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Stuff’s ultimate guide to getting started on Twitch

Fancy broadcasting your face to the world, sharing your talents and connecting with other like-minded peeps?

Twitch is the ultimate streaming platform, and our handy tips guide will help you get started on that road to internet stardom.

Twitch started life in 2011 as a streaming service for gamers to show off their nubile-fingered skills, all while ignoring their exasperated parents’ increasingly desperate pleas to turn off the computer and come down for tea. However, our great mate Covid helped to transform Twitch for good, evolving it into a stage for DJs, musicians, celebrities and millions of others to reach an audience during lockdown.

Literally anyone can jump onto Twitch and build a fanbase, with some basic equipment of course. You just need a device connected to the internet, be it a PC, games console or even a smartphone and a microphone. But before you leap online and start wowing people with your mad crochet skills or astounding ability to touch your nose with your tongue, check out our quick tips for getting your stream started.

General tips for Twitch streaming

First up, getting noticed on Twitch can be tricky in 2020, thanks to the ever-expanding number of streamers. Millions of people are trying to grow their own channels and you need to cut through that noise if you want to build a following.

You may be tempted to dedicate your channel to Minecraft or PubG after seeing the crazy viewing figures enjoyed by the biggest Twitch streamers. However, you’ll be directly competing against thousands of other streamers, which will make life very difficult. Instead, you’re best off finding a niche and sticking with it. So for instance, gamers should choose a genre or title that interests them but that few others are regularly streaming.

Of course, you have to find a balance. If your favourite genre is realistic cow milking simulators, well, good for you, but chances are not too many Twitch viewers are searching for that.

Some kind of gimmick can also help make you more memorable, which will definitely help when it comes to building a following. That doesn’t necessarily mean hosting videos while dressed as a nun; just doing something a bit different, to stand out from the crowd. For instance, a classically trained violinist could cover popular anime soundtracks (which comes with the added bonus of crossover appeal).

Once you get started, make sure you stream regularly. Block out an hour or so in your calendar, at least two or three times a week, at the same time for consistency. Then stick to it. Starting off can be pretty tough, with only a couple of people bothering to tune in and spectate. But with a lot of patience and serious graft, you can grow your channel into a proper community.

How to sign up for Twitch

How to sign up for Twitch

Bagging yourself a Twitch account is as simple as pinching sweets from a sleeping toddler. Just head to www.twitch.tv/Login, and enter your details. You’ll be registered in just a minute, and ready to start streaming.

How to grow a Twitch audience and keep fans engaged

The easiest way to grow an audience is to directly engage with your viewers and encourage them to come back for more. If they found your stream, chances are good that they have the same interests as you. So read their comments and start a conversation. Get to know your biggest fans and your streaming sessions will become a friendly place for like-minded people to hang out, which will in turn encourage others to join the party.

Of course, engaging your fans can go beyond simple chat. Perhaps ask your viewers to set you challenges, such as completing a level on a game in a set time, or working a completely inappropriate song into your DJ set. Who doesn’t love a classic bit of Biggie or Tupac, mashed up with the Gummi Bears theme tune?