It is interesting how much the livestreaming scene has grown since I started following it in 2012. More people start streaming daily, especially after some of them have reached celebrity status. The hype around livestreaming is creating more supply than demand as people are beginning to fight for the same viewers.
I see a lot of the new streamers are starting without a purpose or gold in mind only to realize they are not going anywhere. The idea of becoming a rich and famous livestreamer is blocking their ability to attack the market successfully and grow their brand.
The purpose of this article is to go through the essential things to consider before starting a livestream and hopefully give you the tools to give yourself a head start.
Why do you want to start a livestream?
It is good to know what you are hoping to achieve from starting a livestream, regardless of how big or small the dream is. If you want to make a living and be a fulltime livestreamer, then figure out how much you need to earn every month to realize this dream. Are you, on the other side, hoping to increase your social status or make new friends then what approach does that require from you?
You can always adjust your starting goals as you gain experience and understand what truly motivates you, but setting goals is necessary to see a path forward.
Find yourself a name to brand
Once you know the “why”; start looking for a name to associate with yourself as a livestreamer. If you already have a gamer-name then double-check that it is both simple to say and easy to remember. That will help people recognize you and navigate back to your livestream later on.
It is a good idea to make sure the name is not already taken on various sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or what other sides you might be using in the future. If you are not sure, then register and claim your name so others can take it from you.
Last on the list is to buy your domain name to avoid anyone else buys it from you – even if you are not considering to run a website. You can always redirect it to your stream while it is unused.
Decide what platform to start on
There are multiple platforms on which you can start a livestream. Everyone is trying to take their piece, the latest being Facebook Gaming. It will be interesting how much competition they can give Twitch and Mixer, being the 2 major sites of livestreaming.
That does not mean you are limited to either of these 3 sites. There are plenty of sites letting you start a livestream. The questions are if they provide the viewers and features you are looking for. That is for you to figure out.
What programs do you need?
You will need a program to produce the content of your livestream. These programs allow you to show your screen, webcam, record your audio and microphone. The more generally used software for livestreaming is OBS, Stramlabs OBS (“SLOBS”), OBS Live, and xSplit. You can find all these services by googling these names.
Both Streamlabs OBS and OBS Live is based on the basic “OBS” but provided by different services to include their own features. Streamlabs OBS comes with features from Streamlabs and OBS Live comes with features from StreamElements.
xSplit is its own brand and software. They have software for general broadcasting and for gaming. Just be aware that some xSplit features and programs can cost money compared to free OBS.
Use an alert service to show engagements
The standard is to show a pop-up on the screen when someone follows your channel. You can also show these pop-ups for donations, hosts, and subscribers when you can receive those.
You can either use one of the existing services out there or code your own. Let us just take the easy road and go with one of the commonly used services out there. This would either be Streamlabs or StreamElements, which was also mentioned to have their own variation of the OBS software.
Alternative services, depending on what features you are looking for, could be TipeeeeStream, StreamJar, or Muxy.
Find yourself a chatbot to moderate your chat
There is not much need for moderators when you are first starting out. It is, however, a good idea to get yourself a chatbot. This allows you to keep your chat clean from spammers and potential scammers. It also gives you the ability to create chat commands so people can get access to information without having to ask for it all the time.
If you are using one of the modernized chatbots, can earn loyalty points for being in your chat while you are livestreaming. These points can then be used for various things like joining giveaways or small chat-games.
Let us just recap what we have been reading. First, you should figure out why you want to start a livestream. There is no right or wrong reason, however, doing it “just” to earn money usually sounds like a bad start.
Find yourself a desirable name, so people recognize your brand. Then make sure to claim it on all social media and, if you have the money, buy the domain name.
Figure out what site you want to be a livestreamer on and then check out the different software to find out what suits your needs. This can potentially be combined with alert services and a chatbot.
Starting a stream is not just about “start streaming” as you are basically starting a business. Even if you do not see it like one, you are both the manager, marketer, producer, and entertainer. Not only do you need to run the livestream, but you also need to bring awareness about it so people can find you and hope of them following you.
Starting and running a successful stream can be hard work, so make sure you are prepared to put in a lot of work in the start – even if you do not see any progress at first.
When that is said, I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you succeed in your journey!