They’re Watching! Quality or Quantity?

I’ve been streaming in earnest now for a little over a month. During that time I have learned quite a bit. One of the things that I am still learning (maybe exploring is a better word?) is how to draw followers to my channel… For me it is not all about the numbers, but if I ever want this to be my full time job I will need a steady stream of viewers. So… what do I do?

My first inclination is to jump on to social media platforms and go networking crazy. There is a plethora of desperate streamers looking to be followed by as many people as possible. Typically among small streamers I see a lot of posts that go something like this… “Let’s grow together! Follow me!” followed by a plethora of hashtags with many combinations of the core words “small” “streamer” and “community”. I’m not necessarily knocking this type of networking. It is a good way to connect with other streamers when you are new, but I’ve found out the hard way that while many are looking to be followed most do not offer a follow back. So I can spend time following several streamers from a post like what I described above and get no follows back as a result. Frustrating…

A small following on Twitch so far… as of the time I compose this blog.

Part of the problem of being a new streamer is getting new followers. The method above is one solution to the problem: you have to have followers to get followers. Sad, but true that unless you have people to hear about your content you are just yelling blindly into the night hoping someone will hear. Again, don’t get me wrong here I have tried connecting with other streamers this way and probably will continue to do so. The issue I have with this kind of networking is not only how frustrating it can feel, but mostly with how shallow it feels.

Sure, I just got a new follower on Twitch and that boosts my numbers. That’s awesome! The question I find myself wondering is, will this person ever actually stop by and watch my stream? At the end of the day I don’t know the answer. Basically, is it worth having 100 followers where only a couple or none of them actually visit my channel? It doesn’t feel like it…

An example of one of the posts I described above…

The best and most meaningful followers that I have in my community are the ones where they happened upon my channel and found that they felt right at home… Right now I have a handful of loyal followers who show up to every stream. Both they and I look forward to catching up every week. These connections were made because when they had the courage to speak up in chat I engaged them in a personal and meaningful way. I was genuine and excited to see them. I made them feel like they were a part of the group all along. Isn’t that what people go on these platforms for, to connect with others? When we talk about a community do we mean an actual engaged group of people wanting to add value to each others lives or do we just mean followers?

I for one am OK with the slow process of getting to know people individually as my channel grows. I care about my followers as people and I think they feel that when they tune in to my streams. Being honest and genuine with my viewers not only makes my streams more engaging, but also makes it feel more fulfilling. It gives purpose to the stream beyond just playing games and hoping people will watch. If I hope that this will become my career one day then shouldn’t I want more than just a pay check? I could get that anywhere…

A final disclaimer I did not write this to attack anyone, especially those who prefer the networking style I talked about above. I simply wanted to explore what I think successful viewership looks like for my channel. I think if I had to pick that I would pick a slower growing group of engaged and fulfilled viewers. I don’t want to offer cheap entertainment and gimmicks to draw people in. I want to be myself and grow with others along the way.

What do you think? What is your plan to draw people in? Why do you stream? Let’s talk about it!

Published by bloodmanchar

I like playing games! Pretty much anything tech or video game related is right up my alley.

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