Tag Archives: Live streaming advice

Overlays, Good or bad?

An overlay is a great way to display to your community different things that you want to achieve ie: A sub goal, Tip goal, Follower goal, Top tippers and anything of that nature as well. You can even display most recent followers if you wish too. As simple as it sounds there can be a right way and a very wrong way to do this as well. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you decide to add an overlay to your stream.

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Should I get an overlay?
This should be the 1st question you ask because there are certain circumstances where you will not be able to use an overlay. IE: if you stream from console and DO NOT use a capture card then it will be harder/not possible to use an overlay. I have been told that if you use a console and stream directly from there to Twitch or whatever platform, that if you use the remote play feature or do it through a computer then you should be able to use an overlay. Personally, I have no idea how to use that as I never needed to but apparently it is possible. I used to have an overlay when I did use a capture card though. This is because it runs through OBS and you are able to add the file/image to your scenes. If you stream through a computer then you will have no problem adding an overlay to your streams to make them a bit more personal as well too! I personally never got one until I was on a PC/Capture card. If you are in a position where you are unable to have an overlay, that is totally okay too! You will be able to add one eventually as you continue to progress in your journey!

*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.

What is an Overlay?
An overlay is any type of information or design that you want to display on your stream. In order to do so you need to either be using a capture card or streaming from a PC. Some streamers have different scenes where their overlay displays chat, or the top donators or subscribers and things as well. It really depends on what you are looking to show to your community in your stream as far as how you would like this to be shown. If you wanted you could also display certain types of goals you might have for your channel as well too. It really depends on what you are looking for as a streamer! For myself, I sometimes show the subscriber goals that I have when trying to save for certain things, I also try to show things like followers sometimes. I also have a chat overlay as well sometimes depending on the scene that I am using too.

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How can I get an overlay?
There are places where you can get a pre-designed overlay. This would be the quickest and one of the easiest ways to get one. Another more expensive way would be to commission a graphic designer and ask them to do a one of a kind overlay for you. Keep in mind if you want all the “Bells and whistles” then it will cost some money to get done. I always say when looking for ANY type of graphics it can be extremely helpful for the artists if you have somewhat of an idea. Even knowing which colors you would like on there is a huge help! And if not, that is also okay since your artist should be able to articulate your idea’s for you if you have trouble.

My Overlay
When I decided I wanted to do a little revamp, an overlay was something that I wanted. I knew I wanted it to be simple and I knew I wanted it to be timeless. I asked for my name “StaySeeJ” to be on there and I dropped the 08. Why? Because eventually if I got to the point I wanted a name change I would be dropping the 08 if it was possible. Spoiler alert: Fast forward to now, and I have actually dropped the 08 from my name which is great I thought ahead and am able to continue to use the same overlay! And I felt this was going to be cleaner without the number too. My colors that I liked was blues and white/black. The whole point was to have it slick and clean looking. I wanted it to be very minimal at the top of my screen and that’s how mine was done! Its simple, customizable and easy to add to any streaming software. I have also added through Streamlabs the different information that I wanted at the top. ie: Sub count, Sub Goal, Top Bits, Recent follower, Recent sub. The best part is that if I want to change out the displays I just need to add text and find the different spot in Streamlabs to get it done!

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DON’Ts of Overlays
– Don’t make your overlay too cluttered. People are either watching your stream for yourself or game play. Nothing is more annoying when you click a stream and 75% of their screen is filled with different alerts, text, logos and many other things. Its cool to display things but making your overlay look like a collage board from school is not the way to do it. It also can be very distracting to what you maybe trying to portray. If you are a great Apex player and all everyone see’s is your logos and things flashing on the screen it will make it incredibly hard for anyone to really focus on what it is you want to people to focus on.

– Don’t make donation goals the center of your overlays. Though I think it can be important to showcase a tip goal for your community I don’t think making it the most important thing is going to do a lot of good for people wanting to help out. If you do have one on your overlay make sure you STRESS the importance of your viewers simply being there instead of making them seem like your only goal is to get their money. When streamers talk about money as their goal it can really put a damper on things especially if people in the chat are unable to financially support your stream.

And lastly, As I have mentioned with lots of other posts. Be careful who you get to commission your work! Make sure you do your research before putting your trust into another person. Word of mouth when it comes to designers is a huge way to see how they are and if they are worth your time and money. If someone is known for copying other artists or not getting back in a timely fashion then they may not be worth you giving your ideas to. If you aren’t sure with what you want and are not in a rush post on your twitter, discord, ask in streams, or even check reviews if a person has an online portfolio in order to make sure you choose the right person for you! Go with your gut too, If you have a feeling that the person may not deliver what you expect then don’t go with them! This is something for YOU to showcase your brand and you shouldn’t take anything but the best for that!

