Hey friend! Getting those first 3 consistent viewers on Twitch can seem impossible when you‘re just starting out. But reaching an average of just 3 concurrent viewers opens up major opportunities, like unlocking the ability to become a Twitch Affiliate and start generating revenue from your channel.
So how can you gain that initial traction on Twitch and reach the 3 viewer threshold all on your own? Here are the top 3 strategies:
1. Leverage Your Existing Connections
The easiest way to kickstart your channel is by telling your friends, family members, and anyone else you know personally to tune in and watch your streams.
When I first started, I texted and messaged all my close friends asking them to please check out my channel. While some kindly declined, several were excited to support me and said they‘d watch my next stream!
Don‘t be shy about sharing your Twitch channel far and wide – the more people you get to tune in at first, the faster you‘ll reach 3 viewers. Send your personal network a link to your channel and let them know when you‘ll be streaming next. Hitting up old gaming buddies is also great, they‘ll appreciate the invite to play together again.
Pro tip: offer to return the favor by watching your friends‘ streams and spreading the word about their channels. Supporting each other is a win-win!
2. Leverage Existing Gaming Communities
Tap into gaming communities you may already be a part of on platforms like Discord or Reddit. For example, when I started streaming Valorant, I shared my new channel in a few big Valorant Discord servers and subreddits.
Don‘t spam or aggressively self-promote, but a quick "I just started streaming Valorant, will be live tonight at 9PM if anyone wants to follow!" in relevant channels/groups can be very effective.
Getting the word out within established communities related to the games you‘re streaming is a great way to grab some initial curious viewers. According to Twitch‘s 2021 retrospective report, 48% of users say they discover new streaming content via online gaming communities.
3. Create Shareable Clips & Highlights
One of the best tactics for drawing in new viewers is creating exciting clips and highlights from your broadcasts to share across other platforms.
Short, funny, or impressive moments from your streams can gain major traction on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This exposes your channel to fresh new audiences.
I like to clip my best reactions and in-game plays, then post them natively on TikTok/Twitter 2-3 times per week with a link back to my Twitch channel. This cross-promotion has brought me lots of new followers who came over to see more after the clip.
Pro tip: focus on clips under 60 seconds that capture an engaging moment and make viewers want to see the full live show. Adding text captions also helps them go viral!
Okay, with those top 3 starter strategies, you‘re armed to gain that initial viewership momentum. Now let‘s dive into more proven ways to retain and grow your fledgling audience into a thriving community…
Optimize Your Stream‘s SEO
Using relevant keywords and phrases in your stream title and game selection helps surface your stream in Twitch searches.
For example, instead of just "Call of Duty Gameplay" make your title "Warzone Friday Nights – Chill CoD with Friends." Steer clear of overused titles like "Road to Affiliate" – research indicates these generic names can actually hurt discoverability.
Be strategic with your game selection too. Play titles that are popular but not oversaturated. According to Stream Hatchet data, choosing a game with between 500-2000 concurrent streamers gives you the best chance of being noticed.
Optimizing SEO makes it easier for new viewers interested in a particular game to stumble upon your channel.
Network & Collaborate with Fellow Streamers
Connecting with other streamers in your niche opens up opportunities. I‘ve found my fellow small Warzone channels by using Twitch search filters, and now we regularly chat in each others‘ streams.
Not only is this a chance to learn from more experienced streamers, but networking leads to collaboration. I‘ve scored several raids and hosts from new streamer friends, instantly exposing me to their audience.
We‘ve also done "power hours" where a group of us will raid each other‘s channels back and forth to share viewers.
You can also join streamer networking Discord servers to connect and coordinate with supportive streaming communities. Find groups focused on your type of content or specific game titles.
Analyze Your Analytics
Pay close attention to the analytics on your Twitch channel‘s Creator Dashboard. Check the detailed viewership stats to spot patterns in when you receive the most live viewers.
For example, my rush hour stream (5-7pm) performs much better than late night. So I‘ve shifted my schedule to capitalize on peak evening viewing times.
Your Dashboard also tracks your top traffic sources, most loyal repeat viewers, follower growth metrics, and more. Dive into the data to gain insights to refine your content and promotion.
Keep an Eye on Retention
It‘s not enough just to attract viewers – you also need them to stick around!
Monitor traffic sources and viewer retention graphs in the Creator Dashboard. Low retention from a certain source like YouTube or Reddit means you may need to tweak your content to better appeal to audiences from that platform.
High retention signals you‘re effectively engaging viewers once they arrive. Benchmark your viewership retention rate against the Twitch category average to make sure you‘re performing well.
Engage with Your Community
Active engagement is the key to building loyalty with your viewers and keeping them coming back.
I greet everyone who joins my stream chat by name and ask how they‘re doing. When I see familiar names, I reference past conversations we‘ve had to strengthen the connection. I also have regulars who play alongside me and we strategize out loud.
Doing giveaways, letting viewers pick my next game, and other interactive elements get people actively participating. Chatting with your audience makes them feel valued as individuals, not just anonymous viewers.
Discord Creates Lasting Bonds
I recommend setting up a Discord server so you can continue engaging with your community between streams. This gives you a space to get to know your regulars better, post stream updates, share memes, and more.
Some of my most loyal, supportive viewers came from relationships I built on Discord. It helps retain viewers who will keep returning because they feel connected beyond just the livestream.
Establish a Consistent Schedule
Having set broadcast days and times trains your audience to know when to watch you. This helps convert casual viewers into regulars.
When I first started streaming, my schedule was all over the place. Now I stick to Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 6-9pm and my average viewership has doubled!
Consistency allows your streams to gain momentum at their usual time slots as fans learn to tune in. It also signals that you‘re committed to regularly providing great content.
I recommend starting with 2-3 days per week for a few hours at a time. As your audience grows, you can expand your schedule. Just be sure to keep it consistent week to week.
Enhance Production Value
Investing in a few upgrades really stepped up my channel‘s production value:
- A nice webcam with crisp HD video
- Professional microphone for crystal clear audio
- Ring light to improve lighting
- Green screen for custom backgrounds
- Stylish overlays and alerts
First impressions matter – a polished, professional looking stream keeps new viewers watching.
If you don‘t have the budget yet, a few cheap upgrades can still go a long way:
- Clamp desk lamp for better lighting
- Solid color background
- Headset mic with mic monitoring
- Free stream overlays
Track Your Progress
It‘s easy to get discouraged when growth is slow. One way to stay motivated and see your progress is to track your streaming stats.
I log my peak viewer count, new followers, and chat engagement every stream. This gives me concrete data to demonstrate my improvement over weeks and months. Celebrate growth milestones with your community too – it keeps you both excited!
Set reasonable goals like gaining 5 followers per week, or hitting 50 chat comments per stream. Measuring metrics motivates you to keep perfecting your content.
Growth Takes Time
Remember growth is a long game. Consistently produce entertaining streams, connect with supportive communities, and your viewership will steadily increase.
Across Twitch, channels take an average of 9 months to reach 50 average viewers, according to Stream Hatchet data. Have patience, learn from each stream, and those first 3 concurrent viewers will come sooner than you think.
You‘ve got this! Now get out there, start streaming, and have fun building your audience. Wishing you huge success.