How to Build Your Twitch Stream From Scratch

twitch streaming world of warcraft ryanyockey

I may have to break this down into multiple posts with even more information and how the whole setup goes, but for now, this will serve as a nice overview and the learnings I’ve had in building my Twitch stream.

Check it out my World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth stream AND  subscribe if you haven’t already!

Building Your Stream
How do we go from a blank canvas to something reasonable? First, we have to come up with a theme for what you will be streaming. I’m primarily streaming World of Warcraft for the time being because it allows me to stream from my laptop and given how often I’m traveling, it will be a nice bonus for when I’m gone in a new spot.

So, pick a game you will stream often. It will help you relate to your audience and show them that you’re here to deliver consistent content that they care about.

The hardest part of streaming is actually getting yourself in front of the camera. I swear so many people have messaged me and said how much they struggle with getting on camera and have a million excuses as to why. You just have to start doing it and I promise it will be a lot easier. You can go look at my first few streams and I look like a wreck. It gets better with time and practice.

Gaining A Following
This is probably the biggest leap in Twitch. This is literally the hardest thing you have to do. But this is where you go old school. You reach out to everyone you know and tell them to open your stream and start watching it.

Until you have a regular following of 10-20 people consistently, you will have to work for those follows. Make sure to treat every single one of them like gold. They are the lifeblood of your stream, beyond yourself and what you have to offer them.

After that first load of followers, then you need to stream regularly. Over time it will grow and you will grow with them. Set a schedule and stay consistent and your following with grow.

Making Your Twitch Channel Look Professional
Looking like a pro streamer is not terrible. There are tons of free resources out there to make your video stream itself look good, and then the real work comes in all the details. 

One big part of every streamers page is their panels below the main video. This is where you get people engaged and follow you beyond just the stream itself.

Take the time to make it all cohesive and look decently presentable. It will matter in the long haul. Usually you only have to set this up once and then you can forget about it until you’re much bigger.

Services to Use
There is only one service I’m using right now, Streamlabs.com. It literally has everything you could want for streaming and making it even more dynamic. It can add nice little-animated alerts showing recent subscribers, followers, etc. It can do just about anything and seems like they are adding more functionality all the time. For the time being it’s still free.

Doing This All On a Mac
I might as well drop this nugget too… I’m doing all of this through a new MacBook Pro. It’s certainly not the FPS powerhouse like so many other platforms out there, but it works incredibly well and without building a whole new rig, is handling the job pretty well.

So there you have it. This is a brief, but decent overview of how to get yourself going with Twitch.tv and the learnings I’ve had so far. Hopefully, this gets everyone else started well out there. And if you are online and want to drop in and say hi on my stream, that would be awesome.

Why I’m Using Quora Now, and You Should Too

Quora - Ryan yockey - The Yock Answers

Quora has been around for a long time now. Just over 9 years to be exact. And for me, its found a renewed vibrancy.

I used to comb the internet for various answers to random questions I had (I’m a perpetual learner). I would always stumble upon a Quora question of the same vein and would be impressed by the answers and at times WHO was answering the questions.

For my personal niche, I’m always interested in business and growing businesses and doing the same for other people. I’ve been very good at it and have learned a ton. But I got a ton of that knowledge from some of the founders and business folks on Quora who have been kind enough to share their experiences and stories.

It’s this storytelling and answering of questions that has drawn me back to Quora.

Its a place for me to give back to my communities. I’m perpetually interested in so many topics. For growing this blog and my presence online, Quora has been an invaluable place. The community is hungry for more knowledge and they aren’t satisfied with just one person’s answer to the questions. That’s the beauty of the platform.

With Quora you can develop your mark on the world with the knowledge you’ve obtained. I happen to be very good at identifying new methods to make money from various businesses both online and offline, so I get asked to answer an obsurd amount of questions on the subject. I’m both humbled and shocked at how easy it is.

Its also wildly rewarding to be the go to person for a lot of people. It turned into a great way to give back to people. I like that I could impact someone in some other part of the world and hopefully make a positive change in their lives.

Quora is also a ridiculously underutilized branding platform.

There are so many opportunities to brand and make sure people can follow you outside of Quora itself. I happened to start dropping my social links (when appropriate) and it has turned into some ways for folks to engage with me outside of Quora itself.

I even decided to take it one step further. I have crafted a Q&A show around answering questions I get from Quora. Check it out below if you’re interested. It will give you an idea of the kinds of questions I’m fielding and how I’ve decided to give back to the community.

Quora can deliver is so many ways, but it could not be better than connecting with so many people immediately and being able to spread the knowledge you’ve gathered.

If you’re on Quora, make sure to follow me

Twitch Mainstream Now? Now What?

Despite what many feel was only for gamers, Twitch has started to cross over into mainstream attention.

This all generally started with the crossover of Ninja and Drake doing their stream together. What ensued was over a million people watching Drake and Ninja dominate a match of Fortnite.

So now that Twitch is crossing over and gathering more attention. Whats the plan?

For me that’s get my ass into the Twitch world. I’ve started to stream some of the game I play regularly already, so for me Twitch is literally just flipping a switch and I’m online.

The challenge has been the setup for my system.

For me, I’m on a Mac and before anyone says anything, I know… its not mean’t for gaming, but I’m too busy to swap between my windows partition and I have no space for another laptop or desktop machine in my SF apartment right now.

So, how do we go about streaming? I like Twitch and I like how easy they have made it to stream. The provider I went with was Gameshow.

