Friday, January 6, 2023

Perfecting Your Post-Stream Process

In various past entries I’ve made the case for all the automated processes I love to use on my streams. In Creating a Pre-Stream Checklist I helped you to keep your streaming tasks organized. The entry Setting Up Pre-Stream Automation went even further into preventing setup mistakes by making a plan and sticking to it. There’s more to be explored outside the pre-stream process, however. After your show is finished there are also various tasks that need doing, whether that involves creating clips, making social media posts, or downloading your episode for archiving purposes. What’s the best way to keep track of everything so you don’t forget? In this entry, we’ll talk about how to perfect your post-stream process. 

As I always say in entries like this, experience is always more valuable than mistake prevention. If you haven't done at least ten official broadcasts on your channel yet, get out there and start streaming. For more info on breaking into the craft, see the entry Surviving Your First Ten Streams.


If you’ve been following The Twitch Playbook, you’ll know about how I use YouTube as a Twitch streamer. When I was a Twitch Affiliate, I would post my full streams to YouTube 24 hours after they had gone live. After canceling my Affiliate contract, I now simply go live directly to YouTube at the same time as Twitch. This makes it even easier to archive my content, as there are fewer steps involved. But whatever your Twitch situation looks like, using a solid post-stream process is a great way to archive your shows. 

For some reason, episodes I did of the 
first Yakuza Kiwami 5 years ago
still get viewed today.

The above-mentioned entry Setting Up Pre-Stream Automation went into detail about some of my process in setting up a YouTube video. Since I go live directly to that platform along with Twitch, it means I do some of the archiving steps before my stream, rather than after. But once the show is over, there are still a few things to do. I find a nice moment from the just-finished stream and take a screenshot. I then add that screenshot to a templated thumbnail I’ve created in Photoshop beforehand, adding a little unique title about the episode and the episode number. I then add that thumbnail and descriptive title to the previously broadcast Twitch and YouTube streams. Once this is done, I add a little green check mark ✅ emoji to the end of the episode title. This is a signal to myself that the formatting step for this episode is complete. 

The ‘check mark’ step might seem redundant, but considering the lifestyle I lead, it’s proven itself to be one of the most critical elements on my shows. On a day I’m traveling across the country for business, I may do a Duolingo show from the airport terminal. On another day I might be going live from Tokyo. Or I could be home, but need to run out to a restaurant immediately after the stream. The day after that I might still do my shows but be so pressed for time that I don’t have time to format them yet. So now it’s two days later, which means I’ve done six streams, none of which have been formatted. Until I had a system in place to make it very easy to see which shows are completely finished being archived, I would often lose track of which ones needed to be worked on. 

But why archive your shows at all? I’ve spoken in past entries before about how many things you can do with your old streams, but we'll go into it a bit here too. You can learn from them by seeing your old performances, you can pull clips for highlight reels or channel intros, and of course it can allow viewers to discover or rediscover your old content if they didn’t see it live. I’ve found that old VOD archives of my streams on YouTube would sometimes gain a good amount of popularity out of nowhere. When a game’s sequel gets announced, a stream I made of the previous game might rise in views, or a certain type of food I ate on stream in Japan would garner a huge amount of interest in the corresponding video. Sometimes a stream in which I played an old PS2 game gets attention, presumably because there aren’t many other videos showing that rare game to be found. These spikes can happen the next day, or sometimes years after I released the video. You never really know how or when stream archives will affect your channel, but I’ve always found that these comprehensive, nicely formatted, and well-organized archives have been a major benefit to my streaming experience. For more info about how to archive your own shows, see the entry Archiving Your Twitch Streams


Archiving is the primary purpose for my own personal post-stream process, but there are many useful things you might want to do after your show. If you like to grab clips of your shows, or even edit those clips into highlight reels that you show every Friday on stream, it’s useful to become disciplined about grabbing those once the stream is finished. In the entry Clipping and Highlighting Your Streams, I talked about my process for marking clippable moments during my show, so I could take the time to properly save them later. If you like to clip your streams, this technique will help to make your post-show process much more efficient. 

Shoutout. Get it?

Many streamers also like to make social media posts after their show is off the air. I personally do this in a barebones way, writing a Tweet that simply describes what happened on stream and posting an embedded link to the finished episode. In the past, when I used to raid other streamers after each broadcast, I would also give a shoutout to the person I raided, as well as any other streamers who raided me, in my post-stream Tweet. This is great for networking on Twitch, as it helps others as well as yourself. Some streamers even post shoutouts to viewers who cheered a particularly high amount, or repeat subscribers who reached a major milestone. Social media is a great benefit to a Twitch streamer who wants to grow, and you can help your channel a lot by making this into a regular step in your process. 

There are all sorts of useful things you can attach to your post-stream process, and they don’t always have to be related to the episode you just finished. You could say that you’ll make one small fix to your stream each time you end a show. Or you might want to make one new Instagram post after each episode. You can even use this habit as an excuse to start another habit, like going for a quick run after each episode, or doing some pushups. But no matter what you add to your routine, I’d be surprised if you didn’t see positive results pretty soon after enacting this kind of organizational technique. So give it a try. With a solid pre-stream and post-stream process, you’ll go far on Twitch.