Today I turn thirty-nine.

Let me share a little secret with you. I don’t actually write these on the day of my birthday. So allow me to indulge you in a paragraph or two that I wrote a few months back. Promise it won’t become a thing. Trust me, it will hopefully make sense. Or it will be a rambling mess. One or the two.

You will see me

I begin this blog post in a delicate state, a month and 4 days before I turn 39, thinking about this year. We’re a long way through but feel like I want to focus on a few things that I don’t think will change between then and now. I may feel better but I end my 39th trip around the sun – quite unexpectedly – single. Like anybody in not the perfect headspace and delicate because of it, I’m listening to dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip’s “You Will See Me”, probably the greatest breakup song ever. Yep. Nurse. It’s happened again.

Seeing double

I write this paragraph a few weeks later, in a bit more of a reflective and – dare I say – sober mood. Reflecting on my 39th year about the sun. I’m sat in Brussels – I’ve a beer in my hand (okay, maybe not totally sober) – I’m having a wonderful time – and I’m reflecting with a bit on the past year.

I struggled with the beer. Maybe the hangover or maybe the fact it was more hoppy than Bugs Bunny on a pogo stick

Basically the next bunch of paragraphs is my thoughts on the past year, and reflective of the above.

Why have I told you this? Everything you will read below is written on these two days. Some of it was written on 31st January 2023, some written on Februay 16th 2023. Two days in my life that show me at my best and worst headspaces, in the hope that it meets somewhere in the middle. In a coherent moment.

Seeing in the past year

So yes, onto the year. It began with a holiday in Amsterdam as I managed to get abroad for the first time since COVID. I became very familiar with the Dutch capital (no sniggering) as I went to my first streaming conference in TwitchCon in 2022. Alas, that was my only conference as I didn’t make it to my usual jaunt in Brighton SEO because of train strikes. Boo the Tories!

So focussing on my love of travel, I made it to the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Belgium this year. It was very much a case of rekindling friendships with family and friends that live outside the UK this year, as I really enjoyed my summer vacation (on legit the hottest time of the year – seriously folks buy a fucking aircon) drinking beer, eating wonderful food (especially in Krakow at a family barbecue) and just spending time with friends and loved ones. It is time I valued immensely.

I got told to take the hat off.

I’ve also had two of my dreams thrusted upon me – Wales in a bloody World Cup and a WWE Pay Per View taking place in the UK. In Cardiff, no less! Like a dog who catches a car or a Brexit voter when they get Brexit, both I felt I didn’t how to process it and weren’t sure what to do when I finally got my dreams. In the case of the World Cup there were other issues which I shared here. That and the fact that the golden generation seemed to come to the end meant I don’t look back quite as fondly at the first World Cup I had a vested interest in as I would have liked. Thankfully, the other (WWE’s Clash at the Castle) I have revisited. Despite the fact I was absolutely twatted for most of it, it was as good as I remember. Fuck me that Sheamus vs Gunter match was special, and the Bloodline story arc that has still to conclude 6 months later? Magnifique. Utter chef’s kiss.

Having a car has also meant I’ve gotten out to random day trips, and given me the ability to travel to things a bit. I drove to Play Expo Blackpool, Arcade Club for this year’s Retro Asylum meetup, and North West Computer Museum (amongst others). You can see a theme there. I’ve driven back to watch my beloved Colwyn Bay FC a few times (and the parents, I guess). I’m still not the most confident (I’ve a drive to bloody Cornwall this year, which has me with trepidation), but I’m getting better.

Work wise things have been going well. Most of 2022 I was largely rammed with a few big projects, with the bread-and-butter of a few maintenance clients keeping the till ticking over. I do look at 2023 with a bit of a trepidation at the downturn, particularly in the tech sector, but I’m not hitting the panic button just yet. I sit here and whilst 2022/23 doesn’t match 2021/22 right now, it does match 2020/21 in terms of profit. Which pleases me.

Twitch streams have been on and off thanks to both busy-ness and other reasons surrounding my mental health. However, I actually met some of my viewers this year. That was fun. I’ve stopped the gameshows for a bit when I had a rough patch mentally in August (more on that later). I’ve threatened to bring them back but not done so yet. Been playing with a few more affiliate sites, in the Drive in Cinemas model and also released my first new WordPress plugin in donkeys years – Preload LCP Image.

