If you are reading this you have probably watched a stream and thought, “Hey, I could do that.” But is it really that easy? In this article I’ll dive into some of my experiences streaming and how hard it really is to be a streamer.
Is Streaming Hard?
Setting up a stream and streaming is not hard, regardless of the platform that you are on; however, attracting people to your stream and growing your streaming community can be difficult, both physically and mentally and it will take time and effort in order to succeed.
The equipment and software needed to stream is not difficult to obtain and often times you will already have everything you need to stream.
For example, you can stream straight from your console (as long as you are using anything above an Xbox One or PS5) and you can use your headset as your microphone while you stream.
Now is this the ideal setup? Obviously not. But does it get the job done? Absolutely.
If you want more information on setting up a stream you can check out my article here.
But like I mentioned, the grind and dedication that it takes to actually grow a stream is often too much for content creators to bear. Not to mention all the rude people you will inevitably have to deal with once you start to grow.
These things can take a toll on people physically and mentally. Think about how exhausting it would be having to deal with rude people day in and day out.
Not to mention some of these people can say some pretty messed up things that could really hurt a person.
Then you have the physical toll. Although you may love to game, imagine playing the same game everyday for hours on end. This could really break anyone down.
I know that many people think streaming is just playing video games with a bunch of friends, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is so much behind the scenes that go on with streaming such as planning content, creating a schedule, and coordinating with other streamers just to name a few things that can make streaming challenging.
Couple that with the fact that many big streamers stream for around 200+ hours a months and you begin to see why streaming is often considered a “grind”.
Now if you are able to get over the mental and physical toll that streaming places on an individual, the next thing you have to worry about is growing as a streamer.
But for many people it is the difficulty in growing a stream that makes streaming so hard. Let’s dive into what makes growing a stream so difficult to do.
Why Is It Difficult To Grow A Stream?
What makes it so difficult to grow a stream is lack of discoverable content, too many streamers competing for the same viewers, popular games that are oversaturated with streamers and lastly the grind that it takes to succeed.
Lack Of Discoverable Content
This is probably the biggest struggle in growing a stream and one that does not get talked about enough. Live streaming content is just not something that people search for.
When people go to Twitch or Youtube Gaming looking for streams to watch they usually will search for a particular streamer and not for a specific title.
For example, if you go to Twitch and type in “How to beat Pokemon Red” it is extremely unlikely that you will find anyone streaming that.
But on the other hand if you type in that same exact search into Youtube you will be flooded with videos to help you with your search query.
And why is this? Videos, inparticular videos on Youtube, are just much more discoverable and are meant to help users find or discover what they are searching for or what they would be interested in.
Livestreams on the other hand are meant more for entertainment and are only really searchable or interesting while they are live. Typically people are not searching for livestreams once they are no longer live.
Now Youtube Gaming claims to be fixing this by using their “recommended” feature to help suggest streamers that the user would be interested in, but it has yet to be proven whether or not this is an effective strategy for live streaming.
In the end, the fact that livestreams can be difficult to discover is one thing that can make growing a stream challenging.
Too Many Streamers Competing For Viewers
A few years ago streaming was only beginning to gain popularity. People knew about streaming, but not many people actually streamed.
Today, streaming has exploded in popularity and people all over the world have begun to stream.
And the thing is many people who stream aren’t even trying to be major streamers, they just like streaming and like to show off their streaming setup.
So what does this mean? Well this means that there is more competition for you as a streamer making it harder for you to get discovered.
Now people will argue that there are also more viewers watching live streams than ever before, which is true, but the increase in viewers has not kept pace with the increase in streamers streaming on these platforms making it hard to stand out.
Popular Games That Are Oversaturated With Streamers
I don’t want to sound like a broken record with this one, but try going to one of the more popular games on whichever streaming platform you are on and search League of Legends, Fortnite, etc. and see how many streamers are streaming those games.
Literally hundreds of people if not thousands of people streaming those games. Now what are the chances that someone comes across your channel out of the thousands of other people who are streaming that game.
Answer: the chances are not good. For this reason you will have to make content outside of your streaming platform, but this just makes streaming even more challenging as now you have to work on content outside of just streaming.
Finding the right game can be a challenge and if you need help finding a game to stream then check out my article here.
The Grind That It Takes To Succeed
Lastly, and this is may be where most content creators/streamers fall short, it takes a ton of effort and dedication in order to succeed as a streamer.
Don’t expect to stream for a couple weeks or months and be the next Ninja. Many of the streamers who make a full-time income have been streaming for years.
Yes, YEARS! Are there exceptions? Well yeah ofcourse. But typically it takes time to perfect your craft and to learn how to be a good streamer and how to grow your audience.
And those who make it usually put in hours a week and are eventually able to break through. But for most, life happens and they are not able to keep up with the grind.
This grind is very hard and very real and may not always lead to success.
But if you are into streaming, keep reading for things you can do to make streaming a bit easier for you.
How To Make Streaming Easier
To make streaming easier you should make a stream schedule, limit how often you stream, only stream games you enjoy and don’t compare yourself to other streamers. Doing these things will help alleviate stress from streaming and help make your streams more enjoyable.
Make a Stream Schedule
Making a streaming schedule is easy and allows you to plan and prepare mentally and physically to stream on certain days.
It also allows your viewers to plan for when they can expect you to go live so they can show up for your streams.
In my experience I have found that having a streaming schedule helps me to reduce at least some of the stress that comes with streaming.
If you need help setting up a streaming schedule on Twitch, check out my article here.
Limit How Often You Stream
You may think that the more you stream, the more likely you will be to have people show up in your streams. But to be honest this is not always the case.
In many cases it is better to stream less and instead create content on multiple platforms to help expand your reach.
I also think it is better to have fewer, higher quality streams than more low energy streams. If you want to know how often you should stream check out my article here or see the video below.
Only Stream Games You Enjoy
This may not be the best strategy for growth, but it will certainly make you enjoy your streams much more.
As you may have seen with other streamers, you often have to stream games that your viewers enjoy in order to keep your viewers entertained.
Now this isn’t necessarily bad to do, but if you are feeling burnt out from streaming then you may want to stick to games you enjoy for a bit in order to get that fire back inside of you.
Like I said you may not grow from this, but this may be a good trick to help you keep your sanity.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Streamers
Lastly and most importantly, DO NOT compare yourself to other streamers. This will only lead to you being upset and let down if you dwell on this for too long.
Focus instead on enjoying streaming and having fun creating content. If you learn to love streaming and creating content then who cares what anyone else does.
Streaming can be hard, but it can also be very enjoyable when done properly.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.