Featured this on Eleven’s latest Industry Expert Series is Kassy Burr, who is better known by the Twitch community as CrazyKassy143. Kassy’s journey with moderating got started during the pandemic when she was first introduced to Twitch streaming, and she now proudly moderates 90 streamers. During Eleven’s webinar, Kassy offers in-depth knowledge on tips to get started with modding, how to be a great mod, and how streamers can capitalize generate income with the help of mods.
What Is a Mod?
For anyone not familiar with how Twitch moderating works, every streamer can enlist a mod (or multiple mods) to regulate their chat while they stream. It goes beyond supervising, though. Moderators work on marketing their artists through numerous technical tools as well as interpersonal skills. And although it does require some technical knowledge, Kassy is confident that anyone friendly, outgoing, and dedicated can become a respected moderator.
What Every Good Twitch Mod Needs To Know
Kassy notes that every moderator should know how to use bots. Streamers need bots in their chat to do things like announce when they’re live, give shout-outs, and promote marketing material. If someone isn’t tech-savvy or familiar with how bots work, they should opt for a bot like Stream Elements, which offers a straightforward and streamlined platform. Kassy mentions a few other popular bots but reiterates her preference for Stream Elements, which she’s used to build her massive modding portfolio.
Kassy defines the two different types of chatbots that she uses–chat commands or timers. Timers are bots that you can use to populate customized messages in timed intervals. For example, mods can arrange for an artist’s Linktree to be promoted in the chat every 30 minutes. There are no rules to it, but Kassy emphasizes the importance of spreading out timers to avoid spamming the chat with promo. Viewers would get the most out of a chat full of genuine conversations and community building rather than a slew of advertisements. It’s all about balance, she suggests.
Chat command bots are essentially shortcuts to send out personalized messages during a stream, a great example of which would be shout-outs. Although it’s always up to the streamers’ preference, most streamers like to choose who gets the shout-outs rather than assign this task to their mods. However, the mods are the ones who set up these chat commands to make the shout-out process as quick and simple as possible for the artist.
Another important mod tool that Kassy highlights is small emoji-like icons called emotes. Artists can publish their own custom emotes, which act as brand identifiers, and when they’re used in other streams, they can link viewers back to their own stream. Creating emotes is not a capability exclusive to modding. Still, generally, the mods will take on the role of commissioning a digital artist to create custom emotes for their streamer(s).
Getting Started With Modding on Twitch
For aspiring mods who are hesitant about getting started, Kasst’s best advice is to just dive in. “If you see a mod you consistently are in the same streams with, ask them questions,” she says.
Naturally, Kassy recommends for new mods to seek out new streamers. Someone who’s working on affiliate status or just reached it will be more receptive to onboarding new mods than an established streamer.
With fervor, Kassy adds, “Don’t ask them to get you a sword. Never, ever, ever, ever ask for a sword!”
Instead, she suggests asking meaningful questions and really diving into the community of the streamer you’d like to mod for. It’s not about collecting swords; it’s about being there for the artist and showing your dedication to understanding their brand on a consistent basis. One great way she recommends demonstrating support for an artist is to bring them raids.
Ultimately, gaining a sword is about building trust with the artist and their community. Once you’ve built a solid relationship with an artist and proven yourself as a trustworthy resource, Kassy says you may be considered to mod their stream.
Why Do Mods Exist?
So, why use mods? Why can’t the artists just set up their own bots and moderate their own chats? There’s no rule that says streamers cannot moderate their own chat, but it’s logistically not feasible. DJs are already tasked with setting up their mixers and now learning how to use streaming equipment, so it can be daunting to grasp how to use bots, too. Plus, for a DJ to monitor their chat, this would significantly take away from their potential to put on a top-notch performance.
The Different Types Of Twitch Mods
Kassy highlights the various types of mods that can be found on Twitch. First and foremost, there’s the primary mod. This mod always keeps an open line of communication with the rest of the mods and acts as their point of contact with the streamer. A streamer should also have promoter mods, who bring raids and seek out other streams to raid, as well as community builder mods, who are more exclusive to their streamer’s chat and work on developing their fanbase.
How To Generate Profits On Twitch
Every mod has their own reason for why they’re doing what they’re doing. Interestingly enough, Kassy says her work as a mod started as a way to give back to the Seattle electronic music community that supported her while she was working events as a teenager. For her, having the opportunity to give back to these artists by offering her moderator services was a no-brainer.
For artists, in addition to the notoriety of bringing your show to the ever-growing digital space, streaming can be rather profitable. The three ways streamers can generate income are receiving bitties (Twitch slang for tips), gifting subscriptions, and subscribing. Artists receive 50% of subscription money until they’ve reached Partner status, in which that profit margin increases.
Above all, Kassy stresses the importance of having a passion before embarking on a career as a streamer. Plus, musicians, as opposed to other streamers such as gamers or podcast hosts, have an advantage due to the “hype” mentality that naturally comes with music.
“When you’re an artist–singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, any of it, drummer, everybody wants it,” says Kassy. “Because now you’re not just hitting those people going out to the clubs all the time. You’re hitting the introverts.”
Kassy goes on, “All of the single parents that can’t get babysitters, that can’t go out and see you live, you can now reach them, and make them feel even more special because you’re not on stage yelling at everybody. You’re on a one-on-one where you can say their name, where you can type directly to them. They feel so much more special.”
Needless to say, there’s a unique form of intimacy between artists and fans that can only be developed through a streaming platform like Twitch. Fostering that particular type of connection with fans is ultimately what encourages them to tip and subscribe, which opens an exciting door for becoming a profitable DJ.