Seeing the ball

But the highlight of 2022 for me was solving an age old question I’ve written many a year. Let me share a paragraph from last year’s entry…

….I’m also trying to think of things to do to improve or pick up a new hobby. I keep threatening to myself to try golf as there’s a driving range a short drive away from me, so I can see myself picking up a clubs. However I think I (also?) need a hobby to meet people. One of the highlights of aforementioned dating was actually spending time with somebody doing things (mind out of the gutter folks), and I feel I need to spend time with more people to form more relationships, as I fear I am becoming a bit of a hermit – but then again: how the hell does a mid 30’s freelancer make friends during the latter stages of a pandemic? On the plus side last year saw me drink less and eat a lot better, so I’m happy with that.

Me, last year

The next day, my good friend Shane messaged me asking if I’d want to pick up a cricket bat because Earlestown Cricket Club were starting a second team and he was wanting me to be involved.

Spolier alert – I did, and I enjoyed it.

I will freely admit I’m not great or even remotely good at cricket (though I got the compliment “you’re not the worst player I’ve ever seen…”), but being involved has given me something to do on Saturdays rather than just mope about the house. Even if I’m not picked, just being able to go somewhere on a Saturday (or a Thursday, or a Tuesday) and see friendly faces and have a natter has been an excellent tonic and helped me settle into a new town that – before 2020 – was “that weird stop before Newton-le-Willows that I always forget about if I’m getting the train home”.

But then, something kinda happened. A few people noticed that I wasn’t getting out of breath fielding. I still couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo, but I was able to do a bit better. I write this two nets sessions into the new season and I feel my batting is getting better. My bowling too – whilst not great – I’m confident to get it into the nets most of the time now. I can even roughly tell you where Deep Extra Cover stands.

If you had said that this time last year, I’d have not believed you. I have been consuming cricket content like it is going out of fashion. European Cricket Network? Sign me up. Women’s Commonwealth T20, being guided through it by the excellent if wonderfully shambolic No Balls Podcast? Yes please. A test match? Fuck yes. Give me all of it. Though maybe not if the Test Match is on TalkSPORT. Jesus Christ lads up your game, it’s painful to listen to.

Seeing better in myself

And I think that’s what I’ve been focusing on this message, and more on 2023. Feeling better. Getting better. I had a few knocks during my 38th trip around the sun. Home ownership is not as perfect as I would like as even now it feels more like a house I live in, rather than my home. The afformentioned relationships took their toll on me and also having COVID meant there were times I was extremely low.

I started therapy this year. I started in September after a rough August. It started as a way to get over a few things that had made me utterly miserable. However it’s since evolved into something that helped me cope with the last breakup I mentioned at the top of the post. Identifying what my trigger points are (I’m a social person), what makes me sad (loneliness), and how to avoid it (getting better at being alone). I’ve been learning to make peace with myself to enjoy my own company and not rely on others for happiness. Part of me really likes the quick witted, confident and quite frankly hilarious Rhys that comes out whenever I’m truly happy and at peace at the world. More of him please in 2023.

So that’s my focus for 39. Invest in myself. Be it within therapy or elsewhere. Find my happiness. It’s something I’ve touched on in my New Year Goals for 2023 to improve personal branding. If I can make the similar progress within work and other aspects of my personal life, then you will see me, and that me is at his absolute best.

The moment you’ve been waiting for!

As you all love it so much. Here’s my updated comparison with you know who.

Rhys (With a Spoon)
Rhys (With a Spoon)

Reese Witherspoon
AgeNearly 39 (Up 1)Nearly 47 (Up 1)
0 – No Change
(0 – No Change)
2 – No Change
Books Written1 (No Change)1 (No Change)
Marriages0 (No Change)2 (No Change)
Children0 (No Change)3 (No Change)
WordPress Plugins Written &
On the WordPress Repository
11 (Up 1)0

See y’all next year!

Previous Versions: 303435, 36, 37, 38

New Year, New Goals (2023 Edition)

On why you’ll see more/less of me this year

I’m not one for goal setting, in all honestly. I struggle with maintaining the effort over the course of the year to keep myself on track and often the beauty of being a freelance is to switch focuses incredibly quickly if opportunities arise.

