By: Ziggy Salvation
(6 min read)
These days, the term content creator is multifaceted but ultimately always relates to digital media. Whether you make videos for YouTube, TikTok, Reels on Instagram, or posts on Twitter, there is an entire process that goes into these very things. Many folks think the content is just whipped together and posted on a whim. To be fair, some creators follow that pathway, but it can be quite an involved process for others.
I’ve live-streamed video game gameplay on and off for about seven years, mostly on the popular site Twitch. I’ve tried doing so under a multitude of user names to see if I could find a clickbait user name that drew people in. I’ve used Ziggy Salvation now for a good part of over five years. The reasoning behind the name is definitely for another time, don’t worry, though, I will tell it someday. It just will take a bit of mental coaxing to rehash that whole situational timeline that evoked my name to be what it is.
It seems there is a generational divide between being a live streamer and a social media influencer. Most of us over 45 see it as a dead-end aspiration that will only land us a first-class ticket to Loserville. Those in our mid to late 30s see it as a desire for a boat we just missed. The younglings in the 25 and under category see it as a possible career path, and some have the fire in their belly to go for it.
Let’s take a look at the outside of the video. I think the biggest misconception of that world is what it exactly takes to succeed. Most people think it’s just the creator, a tripod, and a cell phone. Very VERY rarely is this true. Don’t get me wrong, content creators out there follow that format exclusively, and usually, creators in that type of media don’t use a cell phone. Ninety percent of the time, they’re using a mid-to-high-end DSLR camera for capturing, a computer to upload the footage to and spend hours editing, cutting, and splicing together the polished project. Adding in transitions to jump shot to shot, intro, and outro music or video, and then upload said media to the platform of their choice. Also, creating a provoking thumbnail image makes the user want to click on their video in the first place—and to top it all off, it feels like 23,423,657 other people are making the same kind of post in a similar or exact context. And the above is just a basic content-creator protocol for us to get our content out as much as possible.
On the other hand, some put everything into the aesthetic of the background of the video. I fall into this category. My production isn’t basic. It was vital for me, personally, to build my office from the ground up, and just recently, I relocated and expanded my office to a home studio. For the second time, my ever-so-patient wife is letting me paint, decorate and hang things any way I want to give me creative space. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing for me, but it also puts me in a mental space in which I’m the most comfortable. In turn, this allows me to produce my content as my most authentic self.
I’ve never really broken down the method that it takes for me to do what I love to do, so this will be a first look for all of us collectively. Live-streaming is a bit of a different animal as there is no editing to polish what is encountered live. You need a button ready to switch the camera perspective in case something in the home happens unexpectedly. A button to clear the chat messages in case the occasional troll comes in and starts saying something against the terms of service or is just a toxic commentator. Those things aside, you have to, more often than not, get comfortable talking to nobody, for when you first start out, engaging what little audience you have is the most important thing you can do. In the first interactions, you are selling yourself, your personality, your brand, and your context all in one.
Post-production is where it gets a bit more artistic. With each live stream, I cut it into tiny little pieces of individual situations that may bring comical content that I can edit together and splice into something I feel comfortable putting into the universe of YouTube. The hardest part, in my opinion, is having an editing style for each game genre I play. For shooting games, it would be a collective of good shots or strategies that display a clear game-winning objective. If it’s a role-playing game, I would show a compilation of taking down the hard bosses and maybe describe how I built my character and why. Lastly, when creating a specific character in a specific reality, I may showcase a certain segment or situation that is developmental to the story’s character.
Editing all this content is the hardest part, simply because each category demands its own type of editing after spending countless hours piecing all the videos together to make it upload worthy. I also select content-related music to play for the duration of the video. For example, I’m not going to put a love ballad to a montage of headshots from a shooting game, haha. Also, many platforms require the music choice to be DMCA-free, meaning it can’t be a copyright infringement.
I’ve decided recently to start streaming again, but this time I don’t feel like Twitch is the platform I want to use. Therein lies the problem of “Now where?” Twitch has been capitalizing on the market for a few years now. So it brings me to three options in my opinion. YouTube, which we all know as the dominating media giant, has recently been pushing its gaming livestream platform capabilities. I find it extra enticing to the fact that they not only can be your live-streaming platform but are also a wonderful catalog for your entire media aspirations. A sort of, all in one, if you will. There is also a new contender that is coming up quickly in both popularity and also contracting major content creators from Twitch. Kick.com offers a revenue promise as the most profitable for the content creator. Kick.com will have a big push because its primary business focus has previously been a gambling website resulting in gobs of cash. Lastly, there is Facebook gaming. They have been a diligent contender in the market, but in my opinion, they’re just not there yet. Their platform dashboard doesn’t feel fleshed out yet, and I don’t feel like creating an entirely different Facebook profile for gaming content.
A big determining factor for many smaller streamers is the revenue potential. Building a community with many followers highly affects follower donations that you receive in real-time. Once the donation goal is met, you receive a subscribe button. Subscriptions are a huge benefit to your community’s growth. Typically there is a target dollar amount to hit before reaching a status for payout. The timeframe is either a one-month or three-month period.
One final aspect I wanted to share is the connection between live streaming and social media. Promoting and engaging on multiple platforms allows you to invite more followers to your streaming platform. Going forward, I will engage on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. The best part of the TikTok phenomenon is that you can link all your other media on your profile which is more streamlined than the other two platforms. The goal is to bring all your communities to one place—where you live stream.
But again, to create professional and enticing content with a connection from other platforms to your live-stream platform, you will need to spend extensive time editing photos and videos to support your messaging and brand.
My next step is to determine a new platform, and I’m torn between YouTube and Kick. The deciding factor will be revenue possibilities. Let’s face it, I’m not in my early 20s anymore and have a wife and children who are priorities. That being said, they can also be included and not strangers to the show going forward. So lots of decisions for me in the coming weeks.
This is probably the most excited I’ve been about a relaunch. I’ve recently moved my office to a space double the previous size, so in the coming weeks, I will be evaluating what direction I want to take my content, games, and hobbies to showcase. As well as the kind of videos I will create when not live streaming, Thankfully I’ve been doing this for a long time. Using my knowledge and newfound excitement will help me write a new chapter in not only my life but in the gaming world!
All Things Wellness, LLC
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