Why would someone tune into watch TimTheTatMan, for example, streaming Warzone for a few hours, instead of you streaming Warzone for a few hours? Or, why does somebody check out Pokimane’s just chatting stream, and sit there and chat with the community, instead of coming in and chatting with your community? Your content could be pretty much the same as their, but right now? That doesn’t matter.

Emulating the same quality and style of somebody else’s content, does not mean you will be successful with it. Otherwise, we’d all be copying this formula, instead of sitting, scratching our heads, thinking “Well, why am I not growing?”. There are ways to grow, and it comes from looking at yourself and developing good habits. 5 of them, in fact. Let’s talk about them.

Who Are You?

Now, I’m not asking you that question, it’s more a question that you should be asking yourself. Perhaps you already know, and maybe you don’t just yet, either way: Who you are, what your identity is, what you are great at, and what you truly enjoy.. These should be questions on a piece of paper in front of you, and you’re answering them about yourself, once, twice, three times, as many times as you feel you is necessary, to ask those questions of yourself. The important thing to remember is, not just to answer these question on paper, answer them with actual content.

Do you honestly think people at the top of their game aren’t constantly questioning and re-evaluating the content that they’re making and putting out there? Of course they are! Questioning what you are doing is how you improve, and it’s having different answers for those questions as time goes on, that is proof of your progression. You may not be 100% sold on the content you make right now, maybe in 6 months time you’ll look back at something you liked and think differently about it. But if you sit, wondering and only asking questions, before even dipping your toe into streaming or content creation, you will find yourself still asking those questions for a long, long time, and a year from now you will wish you had started today. So just do it. Start small, think of a video idea, write down some video titles, maybe just look at something on your stream that you’d like to improve. Work on things bit by bit, and over time, it builds into big change and big improvement. Now, It sounds like a tough interview with yourself, and at the start, it will be. But if you’re thinking about how to approach your content from a unique standpoint, that represents who you are and what you love, you’re already way ahead of so many other creators in that field. Nothing Grows In The Comfort Zone.

Stream 3 to 5 days a week.

Stream for at LEAST 4 hours, 6-8 if you can. And ah, keep your socials updated for when you go live. And then just, rinse and repeat that and you’ll be alright. Does this sound familiar? I’ve seen this advice for a long time, floating around reddit, twitter and so on, and honestly.. some of these things, sure, they can be potentially effective, but the only problem here is: using these tactics focuses all your energy on making sure people know your stream or content exists, but no effort on making it worth watching.

This, this is a routine, and a bad one at that. Look at your content and your routine, and ask yourself: where can I be making improvements? It is not easy to be objective, it’s not easy to look in the mirror and be critical of ourselves, but I can guarantee that if you’re using Twitch as your one stop shop to do this rinse and repeat routine that gets you into this comfort zone of doing the same thing over and over, never changing anything: you’re not going to see any changes in your growth either. So, what should you ACTUALLY do? Well, I would start by looking at your stream schedule: how many days a week are you streaming? On average, how many hours do you stream, each time you do? What % of your stream is you, say, playing a game for multiple hours at a time, versus just chatting with your community. When you compare each segment of your stream, what’s the engagement like? What’s the strongest part of it? And what’s the weakest part of it? Think about what you would want to watch as well. And write it all down, as I actually think this helps really visualize where we’re are putting all of our time.

I personally use a program called Notion for organizing all of my stuff: it has calendars, you can make journals, you can write scripts in it, it is fantastic. And I also have a physical bullet journal, where I write out what I do every day at the end of the day. I also use it to write out what I’m gonna do tomorrow, and maybe some times if I’m really on a roll, I will write out what I’m doing next week but uh.. let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

If you take some of the time you’re spending, streaming on Twitch, and start delegating into ideas for YouTube, or TikTok, wherever else you want to experiment with your content. This is going to make you more discoverable, on those platforms, and potentially then bring that community back to your Twitch stream, or your YouTube stream, or just your channel: wherever it is that you’re making your content.

The Numbers Game

This is everywhere, when you look at your Twitter profile, when you look at Instagram, TikTok, your Twitch dashboard, your YouTube Studio dashboard: What am I talking about? It’s numbers, and it has become the main focus point for so many creators, but I’m telling you now, you need to stop. STOP focusing on the numbers, stop focusing on follow for follow: it is easy to get caught up in this, and it feels good initially, but let’s face it: it is hollow support and what we want is organic. This: it isn’t it. Sure, you can argue that your content getting exposed to fellow creators can be beneficial, and it can be, you can get critical feedback, you can share ideas, all that stuff is useful.. but do not rely on it solely. As time goes on, you create more content, you’re streaming more, you will begin to really understand, what it takes to get to a certain level of quality. What it takes to achieve, certain types of creativity that inspires you from others.

You watch more tutorials, you’ll teach yourself things that you never knew before, you learn how to use editing programs, you’ll learn how to design thumbnails. So, gaining all these new bits of knowledge, learning all these skills: it’s all going to add up and it’s gonna level up your production quality, and your overall content quality. Some people say, work smart, not hard: I say, do both. At the end of the day, talent is nothing more than a pursued interest, so just focus on what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about, and you will have that energy to learn these other things, and improve your own craft.