Different Ways to Support Streamers

There are many different ways to support streamers. Some are financial ways and there are many many that can also be done for FREE! Yes, you heard that, FOR FREE! People think a lot of the time that if they cant support a streamer financially that they aren’t doing a good job at being a viewer. There are a lot of things that are extremely helpful for streamers that cost the viewer absolutely nothing! These are the many various financial and FREE ways to support streamers on Twitch or even any platform that you tend to watch someone entertain you on.

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Financial Support
This is obviously the way viewers think about when they think about supporting a streamer. Sure, if this is a streamer who does this as their full time job it can be important . However it is equally respectable if you are able to just be there. Most streamers don’t talk about finances on stream however they may have goals set up and things that can help you decide if you want to help them with a sub and or bits or tip as well too! Here are some ways to financially support a streamer:

Subscribing
Subscribing is when you choose to play a monthly fee, ie: on Twitch it can be 5.00, 10.00 and 25.00 to which the streamer gets a percentage usually a minimum of 50% of the price. If by chance they have a higher percentage that they take home it was because of the negotiations of their contract. Affiliates only take 50% though. You also get some perks like their emotes being able to be used in different channels and also sometimes streamers have different perks ie: Subscriber movie nights, sub only channels on discords and even first dibs when playing games as well too! You can also cancel this at any time. Mixer has a feature though I think there is just one base price in terms of subscribing. Not to mention on Twitch they have a feature called “Twitch Prime” where if you have Amazon Prime you are able to connect your accounts on amazon/twitch and receive a free gift sub to use on a channel across the site. The only thing with using Twitch Prime is you have to remember to RE-SUBSCRIBE every month so it doesn’t go to waste! Not to mention at least on twitch, You can also sub gift to a streamer. Sub gifting is a great way to help out a streamer and bring a few extra people into the community as well too!

*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.

Bits
This is the currency that you can buy on Twitch. You would use your currency for the country that you live in to buy it. This is a currency that you can only use directly on Twitch. You can use as many or little as you like to support your favorite streamers. Some might be for different things or actions to happen on the stream and can be a safer way if you wish to donate to a streamer. Where it is already bought currency through the platform there is no risk for charge backs though there is normally a time frame or a minimum amount to be made in order to get paid for that month ie: Twitch you need to have minimum 100$ in your “account” in order to be paid out that month.

Donations
Donations can be a bit trickier in a sense because it goes directly to the streamer. No need to wait for a minimum to be cashed out or anything but there is the risk for a charge back. This is when a jerk will donate an amount of money for a specific reason, and then and they charge back. A great way to look at this is having buyers remorse. The best thing you can do is have chat logs ready and protect yourself. I always encourage people to use bits or even sub because they get something back from that. Now charge backs might depend on the streamer there have been times Ive seen streamers have REGULARS charge back when they don’t get their own way. There is no streamer big or small that is protected from this however the better notes you keep the better chance you have of this person not being successful in getting their money returned.

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Free Ways


Here are some ways that you can help your favorite streamers that are TOTALLY FREE. I mean lets be honest, using your time is not exactly free and some streamers even view it as more important then subscribing or being a help financially (*Cough* Me *Cough*). Viewers make a stream even if they don’t feel like it. Having many viewers can bring in folks who are capable of supporting financially and building a community stronger as well too. Let’s jump in and explore the ways!

Chatting
Pretty self explanatory. As we all know streamers love when chats are active and engaging. Its never fun when chat can be dead and quiet so just by being there and contributing to to the stream and welcoming new viewers can be a huge help as well too.

Lurking
Though this may be a bit harder and more chilled it can still help a streamer. I do a lot of lurking while I’m writing my blog posts for example. Though it doesn’t give a lot back it still helps the streamer you want to support by putting their numbers up a bit higher on the viewer list to bring in potentially new viewers. You do not need to be an active chatter (Though it helps, we understand you have a life outside of being an active viewer!).

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Sharing Social Medias
This can be huge! It can help reach potential new viewers and sharing the stream is a great way to do so. Whether you are retweeting a live tweet or following their socials or sharing the stream with friends it all helps. The more reach someone has the easier it is for growth. Word of mouth is a powerful way to help a streamer who you enjoy watching their content to reach new heights. Legit free with a click of a button!

Active in their Discord
Discords are a great way to connect with a community of a streamer you enjoy. Discords being dead can be super hard to bring new people in but they are a great central place to get the useful information from a streamer out to their community. Even checking in and contributing to conversations is great and a fun way to meet members as well who also enjoy things. Even make some new friends as well!

