How often have you gone live only to discover your audio isn’t working, your game needs an update or some other problem? Aside from the technical stuff, live streamers need to do self-promotion and other various tasks to ensure their chances of success. That’s why we created this checklist, including things you should do before, during, and after each stream. First, we’ll post the checklist and after, we’ll elaborate more on each of the items. Feel free to copy and paste this checklist for your personal use!
Before Your Stream
- Update weekly schedule and post it on social media
- Write down goals and stream itinerary (and have it visible)
- Update Streamlabs Cloudbot (QOD, follow prompt, etc.)
- Discuss today’s agenda with mods (if applicable)
- Create graphic for today’s stream and tease on all social platforms
- Set up Discord bot to automatically announce when live
- Have all scenes properly set up and ready for use
- Check mic, camera, game, plugins, etc. all working properly
- All required windows/websites open and ready
- Add stream title, description, and tags
- Test recording
- Snacks and drinks
During Your Stream
- Ads run (if applicable)
- All discussion points covered
- Call to action (in order to achieve goals)
- Thanks to all donors, followers, etc. from today’s stream
- Next stream teased with call to action
- Raid completed
After Your Stream
- Disconnect from stream, mute mic, disconnect from Discord voice chat (if applicable)
- Check in with Discord community, give thanks, discuss stream highlights
- Edit VOD and publish to YouTube
- Create clips and publish to social media (Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
- Check in with mods and give feedback (if applicable)
- Reflect on today’s stream - what went well and what could have been better?
- Review analytics
Now let’s break down each item into detail.
Before Your Stream
Update your weekly schedule and post it on social media
Viewers want to know when you’re going live and what your stream will be about. Also, creating a weekly schedule is a good habit to get into as it will help you stay consistent.
Write down goals and stream itinerary (and have it visible)
It’s important to set goals for your stream, not just what you want to accomplish in your game but how many followers or subs you want to gain from that particular stream. Post a follower goal somewhere on screen to encourage new viewers. Write down conversation ideas for your stream and keep them in a place where you can easily see them.
As far as the stream itinerary goes, not everyone can play the same game for eight hours straight. Feel free to include some Just Chatting time before and after gaming, have multiple games on your itinerary, or some other activity entirely (drawing, singing, etc.). You can post your activity on your social media or on your “Starting Soon” screen.
Update Streamlabs Cloudbot (QOD, follow prompt, etc.)
With the timer function from Streamlabs Cloudbot, you can schedule reminders to show up in chat, such as a “Question of the Day” to encourage chatting, a link to your Discord or merch shop, and a prompt asking viewers to follow or sub. Check out our article on Cloudbot timers, queues, and quotes to learn more about this useful tool.
Discuss today’s agenda with mods (if applicable)
If you have mods, it’s a good idea to let them know your goals, any concerns you have, talking points you want to hit, etc. Your mods are there to help so be sure to utilize them!
Create graphic for today’s stream and tease on all social platforms
Creating a graphic on a free software like Canva of the game you’re planning to play with your avatar/headshot can be a nice touch. Additionally, enabling Twitter to automatically show that you’re live can also help draw traffic to your stream. Our article on GoLiveBot will show you how to set it up.
Set up Discord bot to automatically announce when live
If you have a Discord community, make sure you have a bot to automatically alert your community when you’re live. We have a post on Discord bots if you need help getting them set up.
Have all scenes properly set up and ready for use
Streamers typically cycle through a variety of scenes: Starting Soon, Live, BRB, Ending Soon, etc. Make sure everything is set up how you want them to look, and all sources are added (for example, background music for your “Starting Soon” screen). If you set up hotkeys in Streamlabs, you can easily cycle through your scenes when you’re live with the push of a button.
Check mic, camera, game, plugins, etc. all working properly
Arguably the most important, you’ll want to make sure that everything is updated and working properly. If you’re using something like Stream Avatars, make sure it’s open and positioned where you want it.
All required windows/websites open and ready
If you’re going to be sharing your screen at any point,(i.e., going onYouTube share a video, or referring to a website for game stats or anything, make sure to have everything ready. If you’re using a speedrun timer, set that up as well.
Add stream title, description, and tags
Make sure you have a catchy title) and a description that encourages people to click. (“Chill Vibes” or anything of the sort is a no-no. Write down any chat commands with an exclamation mark (e.g. !merch). Also, make sure you are using any and all applicable tags (up to five) to further encourage people to stop by.
Record yourself talking and playing your game for a minute or two to ensure your mic is working, the game audio isn’t too loud, and the alerts are functioning properly.
Snacks and drinks
Last but not least, make sure you have your gamer fuel (or artist fuel, VTuber fuel, etc.) within reach! Streaming can be very draining, so please hydrate and feed yourself often.
During Your Stream
Ads run (if applicable)
If you’re a Twitch affiliate or partner and want to plan ads in your stream, do your best to encourage viewers to stay during the ad breaks. Simply telling viewers when the ad is coming, how long it will be, and asking them to stay can improve viewer retention dramatically. To learn more about becoming a Twitch affiliate, check out our article.
All discussion points covered
It can be very easy to get distracted during your stream so check the itinerary you created to be sure that you’re keeping things on track and hitting all of the discussion points.
Call to action (in order to achieve goals)
Don’t be afraid to ask (nicely) for followers, subs, etc. in order to hit your goals. Something as simple as, “If you’re enjoying the stream, consider giving me a follow to help us hit today’s goal of x followers,” can be highly effective at encouraging viewers to click accordingly.
Thanks to all donors, followers, etc. from today’s stream
End your stream on a high note by thanking everyone who contributed by name, if possible. Mods can help you keep track of everyone.
Next stream teased with call to action
Build anticipation for your next stream by announcing the date, time, and what you’ll be streaming. Ask viewers to join you.
Pay it forward by raiding a mutual or another streamer that you think your followers will enjoy. If you’ve never done a raid before, we have a great article to get you started.
After Your Stream
Disconnect from stream, mute mic, disconnect from Discord voice chat (if applicable)
This goes without saying but it’s super important for your privacy (and for your viewer’s sake) that you fully disconnect from your stream, turn off your camera, etc. If you’re using something like Discord Reactive Images, make sure to disconnect from the voice channel.
Check in with Discord community, give thanks, discuss stream highlights
Pop in to your Discord to thank viewers (by name, if possible) to give thanks and encourage discussion.
Edit VOD and publish to YouTube
Don’t let all of that streaming time go to waste: repurpose your stream as content for YouTube by editing it with a video software like Oslo. Regularly posting YouTube videos of your edited streams is a highly effective way to boost your viewer count and is recommended by many top streamers.
Create clips and publish to social media (Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
Everything is content! Create clips from the best parts of your stream with Cross Clip and share them across your social media. This is another tried and true method to bring viewers to your streams.
Check in with mods and give feedback (if applicable)
Your mods want to help you as best as they can. If you have any questions or concerns with what happened during your stream, let them know. As always, thank them for their hard work and tell them specifically what they did that really helped you out.
Reflect on today’s stream - what went well and what could have been better?
As content creators, there’s always room for improvement. The best way to learn, grow, and become a better streamer is to reflect after every stream. Don’t be afraid to keep a journal.
Stream more effectively by checking your analytics and data. Pay attention to which streams get the most viewers, subs, etc. Try to determine the best day and time to stream for your audience and what type of content they prefer. If you’re mystified when it comes to analytics, check out our article on how to analyze your live stream to improve.
What do you think of our before and after streaming checklist? Did we miss anything? We hope that our list helps you stay organized and makes your job as a streamer just a little bit easier. As always, stay safe and happy streaming!