First thing’s first… Can youbelieve it’s been a year already?
Now that that’s out of my system, it’s been a year. Quite the year mind you.
As I write the title for this post, I’m scratching my head as to what exactly I want to write about. I could write about the process I’ve been through becoming an affiliate or about how the entire journey has been. I could talk about the people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had, and much more. Actually, those are good topics, so I guess I just solved my own conundrum? Let’s go!
Way back when I originally started out with this blog. My girlfriend (who is now my fiancé) was the one who suggested I do this because I do love to talk about sports and video games. After about a month, I announced I was entering the Twitch scene. Those were some exciting and scary times. Scary because I didn’t want to fail, exciting because all I had to do was pick up my PS4 controller and hitting the Share button.
Twitch/live streaming is such a cool concept; you can stream video games or whatever you want to stream (as long as it doesn’t violate any terms of service), interact with people, and grow. I partially entered the Twitch scene because I thought it would help increase traffic to my blog since I have no idea how to YouTube, while the other half of me wanted to genuinely meet new people. I’ve watched people stream from time to time, and those concepts resonated with me. “Why can’t I do it?” is what I thought. I finally picked up the controller, hit the Share button and wellllllllllllllllll… it’s not as easy as you think.
I realized I have severe game time nerves. If I can’t even pick up the phone and call people, so why the heck would I even be able to pick up the mic and talk? Oof this is going to take some time.
I remember the first game I streamed was Paragon. Worst idea ever since:
a) I wasn’t good at the game
b) I knew nothing about the game
c) All of the above
It’s one thing to pick up a new game and stream it, but it’s another to actually play an established game and expect people to watch noobs.
I was struggling to think of what I wanted to do. Play a variety of games? Become a pro (lol)? Then I remembered! With the blog also being worked on when I wasn’t streaming, I figured why not play new games that I’d cover on the blog? “Ding Ding Ding”. I picked up Agents of Mayhem and streamed it. Some new people trickled in and asked me about it, I picked up some new followers, and got a taste of what I hoped I could be. Still, I set goals for myself and wanted to grow. Back to the Interwebs I went.
Great points there, but what better way to grow than network? I read more into the articles about networking, and they all suggested the same thing. “Find a community”. I went to Twitter, searched Twitch gaming communities.
From there, I met new streamers. If you interact with them, they interact with you. It’s a whole new world. They came in when I streamed, offered me help, boosted my numbers, and from there I met new followers. It’s the Circle of Life, minus the singing animals.
Quick recap; I made new friends and had an idea of what I wanted to provide for stream content. I just needed new equipment because there’s no way I could grow just using my PS4. I mean I could, but it’d be hard.
I looked up good streaming equipment and the top two I found were capture cards and a mic. I picked up an Elgato HD60 S and a Blue Yeti Snowball. From there, it was just a matter of setting those bad Larry’s up and praying my Mac Book Air wouldn’t collapse, since these aren’t good streaming/gaming laptops. Not to mention my Internet is bad, but shoot, I’m going to push right through it.
Streams picked up, and I noticed the better quality I was having. I did a 12 hour stream in September which finally pushed me over the edge and I made affiliate.
It’s relatively easy, especially after you build up your network and expand your technology.
Thank you everybody who helped me get there, I appreciate you a lot.
I was growing and things were looking good. However, in the back of my mind, I felt a strange set of emotions. If I didn’t stream, whether it was do to work or life, I got frustrated. I often found myself choosing between seeing my family or running away to stream. Sometimes I wouldn’t even see my family for a few days partly because of my work schedule, but as soon as I left work I went to stream.
This carried on until I took a break around the 2017 holiday season. During that time period, I felt good. I took a much needed break from streaming and the frustration I was experiencing subsided, until it was replaced by a yearning to return streaming.
I almost didn’t come back to streaming because I was experiencing a lot of outside stress. Time to sidetrack a little bit. A few months before I started streaming, I graduated from college. I had expectations, goals, and a standard but I couldn’t find a job. I caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress. I wanted to stream, I wanted to become bigger, I wanted to become a Partner. I wanted so much, but the life I had outside of stream ( primarily work related) wasn’t as satisfactory. I stopped for a month and tried to figure out my future.
With no luck finding my first job in my field of study, and the holiday season ending, I picked up the sticks and hit the streams again, not knowing what the future would hold.
A little while after the end of New Years, I started to stream again, I received a job offer. While I won’t get into the full details and nonsense of my job, I will say working it made me realize I wanted to continue my stream dream. It’s just so hard to do folks. I’d often find myself thinking about the streaming I could be doing, but just a few months ago I was praying I could find a job.
Beginning of the Year Up to 1 Year Anniversary
I started working and found it hard to balance streaming with my work. The majority of that was on me; while I constantly yearned to stream, the other part of me was constantly downing myself ideas about my streaming content. “You can’t do it“. “Your Internet sucks“. “You aren’t a good fit“. Too many negative feelings ran through my mind (which actually happens to me outside of streaming). Then I realized the simplest of things…
What a crazy freaking concept. Working my job made me realize streaming was my escape. It was fun for me. Stop stressing over the things you can’t control and just focus on what you know. Keep pushing and doing what is proven to you. Have fun.
I started to come back to streaming once my job changed my schedule for the 1000th time, and it all started to be fun. Interacting with people, playing games, watching other streams: the fun came back again. Even though I haven’t been able to consistently stream, I managed to have fun with the times I could. I made a one year anniversary video, had a one year anniversary stream, made a Discord and more. So it’s actually been pretty productive I guess!
When I started this post, I had no idea what the heck I wanted to write about. One thing I knew for certain was that this was going to be a long post.
I can’t stress enough how much fun I’ve had on this journey, not to mention this has really helped me grow out of comfort zone. I’ve met so many cool new people, learned so many things and done a few cool things such as charity streams and a few 12 hour streams. Looking back at my Twitch clips from my humble beginnings to now has shown me improvement.
On the other hand, streaming has stressed me out. I’m my hardest critic, so when things don’t work it demoralizes me in a sense. I want my content to come out good, not bottom tier. Finding a balance between IRL and streaming is important, and something that comes with time. I’ll be working on it to the best of my abilities for as long as I’m on this road.
Look, this isn’t meant to be a therapy session or come off as me whining. I’ve learned a lot and look forward to the journey ahead of me. You, the viewers, the peeps I’ve met, the readers, have made me feel very special. I hope that one day I can repay you all for what you’ve done for me.