Over 2 million streamers broadcast from Twitch every month, but the large majority of those streamers will never even come close to growing their channel into a career. That’s fine for the hobbyist streamers who enjoy the small following they’ve garnered, but for those streamers who are serious about turning their passion into something so much more, this can be a scary thought.

As Gaming Careers grew into the full-time operation it is today, I’ve had the opportunity to review hundreds of streamers along the way. Time and time again, clear reasons as to why some streamers weren’t growing would stand out to me. Soon, I had a list of the most common reasons why streamers weren’t finding success and I knew these reasons had to be revealed to the streaming world.

So here it is. 7 reasons why you’re not growing on Twitch.

Video Guide

As with all of our guides, below I have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.

Attempting to stream a saturated game without a large community to keep you afloat is denying yourself the chance to grow an audience.

1. You’re Streaming a Saturated Game

If Twitch were an ocean, big-name games like Fortnite and Black Ops 4 would be the vast, deep trenches where the sea monsters thrive. By sea monsters, I mean those streamers who can step into a popular game that’s being streamed by countless other streamers and still come out on top. Maybe they fought their way to that level of popularity, or maybe they just got lucky. But for every sea monster streaming Overwatch to an arena of viewers, there are thousands of streamers broadcasting the same game to a viewership of nobody.

Overwatch, along with the dozen other games that always rise to the top of the Twitch directory are saturated games, meaning there’s already too many people streaming the game and a new streamer has very little chance of growing a viewership amongst the competition.

Why You're Not Growing on Twitch - Saturated Games on Twitch

But in the reaches past the monster-filled trenches, the ocean of Twitch provides plenty of secluded coves and vibrant hideaway reefs where a smaller streamer can begin to grow. These calmer waters are the games that may not rise to the top of Twitch, but games that have active communities all the same.

I’ll leave the aquatic analogy there (I told you I loved Subnautica), but it’s true that attempting to stream a saturated game without a large community to keep you afloat is denying yourself the chance to grow an audience. Instead, you should be focusing on games that are in need of more streamers.

Why You're Not Growing on Twitch - Non Saturated Games on Twitch

One great way to identify what games are calling to be streamed is with Twitch Strike. Twitch Strike crunches the numbers to find out what games are too crowded with streamers and more importantly, which games have the highest ratio of broadcasters to viewers. A quick search of “Fortnite” in Twitch Strike’s search bar will show you just how much competition exists around Epic’s crazy-popular battle royale.

Yes, you read that right. Nearly 4,000 people streaming Fortnite at the same time. Do you really think you’ll get discovered? Can you even imagine how long it takes for someone to scroll down to the bottom of that directory? I tried and gave up.

Rely on your own tastes to discover (or rediscover) a game that you’ll enjoy and use Twitch Strike to see how the game is faring in the ocean of Twitch. Less than 100 other streamers whilst still bringing in an audience of over 1,000? There’s a greater chance that viewers will be able to discover your stream among these smaller games.

2. You’re Not Interacting With Your Viewers

In my list of 7 reasons, the lack of interaction with viewers is the most common reason that a streamer isn’t growing on Twitch. I can’t put it any simpler than that.

You’ll hear me say this many times; people come to Twitch for entertainment. Why is it such a magnet for viewers compared to traditional media? Because Twitch offers interactive media. Media that talks back, if you will. And that interactive media is you.

The Twitch chat exists purely to be that bridge of interactivity from your viewers to you and vice versa. As the streamer, you need to rely on this bridge to greet newcomers and create conversations worth being a part of. That interactivity fuels the energy of your stream, whether you realize it or not.

If you struggle to connect with your viewers, think of the interactions like this: The conversations taking place between you and your chat is content that’s making itself.

When your stream attendees are asking you questions or making jokes, they’re providing half of the entertainment that they went looking for. All you have to do is fill in the other half with your own voice! Make their voices heard by using your own voice.

Now, I know that sometimes, especially in a new streamer’s career, the viewership can be small and because of that, maybe not very talkative. That doesn’t change the fact that you should still be interacting with them.

One great way to fill the void of a silent chat is to ask questions or seek advice on the game your playing. Get them talking like you would a shy schoolmate or friend who’s never the one to engage first. Remember, you’re the media. Does a talk show host shut down because their guest isn’t talkative? No way.

To practice your social interactions on Twitch, I recommend enabling highlights for your stream. This is done by going into your channel settings and flipping the switch next to “Store past broadcasts”.

Twitch Settings - Store Past Broadcasts

Like a footballer reviewing their film of the last match, rewatching your past broadcasts will give you a play-by-play of where you can grow your levels of interactivity with your viewers. Try reaching out to a trusted friend or family member (who’s not totally bias and also understands the world of Twitch) and ask them to watch your replays. What kind of feedback will they give? Does it sound like they’d return to watch more? Use this feedback to improve.

Also, watch fellow Twitch streamers who primarily stream single-player games to a large audience. Listen. They narrate their own adventure. They fill the silence with their thoughts and their decisions. Tell a story, so others want to take part in it. And remember, nobody stays for a silent stream.

Now, now, some of you may be thinking “It’s impossible to stream and stay on top of chat when I’ve only got this ONE MONITOR.”

Single-monitor streaming comes with some extra finesse, but we recently covered how to overlay your Twitch chat onto your game, so there are no excuses!

3. Your Stream has Technical Issues

A stream that’s always riddled with technical hang-ups will never grow a viewership as quickly as it could without them.

One-off streams that go haywire and require some maintenance is fine, even big-name streamers have streams that go off the rails sometimes. But big-name streamers don’t live with technical issues, they actively seek them out and resolve them.

