Twitch accounts for almost half the income generated in game streaming. It’s no surprise, therefore, that gamers who want a piece of that revenue pie are flocking to Twitch.

If you’re one of these hopefuls looking to kickstart a lucrative game streaming career, the most important thing to remember is to always keep your viewers engaged. Engaged viewers are happy viewers, and happy viewers help you make more money off your stream.

Here’s what you need to do so you can build a solid community of loyal fans who are always excited to watch your streams.

1. Have your own rewards system.

Twitch lets you dish out channel points to your viewers, which they can use to redeem rewards. Channel points gives people an incentive to come over and watch your streams.

For example, watching for five minutes gets them 10 points. Watching two streams in a row gets them 300 points. And following your channel is another 300 points.

Twitch says you can get up to a 13% increase in user engagement and 18% boost in the time people spend on your channel just by giving away points.

If you want to kick it up a notch, give your points program its own unique identity. You’re still using the same channel points, but you’re also setting yourself apart from other streamers.

One way to do that is to give your program its own name and look. You can also create custom rewards that viewers can exchange their points for, such as “Choose what I play next” or “Watch me dance on stream.”

2. Engage viewers off Twitch.

You don’t always have to be streaming to engage your community. You can do it on other platforms too.

Twitter is one of the best places to promote your live streams because it has a similar user demographic as Twitch.

You can post your streaming schedule to Twitter. When you’re about to stream, tweet out an announcement to your followers. The tweet should contain a short description of what you’re going to stream, an image to catch attention, and a link to your stream. Don’t forget to add hashtags to help people find your tweets more easily and tag sponsors, partners, and other streamers to widen your reach.

YouTube is another great way to promote off Twitch. YouTube also lets you stream games live, but prerecorded videos are still king here. You don’t have to upload entire streams on YouTube. Choose the best moments that show off your personality or showcase an achievement and put those on display.

You can also create a Discord channel for your followers. This allows you to continue communicating with them even when you’re not on Twitch. Discord lets you creates multiple servers that you can use for different purposes, such as announcements, giveaways, or general chat.

Lastly, you want to be visible in gaming discussions. Join gaming gaming sub-reddits and sign up to forums such as IGNBoards, GameSpot Boards, and GameFAQs Boards. Participate in the discussions, answer questions, and generally just be helpful instead of spamming people with links to your stream. The goal is to get your name out there and get known as a fun, cool guy they can trust. The resulting good will you create from these discussions will spill over into your Twitch channel.

3. Enjoy live streaming.

It goes without saying that you need to be lively and engaging on your live streams. People don’t want to watch anyone who doesn’t seem like they’re having fun.

Fortunately, this one’s easy to address. You only need to stream content you’re having fun with. Otherwise, viewers can tell if you’re not interested in the game at all and you’re only streaming because you want to make more money.

People don’t watch live streams by people who don’t want to do these live streams. They’re looking for a certain kind of experience. And you can only give it to them if you feel it in your heart that you want to do this.

So think about it.

Are you in it for the sheer pleasure of sharing your content and forging friendships with other gamers? Or are you just doing it for the money?

We wish you all the best in your live streaming journey!