Twitch Year 3: Stagnation or Established Branding?

It’s that time of year again, where I review the last year of VoDs and try to focus on the positives.

And this year it’s more important than ever.
I had to take a 3-month ish break due to life recently (see previous post), and it pretty much killed my channel, my energy, my drive to keep pushing forward.

I went from 70-100 viewers and a fairly active chat, to 30 viewers with only 2-3 of them actually chatting. Sporadically. It’s been disheartening to say the least.

All streamers go through this once in a while. Whether from a break, or just a slow season. But in reality, it should be uplifting. 30+ people are continuously loyal to the channel DESPITE my disappearance. 50+ people continued to subscribe to me EVEN THOUGH I was nowhere to be found.

While going through the VoDs I realized that for once, my layout/style hasn’t really changed this year.
If you look over my Year1 and Year2 posts you’ll note this is kind of a big deal. Usually I’m constantly changing up my look.

But does this mean I’m stagnating? Or simply that I’ve finally found my ‘brand’? Have I just not had enough time this year to spend it on updating my look?

Pretty much immediately after last year’s post, I changed layouts again. To the ‘rain’ theme I have used pretty much all this last year. Small things have changed here or there, but it’s been fairly constant. Those teal/blue borders, that generic scenic wallpaper.

Yeah, that’s been a thing since December 2015.
Also of note from December: I received 15 pounds of gummy candy, and did another ‘bowmas’ stream.
Dec201b Dec2015a

In January, I got briefly addicted to the MMO ‘Blade and Soul’, and revisited a game I will likely never ever be able to finish due to painful controls. (Skyward Sword)
Jan2016 Jan2016a

In February, Stardew finally launched, and I did another ‘sellout’ stream complete with googly eyes and Kappa temporary tattoos. I never did get to attend PAX East, but February is the only month I had any follower/concurrent viewer growth.
Feb2015 Feb2015aa

March and April consisted mostly of Cross Stitching, but I snuck some gaming in here and there.
March2016 April2016 April2016a

May I had a birthday stream and stitched the names of all the subs, resubs, and tippers who supported me during my birthday stream(s). Oh, and I actually finished a game for once! (TMNT)
May2016 May2016c

June is when I started to disappear, but I did manage to finish up the Yoshi quilt square.

When I finally came back in October, Bits were now a thing. Auto-hosts happened, sub loyalty badges released (which I still haven’t come up with mine), World of Final Fantasy launched, I was streaming from a new location, and Twitch was generally a different place.
Oct2016a Oct2016

Looking back, not much has changed, and I was gone for several months. Based on my stats, that really hurt.
February randomly had 400 followers and a huge view spike, probably due to Stardew Valley, since I was a beta tester and working in the community to report bugs and resolve issues.

Otherwise, I had been averaging 100-ish follows a month ’til my disappearance. With my comeback in October, I expected very little. I knew I’d have to work my way back up again. I’d taken breaks before. Longer breaks, even. But it actually got worse. I started LOSING followers rather than simply not gaining them. Chat remained deserted and I was back at the beginning talking to myself as if this was my first week streaming. It’s really difficult for anyone to stay positive through that.

But many of you HAVE shown up. Many of you have welcomed me back with excitement. So many of you stop by even briefly to say hi before bed/work. And so I’ll continue streaming when I can. Even if just one of you shows up and says hi, it means a lot and will keep me going.

I’ll try to stick to a semi-regular schedule and come up with fun days and incentives to bring people back. But I need your help. Your support. That doesn’t mean throw money at me. And I know your schedules are busy. But if you have 5 minutes to spare to have a quick conversation with me while I’m live, it really means the world to me. Thank you.