Whether it’s framerate or bitrate, you have to take the necessary steps to ensure that your broadcast working like a well-oiled machine. And thanks to Twitch Inspector, getting your stream in ship-shape isn’t the chore it once was.

This Twitch-official tool allows a streamer to run a test stream within the Inspector and quickly create a report of dropped frames and bitrate, along with a variety of other useful information relating to your stream.

Including the use of Twitch Inspector, I’ve created a comprehensive video that takes place completely behind the curtain of a Twitch stream. If you’re struggling with any technical issues, I highly recommend taking a look.

4. You Aren’t Streaming Consistently

Let’s go back to 2008, and Breaking Bad just aired its first episode. The credits are rolling and you’re sure, without a doubt, you’ll be back for more. As the credits finish, the announcer’s deep baritone voice booms, “Breaking Bad’s second episode will broadcast…when we feel like it.”

Screen goes black. What are you feeling right now? Confusion? Probably an all-over sense of bummed-outedness?

While you’re no Walter White (no offense), your viewers experience a fraction of this feeling everytime you close down the stream without a set return date. Without a consistent streaming schedule, you’re actively turning away those viewers who want more! Avoid this by planning out what days you can commit to streaming every week and stick to your schedule as best as you can.

Don’t worry about keeping up with the 6-times-a-week streaming consistency that those full-time streamers are able to knock out week after week. In fact, commit yourself to significantly fewer days in the beginning. Don’t burn yourself out in the early months of your streaming career trying to grind through a job-like schedule. Find that sweet spot that’ll keep you mentally healthy, even if it’s just once a week and increase the schedule as you see fit.

The geniuses over at Streamlabs understand the necessity for consistency in a streamer’s schedule. To help streamers both freshie and veteran, they’ve released a Twitch extension that allows you to announce the upcoming times and days of your week’s streams. This bad boy even takes into account your time zone and converts it to the proper time zone of whoever happens to be taking a look at your schedule.

Believe me, this extension is invaluable and if you’ve got an interest in getting your stream setup with one of these schedules, check out my in-depth guide.

Stream Schedule and Countdown Extension - 5

5. You Don’t Use a Webcam

Sure, some streamers who’ve hit the big time have done so without ever showing their face on stream, but every Twitch tradesman should have a webcam in their toolbelt. More specifically, they should be using that webcam to put their face and personality out into the world.

Do you remember my mantra from above? People come to Twitch for entertainment.

You should always view your Twitch stream as your own show. There’s a science behind why people keep coming back to the shows and the movies that they prefer, and it all starts with recognition. Humans, we’re all brilliant, yet simple creatures that require visual references to build connections.

Think of all the thumbnails you’ve clicked on because the face that’s shown is a recognizable one. Think of all the actors that you can describe how they look, but you don’t know their name. This human quirk is why it’s so important to bring a personality and a face to your stream, so you can trigger the thoughts of “Oh yeah, it’s that guy/girl!” to those returning viewers.

If you’re without the shiny new webcam that makes your eyes sparkle like the stars, don’t worry yourself for even a second. Webcams of all levels of quality will get you where you’re going, especially in the early stages of your career.

Gaming Careers’ gear recommendations have webcams on tap for every budget. Take a look if you’re in the market! We also have a guide for those of you that need a little guidance on how to properly set up a webcam in OBS.

Building that bridge of interactivity doesn’t just start and end with your Twitch chat. You need to be connecting with the communities that are built around your preferred games.

6. You Aren’t Networking Effectively

Everything listed above is vital towards understanding why you’re not growing on Twitch, but identifying these last two reasons are paramount for growing your viewership, starting with networking effectively.

Building that bridge of interactivity doesn’t just start and end with your Twitch chat. You need to be connecting with the communities that are built around your preferred games. And you need to be connecting with fellow streamers who play the same type of games. Not only that, you also need to be making yourself known in the places where fans of the games you stream tend to hang out. And you need to learn to do it in the correct way.

If you only click on one link from this entire article, make it this one: How to Network Effectively on Twitch. I’m incredibly passionate about helping streamers become masters at the art of networking and the article above exists to do just that.

Networking on Twitch - Discord

Another great resource to see great networking in action is on the Gaming Careers Discord. We’ve got a killer community that thrives on connecting with fellow streamers and it’s a constant example of master-level networking in action.

7. You Aren’t Providing Enough Value

Here we go. The meat and potatoes. The golden ticket to gaining success on Twitch. You must provide value to your viewers.

One last time, say it with me; people come to Twitch for entertainment.

When we want to be entertained, we don’t indulge in content that we hate. Hell, we don’t even settle for content that’s watchable. No, we actively search out content that speaks to our interests and is presented in an enjoyable way. Finding content that keeps us coming back for more, that’s value to a tee.

Whether you’re a laid-back streamer who keeps the mood light or a streamer who showcases their pure talent in a competitive scene, you have to bring the value every time you’re streaming.

If you’re unsure of what kind of streamer you are, you need to identify what you’re bringing to the table that’s valuable to a viewer and make that thing your superpower. Are you the funniest person in your group of friends? There’s a good chance your humor will connect with the viewers on Twitch. If you’re hungry for blood every time you step into a battle royale and your victories are stacked high, viewers will love to see what you’re doing in-game to bring home the W’s. Find. Your. Value.

Like I said, 2 million streamers broadcast from Twitch a month. Most daily Twitch watchers could probably only name a dozen current streamers, maybe two-dozen. In addition to overcoming the reasons above, the one reason those streamer’s names are floating around in your head as you read this is because they bring value to you. This is what every successful streamer understands and they use what they can offer to build an empire.

And now it’s your turn.