Clips
Clips is another great way to help support a streamer for free. Whether or not that make YouTube videos with them or they are used across social medias as well too. They are a great way to clip memorable moments in a stream to share with others. Especially for different commands that streamers use for moments and to help make streams more interactive too!

As you can see there is MANY MANY MANY ways to support streamers that doesn’t require money and some that do. Don’t feel like just being a viewer is not enough. If it wasn’t for viewers whether they support financially or not streamers wouldn’t be where they are today without the viewer!

Choosing an Org or Stream Team

Why join an org/team?
Thinking about joining an Org or Stream team can be a daunting task. You hear of MAJOR teams such as G2, TSM, FaZe and plenty of other ones but there are some smaller Orgs/Teams out there that are more the willing to give people their 1st shot as well as help them grow as a content creator. It goes without saying though, not all teams, especially the smaller ones will have your best interest at heart. Most are simply trying to make it bigger, and bring as many people along the way to help them promote the team for free.

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How to pick one?
My first stream team that I was on was pretty young in the progression process. I was part of a support for support community and they branched out into E-sports, Well they wanted to. The reason why I left this team was because there was a lot of empty promises as well as negativity coming from the owners. Putting blame on the stream team when their viewer numbers were low. I decided to leave somewhere else and find the current one what I was with named Vanquish. They are established, They have some Pro teams currently and a lot of content creators. They did a lot of charity work at the time as well as helped the streamers. However when some of the bigger admins and leaders changed the team lost a bit of sight from that.

When picking a stream team you need to look at where the team is and what you want to be doing. For example, The first team I was on, obviously wouldn’t be as established as they were since they were just in the beginning stages of growth. Barely having a twitter, talking about a website, clips for YouTube and whatever else. They were just starting with not a lot of experience in the field. I felt like I was being held back since you cant really promote another team while on one (See more on this in the next paragraph). I wrote out a quick thank you for the opportunity and applied to Vanquish. I choose Vanquish (And they also accepted me of course!) because I knew a few people who were also on the team. I haven’t heard anything bad about the team and they seem to be doing things. They put their streamers on front page for charity events. They are around for the competitive scene with certain games like Fortnite, Apex, and games I had no idea about due to never hearing them before. They help one another and even have a sponsor through GamerSupps drinks. They have merch and have been established as well. I felt what better way team to be a part of though than this.

*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.

When picking a team, pick a team that will suit YOUR needs. If you want to be part of a professional/competitive scene, choose one that is known for that. If you want to join one with similar lifestyles then choose another one like that. If you want to join one with more of content creation side choose that one!
There are many teams out there however remember that they also probably have requirements to join ie: Stream x number of hours per week, Have to be affiliate, use a webcam, above a certain age, stream x number of hours on their verified (or not) channel, and other ones as well too.

Respecting the Team?
When joining a stream team or org it is important to learn about the team and respect the team too. Number one would be respect the other members. There most likely will be different streamers for all walks of life, playing many different games from the most popular to indie ones. No one person is better then another and you should respect everyone on there, regardless of what games they are playing.
Another thing is focus on ONE team and not multiple ones. Nothing looks more unprofessional then when you are representing a team but you have multiple others in your panels or bio’s across social medias.
Also, If your team you are representing has a sponsor ie: Say you are being represented by GamerSupps on your team. And you have a panel there, Do not start drinking a competitor on streams. When you do this it looks extremely wonky as well too. If you are personally sponsored by a company talk to your team about it being a conflict of interest. Show that you are fully dedicated to the team instead of sending mixed messages of conflicting sponsors. Not to mention from a sponsor standpoint, They may be less inclined to extent the sponsorship status to the team if they see these types of things happening as well too.

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Leaving an Org?
This also ties into the previous paragraph as well too. Be respectful! If you feel like an Org isn’t going the way you want it or that it is holding it back, leave. But do so respectfully. I have seen in certain situations where a person would write this huge story and publically post it in hopes they go down in a blaze of glory. Don’t do this. Not to mention if another org you are trying to get in happens to look at your socials and sees you being rude like this towards a previous org it doesn’t make you look like an appealing member they would want to bring on to the team. Keep it classy when trying to leave somewhere as well. If you need to say something and a reason for leaving then direct messaging someone would be a great way to start instead of doing it in public!

How to make the most out of an Org/Stream team
The major misconception that people make when joining a team is they EXPECT support. That doesn’t happen. Remember that teams can be extremely helpful, but you will only get what you put into them. If you don’t visit streams or support other members then don’t expect them to visit you. Though teams are a great tool to be a part of meeting a lot of different individuals who might have the same ideas for streaming as well too. If there are events happening mention you would like to take part in them, If they have an official channel to stream on, stream there, You will only get what you put into it!

