In this installment of our Behind the Streams blog series, we spoke with Ceddy Lopez, Twitch variety streamer and host of the “Ceddy or Not” podcast.
Ceddy streams four days a week on his Twitch channel, spilling the tea with the latest gossip, chatting with fans and playing assorted games. His podcast features long-form conversations with featured guests, from fellow streamers to iconic video game voice actors. He also just released his first single, PWRFUL. In a recent conversation with Blue, Ceddy shared his story of finding his voice as a streamer and podcaster.
How did you get started streaming?
I was playing League of Legends and somebody was spamming their Twitch link, saying “I'm streaming this right now, watch me.” I said, “What the hell is this, some virus website?” So, I clicked on it and saw this person streaming League of Legends, and he's in the same game as me. I was like, “What kind of stupid concept is this? Why am I watching somebody play a game when I'm playing the game myself?” And look where we are right now.
When I first saw that, it didn't really convince me to try it, because I didn't understand the concept. I found the concept very stupid and weird. Then I did my research about this whole streaming thing, and when I read that people like Ninja can make millions and get sponsorship opportunities from streaming, I said to myself, “I’m quite a comedian and a clown; I can pull this off. So, let me give it a shot.”
How long did it take to build your audience?
I would say the first two months were quiet because nobody knew who I was. I didn't know how to market myself, where to promote my stream or where to get to know other streamers. Then I started learning about Discord, and I was introduced to some streamer communities there. I built connections by getting to know people and watching other streamers.
I started building a big base of followers after playing Doki Doki Literature Club, that crazy game. From there, after I became affiliated and more people knew about me and talked about my stuff, that's how I grew. I became a Twitch partner in six months, and I think my career really started taking off after one year of streaming.
“Once you get past that fear and worry and self doubt, oh my God—you can accomplish so many things.”
Ceddy Lopez, Twitch streamer and host of the "Ceddy or Not" podcast.
What is your current streaming setup?
I have a good PC, and of course I have my baby, my Blue Yeti X with me. It is the best microphone I've ever owned. I'm not saying it because I'm sponsored or whatever, but it's really one of the best microphones on the market. I also have an Elgato Stream Deck, a Logitech C922 webcam, two big lights and a green screen. That is the set up right now.
The Stream Deck was originally supposed to send emotes to my chat, but I realized that I'm blessed because my chat's quite active, so I don't have to use that anymore. But I do have my own theme song, so usually I just press one button for the theme song to play.
How has your setup evolved, and how many different things did you try?
I was using a headset microphone for a while, then I had an Audio-Technica AT2020 USB, and then I switched to Yeti X. I’ve been using USB microphones throughout, because I'm tech-illiterate. I don't know a lot about tech, so I don't know how to play with mixers and all those things.
My first computer was a gaming laptop, an MSI Titan. Apparently, at that time it was very powerful for a lot of things. I could play Overwatch and stream and all, but as time went by, I needed about 30 minutes just to boot the computer. I'm not even exaggerating. That's when I realized that I need an upgrade, and my community came together and chipped in some money and gifted me a new PC for my birthday.
How does the Yeti X USB mic help you get the sound you’re looking for?
Some people have issues with my voice. Some people say, “Oh my God, you have a high-pitched voice. You don't sound like a manly person at all.” But ever since I started using Yeti X and Blue VO!CE, suddenly people were like, “Oh my God, you sound so crisp. You sound so clear.” I don't know, for some reason Blue makes me sound good.
Some podcasters are very particular with their sound, their voice and all. I always wanted to achieve that, but back then I was streaming with a headset microphone and I thought that was the best. Yeti X was a big upgrade.
What were the challenges you faced when starting out?
I was so worried that people would judge me because of my accent and my mannerisms; my voice isn't exactly too manly. I was being made fun of because people just couldn't get used to my voice, and I thought, “What if I have to deal with people coming in and telling me, ‘you are such a slur, you are such a this or that.’”
And honestly, in my first few months of streaming, every time before I even spoke into the microphone, I would have this urge to clear my throat. It felt like something was choking me; I was scared to speak.
But as time goes by, the love keeps pouring in and I'm seeing so many supportive people. I was like, “Well, there are people who will make fun of me because of how I was born, and there are also a lot of people who will actually celebrate me for who I am.” Once you get past that fear and worry and self doubt, oh my God—you can accomplish so many things.
What important tools do you use to make editing and broadcasting easier?
For Twitch, OBS Studio. It is the default and the easiest tool to use for streaming. I always recommend that. I'm also using the StreamElements OBS.Live addon. That helped me with so many things, like getting to see the alerts who donated to me all on one screen. And I don't have to open another browser just to see the chat.
And for podcasting, I use Hindenburg Journalist. I discovered that because of Blue. I bought the Pro version because I needed a reliable app, and so far it's been working well for me.
What resources did you use to learn how to improve the quality of your content?
I basically Googled a lot. When I wanted to start a podcast, what I did first was of course the most important thing—you want to start a podcast, you’ve got to listen to podcasts. That's how you know what the best practices are, how people connect with the audience, how they ask questions to their guests and all.
Ceddy streaming with a Yeti X USB microphone.
What processes do you wish you could do faster or more efficiently?
On the technical side, I wish I had somebody to edit my podcast for me, because right now I'm doing a lot of things on my own. I'm starting to hire video editors to get some of my Twitch stream segments up on YouTube; that is a blessing.
Sometimes it's so annoying when I'm listening to my podcast and there's a lot of “um” and “uh”—you know, those filler words. But right now, I try to just let it go. I think some people are okay with that. I overthink too much because I want it to sound perfect, but there's no such thing as a perfect podcast.
Which platforms are you using to distribute your content?
Twitter is my baby. That's how people find my content, and that's how I grow my audience. Because of Twitter, I get to connect with so many people and learn so many things from other people. To some people Twitter is a waste of time, but it depends on how you use it.
I also use Buzzsprout. Some people would say Anchor, but I decided that I would go with Buzzsprout because I don't believe in free stuff. So with Buzzsprout, I pay every month and they host my podcast and push it out on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, Google; you name it. I just need to upload my podcast, add the description and bam—they do the work.
What advice do you have for streamers who want to build their audience?
A lot of people will talk about the importance of networking. While it is true, please do not watch another streamer and expect them to watch you back. Try to form a genuine conversation with people. Start on your social media, and then let people experience who you are by posting your clips regularly. That's one thing.
And two, search for good streaming communities where streamers can get together and hang out. I run a Discord server called Dumpling Tribe for streamers to get together. We have content creators that are not focusing on competitive gaming. We are variety streamers. We do different things, but we come together and talk about anything under the sun. And I have seen people making genuine friendships and they become loyal viewers for each other.
Also, a lot of people will say, “When you start off, you have to have green screen, you’ve got to have a very clear webcam, yada, yada, yada.” But to me, audio is everything. Please, if you are starting out on your streaming career, I highly recommend Blue, period.