Intention over Attention - Streaming About the Business of Streaming
(8 minute read) Zach Bussey on Twitter, Twitch, Ghost, Patreon, Discord, Wordpress, OBS, and more!
The Creator - Zach Bussey
I asked my friend Jeffrey Greller, who works with the biggest gaming Creators on YouTube, what I should read to keep up on the gaming Creator space.
He had one answer: Zach Bussey.
After getting Zach’s newsletter for the better part of two years, I reached out to learn more about his business.
Let’s get into it!
I also recommend following Zach on Twitter and subscribing to his free newsletter on his website.
Quick personal plug - follow me on LinkedIn! That’s all.
Zach is the rare Creator whose audience is largely Twitter-based.
Since he writes about news in the gaming Creator space, the real-time nature of Twitter works to his advantage…but he still doesn’t pay for Blue.
Since his posts are highly shareable, ranking higher in search results isn’t as valuable - his discovery is driven by virality.
Though Twitter is his #1 audience, it’s #2 for actually driving revenue.
Twitch drives his earnings - despite the audience being 5x smaller.
On Twitch, Zach is sits in a rather under-the-radar niche.
Within this Business niche, he’s livestreaming about the business of livestreaming…so meta!
Twitch provides direct revenue, and, along with Twitter, drives to his other main revenue source - membership.
His membership business is built on top of an otherwise free newsletter. Fans pay for insider access to leaks, news, community, and even promo spots.
While he is a Twitch Affiliate, and shares in ads run on his streams, the bulk of his revenue is directly from fans.
61,000 total followers puts Zach squarely in microinfluencer territory, but his earnings greatly outperform his following.
His niche is focused on a specific, underserved industry with a highly-compensated and/or corporate-card-toting audience - Creators, reps, and platform execs.
Three principles of the Creator Economy are at work here:
Niches get riches
Business audiences are more valuable than consumer audiences because they have more money to spend
Direct fan monetization (memberships, product sales, etc.) is more lucrative than indirect fan monetization (ads, sponsorships)
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Email + Website - Ghost + Get Midnight (hosting)
He switched from Wordpress because WP required too many complex integrations to enable his desired functionality.
He chose Ghost over Substack and Revue because:
News Updates - Google Alerts
Community - Twitch + Discord
On Twitch as community:
On Discord as community:
Membership - Ghost + Zapier
Zach used to focus on Patreon, but switched away.
That notifier doesn’t yet exist, but he’s working with some fans to build it. For the moment, he uses Zapier to sync his newsletter subscribers with his Twitch list, so at least he knows which subscribers are also in his streams. Stay tuned….
I asked him about Discord’s membership, and his reason was simple - it’s not yet live in Canada (womp womp).
Brand Partnerships - Inbound, self-negotiated
Affiliates - Included in the few brand deals he does
Zach understands through experience that when a Creator makes the bulk of their revenue from selling (memberships, digital products, etc.) to an audience that deeply trusts them, it’s critical that they only do brand partnerships that align with their own brand and create real value for their communities.
The other challenge for Zach is that marketers still don’t really understand the value of livestreaming, and so don’t price deals appropriately.
Consulting - Discord + Flexible with payment collection
Video - Sony EV E10
Audio - Blue Luna + Wave XLR
Editing - Premiere
Design - Photoshop
Livestreaming - OBS + Streamdeck
The software Creators use to livestream has always been complicated at best. This is doubly true on Twitch, where viewers really care about quality.
Open source platform OBS is the gold standard.
Content Distribution - PulseBanner
This tool blew my mind - it updates his Twitter handle in real-time to show when he’s live on Twitch!
That’s so powerful - I wish there were more plugins and integrations like this to tie disparate platforms together across the social web!
Project Management - Google Keep + Discord
Finances - All traditional
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See you next week!