Graphics, Are they important?

Graphics can be a great way to showcase who you are and what you like when it comes to your stream. Normally partners on any platform, as well as anyone wanting to showcase their brand through photos normally customized to their ideas. This can be panels, online and offline screens, intros and outros and overlays as well too. Though this might sound overwhelming don’t be alarmed, Everyone has to start somewhere and you don’t need to have the fanciest things to begin with. A lot of streamers start with basics and move forward as they progress in the streaming world or when more money comes in. As any type of graphics will normally cost money. Getting something for free can be a good way to wait a long time for them.

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First, If you are a new streamer, make sure that the first thing you do, IF ANYTHING is to change your profile picture. Far too many times I see people tweeting and trying to get viewers, when they don’t even have a profile picture. Whether you put a photo of food, or your photo, adding a profile photo and not keeping it the default photo is a great way to show what you are about. Maybe you have a custom logo made, maybe you have a pet or something else you enjoy, changing your profile photo demonstrates you know what you are doing (even if you are pretending!).

*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.

Secondly, Don’t pay a crap load of money for panels JUST YET. There is a lot of free sites out there such as Nerd or Die where you can actually make your own panels. Nerd or Die is a prime example of a website that you can make even very basic panels for your live streaming needs. They are available to anyone so there isn’t much customization BUT its a great way to put place holders there and show that you are growing in the industry. I actually used this site and made my panels that way. Its easy to change and helps you not to stress over the customized graphics (Just yet) when it comes to building your channel.

Next is overlays. You have overlays that again, you can pay money for and have a decent overlay customized for you. Or you ca go to some sites where you can purchase an overlay that is also available to other people too so customization may not be as personal. Some sites even have packages for specific panels and overlays that you can buy for a cheaper price. I would check if possible, the popularity of the package though. You don’t want to use the same panels and overlays as all of your friends or people you watch either. You can have an overlay on your screen as well as a cam boarder. This is where you can display your stats like recent followers, subscribers, tips as well as other things that you wish.

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Another thing I would suggest when it comes to thinking about the graphics for your channel. Go into this with an idea of some sort. Not saying that artists aren’t creative or anything but if you go into this with an idea or a concept then it can make things run a lot smoother. When I went into wanting my emotes made I had the names and a few examples of something similar that I wanted. I sent them to my emote artist and she did a fantastic job on them. It can also do a lot in helping the artist as well save time. If you give them a basic concept, And they do something you aren’t fond of then they now have to go back and revise what they did. Now, yes that is part of their job is to refine what you asked but it can save so much time in the long run if you go in with a particular style or even a mascot with who you want. I am going to be personally saving my twitch pays for the next few months I would estimate perhaps.. 6-9 months given that I get pay outs every 3 to save to re-invest into the stream. I’m in no rush because for me I typically sketch out an idea and refine it over time so that an artist has a pretty clear idea of what I want and they can then put their own style onto it!

A HUGE thing to remember when looking for an artist. Nothing in life is free and you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a cheap and easy artist chances are you will get the run in to a lot of various issues with creating your design. Artists take a lot of time when making these creations for our streams some even have many years of schooling behind them. Do you have a friend who has had their graphics done and you loved the work their artist has done? Hit that artist up. One thing that is huge in getting your name out there as an artist is word of mouth. From sharing and having great emotes and overlays and things. Look at AdmiralBahroo, He is known not just for his streams but his iconic emotes as well too. You may have seen them around, the ones with the panda mascot. The power of great graphics is similar to having a great impression via word of mouth. If you use a site like Fiverr as well too, Make sure you check the artist reviews, what they will provide, revisions and whatever else you are looking for. If you get a weird feeling from someone by reading their profile or portfolio (which you should be asking for examples as well too!) If you don’t like something keep searching. There is no rush when finding an artist to make your vision become a reality.

Also this almost should go without needing mentioning, If you cannot afford emotes/graphics/overlays DO NOT STEAL THEM! If you see someone on twitch or where ever with the same emotes as you, report them. Ask how they got them. Question things. So often you see people using others designs because they wanted an easy way our. Streamers and artists are also responsible for this. Streamers if you notice that you have a product that is plagiarized then remove it. Question your artist. And Artists if you use someone else’s artwork. Shame on you as well too.

Regardless of how you want your vision to come to life remember, Not everyone had the money to pay hundreds of dollars for graphics their first stream. Save your money and invest in someone who you trust and you enjoy their work! Ask around and don’t be afraid to ask your artist questions as well too. Don’t spend a lot of money on a “Maybe” if the artist isn’t sure they can produce results!