I celebrated my streamiversary with my viewers on August 18th, 2016 and it has been an insane two years of playing games with you. I have learned some very important lessons and experienced so many things and I felt that I needed to share it. I have experienced both extreme happiness and extreme depression but I will be honest with you, I would not have traded this for the world.
I have learned is that streaming will be difficult from the very beginning to the very end no matter who you are; just because you’re partnered doesn’t mean it gets any easier. That friends can either be there for you or they will put you down to build themselves up. You will need to take the time to distinguish which friends you truly want and which you want to leave behind or which to keep at an arm’s length. Also, I have learned that's your social life will diminish with streaming along with some real life friends, depending on how much you stream. I have learned that you will have to make some sacrifices whether will be in your streaming career or in your family life for social life. I've also learned that you don't need to have the best of everything in order to be a good streamer, all you need is the loyalty of your viewers. If you want the loyalty of your viewers you need to put them first and not yourself because without them you're nothing.
Streaming is difficult work whether you have 10 followers, 500 followers, or 2,000 followers. At the very beginning you'll battle with finding your own identity and theme, trying to get viewers to come into your stream, and finding things to talk about to yourself or your bot because no one is in your stream yet. As you gain your first small core group you’ll struggle with trying to grow your group yet keep the group that you already have will be the next battle you’ll deal with. The next battle you'll have is watching your numbers. At some point in your streaming career you will become obsessed with numbers, and it could ruin you, because you're not focused on having fun or your community anymore. Then maybe you are a lucky one who gets partnered and now you will have a whole new set of problems and struggles to deal with. For example, finding content to stream that's new and exciting, being able to keep up with your chats without missing much, finding reliable mods to keep your stream moving, or worse becoming obsessed with numbers again because now that you're partnered it's become a business and you have to do well to succeed.
I have made several friends while streaming and some are now my very best friends while some of them are people I don’t trust at all. The sad thing is I was very naive and brought everyone I was friends with very close to me and it ended up hurting me. Some of them use me only to promote their channels and push their own careers forward. This really hurts because I would naturally promote them but because they were so selfish I refuse to communicate with them anymore. Some of these so called friends would manipulate me just too weasel their way into my community and steal viewers away. Thankfully, these horrible people are few and far between. The good friends that I have made, my lifelong friends, are so dear to me and I cannot imagine life without them. They have been there for me when I went through my anxiety attack and depression a while ago, they were with me when I made the most important choice about switching from Twitch and starting completely over on Beam, and lastly they are there for me nearly every single day.
Since I stream nearly every single day with the exception of the weekends (because that's my family time) my social life has really gone down to nearly nothing. I'm kind of okay with this as I don't have many real life friends; most of my friends are all online. However, I did end up losing touch with one of my real-life friends and it kind of hurts because I miss being able to go out places with her, getting a real life hug, and actually being able to see her. Of course you don't need to stream as much as I do or you can go out with your friends on the weekend. Since I have a family, my time is limited which makes it difficult to have much of a social life; but I've made my choice and in the long run I'm okay with it. My online friends have helped me out more and have been with me through more than the one real life friend has.
A lot of streamers think that they need to have the best of everything in order to be good. You don't need to have a DXRacer chair, dual PC set-up with the latest graphics card, and 24 gigs of memory in order to stream. You can get by on the bare minimum you just need to learn how to stream what your computer can handle. And if you've read some of my earlier blogs you know it's not really the game that people come to see; they come to see you because you are entertaining, and that is what streaming is all about; being entertained. In order to be a good streamer you need to have a good personality and you need to put your viewers before yourself. You can't be selfish or rude or obnoxious to your viewers because they will leave. Then when your viewership goes from 30 people down to 5 and you have no idea why... maybe it's because you didn't treat them with the respect that you should have.
I've also learned that honesty and positive attitudes are the secrets to gaining and keeping viewers. Don't use clickbait titles in your streams and don't go announcing you're doing huge giveaways for weeks on end because people will show up for your stream only for the giveaway. It's very rare you will gain a loyal viewer from a giveaway. If you truly put yourself out there for your viewers and put in the time to help them and listen to them; you’re building not only a community but friendships, and I truly think that is what is lacking in a lot of streaming communities. Friendship between the streamer and the viewers.
The last lesson that I have learned and it is probably the most important lesson is not everyone will agree with you on everything. That it is okay to agree to disagree!
I love you all so much and you are very important to me. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be here with you for two years and hopefully for many years to come.
Until next time…