How to become a professional game streamer and get a job
Making money online is becoming more and more popular. And one of the fastest growing areas is streaming. Successful streamers have managed to turn a hobby into a job and get paid for it. This article is about how to join the ranks of such lucky ones and where to look for vacancies.
Life is a game: who is a streamer and how does he make money?
A streamer is a person who broadcasts live on the network and communicates with the audience at this time. You can stream anything: needlework, cooking, reading aloud, watching TV shows, housework and much more, but video games are especially popular. In this case, the streamer plays his favorite game, actively commenting on what is happening and communicating with the audience. Hence the expression Life is a game.
This format of entertainment is gaining popularity at an incredible pace and, keeping up with YouTube, is replacing TV programs for viewers. Streaming is close to blogging, and yet they are different things.
The streamer’s income is made up of donations from the audience, subscriptions and advertising, and the number of viewers depends on the topic of the content and the personal qualities of the game`s lead. He does not have a producer or videographer – everything is done by one person. It is very important to think over the submission format at the very beginning in order to interest a potential subscriber.
How to become a streamer and write resume from scratch
Before finding any job, one needs to have a CV done. There are many people looking for someone to write their resume so it was professionally looking. You may see people searching to pay someone to write my resume for me and to find such a service online is not difficult. Resumeperk.com is a shining example where you may pay writers and get a shining resume whatever your occupation is even if you are a game streamer.
If Life is a game is all about you, then technically, becoming a game streamer is not difficult.
- Select a game. The option to sit down and start playing any popular thing is hopeless. All famous games are already occupied by top streamers, and climbing to the top from scratch will not be easy. It is better to choose something less popular, but something that the streamer really understands.
- Decide on a streaming platform: WASD.TV, Twitch, Patron, Mixer or Youtube. And this is not the whole list.
- Register. Usually registration is standard on all platforms. You need to mention the country of residence, e-mail, and also fill out a short questionnaire.
- Connect donations so that viewers can make their donations. For this purpose, the DonationAlerts or DonatePay services are used.
- Launch the first stream and work, no matter what. To stream from scratch, you will need at least a minimal set of equipment:
- computer with monitor, keyboard and mouse;
The quality of the equipment does not matter much. The fact is that stream videos are often watched from the phone in low resolution. But that doesn’t mean a tiny laptop will do. What should be considered when choosing equipment for streaming?
Computer. Since you need to play and broadcast video at the same time, you will need two units or one, but powerful. When buying a computer, you need to pay attention to the main memory, video card, motherboard and processor. The model depends on the games that will be played on it. For example, for card games, 4 GB of main memory, a video card with a GeForce GTX 1030 graphics processor, an Intel i3 processor, and a motherboard with an Intel H81 chipset are enough. But, for example, for Dota 2 or Fortnite, you need a more powerful computer. It is better to buy a computer, not a laptop – it is more suitable for games.
- Monitor. You can choose any Full HD, but 4K resolution is not useful. The picture, of course, will be better, but, firstly, not all viewers have such monitors, which means they will not notice the difference. And, secondly, it heavily overloads the video card, which negatively affects its operation.
- Capture card. You will need it if you play on one device and stream from another. It is the capture card that connects 2 computers and sends a signal from one machine to another via a USB port.
- Camera. If you feel like buying a professional device, that’s great, but this is not at all necessary. Much more important is the streamer’s charisma, how he knows how to communicate with the audience. The viewer is ready to put up with not the highest quality image, if he is interested. But he will never watch the perfect picture with a boring game`s lead. Optionally, you can get a tripod.
- Microphone. It is better to give preference to a dynamic one, since a condenser one picks up even the slightest noise and greatly spoils the sound. You will most likely need a stand to secure the device.
15 tips for promotion from scratch for beginner streamers
All famous streamers were once beginners. And today they are ready to share their experience with those who are just embarking on this path and streaming from scratch.
- Hide the game counter. Just remove it from your eyes to relax and play. If it is visible, then there is a great risk of being constantly distracted, nervous, upset due to the small number of visitors. On the first broadcasts, the number of viewers may not rise above zero. You need to try to stream as if the player is already watching dozens of viewers.
