TwitchCon Notes: Stream as a Hobby vs Career

While both are live streams, what makes the difference to the stream as a hobby vs career?

A streamer is considered to be making a career if

  • streaming is their main source of income
  • they are consumed and judged by the public

A streamer is considered to be a hobbiest if

  • they turn on the stream when they feel like it
  • they stream for/with friends so as not to be judged

Both can be fun and make money. As a career, it won’t be “fun” 100% of the time. There will be work involved so be realistic in your expectations.

You can do what you love and it won’t always seem like work. Some tips to help:

  • It can consume you. Set a schedule and stick to it. Keep stream and personal time apart.
  • Don’t put your full life in the public eye. Keep some things personal. Be it your favorite game for passing time, your personal song lists, etc.
  • Keeping joy in the stream keeps it worth while.
  • Chasing the money takes the fun away and creates a faster burn out.
  • All stream and no personal play creates exhaustion which inturn creates ineffectiveness leading to the “f-it” train.

Equipment – Start Small – Build while you Grow

Audio will make or break a stream. Your mic quality is the most important factor in your stream. If they can’t understand you or it hurts their ears to listen, they will leave.

Lighting would be considered the 2nd most important thing to consider. While camera quality is important, it won’t matter if the lighting is not good.

Broadcast out at what the majority of your viewers watch. We all live in a world of high tech and 4k/8k streaming. But in reality, do your viewers watch your Twitch stream in 4k or higher? Most likely not.

Let the community invest in you and experience your growth. You don’t need to start out at Partner level.

Repurpose things you have already. Need a 2nd monitor? How about that tv in your room?

Decide what you “need” vs what you “want” for streaming. Set your “wants” as growth goals.

Be strategic in your purchases. Take advantage of coupons/sales/seasonal items.

Reasons You Want to Stream

Realize that it is ok to be new at something…you don’t have to be an expert at your “game” in order to start.

Things to consider for streaming:

  • how much time do you have to invest and build the community?
  • do you have the money to invest in stream and yourself?
  • what are your reasons to stream/motivation?
  • are you willing to work for it?
  • how much of yourself are you willing to put out there?
  • do you have means to keep bounderies for personal time?

Things to consider for making a career out of streaming:

  • what is the base finance you need for living expenditures?
  • why do you want to make streaming a career?
  • do you have strong time management skills? can you prioritize?
  • take a small business management course to understand operation expenses/budgeting etc
  • real life jobs can add resources to streaming
  • use apps to schedule and automate parts of your life
  • can you balance personal / online privacy

And in either case, accept that “what you want isn’t always what you get.” Set a minimum goal to accept and set ladders for bigger goals. Ultimately, the question boils down to: What do you want streaming to do for you?