Hey, I’m Eljay, or I guess Eljayem_ on Twitch! I am a Full Time Content Creator based in the upside down hellscape that is Australia, I am currently strapped into my gravity boots as I write this so I don’t fall off the planet.
I’m a Twitch Partner and Youtuber. Over on Twitch the bulk of the content is just me laughing at myself honestly but people seem to like it, and keep coming back to watch me rank soft drinks on a Tier List despite putting Dr Pepper in the lowest tier, or playing games badly while making dad jokes.
On Youtube, I do education content for Content Creators who are just starting out or generally are looking for guidance. The channel is rooted in my experience as a Video Producer, Video SEO, and my own growth on Twitch. I try to make the videos entertaining while keeping them as concise and valuable as possible.
I’d love to say, “I am a one man army!” when it comes to Twitch and Youtube but honestly I couldn’t do what I do without the support of the people around me, my mods, wife, and mates who listen to me day and night talk about all the things I want to do and why I think I’ll fail.
The Youtube channel is also a part of a bigger brand, Stream Scheme, we’re an education blog and the website is handled by two of the most amazing marketers and content creators, without their backing I’d be useless as well. We’re a little team of 3 handling our own areas inside the brand but collaborating where we can, and then we have recently brought on some more writers to help make articles on the site. I handle all of the Youtube and socials side of things fairly solo but as I said, we all talk constantly about what we’re doing, and brainstorming.
How did I come up with my name? It’s just my name really but I did do a video on how I help others come up with their names.
I started out as a Video Producer because I wanted to tell stories and change the world and make a difference!, which is naive I know but I was young… Well, that would be my excuse if I didn’t still tell myself that I just want to make a difference in someone else's life.
I graduated University about 5 - 6 years ago now, and after graduating I worked as a filmmaker. Travelled the world making corporate films, and other projects thinking if I covered topics like mental health, poverty, etc it might help others but realised pretty quickly that the overall scope of these projects and the reach they had was limited.
So I gave everything up and started hunting for a job in Digital Marketing, I found a few like minded people to work with, made some friends, and taught myself Video Search Engine Optimisation, which in short is the idea of creating video content on Youtube that answers the questions people search for and allows you to grow a channel.
I try to distill what I know and have learned from my few years making mistakes and learning from them in my videos as well, for example I just released one about creating a gaming channel, and a few months ago a VERY tired Eljay released one about growing from 0 - 1000 subscribers.
I officially went full time as a Content Creator at the end of March, back in February of 2020 I quit my job in Digital Marketing to do VSEO for just a few brands by myself, around that time I streamed myself playing Divinity Original Sin to a friend over discord screen share, and he pushed me to become a streamer saying I’d do well at it.
He knew I always wanted to be a creator, and I have since I was young but I just didn’t believe I was good enough so I think he was just trying to build my confidence up, but I really owe everything to him.
Up until March 2021 though, I worked for those brands doing Social Media Marketing, and VSEO while also running the Stream Scheme YT channel with weekly video releases, and streaming 5 nights a week for 4 -5 hours a night, which is why the Eljay in the 0 - 1000 subscribers video looks like a zombie, but the latest video I don’t look like a dehydrated raisin.
I don’t have any inspirational quotes, but my GrandFather and my Mum told me when I was little that in order to be successful you have to be able to sit down to dinner and maintain a conversation with the Queen and the village idiot but more importantly, be kind to both. So I try to live by that concept.
As for Content Creators who inspire me, I’ve been watching Ludwig since January 2020 so I am not someone who watched him before he was cool or anything and I really do consider him in a different class of Entertainer. I saw him playing Among Us once and he noticed someone kept getting interrupted by a louder creator in the lobby, so he quite calmly and nicely said, “Hey, sorry! They were talking and I really wanted to hear what they said because they keep getting talked over” or something along those lines and the creator was so thankful. It was a big moment for me.
My inspiration for Youtube almost entirely just comes from either problems I am dealing with as a creator, have dealt with, or that I can see my audience is dealing with. Then I just work to try to make a video that solves them.
For Twitch my inspiration comes from mostly just stupid stuff that I say while live, to my wife, or to my friends and then I go, “I should do a whole stream where I just paint gnomes to be terrifying” and I do that.