Nevertheless, with everything going on I feel like this year with a recession on the horizon could be one of the tougher years for me, with less money for investment into their sites.

I also feel personally if I could make this year work, then this year could be the year. I’ve said since the business turned 4 years old in August this year I’m beginning to look further than web sites for clients and looking to share my over 15 years of commercial web development. I’ve begun looking at what’s next.

I struggle personally to look at the big picture, opportunities that exist outside of my main focus. So I’ve made a few goals that I’d like to achieve in the next year. Some of those personal, some of those professional. Here are where my focuses are 2023.

Professional Goals

Improving my Personal Branding

My personal branding is a mess. Everything is not the same. In the classic case of the busiest shoemakers have the worst shoes, if you looked at my sites that I use to advertise my wares then you’d think I’m terrible.

I have this blog which is everything, Dwi’n Rhys which is my WordPress freelance site, Winwar Media which is the name of the company, and half a dozen other sites. And don’t get me started on my bloody Twitch Channel branding. Twitch handle one name, Twitter another. It’s all a bit of a mess.

I’m not sure exactly how to bring it all together, but I will aim to. Also the sites need redoing. They’re old. So that’s an idea.

I guess my goal for 2023 is to be in a better position personal branding wise than I am now. At the very least get at least one of my sites that use jQuery Migrate (Winwar Media & WP Email Capture) bloody off of it.

Side Projects to Cover the Mortgage

I’ve a bunch of side projects that have been coming out the wazoo. Domains bought, affiliate links not transferred, Twitter accounts began with gusto but died quickly.

I’d like to pick them up and make them bigger. A few people I know have been rather successful with them, and I’d like to improve them.

Side projects are hard. Like, really hard, and do require focus. Sure you can do 5-9pm but there is life as well and I went freelance to eventually craft out working for myself and give myself more time, but ideally – especially with the way the world is going in 2023 I’d like to grow them.

The goal for my side projects is for it to pay for my mortgage by the end of the year. Christ that is such a lofty goal, but we’ll see how we get on.

Which is related to the following…

Work Less

In Blackpool, on September 30th, I had a realisation.

I was just about to close my laptop from a week in work. I’d made the trip up to the seaside resort from one of my favourite weekends of the year – Play Expo in Blackpool. My calendar was opened, and I noticed something.

I had not done as much as I intended.

Sure, I’ve been busy, incredibly busy, but I had manage to cope. Clients were happy, I was happy, and things were getting done. But, inadvertently, I had only worked four days every week for a month.

It wasn’t planned, of course, but every Friday I was busy. I was either in Cardiff for Clash at the Castle, or London for OMG Center’s launch, or at Play Expo in Blackpool. I was busy doing things, enjoying things, or pushing my business forward.

COVID had been an interesting time, in that I had to hunker down a bit and not do much.

So this got me thinking – how can I do it more?

I’d looked on with a bit of admiration with what my good friend Shane has managed to carve out since going freelance in terms of his work schedule. He had one tip – book your time out for other things.

So, for the foreseeable future in 2023, I’m dropping to 4 and a half days per week.

Friday afternoon, which traditionally isn’t the most productive time anyway, I’m dedicating to side projects, hustles, improving things, or just knocking off early and going for a walk.

My goal is to hopefully have had Friday afternoon largely free for 80% of the year.

Personal Goals

These are more “nice to have” goals within my personal life.

The first is an art form I really enjoy – podcasting. I’d really like to appear on a podcast at some point. Because as a straight white man it’s pretty much the goal isn’t it? Not sure where, not sure how, but I’d really like it as a medium I think it’s great.

The second is a sport that I fell in love with in 2022 – cricket. Last March soon after my birthday I joined my local cricket club (remember last year where I said I needed a hobby? Well I found one). Playing wise I feel I’m better at batting than at bowling, but even then I’m not 100% confident. Last season I played 8 games with a high score of 10. In 2023 I’d like to score 23 in a match (the only mate I knew before playing cricket who played cricket’s high score was 22, so I’d like to beat that), and play more than 8 games in the season.

Finally, I feel like I need another personal goal, but I’m struggling. I am proud of the personal growth I made in 2022, so I’m throwing it open to you 🙂. What should I improve in 2023?


Today, I turn Thirty-Eight.