- Talk all the time. And you need to do this both in the microphone and in the chat. It is very important not to come up with rigid rules and restrictions, for example, no checkmate. For the streamer, this is work, and for the viewer, it is entertainment. Let him have complete freedom. You need to talk all the time: about yourself, the daily routine, the stream schedule, express opinions on various issues – topics can be absolutely anything.
- The main thing is charisma, not the ability to play. A beautiful game is, of course, good. However, between a tough but sullen sportsman and a charming, active amateur who is interesting to listen to, viewers will prefer the latter. It is very important to be able to behave in the frame, so if there are problems with this, it is better to work on the camera in advance.
- Make friends with other streamers. This must be done sincerely, and not out of selfish motives. You can share opinions, experiences and even organize real meetings or tournaments. But it’s not worth offering mutual subscriptions: there’s zero sense from them – this is an empty audience.
- Think over your chips. It can be some kind of joke, a special greeting or goodbye, a manner of speaking, anything. This will become the hallmark of the streamer.
- Don’t take breaks. For example, if the streamer went on the air for 4 hours, it would be nice to sit at the computer for these 4 hours. Very short absences are allowed, but only in cases of emergency, as he is unlikely to be expected. And given that a novice streamer initially focuses on creating his own audience from scratch, the loss of even one viewer will have a negative impact on the rating.
- Understand social networking algorithms. It is important to understand ranking, getting into the recommended pages and much more. It is not enough just to post a link to the stream on your social network – it is unlikely that anyone will follow it. You need to make a mini-video or cut from a photo, write a short but interesting and catchy text. You can post a prank or talk about an interesting event – the submission depends on the specific platform. A universal way is to accumulate a lot of funny moments of your own streams and cut them into cuts: such content is much easier to promote.
- Don’t stream people you don’t like. If initially a single streamer invites someone to play, the content being served changes dramatically, which is why it is so important to feel sympathy for who you stream with.
- To look at the camera now and then. It is especially important to do this when you are contacting someone from the chat.
- Find a clipmaker in the chat. Ideally, this person should make at least 5-10 clips per stream – he should show funny, peak moments of the game. Considering that a streamer who started his career from scratch has no or very few viewers, you need to work for the audience. Subsequently, it is these clips that can be used to present oneself.
- Adjust the lighting in the room. It is much more pleasant for any viewer to contemplate a clear picture that does not become cloudy due to a change in the weather outside the window.
- It is important that the streamer likes what he does. Treating streaming as just a job is not worth it. After all, it is precisely what is of real interest that can give an incentive to start from scratch, grow and develop.
- Design. Do not overload the screen with unnecessary information – usually players starting from scratch do this. The closer the picture from the monitor to minimalism, the better. Don’t highlight the donation band too much – it’s annoying and can alienate the audience, which is just becoming loyal.
- Try to start streaming at the same time. If this is not possible, then at least think over the schedule for the week and remember to constantly demonstrate it so that the audience can prepare and plan their time.
Best Platforms for Streamers
If you did not succeed in searching for vacancies, you can start with independent work. One of the first things to decide on is which platform to work on. There are a lot of them, and each has its own characteristics. Here is an overview of the most popular sites: some are suitable for working from scratch, others for more experienced streamers.
It’s a great platform for those just starting out on the streaming path, as it’s pretty easy to build your first audience from scratch. The most popular are gaming streams and content from real life, but you can broadcast on any topic.
Another incontestable “plus” is the availability of YouTube on almost any device, except for the Xbox console. All broadcasts with a duration of less than 12 hours are automatically saved, so in the future it is YouTube that can become the place to store the first streams of the time when the online broadcaster was not yet popular – the audience loves to watch how it all started. But the platform also has its minuses:
- a large number of bots and mutual subscribers, the real benefit of which is zero;
- software not optimized for streaming.
You can make money on YouTube with:
- internal donations;
- paid subscriptions.
Today it is perhaps the most famous streaming service in the world. Here you can watch streams of games, tournaments and eSports. Recently, non-fiction streams have become more and more popular: videos from real life, live performances of songs at the request of viewers, and just live communication while watching a movie or TV-series. And these are just a few of the directions of the streams.
