Live streaming game play is easier than ever. Whether you’re on a computer or using a popular gaming system, with just a few simple clicks, you can be sharing your mad skills with the rest of the world in just a few minutes.
As with anything, though, just because your play is available to watch doesn’t meant that anyone is actually watching it. You might get an occasional viewer who stops by out of curiosity, and your friends might have your streams on their lists for regular viewing, but if you’re like many gamers, you’re wondering where all the viewers are.
The truth is that it’s difficult to make a name for yourself and build a huge audience for live streams. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t telling the truth. That being said, with some hard work and a critical eye toward your own feeds, you can stop alienating audiences and retain the viewers you do get while also attracting an even bigger audience.
If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at whether you are making any of these mistakes.
You Don’t Have a Reputation
Consider your own viewing habits: Do you randomly explore your live stream options, and just choose which ones to watch at random? Or do you select streams to view based on the gamer’s reputation? While newbies can get some attention and attract a small audience, players who have a reputation in the gaming world have a better chance of attracting an audience. Join forums and participate in conversations, comment on blogs — better yet, start one yourself — and give others a chance to get to know you, your perspective and your skills. They’ll be more likely to catch your stream, if for no other reason than to see your ideas and advice in action.
Your Sound and Video Quality Is Poor
You don’t want to watch a video that isn’t easy to see or hear, and neither does anyone else. Sign up for a service that offers quality unlimited live-streaming and video hosting for individuals and organizations, and do everything you can to make sure your feeds look and sound great. That might mean investing in a better quality microphone or webcam, or making other technical adjustments. The payoff is a bigger, more involved audience.
Whether or not a stream or a player is annoying is a fairly subjective assessment. After all, the music you love could sound like nails on a chalkboard to someone else. However, it’s still important to assess whether your feed contains elements that could inadvertently turn off viewers. If you can, watch a playback of your live stream later on to determine whether you overuse certain expressions or have other “tics” that could prove irritating in time. You don’t want to hide your personality or come across as a robot, but yelling “Boom-shacka-lacka” every time you take out an enemy combatant is bound to get on everyone’s nerves.
Everyone loves an occasional rage. Watching someone lose his or her mind over an aspect of game play can be entertaining for a few moments. However, if you’re constantly raging in every broadcast, you could be driving away viewers. Gamers who are consistently over-the-top, vulgar and even offensive do not attract a loyal audience, or at least a quality audience. Try to keep your emotions in check, avoid overusing profanity and consider your audience when you’re playing. Just one offensive, heat-of-the-moment comment during game play could ruin your reputation.
If you’re just playing, without any commentary, viewers are probably going to lose interest quickly. If you don’t respond to questions or comments in chat, viewers won’t feel important, and will find another stream to watch. In short, if you aren’t offering anything of value or a reason to tune in, then you can’t expect to build a following. Consider adding a cam so viewers can actually see you play, see expressions and hand movements and become more engaged with your play. Make changes to your gameplay occasionally, and explain what you are doing and why? If something doesn’t work, ask for help, and graciously accept criticism. The more you engage your viewers, the more they will be invested and want to come back for more.
There are a number of factors that go into creating a quality live stream, but the first step is to develop a quality product. Spend some time evaluating your feed the same way you look at others, and identify what you can do better or differently to attract a bigger audience.