Building a career as an online personality doesn’t always happen the way we expect. It takes determination, consistency and a bit of trial and error. Fortunately, we had a chance to chat with Twitch streamer, YouTube creator and “Valorant” coach Jollz to learn how he carved his path to streaming success.

Let’s dive into Jollz’s streaming career and his advice for growing an online audience.

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Early ambitions

“I actually first started streaming when I was like 18 or 19. I was just out of high school, and I played a lot of video games in general,” says Jollz. From the start, he knew he wanted to make a career out of playing video games.

“I was pretty good at them,” Jollz tells us, “And because I was playing them so much … it was a dream of mine to make it so I can make a living off of playing video games.” It didn’t matter whether that dream materialized as a career as a professional gamer or a successful streaming channel. Jollz admits that this was unheard of at the time, but he gave it a shot anyway. “I thought, well, I’m playing anyway, so I might as well turn the stream on.”

Unfortunately, Jollz found that just turning the stream on wasn’t enough to attract viewers.

“I streamed for like three years and it got — I didn’t get anywhere, right? Like, I didn’t get to join any competitive team or anything like that. My stream had three viewers. I didn’t really go anywhere.” Jollz decided the streaming idea wasn’t working out. He switched gears and went back to school to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“After that, I ended up getting a job at NASA,” Jollz says. “I worked there for two years or so. I was a software engineer … And about a year and a half ago, I quit.” Jollz explains his reasoning in his video “From NASA ENGINEER to FULL-TIME STREAMER,” but, to sum it up, he just missed making content.

A second attempt

After one failed attempt at launching a streaming channel, Jollz knew he had to make some changes to his strategy: “For one, back then, I was strictly putting all of my eggs in one basket. So what I mean by that is, like, I was doing only streaming.” Jollz knew he needed to put in more effort, but he was still focused on streaming as the primary outlet for his content.

“My effort was to stream longer,” Jollz recalls, “but that, that didn’t really add up.” He saw that spending more time streaming didn’t automatically lead to more viewers. It’s notoriously difficult to get discovered on Twitch — even harder when you only have a few viewers tuning in. “Even if I stream for like 12 hours, 24 hours,” Jollz reflects, “if nobody watched that, did I even really stream? Right?”

Looking back now, Jollz can see where he went wrong. “I didn’t post on YouTube. I didn’t grow my other social media,” Jollz says, “and I think that was a big hindrance for me personally.” Even though his content was good, it wasn’t finding an audience. At this point, Jollz realized he needed to try other tactics. “It doesn’t matter if you post good content, but nobody sees it.”

Reaching new viewers

Since Twitch wasn’t giving him the traction he needed to get his streaming career off the ground, Jollz turned to other platforms. “I started posting on TikTok, YouTube, YouTube Shorts — just every single social media that I think right now currently is doing well. I’m just on there.” The idea is to get as many eyes as possible on his content in the hopes that these viewers will eventually find him on Twitch.

Posting to a variety of platforms allows you to attract viewers you may not have been able to reach otherwise. However, it can be hard to predict where you will find the most success. Jollz has noticed that new viewers often arrive in waves.

“Like a couple months ago, I was getting a lot of views from TikTok, and then, you know, probably the last four or five months, now I’m getting it from YouTube.” Jollz notes that it depends on the video and what’s trending on each platform. “But they come from everywhere, right? I’ve had people come in from Twitter, the browse section now on Twitch because I’ve been getting a little bit more views, Reddit even … it’s just from everywhere.”

Still, Twitch remains at the heart of his content strategy. It’s where all of his content originates, which has allowed him to create a more streamlined production workflow. “I plan out how many YouTube videos I’m gonna have in that stream,” Jollz reveals, “and that gets cut up and then posted onto YouTube — gets recycled into TikTok, YouTube Shorts, etc.” In essence, Jollz can record all the content needed for his other social media channel during his Twitch streams, trimming down clips as needed.


Of course, maintaining a presence across so many different platforms takes a lot of work. Jollz has a team of four managers and 26 editors to keep up with all of his different accounts. “I was editing videos myself,” he tells us. “I’m like, this is time-consuming. I suck at this. After stream, I was just dreading like four hours of just cutting through the VOD and editing.” He decided to outsource: “I think I went on like Fiverr or something and just hired some random person.”