I write most of it down in journals, I prefer pen and paper because studies show it helps retain everything properly but I’ve been called a boomer for using paper before which is fair.
Mental blocks can be really tough, especially because I have quite a severe anxiety disorder so often they are based around my own self doubt, “Oh I want to make a video on this but I am terrible at that and nobody would like it!” but then when I manage to push through often those videos end up being my best performing, for example I wanted to do a video about setting SMART goals for creators, I wrote it in November 2020 then doubted myself and the content so I didn’t film it till recently but it has such a huge reception.
This is embarrassing but If I am trying to brainstorm and my normal brainstorming playlist of LOFI isn’t working often I will stand up and juggle in my office, like actually literally juggle objects. It distracts my hands and a part of my brain that doubts itself, so I can focus on thinking how I can make an idea work. Works every single time, but I don’t know if, “Learn to juggle kids!” is great advice.
Old Juggling Clip:
I use pretty much exclusively Adobe Creative Suite, it is just the best set of creator tools. Premiere Pro, and After Effects for video editing and effects, photoshop for thumbnails, emotes, etc.
I try not to spread my focus across too many platforms, I have Twitch and Youtube then I use Twitter and I have two discord servers, one for creators and the other for my Twitch community to just hang out. I spend a lot of time in the servers helping and hanging with people.
Buffer is great for social posting but I struggle with utilising it because I like the 1 to 1 connection from posting and replying to everyone rather than just setting 10 posts for a week and they all go out slowly.
As I said earlier I have pretty severe anxiety, and I honestly didn’t think I would make anything of myself but my friend pushed me and supported me to start and still to this day tells me I can do it even when I doubt myself, except now I also have a lot of kind people in my communities who support me and encourage me. Earlier you asked about motivation and I didn’t really have anything to say to it but I guess my motivation now is to live up to be the person they see me as. I’d hate to let them down.
I was terrified of what people would think, and I still am, I read everything and take it all to heart because I want to improve, I think there is this stigma that Youtube comments are an awful place full of hate but honestly I don’t get much hate, occasionally 1 or 2 people will comment but for the first 6 months I replied to every single commenter, the good, the bad, the mundane, and I tried to help every person, thank them, and be kind to them.
We tallied them up roughly recently and realised I had replied to over 10,000 comments alone and by hand, it started because I wanted to just thank those who engaged and help those who needed it, but it didn’t stop till recently when I had to dial it back because it took too much time.
You’d be surprised how quickly people who are being negative apologise or delete their comment after you reply kindly. Most people are just having a bad day, and that’s okay I understand, just be kind and never sink to another persons level of being rude or cruel.
Content creation is practically exposure therapy, I hated my own voice, I was told it was monotonous and dry growing up, that I told long winded boring stories, etc so I carried that for a while but the longer you create and expose yourself to your voice or face it gets easier, so many people ask how to deal with editing their own footage, and the only answer is to just do it.
My absolute biggest fear is someone I respect will see my work and say, ‘This guys an idiot!” that would probably be pretty rough, because of that worry I try to improve my work and be proud of it, but another part of me wishes I could stay in my own little corner of the internet forever even if that is terrible for my actual long term.
I don’t think there is really a way to get over these fears, being worried about all these things usually just means you care about what you are doing, someone with no fear has no reason to strive to improve, at least that is how it works for me.
It really is just consistency, set a schedule for streaming, for video releases, etc and keep following it. Consistently improve, and make consistent content of good standard.
I didn’t have a lot of money to fund my start, mainly just enough for all the bills and a little bit extra for safety, but then COVID meant I couldn’t keep making video for corporate clients so I had to pivot hard but luckily I had been slowly buying equipment over 7 years so I didn’t need much funding to begin content.
As for outside help, connecting with the creators of Stream Scheme the website and brand was massive for me, having like minded people to work with gave me a big boost and helped keep me on track since If I didn’t do a task it could slow them down.
Hardest challenge was just being confident in myself and learning how to entertain and engage a community. I think I had 100 followers in my first month on Twitch, and 100 Youtube subs was about a month, Youtube started in August 2020 and and November 8th we had 1000 Youtube subs, skip forward another 4 - 5 months and we are sitting at 57,000 Youtube subs and 2.5 Million views in April 2021.