Well, COVID became a bit less of a (but still a thing) in my thirty-eighth trip around the sun, and for a large part of the year I was in a holding pattern. Ironically much of my 37th year was spent adjusting to a phrase that I grew accustomed to hate – getting back to normal. After getting vaccinated in the arm in spring, August and once again in December (each with stronger side effects but less emotion), I began to see friends and family a bit more, which was lovely.

Yes, since purchasing my house last year I spent a bit of March & April as a hermit, before things began to get a bit brighter in the summer. Highlights was attending the Ale Trail (twice!) with good friends, exploring Liverpool a lot more, the Retro Asylum 10th Anniversary celebrations in Arcade Club, Play Expo in Blackpool and going to Brighton SEO. Each event saw me meet new friends, reconnecting with old, and just having a good time. I joked when I was leaving Play that this year I’ve more photos with friends than machines!

I feel that being around friends is what is the most important thing of last year, and when you read it, I’ll be actually travelling abroad. My COVID vouchers for a potential trip to Amsterdam have been redeemed. Feel free to send over tips!

So things have – slowly – been getting back to normal.

Work wise it’s been solid. Outside of the main job I’ve sold one of my sites (Wrestling Betting), another (Drive in Cinemas) has been ticking along, but the real joy of 2022 has been my Twitch Stream. This time last year I started my first “Game Show” stream (we played Blockbusters online). Since then I’ve introduced two new games (Wipeout and Wisdom of Crowds) and they’ve really been well received (well, Wipeout has. Wisdom of Crowds will have debuted by the time you read this). But the real joy is finding myself in a community of actual genuine friends. Hanging out in each others streams and also having voice chats and spending nights playing video games together have been so much fun. Contrary to popular belief, I rarely play video games online – preferring more single player events and narrative driven games. But with Fall Guys, Dead By Daylight, CS:GO, Golf with your Friends (or – as it’s known after one game – “Golf”) and Jackbox, I’ve actually had great fun connecting with wonderful people. There has been discussion about possible meetups in real life – one thing I’d be delighted to do at some point.

Actual chaos

One thing about work that streaming gives me is something you build and continue to build on. I’ve enjoyed building websites, but in the end of the process you finish the site and then ship it off to somebody. Sure you get repeat clients (which makes the bulk of my work), but I’ve begun to look at more opportunities to build something more permanent, something longer lasting. Actually thinking of a 5/10/15 year plan on where I want to be (a conversation started with my pension advisor when he said “what is your 5 year plan” and I gave him a blank look). I joked that one idea is now I’ve got my feet under the table around Earlestown & Newton-le-Willows area I’d like to open up a co-working space around here. Just something for the community to use. That’s totally a pipe dream, but you know, one day.

I’ve also been focussing on myself a bit, and beginning to look for things to do that don’t have me stare at my screen. I bought my first car late last year which has given me some freedom. I haven’t been everywhere or very far (taking the East Lancs road to the second nearest Tesco has been the furthest I’ve been), but it does offer me some freedom. I also began dating again, with mixed success (I had a lovely but short lived relationship towards the latter part of last year), but alas I enter my 38th year single.

Alas, also not so much in the fitness side of things – DDP Yoga died a death as my workload increased. However, I am walking more though. I’m also trying to think of things to do to improve or pick up a new hobby. I keep threatening to myself to try golf as there’s a driving range a short drive away from me, so I can see myself picking up a clubs. However I think I (also?) need a hobby to meet people. One of the highlights of aforementioned dating was actually spending time with somebody doing things (mind out of the gutter folks), and I feel I need to spend time with more people to form more relationships, as I fear I am becoming a bit of a hermit – but then again: how the hell does a mid 30’s freelancer make friends during the latter stages of a pandemic? On the plus side last year saw me drink less and eat a lot better, so I’m happy with that.

So without further ado, here’s my updated comparison with you know who.

Rhys (With a Spoon)
Rhys (With a Spoon)

Reese Witherspoon
AgeNearly 38 (Up 1)Nearly 46 (Up 1)
0 – No Change
(0 – No Change)
1 – No Change
(2 – No Change* )
Books Written1 (No Change)1 (No Change)
Marriages0 (No Change)2 (No Change)
Children0 (No Change)3 (No Change)
WordPress Plugins Written &
On the WordPress Repository
10 (Down 2) – I removed a couple0

See y’all next year!

