The other day I was giving advice to a brand new streamer that had stopped in my chat over on Twitch TV about whether it mattered which game you played or not on stream. I told him it did indeed matter and was immediately called out by another person in my chat that my advice was wrong and that they had watched Harris Heller who said in one of his videos that it didn’t matter what game you played.
I pushed back a bit and was then told it was also said by several other streaming coaches, which admittedly are larger streamers than myself, and that basically I didn’t know what I was talking about. The funny thing is, I actually watch Harris Heller and several other streaming coaches myself and think overall they provide great solid advice which I myself have learned from. Also, I’ve actually seen the clip where Harris Heller says this, however, I think what he was really saying is that what game you played wouldn’t prevent you from being a successful streamer and overall didn’t matter much either way thus making it unimportant. However, to say that it doesn’t matter at all is simply not true.
Let’s talk about it!
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There’s a common trend you notice about streaming coaches giving advice to brand new streamers… and to be honest it’s most likely something I do as well. We discover that there are things that we were told we should be doing as new streamers that we find out just don’t really matter that much for our streams so we end up not doing them even though they will most likely help our streams, even if just a small bit. We do this while still doing other things that don’t matter that much because they fit in with what we are trying to accomplish.
Using the example of playing a specific game on Twitch, I can tell you from experience that there are definitely certain games I play on Twitch, that I can prove with data from my own streams, that do in fact lead me to have more viewers for that livestream as well as gain more followers compared to other games. For example, one of those games for myself is Dead by Daylight. Is the difference hugely significant? No. But nonetheless, there is still a difference between the games.
But here’s the problem that some new streamers face which leads to people like Harris Heller saying it doesn’t matter which game you play. They hear that playing certain games can get you more viewers or followers so they end up playing a game they don’t enjoy as much as they would another game. Which then leads to a boring stream because they aren’t having fun, which ends up leading to maybe more people stopping in to your livestream but then ultimately leaving because your content is boring AF.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still true that certain game will get you more viewers and followers versus others. However, most “rules” we know about growing as a new streamer by and in themselves have very little impact on growing your stream. It’s the commitment of following lots of these little small rules that add up that lead to a channel that starts to grow instead of the large amount that simply don’t experience any growth.
What I believe Harris Heller was saying in that video is this… You can play whatever game you want as a new streamer and still grow your livestream. While it may be true that a certain game would get you more viewers, what is also true, and probably more impactful, is that if you play a game you are having a lot of fun with and you are then taking that content, re-purposing it, and then posting it on a platform that offers better discover-ability, you’d be much better off then just picking a game that does well on Twitch.
And he’s right. If you’re looking to grow on Twitch, it’s probably one of the best things you can do right now, in fact, I’ve done a video about this myself on the channel saying that it’s probably the best way of growing on Twitch in 2020.
However, this still doesn’t change the fact that playing the right game makes a difference. Obviously the best case scenario would be to do both. Create content on other platforms and push people to your livestreams, but also play a game that does well in getting new people to your stream. But, only if you actually enjoy that game!
Now my point is not to argue about who’s right or wrong, but instead to point out this.
If you want to grow, if you want to succeed you need to be open to taking in all advice given and test it out for yourself. Think for yourself. Try for yourself. What works for one streamer and helped him to grow, won’t necessarily work for another streamer to grow. For example, if we all tried to become the next Harris Heller, the market would be flooded with that type of content and the chances of succeeding that way would continue to decrease as the competition increased.
To give another example of what I’m talking about, it’s pretty well known on this platform, YouTube, that in order to be successful you should niche down and focus on the same type of content on your channel, however, personally I have no interest in growing a channel where I can only talk about one thing. So does that mean I can’t make it as a YouTuber vs my friend I was talking with that has grown his channel and done so by nicheing down? Well, I just broke 2,000 subscribers on YouTube and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. My friend is growing as well, he’s about to hit 2,000…but the difference is, he’s unhappy about being stuck in that box and wants to create other stuff as well.
I don’t think it’s about who’s right… Because what’s right depends on what you are trying to accomplish! Personally, I’d rather have 10,000 subs and make the content I want to make while maybe only making $50,000 a year doing so. But maybe someone else’s goal is to simply make as much money as they can… Just know you risk the chance of not being able to create the exact content you want!
Thinking about this stuff and deciding exactly what you want and what your goals are is what leads you to then make what I think is the biggest win you can make…
It allows you to decide which of the rules to follow…and which ones to break.