Soon, however, Jollz realized he had too much content; a single editor couldn’t keep up long-term. “I put it all on one editor,” Jollz says, “and after like a month, they’d get burned out.” It became a cycle: “I’m like, ‘Okay, these people are getting burnt out and I think it’s my fault.’” That’s when Jollz started hiring more editors, scaling up as he moved into a more frequent posting schedule.

With more editors, Jollz had more to keep track of. “It was very unorganized … sometimes I would, I would lose a video and I’m like, ‘Oh shit’ — Like I forgot who worked on what. It was a mess.” Jollz needed a manager. Luckily, he had a close friend who was up for the task. Together, they started to home in on a style and production workflow that worked for Jollz’s content.

Each platform has its own requirements: “For short-form content, I just need something that’s either trending or something that is super quick-paced,” Jollz tells us, “It needs to be fast because people will scroll.” On the other hand, Jollz has found an audience for longer videos on YouTube. “For my YouTube, I’m focusing on educational content, collaboration content, long-form content.” Jollz emphasizes, however, that content still needs a hook to draw in viewers: “Titling, thumbnails, all that is very important.”

These days, Jollz can hand over most of that creative responsibility to his management team. The managers relay Jollz’s vision to the editors, who then cut down Jollz’s Twitch recordings for other platforms. “Now it’s like, I don’t even know what gets uploaded on my YouTube videos anymore … I don’t know anything. Like, I don’t even know the thumbnails, the titles, unless it’s like a really good one and he really wants to show off or something, then he’ll show me … Only thing I do is network, plan out my streams and stream. That’s about it.”

Building a community

Spreading content around on social media has proven to be a good way to attract first-time viewers, but getting viewers to your stream is just the first step. Once they find you, you’ll need to give them a reason to stick around. For Jollz, that means providing value in the form of community building and educational content.

A lot of Jollz’s community building happens on Discord. “I basically use Discord as the main hub for all my other socials,” he says. “I think getting a lot of people in your Discord is a very good start.” He admits that the chat can be a bit hectic: “We do have a lot of people in there. Sometimes I do message in there as well, but I can’t consistently always be in there spending all my time, you know, messaging. But I do sometimes.”

Discord can be great for growing a community, but there is some etiquette to keep in mind. “I’m trying not to be too annoying with like mass pinging everyone now that we built a pretty big community,” Jollz says, “I have moderators that I trust, and they keep the community pretty wholesome, lively — you know — welcoming.”

An educational incentive

As with any other platform, to grow a community on Discord, you need to give people an incentive to join. For Jollz, that was video game coaching. “My goal was in “Valorant,” right? I needed to get the highest rank, which is Radiant,” Jollz explains. After reaching Radiant, Jollz would offer free game coaching: “Who wouldn’t want free coaching from, you know, a top 500 player in the respective game?”

The plan worked: “I got a Radiant, and then as soon as I did that, I’m going on TikTok. I’m like, ‘Hey guys, free coaching. All you have to do is hop into my Discord.’ That was it.” Jollz goes on to explain how these new Discord community members naturally converted to Twitch viewers: “They started flooding the Discord, trying to apply, trying to get advice. I’m like, ‘Okay, tune into my stream. If you guys want advice, I’ll go over some educational content.’”

Jollz notes that many of these new viewers would stick around after the coaching session just because they enjoyed the content: “They come in, they tune in for a bit and they’re like, ‘Okay, now that the coaching’s over, that was pretty cool.’ And then they stay around a little bit longer. And then they’re like, ‘Oh, his personality is actually not that bad.’ Right?”

But while coaching eventually turned into a steady source of income and new viewers, Jollz says the experience has also made him a better player. “Usually, when you’re explaining something, especially like, you know, concepts that you think you know to other people,” Jollz says, “it further solidifies what you do know, and it helps you sharpen the knowledge that you learn along the way.”

Coaching has also helped fine-tune his communication skills: “I’m a little bit more patient with people when I’m talking to them. I can explain things a lot better than I used to.”

How Jollz makes a living

Jollz continued to offer free “Valorant” coaching for around three months. After that, demand had grown so much that Jollz could justify charging for his time. “If I’m booked out for like a month at $5,” Jollz explains, “I need to increase the price … So I would just keep increasing the price until I stopped getting this booked.” Coaching now represents a significant portion of his income, along with ad revenue from YouTube and Twitch.