*Yeah I got this wrong

Previous Versions: 303435, 36, 37

Post Script: Unfortunately, most of this post I write a month or so before my actual birthday, so it misses current events. I’m sure you’re all aware of the tragic events taking place in Ukraine. I’ve at times felt numb, but I’ve been donating to the British Red Cross’ Ukraine Appeal. I’d urge people to donate to reputable charities especially around now. Hopefully by my Thirty Nine post it’ll be over.


Today, I turn Thirty-Seven.

My 36th lap of the sun I thought would be dominated by Brexit, but reading last year’s update I talked about how much travel would take place in the first half of the year in a big fuck you to Brexit, but – on the first trip (a visit to Berlin to spend time with friends, a trip I value dearly looking back) – we got the announcement that Twitchcon, the reason I was going to Amsterdam, was cancelled. This began a massive domino effect that saw all 5 of those trips cancelled.

Yes, a week after writing the post, COVID-19 became a thing in Europe. And my “settling and slowing down” goal became a grinding halt. A big client left, and by April I had effectively no income.

Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Thankfully, with the world moving everything online, a web developer wasn’t out of work. The work was different, it wasn’t always constant (I started side projects like Drive in Cinemas that actually got finished, and the wonderful Auction Request that burned bright and then exploded), but it was there. And it eventually got to the point where mortgage companies would take a second look at me.

So yeah, settling down. I ended up getting to the point where I felt like getting on the property ladder was actually possible. I got an idea on how much I could afford, but you couldn’t get much for your money in Manchester. However, one day in a WhatsApp group where Shane shared a few properties in the village he lived, which were 60k cheaper and included such luxuries as a garden, third bedroom and a garage, I ended up circling a few properties in Newton-Le-Willows.

The first property I talked myself into putting an offer in, it was accepted, and 4 months later (which apparently is super quick) I got the keys.

So, since then, most weekends has seen me covered in soil, paint, or god knows what was in my drain. It’s been fun! I’ve enjoyed having my own space and being a hermit, and whilst it’s not perfect the house yet, I’ve loved every second.

The business has taken a hit, I’m not going to lie. I’m probably about 10% down on last year, I feel some business decisions may have cost me a bit, but it’s purely down to not wanting to go through what I professionally went through April & May last year. Business wise I’m happier (the current grump I have whilst writing this aside), if not necessarily richer.

Of course, with travel out the question (so much so that on one day where I made it to Llandudno between lockdowns on a beautiful sunny day I cried), I’ve had to spend my time doing other things. Before leaving Manchester I found parks I never knew existed 10 years living in the city, I have discovered similar beautiful places (many of which you can see on my friend’s Del’s Instagram, usually with a description of “I LIVE HERE!?!”) in Newton-Le-Willows, I’ve been attracting the neighbourhood wildlife with all manner of bird feeding contraptions, and I’m hoping some of the garden things I’ve planted turn into plants or vegetables and don’t remain mounds of dirt.

The first time I could touch the ground with straight legs. I can also almost now do a push up….

Health wise drink was up and down (shout out to the Corona Pub), so I gave up on the drink free days (It’s a pandemic, duh!). Similarly because of the Corona Pub my diet fast became “a pizza in front of the webcam”. I’ve stopped the majority of this now, largely due to moving and actually having access to a kitchen when I want it. But maybe do have the odd pizza here and there. 6 weeks ago I also began DDP Yoga and whilst I can’t say I’ve lost weight (I tend to not track weight) I do notice my sides are slimmer (if not my belly), my arse is a little bit less flabbier, and I’m more flexible, so that’s good.

A happy moment for me in my 37th year was the Corona Pub, getting to know people. I didn’t create it, but did keep it running, and it meaning so much to people that they would send me Christmas cards made me happy.

In a weird way, sitting here, a week before my 37th Birthday, I’ve begun to think about the past year, largely alone, largely in lockdown, and where exactly I am. Of course, there’s things I want to come back: seeing my friends, going to the pub, generally wanting to be able to travel are all things I want back. However, I’m also reflecting of the things I’d like to stay: I think masks when you are sneezy should be a thing in supermarkets going forward, working from home is likely to continue (I worked out I spent more time in Zubaz in my career than wearing a suit, that makes me happy), and also spending time in the community – one I’ve yet to experience fully – would be nice. Of course I’d love my business to pick up again, and see friends again (as well as meet new ones I’ve made on Zoom chats in the past year), but maybe this is the new normal.

