that is, covering a couple of square feet around you. It will reduce echoing a lot, especially if your room has a wooden or tiled floor. We have covered the basics, that being audio and video. The rest is up to you on how comfortable you would like to be whilst steaming.
Getting to the software side of streaming, you’ll need streaming software first. I know, duh. Many prefer to use OBS as it is free, or an even simpler option is to use Twitch Studio from the official website. Another software that you could consider is stream combining software. It allows you to live stream to different platforms at the same time. For example, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. All whilst streaming on Twitch. Remember that this method is best used before becoming a Twitch affiliate or partner. As live-streaming to several platforms at the same time might conflict with their ToS. Streaming to multiple platforms gives you a chance to grow your audience better. It ensures your content gets out to as many people as possible.
A bit of wordplay here. Post-production means producing further content from your live streams. Thereby being able to make good posts with said content on your social media pages. For Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You know, the big three. Why is social media so important in a streamer’s life? It lets your viewers know when you are going live, and what have you done in your past streams. It also overrides Twitch’s 14-day limit to store your past broadcasts on your Twitch account. You can upload the entire stream onto YouTube and have it there for eternity. Another trick to make a stream on Twitch last past the limit is to make your past broadcast a highlight.
These are some aspects you can consider, but don't forget: Every streamer started with that first stream. You should start, too.