Discoverability on Twitch when you are not live is nonexistent. Discoverability on Twitch when you are live is almost nonexistent. The best way to get discovered is to be as close as possible to being in the top ten viewed channels for large categories. For smaller categories, you have to be as close as possible to the top slot.
I tried everything from always streaming at least nine hours a day to using social media to promote my streams but only one thing ever worked consistently. That one thing is building community.
To build a community, it requires you to put in a lot of time and effort to be an active and contributing member in other channels. If you go in with the mentality of only supporting the other streamer, they will notice and appreciate it. If they ever find out that you stream as well, they will be more likely to support you by being active in your stream or even raiding or hosting your channel. This means your viewership increased by at least one more person to maybe even a hundred more for that one stream.
Raids and hosting doesn’t mean those additional viewers will become fans of your content. They are there to support the person who raided you. Raids in my personal experience doesn’t equate to long term growth but it does help greatly because it boosts your viewership numbers for that stream and get you closer to being in the top ten. Once that happens, new viewers will drop by and those are the people that will very likely become new supporters.
Building a community will also get the attention of the developers and they may even support you by promoting your content. This will increase your credibility quite a bit and official recognition means more people will be likely to trust your content as reliable and an accurate representation of the game and the fan base.
Bottom line, no one will help someone who is only interested in themselves, no matter how nice or polite they may seem. You need to give first in order to have someone be willing to give you anything. By building a community and giving other content creators value by being a supportive audience member, by providing the audience value by making content that caters to their needs, you will gain a loyal and supportive audience.
And once you build a community, you will see your content evolve and get better as a result because it is no longer driven solely by you. Now the community will have a hand in shaping it and the end result will be something unpredictable but beautiful.
In the words of Captain Taggart, “Never give up, never surrender!”