And the new normal should be better than the old one.

So without further ado, here’s my updated comparison with you know who.

Rhys (With a Spoon)
Rhys (With a Spoon)

Reese Witherspoon
AgeNearly 37 (Up 1)Nearly 45 (Up 1)
0 – No Change
(0 – No Change)
1 – No Change
(1 – No Change)
Books Written1 (No Change)1 (No Change)
Marriages0 (No Change)2 (No Change)
Children0 (No Change)3 (No Change)
WordPress Plugins Written &
On the WordPress Repository
10 (Down 2) – I removed a couple0

See y’all next year!

Previous Versions: 303435, 36

How I Stream On Twitch

I’m a rarity amongst my friends in the mid 30’s – I stream on Twitch. I started mainly to cut down on drinking, but it’s made me connect with some amazing people, become better friends with people I already knew, as well as earn a little bit of money.

In recent weeks, with the Coronavirus issues, people have been looking to get more into Twitch streaming, and asking me how I did it. I’d thought I’d teach you how I do it. Here is a guide of how I did it.

Starting for “Free”

Before starting, I’d recommend getting things up and running as quickly as possible for free. I started with Retro Gaming with a stream of Championship Manager 93. For this I simply needed an emulator, ‘acquired’ copies of the game, and Open Broadcasting Software. Open Broadcasting Software (henceforth referred to as “OBS”) is a piece of software that has Mac, PC & Linux alternatives and allows you to put together a “scene”. This scene can pull in any window on your machine, images, your webcam, as well as any audio associated with it. You can then immediately stream by connecting the software to Twitch (here’s a guide on how to do it). Test everything is working (you can run test streams) and then go live!

My OBS for when I stream ZX Spectrum games (in this case Manic Miner)

Your first streams won’t have many viewers, that’s fine. I think my entire first 2 months of streaming I had less than 1 average viewer per stream. If you can bring people in that can be useful (my first regular viewers were people I knew outside of Twitch). But you should use this time to speak and get comfortable, which is why a game like Championship Manager is great as it’s slow paced and you can talk about what you’re seeing. Things like that. People may show up. People may not. But you should decide if you enjoy it, which is why I say a game like this is perfect. You can stream direct from Xbox/PS4’s, however they don’t have features like webcams, and it’s far easier to connect when you see somebody.

Investing in Streaming

Decide you enjoy it? Great stuff! Now let’s spend some cash

My entire streaming setup (outside of games & consoles) cost me about £250-300. I had some elements already (like the computer), and I did use some tokens to take some of the damage off, but this is what I bought.

When all the gear arrives, in between your console and your TV put the Elgato Capture Card and your console. You’ll want to capture the signal to put it into OBS, there are millions of ways to do this and my way is rather complicated (but works for me!). So I’ll not share it. However you should have something that looks like this.

I don’t usually put the streaming card this side of the laptop, but you can see how it is structured with the grey HDMI cable being the input (from the Raspberry Pi) and the black being the output (into the monitor).

Notice the fact that what I’m watching on the screen (top screen) is not running at the same time as my stream (bottom screen). This is deliberate as there will be a delay. Also it’s a good idea at this point to run as lean as possible – close all programs, drop the bitrate of the video (I stream at 760p standard definition as for retro stuff & my ugly mug it’s fine) and generally try and run the games in the resolution they were intended in on your monitor.


A Chatbot is a good thing to have in your stream. They can do basic moderation, help sort out spam, and respond to events as well as provide commands. You can see this in action by going to my stream and typing in commands such as !social, !discord & !prime. Or just write a few messages relatively slowly (so not to set off the spam filter). Here are a couple of ones.

  • Streamlabs Cloudbot – probably the simplest to set up, and I’ll talk more about Streamlabs offering in another part.
  • Nightbot – Popular with some elements of the community.
  • Phantombot – What I use. Self hosted (so you have to pay for server space). Complex to setup, but I love their dashboard and it is open source. Plus it allows me to tinker and improve it however I wish.


