Entrepreneur, music lover, player of video games, and futurist.
The importance of a niche
Finding a niche is very important because it’s something you can do on stream consistently that people actually want. A solid niche is something that brings you many new viewers, followers, and supporters every day. A high level niche should bring you enough traffic to be at partnership level viewers and beyond. However there is no shame in taking a niche that’s not quite partner, but for those of you who have higher ambitions, this is something to be aware of. If you are struggling to hold viewers and find a mini niche, take it! You don’t have to be there forever.
Personally it took me quite a long time to appreciate the power of a niche on twitch. I streamed many hours playing what I felt like playing, regardless of the viewership of that game, the community on twitch behind said game, and the results. I just did what I want, and quite frankly got nowhere with it.
Discovering a niche
There a lots of niches yet to be discovered and introduced into the world of twitch. Personally I have found a few major niches during my tenor with livestreaming. All have resulted in huge spikes of viewership, subscribers, donations, and followers. The hype in the chat is on another level when I find something people really love, which makes my streams that much more fun. I have found success hosting PUBG custom games, running a Minecraft server, hosting Fortnite zone wars, CoD Mobile customs, Rocket League tournaments. My trend is that I stream community based things that the viewers can participate in.
I’m sure its obvious that finding a niche on twitch is not the easiest of endeavors. So many people are already doing so many things and are already established! It’s become more difficult than ever to come up with something compelling that people actually want. Finding a niche can be quite the journey. You don’t always know what you should be doing. Sometimes, if not just about all the time, you need to do a lot of experimenting to find what it is that you do well.
Finding a niche does not always mean you need to come up with some new invention. Often times good niches that are already discovered are ripe for the taking. You can easily nudge yourself into an existing niche and completely out stream anyone else doing it. Most commonly though, a good niche is discovered by complete accident, its just up to you to be able to see it when its in front of you.
Becoming the authority
Once you find a niche, it should be your goal to try and become the authority in that arena. Observe any other streamers that may be doing something similar in the same category, and size them up. Don’t be afraid to judge other streamers! You don’t have to be a dick about it, you don’t have to be vocal or outspoken. This is purely for your own observation so you can make your next moves.
Personally, when I on the hunt for a new niche and enter a new space on twitch, I size up the competition and make a mental note to create a better stream than them. I know this sounds harsh, but twitch is a competitive environment, and people who think the way I described tend to dominate, as small to medium sized Twitch streamers are generally not very competitive with each other.
It may sound taboo to be competitive. Maybe it is. This is up to you. But I ask, how badly do you want to really win at this? The goals and aspirations of the people reading this will vary. I like to break this particular subject down into two simple categories. Casual streamers and try hard streamers. Streaming casually is pretty cool but if you don’t work very hard at it, you can’t really expect many viewers to be there. A try hard streamer is going to put in the extra back end hours, overhaul their stream to be more compelling that his peers, and just generally do what it takes to win.
Lifespan of a niche
Most smaller niches tend to have a lifespan. They expire over a period time as the viewership of that area tends to wander to new things. You will notice the viewership, subscriptions, donations, chat engagement tends to get smaller and smaller. Perhaps the game behind said niche is just dying. Or a new updates wipes out a game feature you depend on. In my case PUBG really took a turn for the worst, and to this day continues to do so. When this happens do not panic! Be strong and confident.
If you found one niche, you can find another. You can do it. You will also by this point have built up some community. You will have core people who will come with you, as well as curious others. Some of your viewers will even either already be involved in what you do next, or convert over because their favorite streamer makes it fun. It will be another journey and you will have to deal with some lower numbers for a while, such is the life of a streamer. But you can do it.