Ahhh yes, everything was all sunshine and rainbows when you first began your Twitch streaming journey.
Going live was something you never thought twice about, and you always felt great after a stream, even if your only chatter was a bot advertising fame and fortune.
Streamer burnout is real, and happens to almost everyone who’s taken streaming a bit more seriously than just a hobby.
And if it is just a hobby for you and you’re feeling burnt out, then you might need to dig deep inside and ask yourself if you truly believe it when you say “I’m just doing it for fun”.
If you’re streaming just for fun, then burning out shouldn’t even be a thing and you shouldn’t be worrying about forcing yourself to go live or not. Stream when it’s fun, don’t when it’s not.
Alright, that was a little preachy, my bad.
Let’s get into what you’re here for; dealing with streamer burnout…
We’ll start with some good ol’ mindset and proper goal setting stuff (“reach 100 followers” isn’t a proper goal), then cover some more practical tips that you might resonate with.
Mindset: Why The Heck Are You Even Streaming?
First, before anything, you should really establish your “why” for getting into streaming in the first place. What’s your #1 purpose for wanting to stream?
Is it to build a community around a specific game? Is it to make people laugh? Is it to make new friends? Is it to lick ASMR microphones all day?
Whatever it is, your purpose should act as your North Star – dictating the things you do along your streaming journey.
*Note – “getting rich and famous” is a perfectly fine purpose to have as a streamer. You’ll just be more susceptible to burn out since it’s one hell of a grind to get there …that’s even if you’re one of the lucky ones to make it.
Once you figure out your purpose for streaming, then you can start setting proper goals that align with your why / purpose as a streamer.
Setting Anti-Burnout Goals
Goals like getting more Twitch followers are totally fine, but shouldn’t be your main focus.
Being so focused on your numbers is the fastest way to get burnt out and will eventually lead you into doing things you don’t enjoy just because they might help you grow those numbers faster.
It’s also a slippery slope to go down because once you hit a certain follower / viewer goal, then what? You’re going to want to reach even higher numbers… and the cycle continues.
Or worse, you never reach those numbers and since you’ve tied your “success” / happiness to some numbers, you’ve probably sucked the fun out of streaming, leading to burn out or quitting your channel all together.
Honestly, if you’re frequently feeling burnt out or not gaining much traction, then it’s probably because you’re focusing too much on your numbers (have you tried hiding your viewer count while streaming? It’s great).
Instead of numbers focused goals, come up with some realistic goals that align with your purpose as a streamer:
If making people laugh is your purpose, then think of goals like:
- Doing things that help you get better at improv (practice for X amount of time off stream, read/watch tutorials)
- Come up with funny bits to incorporate into stream
If building a community around a game is your purpose:
- Get involved with already established discords/subreddits
- Create your own discord
- Think of new content ideas that’ll help start building the community you envision
These are all examples of goals that:
- Align with your purpose, meaning you’re working towards something that’s actually meaningful/fulfilling for yourself
- Are more in your control to achieve (compared to follower/viewer count)
- Actually provide value once completed
- Help improve your content, which ironically enough tends to help increase your numbers
10 Tips for Avoiding and Dealing With Burnout
Below are 10 tips designed to get your mind thinking of different things to do on and off stream that’ll help with burn out as a streamer.
1. Just Stream Less
It’s not realistic these days to be able to just grind out ungodly streaming hours to gain traction.
You need to be planting seeds beyond Twitch.
If you’re streaming for growth and have 4 hours dedicated for that a day, don’t stream for all 4 hours. Spend half on creating content for other platforms, promotion, making friends, etc.
This will help break up the “eat, stream, sleep, repeat” routine and add some variety to your streaming lifestyle.
2. Update or Add Something New to Your Channel
Remember how exciting it was when you got your first logo or overlay?
3. Simplify Your Stream
In the same vein, maybe you’re doing too many things too quickly. Do you really need a Discord server yet? Are you setting up too many Streamlabs widgets?
Cut down on the things that are taking away from you focusing on creating better content.
4. Try Playing With Friends, Viewers, or Other Streamers
Playing with other people will help take the load off of you of having to be the main source of entertainment and content.
Playing with your viewers is also a great way to strengthen the community you’re building.
Some of my favourite streams as a viewer is when the streamer plays with viewers.
5. Play Different Games
If you’ve already built a decent viewership around a specific game, you might be hesitant to stream a different game because you might get less viewers.
But if you’re not having as much fun playing the same game over and over, it’s going to reflect in your gameplay and content, and viewers will notice.
Rather than deciding between only streaming that game or not streaming at all (we’ll get into how to take breaks coming up in a second), switch up the game you stream once in a while to something that YOU’LL enjoy, don’t worry about the viewers.
It’s a nice refresher and a reminder of why you love gaming in the first place.
6. Try Fun, Unique Challenges Within a Game
If the game you’re playing is getting a little stale, and you don’t want to play anything else; try different challenges.
- In a battle royal game, try winning with the worst weapon in the game
- Take a dabble into speed running
- Have chat tell you what to do during major decisions in a game
- Switch from mouse and keyboard to controller or vice versa
7. Having a Life Outside of Streaming
Balance is important. Are you eating healthy, active enough, getting enough fresh air and sleep?
Do you have a hobby that’s completely removed from your streaming lifestyle?
Easier said than done, but a healthy lifestyle is obviously not only good for your stream, but everything else going on in your life.
8. Stick to a Schedule
Setting a schedule and sticking to it can help clear headspace while you’re not streaming so you’re not constantly thinking if you should go live or not.
Make sure to end your stream when scheduled as well. Over-streaming is burn out central.
9. Do Something Completely Different From the Usual
Maybe once every couple weeks try something crazy for your stream. Go wild with it, without thinking about how it’ll impact viewer count.
You might even find something fun/unique that you can incorporate into your usual content.
- Hot tub stream meme
- If you’re 100% a gaming stream, try something IRL (cooking/streaming a different hobby of yours/day trip somewhere)
- Have a friend/family member take over your stream
10. Taking Smaller Breaks
To avoid complete burn out to the point where you’re forced to take a long break from streaming. Be proactive about it:
- Instead of going all out all the time, take smaller breaks (1-3 days) more often
- On days where you might not feel like streaming as long as you normally do, try doing a shorter stream, instead of not streaming at all (quality over quantity)
This way you won’t have to worry about losing all your traction if you were to take a long break from being burnt out.
Some Parting Inspiration
You’ve probably heard all of this before, but if it truly registered back then you probably wouldn’t be feeling burnt out from streaming right now.
So I’ll leave you with some final feel goodery that, if you take to heart, can help rekindle that love for streaming once again 🙂
Take the pressure off yourself having to always be on your A game. Your best viewers are generally there for you. Knowing that somebody is watching you live might make you feel like you always need to be doing something/be entertaining.
But downtime and lulls – not – during a stream are perfectly normal and even a good time to unwind with your chat (LULs are also good).
Avoid comparing yourself to others. We all have our own paths. Think back to when you first started streaming and how far you’ve come.
Slow down. If streaming is actually something you’re passionate about, you’ll likely want to be doing this for a good portion of your life.
Success – whatever that means to you – doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t need to race through everything. Like anything there will be highs and lows.
Enjoy the journey!