You can also setup a dashboard. Dashboard are what you look at whilst streaming. It can tell you things like the bitrate (how your internet connection is), how long you’ve been streaming, how many viewers you have watching and anything that’s happening on your stream.

The Default Twitch Dashboard

Some dashboards I’m familiar with are the following.

  • The default Twitch Dashboard. If you watch it disable your video, as I found it make things all a lot slower.
  • The default Twitch Dashboard on Mobile – again can be useful and easy to setup, running the dashboard on your mobile. I started with this.
  • Phantombot’s Dashboard (this is what I use). I found it light and didn’t take up as many resources as the default Twitch Dashboard.

I’m not sure about any other Dashboards, but I’m sure there are plenty more. If you set up a dashboard switch off viewers. It can be distracting and disheartening when you’re performing to an audience of zero.


One thing I quite like is Alerts. They help improve interaction between you and your streamers. These are little animations that pop up when things happen on your stream. Two of the most popular ones are the following:-

  • Streamlabs Alerts – I have this, and has a wealth of tools available to handle alerts for anything from followers to subscriptions.
  • Soundalert Extension – This will allow users to donate bits (more on Bits later) or use channel points to play sound effects on your stream.


It’s up to you, but I put my streams up on My YouTube Channel whenever they are finished. Streams last on Twitch for a couple of weeks, but can be exported with the click of a button in Content > Video Producer.

Anything you clip, or one of your users clip last permanently though.

Growth & Monetization

And so the big one, how do you grow or monetise it? Well let’s start with growth.

Growth kind of happens slowly. It’s a good idea to have a community or things you can latch onto to help. If you can bring viewers to Twitch in some way (say if you have friends that enjoy games) that’s an easy way. Other than that, my three tips are.

  • Share the love: once finishing streams “raid” a random person. Raiding is passing on your viewership to somebody else. Some people switch it off as it can be a bit overwhelming, but if you have a few viewers, find a streamer of a similar/larger size, and raid them. Be friendly and chatty and hang out for a bit – I try to end a stream earlier than you wish to make sure that I can have a small chat.
  • Jump on hashtags: Some such as “#SmallStreamersConnect” and “#StreamFrens” retweet go live notifications – though you may want a dedicated Twitter account.
  • Sit and watch other streams: Some of my earlier viewers came from people I had previously watched. You can do that.

Some communities exist that can help you grow. These are things such as the following:-

And finally onto earning. Well you cannot earn straight away, you need to become a Twitch Affiliate, to do this you need the following:-

  • 50 Followers on Twitch.
  • Stream on 7 Different Days over the last 30 days.
  • Stream for 500 minutes over the last 30 days (8 and a bit hours).
  • An average of over 3 viewers on your streams.

It sounds like a lot but it’s quite easy to get, it took me about 2-3 months to achieve but if you are committed you can do it quicker. Becoming Twitch Affiliate allows you to earn using the following ways.

  • A share of the ad revenue.
  • “Bits”, small donations when something cool happens (usually works out at 1 bit for $0.01).
  • Subscriptions.
  • Affiliate income from games – rarer.

Subscriptions are the best way to earn as if you have Amazon Prime you can get Twitch Prime as well, which allows one subscription to somebody that’s not yourself on a monthly basis – you can read a guide on how to subscribe to a streamer with Twitch Prime here. So ask your friends to subscribe to you!

The only thing that is lacking is that it doesn’t auto renew, and designed to be a service where you share the wealth. A good alternative is my side project Streamer Sub Alert, which allows you to generate a link that you can put on your profile, or activated via a bot which allows people once subscribed to put a calendar reminder into their calendar to resubscribe. Paid subscriptions do auto renew though.

And how much can you earn? Well, it’s a slog, I’m after 9 months about a third of the way to the payout level. But it’s something to look into a side project rather than a main source of income. Do it for the love, rather than the money.

Thanks For Reading!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, great! I hope I answered questions. My inbox is open for any further questions. If you are on Twitch, please follow me on Twitch. Also YouTube, Twitter & Discord for my other services. If you have Amazon Prime and haven’t used your Twitch Prime Subscription, please consider using it with me – you get a cool emote that you can use on Twitch & Discord (thanks to ArdonPixels for the design). You can do so from my Twitch Profile by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top. If nothing else, thanks for reading and please share.