You can stream from any device, it is possible to save the air for a period of 60 days. TwitchCon is held annually – meetings in real life of streamers and viewers. However, in 2020, the event had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The main advantages of Twitch:
- real audience;
- professional players;
- optimized software.
The disadvantages of this platform include its popularity – it is not suitable to start from scratch. It is very difficult to break through and become at least a recognizable streamer. You can make money on Twitch with:
- internal donations;
- paid subscriptions.
This brainchild of Microsoft is becoming more and more popular, although the audience is not yet so extensive. This is where Ninja moved from Twitch in 2019. You can stream from a computer, mobile device, or Xbox console.
Game streams are the most popular destination on Mixer, but In Real Life and talk shows are getting more and more popular. The advantages of the platform include:
- Ease of use. When streaming from Windows, no additional programs are needed, and the Xbox One is displayed as a separate menu item.
- A small number of users – beginners to stream from scratch are more likely to get noticed.
- Own gaming ecosystem. For example, by watching the Inside Xbox show, users receive rewards that can be used in games.
However, due to the small number of users, stream monetization can take much longer. You can earn here with:
- paid subscriptions.
Types of streamer income
If a streamer does not want to look for vacancies and doesn’t want to be hired, he can earn money on broadcasts on his own. To start from scratch and become a successful streamer, you need to understand the mechanics of monetizing your activities.
Affiliate program. The streamer receives money for showing ads of partners. To use this method of earning, you need to meet certain requirements, which may vary from platform to platform. For example, to connect to an affiliate program on YouTube, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 hours of views per year, and link to Adsense. If the channel meets the requirements, you can apply for connection directly on the site. There is such an opportunity on YouTube or Twitch.
Donations, or thanks of loyal fans. These are voluntary donations from the viewers, which they are ready to transfer to the streamer on their own initiative. A streamer can raise funds for nothing or for something specific, such as buying new equipment. Donations can be any at the request of the viewer. To connect, you need to run one of the services, for example, DonationAlerts or DonatePay. Available on all known streaming platforms.
Paid subscription. A viewer who has paid for such a service has certain privileges, for example, being the first to know about new broadcasts, becoming a member of a private chat, receiving stickers from a streamer, and much more. The platform, as a rule, takes a certain percentage for itself, the rest goes to the streamer. You can also connect to this service on the official website if the relevant conditions are met.
Native or hidden advertising. In this case, the streamer does not directly praise the product, but shows that he actively uses it. For example, yesterday the game`s lead was just drinking something from a mug, and today he began to brew tea of a certain company right in the open air, and so that the name was clearly visible. The streamer simply flickers in the frame with the advertised product, and the viewer subconsciously fixes it. This type of earnings is available on all platforms, but advertisers cooperate mainly with popular streamers.
Direct advertising. The game`s lead directly praises the product, talks about its merits. They pay well for such ads, but they can cause a negative reaction from viewers. You need to have a special skill – to present the advertised product so that you want to buy it, and not unsubscribe from the streamer. As in the case of native advertising, this income is suitable for promoted channels.
Embedded advertising. When streaming or when it is paused, short commercials are shown to viewers. The main thing is not to make too much of it, as they also are annoying for the audience oftentimes.
It does not work for streamers with a few subscribers only. But it is available on most platforms. To connect embedded advertising, you must meet certain requirements, for example, on Twitch you need to be a participant of an affiliate program.
Sponsorship program. In this case, you buy a place on the screen, and a banner of the advertised product hangs there during all the streaming. You can search for such advertisers by yourself, for example, on PowerSpike.tv.
Paid games. This type of income is available on all platforms, but usually it is offered to well-known streamers only. The game developer concludes a deal with him (or her), and the streamer plays the game live. Most likely, it will be a new or unknown game, the interest in which should grow after such a stream.
Streaming is also a job. Just like writers make resumes, streamers make the game. And, in addition to standard vacancies, there are a lot of options for how else to start making money, but you need to become popular for this. And if it seems that you can just play, and the number of subscribers will automatically grow from zero, nothing will work: you will have to invest all your strength and reveal your talent.