Back in mid-September, I set for myself a few goals I wanted to achieve by the end of October. I wanted to have at least 200 Followers on Twitch, 1500 views, 5 Subscribers, and a per-stream average of 10 viewers.
Yeah, that was just a bit ambitious, it would appear. But also, it wasn’t ambitious at all, considering I gave myself over six weeks to achieve them. Nevertheless, they were just a bit too far out of my reach.
That’s a bit depressing, but at the same time, I can’t let myself get down about it, because frankly, there’s little I can do to change it. I have been networking, posting about my streams on Twitter, staying positive, engaging with my viewers, and generally doing everything I can to build my community.
Unfortunately, I took a few missteps along the way, which helped in the short term, but set me back overall. Let me tell you about one such way I messed up:
“Follow for Follow” traps.
Okay, they don’t call them “Follow for Follow”, but that’s effectively how it works out. Someone – usually a Partner on Twitch – will post on Twitter that they are looking to help small streamers grow, and will happily Follow anyone who likes and re-tweets their post, follows them on Twitter, and Follows them on Twitch. All you have to do then is leave a comment on their Twitter post with your Twitch link, so they can easily find you, and everyone is encouraged to Follow each other in the thread, to help the whole group thrive.
Sounds good, right?
Unfortunately, it kind of works out like a pyramid scheme. The person who made the original Tweet gets the most out of it, while those encouraged to join in get less out of it, because not everyone will Follow everyone else in the thread. Worse yet, a few days after you Follow all these people, and gain a few Followers yourself, most of those you gained Unfollow you, and you are then left with the task of tracking down which of those you Follow don’t Follow you back, or just letting them keep your Follow for nothing in return.
In short, it’s a scam, don’t fall for it. There is now a variant of this going around on Twitter regarding Auto-Hosts. The goal is to get you to add people to your Auto-Host list, and they will add you back, only to find that they quietly drop you off their Auto-Hosting list shortly thereafter. Don’t fall for that either.
In the end, don’t Follow someone on the promise that they will Follow you back, because they might, but it won’t last. Also, only put people on your Auto-Host list that you feel are appropriate to be shown on your channel to your community. It just isn’t worth it to do otherwise.
Anyway, at this point, it appears I’ll be short on all goals that I set for myself, and that’s a shame. I’ll be trying out some different options for my Twitch channel over the next couple of months, just to see how things go, and if any of it really matters. It is entirely possible that I have capped out, and this is the biggest my community will ever get, but I think I can do at least a bit better than I have thus far. It is all about finding the right times and the right games.
I’ve found that “Lord of the Rings Online” and “Secret World Legends” do the best with my community, despite being rather fringe games with what some might call a limited growth potential overall. I disagree with that assessment, at least in regards to LOTRO, as there are some Twitch streamers that get 5-10 times as many viewers as I do with that game, so there is still room for growth, in my opinion.
As for times, I have found that evenings do better than mornings for my channel, and as such, I considered testing a lifestyle change. I work Monday through Friday Nights, and as such, usually get up around 7pm those evenings, to relax for a bit before getting ready for work around 8. But I was thinking about trying – on a trial basis – getting up a few hours early, so I can stream at least a few weekday evenings, roughly 5-8pm. I’m not certain how well this would turn out, or even if I can maintain that adjusted schedule, but I feel it is worth trying, at the very least. My thought is to give it a month or so, see if things improve, and go from there. Unfortunately, my sweetie is completely against it, so we’ll see if this happens. I might just stream in the mornings, after work, instead.
Basically, I’m going to throw myself into streaming as best I can, see what works, and focus on doing “More of That”. Either I’ll see some growth in my community, or I won’t, and by the end of the year I can decide how to move forward in the future.