Don’t Just Imitate, Transform

Remix, don’t rip off. Honor, don’t degrade. Whenever you pick up a new hobby like guitar playing or painting for example, you would learn other peoples songs, or a painting you would like, you would try and paint that painting as best you could. And it’s the reasons that we’re drawn to these songs and these paintings that’s so important. These are things that you feel resonated with your personality and style, without maybe even realising it! It’s the same for streaming and content creation. So trying to figure out how to create something that is based of your inspirations, will actually teach you more skills along the way. When you look at those around you, streamers & content creators, don’t just think about how their content LOOKS, think about how it makes you FEEL. That is an important part of this: consider their relationship with their community, and write down what’s great about them, the creator at the center of all the content. And once you do that, find somebody else, and do the exact same. Keep on doing this, build up a knowledge base of traits and qualities that YOU appreciate, that resonates with YOUR personality and YOU deem integral to becoming a great creator. When we try to imitate something in order to make something better, or something more suited to our personality, we’re emulating. Emulation is quite useful in guiding you through how somebody has created something, and while your approach to achieving the same or similar result may not be the same as theirs, you teach yourself a new skill, through trying to understand their process without just bugging that creator and asking them how did they do it.

Which, by the way, don’t do that.

FUN FACT! The human hand is incapable of making a perfect copy of, anything, really..

Why did I even say that? If you are trying to emulate somebody else’s creation, the likelyhood of it coming out the exact same as theirs, is not high, and let’s be honest.. you don’t want it to be. There have been so many times in the past where I’ve started on a idea that’s inspired by somebody I was watching, and by I’d finished creating the idea, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it was inspired from that original creation. The point I wanna make is, use inspiration as a guide, and if you try to draw along a straight line, don’t be annoyed when you go in and out of it; because you’re not trying to make a perfect copy of whatever they have created, you’re trying to find the inspiration for your next creation.

So, be happy when you get there and it’s not just, the exact same thing that someone else made. Take pride in your own achievements and remember that everybody you find who is doing something incredible, is just another person to learn from.

The Discoverability Conundrum

So here’s how Youtube’s discoverability works: They look at what people are searching for and watching on YouTube, then they will attempt to suggest more content, similar to that viewers interests are. And if you are a creator who is making, let say, cooking content, and somebody is watching meal recipe videos, you stand a pretty good chance of being suggested, eventually, by YouTube, to that viewer. As long as you have made the effort to consistently make good quality content, that lines up with that viewers interests. Those viewers see your content, this increases your discoverability. And while YouTube’s not just going to give you discoverability overnight: If you are working with YouTubes algorithm, it will start to work with you. Twitch on the other hand, has none of this.

You stream to a category, and you are at the mercy of those looking around in that category, and perhaps you’ll get followed by people wanting to watch you, if you’re playing that game or covering that topic. But you don’t want to simply rely on someone stumbling into your stream by chance. This is a problem for small streamers, because Twitch organizes discoverability, not in order of the best quality content, but in order of the most popular content.

You can see it on any of the category pages when you’re looking through channels: by default, the channels are organized from most concurrent viewers to the least. So if you’re sitting with a small or non-existent viewer base, sorry but.. you’re at the back of the line. Now, this is actually an issue that Twitch is affected by as well, and I imagine they do want to resolve it, but while nobody new is getting discovered on Twitch, there’s an massive amount of viewers, right now, who are looking for somebody new to watch.

If I go on to twitch, I check my following list to see who, of the streamers I follow, which ones are online, which ones are live right now. And if there’s nobody I want to watch, I either close out of Twitch and go over to YouTube, or I start looking for a new channel to check out. And it’s usually driven by a game, or something I’m interested in at the time, that pulls me towards a new category or a category I haven’t been in, in a while. And loads of people do this, I mean it could be that you are not enjoying whatever game, the streamer you watch at the minute is streaming, it could be that a new game is just out, and you want to see someone streaming it, but nobody you follow currently does. Whatever the reason for that viewer looking for a new channel to check out, it creates an opportunity, for you.

Remember what I said before about being objective? Think about the mindset of the average viewer here for a second: YouTubes level of standards, is way up there, with production quality, content, everything being front and centre stage. To make it on YouTube, you’ve gotta hit that high standard, but to make it on Twitch, it’s a different story.

Just look at some of the biggest streamers on Twitch right now: they sit down, go live, and repeat this over and over, and this is where we get the misconception that this is the path to success.

The reality is, because of Twitches poor discoverability, and their viewer-base’s overwhelming desire to discover new content, whenever somebody does get discovered, or a new category emerges that people are really hungry to check out, all those viewers that are looking for that new content get spread across a handful of channels associated with whatever that content may be.

So, a new game comes out, there’s a new category for it, there’s a lot of hype around the game and a lot of people hungry to see that gameplay before maybe they buy it, or maybe they’re playing it and they just want to see how other people do it at the top of their game. But maybe they don’t want to watch, y’know, the number one streamer for those types of games, because perhaps they have questions and they would actually like someone to help answer them, it could be a whole bunch of reasons.

So, they look through the category to try and discover a channel they like the look of from the thumbnail, or from a few seconds of checking it out. If you are doing something extra, that the other 100 streamers are not doing in that category, you immediately stand a far better chance of being discovered. So think on that,
And another important point to make is, these viewers that do not want to watch the big streamer playing the new game, for example: that big streamer is the reason that category may be sitting in the top row that day, that month, whatever. So while they may not be coming there to watch that streamer, that streamers popularity is something that those other smaller streamers are going to get pulled up with, if they’re in that category AND they’re doing something extra.

OK, I think we’re good, but if you do like to level up your stream quality a fair bit with creative ideas, we actually put out a video full of creative ideas to get you going so, check that out.