The actual tough part about getting started on this platform is getting the settings right so you stream doesn’t come out the other end looking like garbage. But, its all about the process and documenting it.

In short though, now we should be streaming if its relevant to your DNA and you as a person. I’m an avid video gamer and always have been since the days of the Atari. What I’m doing now is just streaming what I would otherwise have been doing all along, so its a win win. And you can come chat with me while I’m doing it.

If you’re on Twitch now and want to connect, feel free to hit me up on either my Twitch Channel or shoot me an email.

IGTV vs. Youtube: The Showdown of 2018

IGTV - Yockey Project r_yockey

IGTV is here!

But what is it all about? For those who haven’t heard much about this yet, IGTV is our new full-length video platform on Instagram. But, how do we get started and what does our growth and content strategy look like?

First: Some Specs

  • Video format: MP4
  • Length: 15 seconds to 10 minutes for smaller accounts; 15 seconds to 60 minutes for larger and verified accounts
  • Size: 650MB for videos less than 10 minutes; 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes
  • Orientation: vertical (also known as portrait)
  • Aspect ratio: a minimum of 4:5 and a maximum of 9:16

IGTV is built to be generally viewed in the vertical format. So that means a lot of videos, in the beginning, will be translated to the vertical format and either has bars above and below it OR have the sides of the footage clipped off.

IGTV ratios for video

So, how do we get up and running fast?

We start by just getting any content up onto the platform. So this can mean the video you currently have will need to be cropped to fit in the screen resolution. I suggest avoiding cropping the videos if you can help it.

The style you get will be at least the full intended view of your original content.

Once you’ve set that up. Make sure you’re including it on all of your social sources, like Twitter, Facebook, etc. I highly suggest sticking to a schedule and making sure your viewers know about it.

IGTV r_Yockey Sample Video

Building Content

Getting growth with IGTV will be interesting. In my early tests, I was able to get some good placement on various keywords just by having good engagement on the posts. Be sure to review the metrics panel from each of your videos as time goes on, so you can learn more about the videos themselves and what content is working for your audience.

From there, I would start actually making vertical content intended for that view and for your crowd. It will be easy to stand out in the herd.

Last, make sure your content is branded well. I can’t tell you how many videos I’m seeing in this space that are missing your branding in order to get a broader reach and thinking about your long-term vision. Remember your content is more than just IGTV. This content will have legs on multiple platforms to help grow your business/personal brand.

Drop me some links in the comments below with your IGTV content. I would love to see what you all are creating!

 

My Content Marketing Strategy

Look, this is one of the most important things you can do to build out your content reach.

I’ve been working on this as I build my personal brand. Really it just comes down to a simple set of tactics.

As I’m writing this content I’m thinking about how I can build out the multiple touch points across the different platforms.

Here’s the trick for something like a blog post. Because maybe you’re more of a written content person.

Content Strategy Steps

  1. Write the post
  2. Syndicate the content to Medium
  3. Write an original piece for Facebook and link out to the blog post
  4. Write and original piece for Twitter and link out to the blog post
  5. Take a screen shot of either the Twitter post of Facebook post and put it on Instagram
  6. Take that same screenshot and put it on Snapchat
  7. Take the blog post and start a podcast where you talk in more depth about the content – syndicate that content to every sound platform you can
  8. Make a video of you talking about the content and post it across the various video platforms

This is just a simple template. Take it and make it your own. Put a spin on it and grow your business or brand.

The order of these steps is not important because you can take this from any particular point and turn it into something awesome.

But the idea is to not count out a single platform because you know it’s going to be so important once you hit home with a certain audience and then you can start doubling down on that platform.

I didn’t mention Pinterest and Tumblr but those could be adapted to live in this if you saw real value there and your niche had a place there.

Let me know in the comments below how you implement this in your business.

Instagram poll stickers: The new marketing opportunity

how to use instagram polls

How do you use Instagram poll stickers?

Step 1: take a instagram story photo or video.

Step 2: add the Instagram poll stickers to your story.

Step 3: choose your Instagram poll answers.

Step 4: post your Instagram poll to your followers and start collecting responses.

Listen, this is powerful stuff. The way Instagram has been staying at the forefront of connecting with users and innovating like crazy is making them the new trend setters.

This innovation from Instagram/Facebook started with the launch of stories to compete with Snapchat. This was a quick entry into the micro social space and helped to slow the growth of Snapchat. Now we’re seeing Instagram accelerate that growth with over 800 million monthly active users.

But back to the importance of polls.

These polls offer marketers the chance to ask their user base in an engaged way simple A/B questions.

This is the most simple way to engage with your user base in a meaningful way.

We can start to understand what things our customers are interested in buying, what events they want to attend, or who’s the hottest artist now.

There are endless ways to make this work for your community.

This update is really interesting to me because it gives the stories more functionality. Something we haven’t seen before. The data collection on this will be key.

It comes with some built in analytics to start to understand actionable data for your community.

This is very exciting to me.

You’ll see me use this to talk about Crossfit and various new marketing materials. Polls on Instagram vs Snapchat.

The last thing I’ll say here is this isn’t the end. Instagram is just getting started on the innovation of stories and it’s platform. It probably won’t be long before we see multiple choice polls. I can even see the possibility of sharing the poll results with the community.

This is the start of Instagram unlocking their platform even more.

Get out there and use these polls!

Thanks for reading! 😁

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