The moment everything kicked off was mainly because the channel got monetised, the game plan was to create 20 - 30 low competition search based guides for streamers, how to start reruns on Twitch, how to make a good username, how to title a steam for clicks, microphone settings, etc get them ranking in search results and then make every end screen and the video cards point to one HIGH competition and huge search term video.
I released How to grow from 0 - 25 average viewers on Twitch early on, and it didn’t really do anything alone but people would click it after seeing other videos thanks to end screens and cards, and then when the channel was monetised at 1000 subs and 4000 hours of watch time suddenly Youtube goes, “Oh, these videos have ads on them? Okay, let’s share them around!”
We all make mistakes, poor opportunities, and we learn from them.
The part I struggle with most is just connecting with other creators because I don’t want to bother them or feel like I am trying to leach but it leaves me quite isolated which is bad for growth and not being mentally burned out so my advice is to try to find like minded creators.
Actionable steps for videos and you want to improve growth, other than just appealing solely to Search Intent is to look at what value you are actually providing, what videos are bringing in your subs, can you double down on the value? Make content that appeals to those subscribers?
People often get new subscribers and then go, “FREEDOM!” and release a video that isn’t what the subscribers want. If you see growth, don’t pivot away unless you hate the content, DOUBLE DOWN and provide more value like that.
I think I have answered this already up above but I was doing full time hours from the start and it really hurt my time to spend with friends, my partner, and generally recharge so just try to find balance.
There have been lots of amazing moments but I think the best ones for me are just seeing my chat enjoying themselves, sometimes these days I’ll do a segment or a stream and chat will just be moving so fast I can barely read it, it’s times like that I feel proud but also I just don’t believe that I deserve any of the success or kindness.
Oh and twitch sending me a bunch of swag for no apparent reason was amazing.
My entire process for growth is to appeal to low competition but high search traffic questions, and slowly tackle higher competition topics as my relevancy and audience builds, for Twitch it is similar, play smaller games that are easier to stand out in and as you build an audience you get more freedom to move around your niche.
My entire goal is to just do my best and provide as much value as I can, if people start responding to the content then engage with them and build a community. First adopters principle is real and important, especially when creating. As I said, I tallied it up recently and I replied to over 10,000 comments on the Youtube channel. I cover all my processes on the channel and try to be as transparent as possible.
Have been collaborating more on the Youtube front recently, asking other creators questions to help give multiple outlooks and opinions because I want to make sure I don’t railroad people to say, “THIS IS THE PATH” when people succeed in lots of ways.
Nobody large has ever shared my content, but I’d love to work with larger creators soon, it is just building up the confidence because I am still such a small creator. I would love to talk to someone like Harris Heller who I have an immense amount of respect for, even if it was just to hear him say, “You’re doing good kid” as he signals for security to drag me away.
Brand deals and sponsorships are so strange to me, I would never consider reaching out to someone for a deal, I just don’t think I am important enough but lately people have been reaching out to me.
I have only accepted one deal because I trust the product and company, plus it is very relevant to my audience. This is OWN3D who create resources for streamers.
I am in talks with others but I am very picky, not because I think I am worth more or anything, but because I want to make sure they get their actual value back. A few apparel and clothing brands have reached out who are very trendy, edgy, and cool but I just don’t see myself in their brand because I am none of those things, if I was an Esports creator maybe but in my space it doesn’t make sense so I would be wasting their time and money if I accepted the chance.
If Rode, Elgato, Audiotechnica, Sony, etc wanted to reach out that would be a VERY different story of how quickly I’d say yes.
Recently game devs have offered me game keys as well, some of them are interesting and really exciting games but again, I don’t want to waste their time and money. I always ask myself, If a dev sponsors me to play their game, and as an example they could give me $100 and their game costs $5, would 20 people from my audience purchase the game? Would they make their money back?
If I don’t see them making their money back, I will thank them and explain that I don’t think it fits well enough to help them. My main advice is to find sponsors that actually connect with you and your audience, that way it is more likely to work better for the sponsor, and you can earn more from that. Everyone wins.
Negotiating rates is hard, I don’t have much advice on it, I try to consider how much they take to earn from the specific sponsorship over the course of the stream or if it’s a video the videos lifespan, how much time it takes me to include their sponsorship, etc and then I pitch a bit more and explain I am open to negotiation, then they can lower the price if they want and we can go from there.
Still a new process for me though.