If you enjoy playing video games I’m sure you’ve wondered about the possibility of getting paid to play them. A few years ago this would have been totally impossible unless you were a game tester. However, in the last few years streaming has emerged as the answer to this wish – and at the top of those streaming services is Twitch.tv. Twitch has a huge userbase, and many people are actually speculating that it will soon become the “New Youtube” due to Youtube’s advertising plight. So if you’re wondering how you can start making money on Twitch, we’ll help you figure it out.
Make Money With Or Without Streaming – Twitch Follows
I’m going to start off by saying that making money as a streamer is not easy. There’s a lot of effort, hard work, time, and even some luck involved. If you’re aware of this and it doesn’t scare you away then keep on reading. If you’d like to make a little easy money using Twitch without having to sign up, I would recommend checking out TwitchFollows. Even if you do want to be a streamer, you should still check it out, because it will help you start earning money faster.
If you’re a viewer you can follow other people in order to earn tokens and eventually cash them out. It’s that simple. you don’t even need to watch the people you follow, just follow them and watch the tokens add up.
If you’re a streamer Twitchfollows can be a powerful resource for gaining more followers. You can earn points by following other users, or you can pay for them, and then you can use those points to get more followers on your own channel. If you’re a budding streamer trying to make your way onto the scene I would really recommend using Twitchfollows to get yourself started. They’re a recognized Twitch partner and a great way to grow your channel!
Make Money As A Streamer
So you know you’ll need time, you know you’ll need to work hard, but you’re not scared away easily. Now what do you need to do?
You’ll need the proper equipment to get started. At the very least you’ll need a machine to stream from and a microphone to record your audio. If you want to get serious, you’ll need a webcam too. If you’re streaming from a computer you’ll have to make sure you have a decent gaming machine, because people just don’t want to watch you play at 10 fps on the lowest settings.
Once you’ve got all of the proper equipment you can get started. All you have to do is sign up, which is easy enough, and get your stream in order. We’re not going to get into the technical aspects of setting up your stream, but it’s easy enough to find a guide online or some help on a forum.
Get a Fanbase
Getting a big following is pivotal to making a decent amount of money on Twitch. The more followers you have who watch your stream, the more money you’ll be making when you roll an advertisement.
In order to get a big following, you’ll want to build a “brand”. Why is building a brand important? Well, when you listen to the Beatles do you expect to hear heavy metal? Of course not. Building your brand is the same idea. When people click on your stream they’re choosing you because they expect you to behave a certain way and appeal to a certain audience. Being consistent and building “your brand” is the best way to attract a repeat audience. People who like your brand will find you, and if you keep acting according to that brand they’ll keep coming back to see you act that way.
Using Twitchfollows to build your fanbase isn’t a bad idea either. It’s a quick and easy way to attract some new people to your channel. We’ve already talked about Twitchfollows quite a bit though, so rather than repeat what’s already been said we’ll just provide a link to our Twitchfollows guide.
Selecting the right games to play is going to be pretty important too. If you want to be a bigger Overwatch streamer than Seagull or Surefour… well… good luck. Many of the big game titles are also highly competitive to stream, and the odds of you beating out an already well-established streamer are not very good. Starting with the more unpopular games is a great way to start by building a small niche audience.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re engaging your fan base. The big appeal of streaming compared to Youtube is the person-to-person interaction. Twitch has a chat which allows viewers to interact with streamers and vice versa. When you’re talking at your viewers it’s easy to lose their interest, but if you’re actively engaging with your audience it’s going to make them feel good and it’s going to make them want to keep watching. Many of the other tips are about getting followers – this one is about keeping them.
Get That Twitch Money
Now that you’ve got a decent fan base you’re ready to start making some cash. Monetization on Twitch works mainly in two ways – Advertising revenue and affiliate revenue.
The advertising revenue comes in when you run an ad on your channel. Pick how many ads you want to run per hour, and you’ll share the ad revenue with Twitch. Ad revenue is hard to calculate in “hard numbers”, so it’s hard to tell you how much you’ll make in ad revenue on a per user basis. Instead, know that most ads run on a CPM and CPC basis. CPM stands for “cost per milli”, which means how much money you make for every 100 views. CPC stands for “cost per click”, which means how much money you make every time someone clicks an add. You’ll figure out what your average CPM and CPC are as your channel grows, and you’ll be able to get a better feel for things from there. As you can tell already ad revenue can be a fickle mistress, so I would recommend you seek out other ways to monetize as well.
Affiliate revenue is another great way to monetize your Twitch channel. We’ve run a crash course on affiliate marketing here if you want to check it out. The basis of affiliate marketing is that you get a kickback every time you send someone somewhere to buy something. So if you’re streaming on twitch and in your description you have an Amazon affiliate link to the game you’re playing, you’ll get paid every time someone uses that link to buy the game. I would highly recommend this as a way to monetize your account because it takes very minimal effort but it can yield some very high returns.
If you catch the attention of a big brand you may be able to get yourself a sponsorship. An example of how sponsors work on streams would be the streamers who have “XYZ GAMING MOUSE” in a little box in the top right corner of their stream. That advertisement for XYZ GAMING MOUSE sits there as a constant advertisement during the entire stream, and in return, the sponsor pays the streamer some agreed upon sum of money. What’s cool about sponsorships is that there are tons of ways to do them. Sponsorships happen separate of Twitch, so how you fulfill the agreement is really between you and the sponsor. You may choose to do an on-screen ad, or do an ad read every hour, or recommend a certain product every time someone asks “what [product] do you use?”. The possibilities are pretty endless for sponsorships.
Donations are a huge part of Twitch. Believe it or not, the Twitch community is actually very generous. It’s not uncommon to see big streamers get up to twenty donations an hour. You’ll have to make sure it’s enabled, because it isn’t by default, but I would highly recommend you make sure it is.
Become A Twitch Partner
If you’ve amassed a large enough following you can apply to the Twitch partner program. The Twitch Partner Program enables subscriptions on your channel, which makes you even more money.
If someone subscribes to your channel it costs them $5 and it comes with a ton of extra features. Once they’re subscribed you’ll receive some of the revenue from their subscription every month, whether they watch you or not.
Becoming a premium Twitch partner isn’t easy – there aren’t many premium partners – but Twitch does want you to become one. The site wants its community to grow, but they’re very selective about who they allow to become a premium partner because they want the streamer to reflect well on the site. If you’re having trouble getting a partnership Twitch support and the community are always there to help.
You did it! You’re a rich gamer now!
Okay, so maybe not quite yet… As you can see there really is a lot of thought, time, and effort required to become a streamer. However, if you’re willing to make the commitment, you can get paid pretty handsomely for it.
You can also stream as a hobby, so if you find this guide to be daunting, just remember that it’s not the only way to do things. If you’d like to run a small stream for your friends and family don’t let anyone discourage you – and who knows, maybe it will blow up!
Good luck my friends, I’ll see you on Twitch!