He says it hasn’t always been this way, however: “When I first started, [my main income stream] definitely was not YouTube. I was in the red. I was actually in the red for the longest time paying for the editors.”

During that time, Jollz made sure to invest the little income he made from Twitch and TikTok back into growing his audience. “I had money saved up for my previous job,” he says, “so I was able to basically be in the red while I started off.” For Jollz, that investment paid off: “It’s gonna be very hard for you to grow if you’re not going to be willing to spend money for it. And if you’re not getting any money in return from your socials, you’re not gonna have any money to invest in yourself, which is gonna delay your growth.”

Keeping things interesting

These days, Jollz streams five to six days a week for around six hours or more each session. Coaching is one way he adds structure to his streams, but educational content is not the only thing attracting viewers:

“The way that the stream is structured, usually I will do a coaching session at the start of the stream. After that … I’m doing a challenge or something, or a collaboration. And then after that, I’ll do some react content or something for my other channels. And then after that, I will play a different game, whether it’s whatever’s hot for the month … or whatever I’m enjoying to play for the next like two, three hours just to kind of chill.”

Jollz admits that he does often see a drop in viewers as the stream progresses:

“My peak viewers are definitely when I’m playing ‘Valorant’ because that’s where I came up from, and anytime I swap games, the views slowly decline.” He says, though, it’s important not to fixate on the numbers. He tries not to see fluctuations in viewership in a negative light. “It’s more of just like a positive light. I’m like, ‘Dude, I have this many viewers who wanna watch me play anything.’ That’s huge. Like, to me.” For Jollz, it all comes down to mindset.

Connecting through chat

Jollz emphasizes the importance of engaging with the chat throughout the stream, especially as a newer creator. “You need to bring something to the table that other streamers don’t,” Jollz says, noting that bigger streamers often don’t have the option to engage with chat simply because it’s moving too fast to keep up with. “If you are gonna ignore chat and play your game, what’s to stop them from watching a bigger streamer?” Jollz says he tries to read and engage with the chat as much as possible, even as his channel has grown.

“People like being heard, right? And they like that sort of interaction, especially with the streamers. So yeah, I still try and do that.”

That doesn’t mean that anything goes in the chat pod, however: “If they’re being annoying … I’ll just tell ’em straight up — let ’em know. And, you know, if they keep it up, they just, you know, they get banned. It doesn’t really affect me too much.” Jollz also has a moderator team that will take care of any chatters making inappropriate or offensive remarks.

For Jollz, streaming is meant to be a positive experience for everyone: “The big picture is just that I just wanna make their days better. That’s really it.”

Strategies for stress

Jollz thumbs up
Image courtesy: Jollz

While Jollz is confident in his content and his audience, the volatility of sustaining a career as a creator is still a source of stress. “It can very much slip right under you, especially if you let off the gas,” he reminds us, “This is the type of field where you need to sacrifice a lot to make things work well.” Luckily, Jollz keeps up a couple of healthy habits to help him manage stress and prevent burnout.

“Working out definitely helps me out. It’s basically like a stress reliever. It’s my form of my body, like, sort of meditating in a sense … It really does help me a ton, as well as also journaling. I usually write down anything that sort of bugs me, anything that is annoying me for the day. Anything that I’m noticing.” Keeping up with these daily habits helps Jollz stay ahead of any potential buildup of stress.

“That’s something that I see a lot of other creators fall into,” he warns, “into that sort of category where they let something kind of buildup and sometimes you’ll see it, right?” This is when you see uncharacteristic outbursts or creators disappearing altogether. “I noticed the gym definitely helps with that. And journaling.”

Parting advice

Along with being consistent with your healthy habits, Jollz says the key to online success is being consistent with your content: ”You have a consistent schedule. You’re uploading at a certain time every, you know, every week or whatever, because people look forward to that … Even if you’re doing this for three days a week, having those three days consistently every week is very important.”

As Jollz notes, people need to know your streaming schedule if you want them to tune in regularly. “I really think consistency on all fronts, on all social media, is the biggest take.”

It’s clear that dedication and consistency have paid off for Jollz as he’s built a career online, and he promises even more “very interesting projects” on the horizon. We can’t wait to see what’s next.