The following “foundations” cover the streaming basics, but they’re not just for people new to streaming. Foundations are core to creating; they cover your purpose and niche, streaming etiquette and collaborations, time management, development off-stream skills, and more. These aspects of creating will be ideas or tasks you return to and maybe even adjust over and over again, as your interests change and you gain more experience.
Finding your purpose
Your purpose is your “why,” and is especially important to anyone just starting out streaming. Often times the “why” involves your passions. Passions are always changing, inside and outside of streaming. You may have to dig deep and this may take a while to determine exactly, but you will get there. Maybe your reason for streaming is to provide for your family. Your streaming niche could likewise reflect family values and a positive outlook. If you’re aiming to foster a positive community, you could provide that positivity by being funny and proving tutorials for gameplay.
The more specific you can make your motivations and niche, the more focused your drive will be, and the easier it is to create. To accomplish this, constantly analyzing your motivations and how well you’re translating that motivation into quality content is key. Establishing targets for your streams and rewatching your VoDs will help you determine where you can improve and whether your current persona and/or methods of communication are truly representative of your motivations and niche.
Try answering these questions: What type(s) of content are you actually delivering? Are people responding to it?
You’re not going to be perfect, but improvement comes with experience and with reflection upon that experience. New ideas for content will also come with experience and practice.
Dealing with pressure
Do things you enjoy. Having fun while streaming produces more quality content, naturally, and your viewers will find you more entertaining.
Even if someone knows more than you about a specific game, recognize that you can get there with time. You are a voice in the community, too, and you will certainly know more than many others. One option when dealing with pressure from comparing yourself to others, is to develop expertise in an even more specific area of the game. Remember that different streamers are entertaining for different reasons.
Preventing burnout is the second half of the battle. It is difficult to stream when you aren’t enjoying it, or if you’re too focused on viewer numbers. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to switch things up and turn off that viewer counter! Get inspiration from others and collaborate with friends!
Managing time between your life and stream
Finding a balance can be hard. Having supportive friends and family is a huge part of making that balance work. Of course, convincing your significant other and/or family that the time you’re spending streaming is worth it, can be challenging. It may take a while for them to accept and understand the idea. Still, you can help them by showing them what it is that you do and by explaining your goals when it comes to streaming. Explain that you’re taking this seriously and that it’s a long-term project. Involve them. Tell them why streaming is important to you and how it fits with your passions. Show them how they can watch you and comment in chat.
If they pester you with questions, take this as a positive that they are showing interest. Even if they don’t understand every little thing that you do, their effort is what counts and what will help maintain your healthy relationship with them.
Still, it is important to recognize that, unfortunately, not everyone will be supportive. But if you continue to try explaining and if you show them persistence in streaming, they will hopefully respect your decision.
Another time management tip: Try to schedule when you’re going to stream. This will not only set expectations and boundaries for your loved ones, but also for your viewers. Additionally, scheduling is a good way to measure how much time you’re putting into streaming and how productive you’re actually being in those time slots. By monitoring this, you can prevent burnout and better plan your content. In turn, the quality of your content will improve.
Taking time to learn new skills for off-stream (VoD) content
Make sure you are also devoting ample time to off-stream content. Learning how to use the software for video editing can be frustrating, so scheduling this, too, may help lessen the burden. If you don’t have a PC, there are plenty of apps on your phone to edit on-the-go, as well. Think of this as an investment of your time. Once you learn these skills, you will be able to produce better, cleaner content in the future. Editing will get easier and faster for you over time, as you practice.
Even for streaming veterans, clipping out content from streams, editing it, and then posting it to other platforms is, no doubt, extremely tedious. But realize that this content is working for you – that is, making your content available to viewers – all the time. Your content becomes more accessible and will, in the long run, reach a wider audience.
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The full Foundations Pillar is available to Pipeline community members as part of The Playbook.