Twitch drops insider tips & tricks for streamers to grow and build communities

Lawrence Scotti
Dexerto Twitch

We spoke to Twitch’s Mary Kish about the ways that aspiring streamers can kickstart their careers, and how niche category streamers can still build a community, despite stiff competition. 

Mary Kish is Twitch’s Director of Community Marketing and has worked at the Amazon-owned streaming platform for over five years. While leading the broadcasting site’s creation and execution of marketing campaigns, she’s also a dedicated Twitch streamer herself.

Being both a leader at Twitch and a creator herself, there may be nobody more equipped to help guide a new generation of aspiring Twitch streamers towards success.

Here’s our discussion with Mary about how small streamers can grow, and how Twitch plans on helping them shine.

Mary Kish on growing a Twitch channel

mary kish

Twitch has never been a more competitive platform for new streamers than it is now. The live streaming site is on pace to host over 10 million monthly active streamers in 2022, it’s most ever.

Mary broke down what up-and-coming streamers can do to grow a channel and community on Twitch.

“We actually have several different tools and resources that make it a lot easier for streamers to learn how to stream. My favorite is Creator Camp which is a one-stop shop that teaches you everything. I don’t just send people who are learning how to stream there, you can also send your parents or anyone who is learning how to ‘Twitch.’

“It actually goes through definitions like what emotes are, we (Twitch) have our entire own language. So sometimes you walk before you crawl, and you can peruse through there and learn some basic things on how to start.

“My favorite tip is to do some research by watching some other people’s streams, see what you like and don’t like and what you gravitate towards. What are they doing, are they using a microphone? Are they playing their favorite game? From that you can determine what you would like to do. My second favorite tip is do something you will enjoy doing, not what you think is the most popular or will get you the most viewers. That tends to not result in a welcoming, joyous stream.

“You shouldn’t stream just because you want something, it should be something that you enjoy doing. It should be a hobby that makes you happy.”

How niche Twitch streamers can stand out

mary kish
Mary Kish has built her own community up on Twitch, while also working for the platform.

Mary describes herself as a niche streamer, broadcasting old horror games multiple times a week on her page. She dropped some knowledge on what Twitch’s more niche streamers can do to set themselves apart.

“It can be harder to get discovered when you’re in a niche environment. But what I think is important to remember is that you shouldn’t always be streaming strictly to grow, your goal shouldn’t be to stream to one million people. Your goal should be to stream to people who enjoy this as much as you do.

“My group of core viewers are in love with old school, weird horror games as I am, and that makes my community really enjoyable because they are engaged and can’t wait to see what happens next.”

She continued, “To give you tips and tricks to grow, it would be to double down on those types of places where you’re finding like-minded individuals. I cannot stress enough networking with other people who are playing similar types of games. When I find a creator on the platform that is similar to mine and we interact, their audiences will naturally gravitate towards mine.”

What smaller streamers can learn from big streamers

xQc streams on Twitch in purple room.
Very few streamers will reach the heights of xQc, but what can you learn from the biggest names?

Kish stressed collaborating with other creators who make similar content as a great way to grow on Twitch. She also went more into detail about what smaller streamers can learn from the bigger streamers on the platform.

“I tend to think of a lot of creators as fairly large because they are able to hold hundreds of people’s attention for hours. I tend to find that those types of people are very committed, interested, and passionate as the community as much as the content that they make. Not only are they extraordinarily passionate about the game, but they are passionate about the people who come into their stream every day. They say their names every day, and remember them. They remember what they’re going through in their personal life.

Mary highlighted that setting boundaries is a great way to set the tone for a growing community, “This is the dedication, and I don’t mean dedication in terms of hours because that’s important. I’m talking about the dedication to the enjoyment of the community that you create and cultivating it, making it fine-tuned, and a place you actually want to spend your time at.

“Setting boundaries and knowing when someone’s crossed the line and to address that and make your space safe for you is something I always see larger creators do. They have a distinct awareness of what is acceptable and what is not, and they set those boundaries early. You want to let people joining your community for the first time know what’s ok and not ok.”

Mary’s advice on streaming can prove valuable for anybody looking into building a career on Twitch, and even though it may take time, the payoff of having a strong and safe community is worth it.