How to get Twitch Viewers to Donate (Start making money on Twitch)


You’ve worked really hard to create awesome Twitch content. But the money isn’t flowing in. Don’t give up hope, as there’s a few simple tricks you can action that’ll turn the cash taps on. There is no magic formula. All you need do is try as many of these small things as possible to give yourself the best chance of cashing in. Here are some ways we have found to encourage viewers to make a twitch donation.

Some simple ways to encourage your viewers to make donations on Twitch include:

  • Make sure you explain to your Viewers how to donate
  • Remember to say ‘Thank You’.
  • Try setting goals
  • Add alert notifications
  • Create Top Donations lists
  • Enable bits

There are a large variety of ways you can encourage your viewers to donate. The points above are the simplest we found for the largest Returns. You’ll probably realize that all of the large channels and personalities on Twitch use some form of these simple techniques. Read on to find out more In-depth information on these simple steps.

They might just turn your channel into a money making powerhouse.   

Do your viewer’s know how to donate?

Do your viewers actually know how to donate? Not everybody is going to be as knowledgeable as you are about the inner workings of Twitch. It’s so easy to forget that your audience might not be as tech-savvy as you are. Even after years of streaming on Twitch it’s so easy to take the simple steps for granted.

Remember you might not be getting the same audience every single time you stream. More than likely, a large proportion of your audience is new.

Yes, you are going to have some Die-hard fans. However, you’ll probably find that a large percentage of your audience is new to your channel. Some of your audience may even be new to twitch itself as it’s such a large growing platform. This is actually a fantastic thing for you. It means your potential audience is constantly growing. So in these exciting times let’s make sure that your audience knows how they can give you money.

Make a simple tutorial

This could be something as simple as a small pop-up. Or you could take some time to make a step-by-step guide. Failing that, you can simply talk your audience through how to donate.

Whatever method you choose, you should create an easy to follow process for your audience to donate.

We’ve all watched YouTube videos where they show you how to subscribe. And you can press the bell icon for notifications. This is essentially what you are doing. You are not forcing people to donate. You’re just giving people information. In this case, how they can donate, and that they can donate.

Try and find a balance so it doesn’t seem you’re taking your audience for granted. With a little bit of trial and error you should be able to find what works for you. Give people a break in order to donate

What do television programmes and sports have in common? They both like a good break. At the sports stadium this allows the fans a short break from the action. To fill up on beer and hotdogs. This change of pace allows fans to catch their breath, and digest what they have just seen.

Make sure you build in breaks to allow the viewer to donate to your channel. If you maintain a high intensity or a quick pace viewers won’t want to miss the action. Which means they are less likely to spend time giving you money.

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Third party website, such as Patreon

If you are telling your audience to go to a third-party website like Patreon, this adds extra steps. Do your viewers need to be a member of the website?  Which payment methods can they use? These are the types of questions you need think about if choosing a third-party website for donations.

Adding extra steps might put people off. Consider having multiple ways people can donate to you. Remember this could be your viewers first time donating or maybe even first time viewing a twitch channel. So make things as simple as possible for them.

Remember to say ‘thank you’,  and be grateful for any money you receive.

My parents had a saying:

“It doesn’t cost anything to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’.”

And how right they were. You’d be amazed at the amount of people that take things for granted. They just expect things to be handed to them on a plate. You should grateful for any money that you receive from your viewers.

Being your best self

Imagine if this is the first time you’ve ever donated to somebody on Twitch. You have just pressed that donate button. You’ve donated all you can afford. Then…

Nothing.

No Alert,  no acknowledgement.

You begin to question whether the donation was even successful. You’ve just had a bad experience donating on Twitch. And you’ll probably never try again.

All of that could Have been avoided with a simple ‘Thank You’ or Acknowledgement.

Be grateful for any money you receive and let your viewers know about it.

Building a relationship with your audience

When somebody donates to you what they’re really doing is building a relationship with you. They believe your content has value. In most cases they are trying to support you personally. They want you to succeed. They want to be part of your community, and they want it to grow.

So your reactions to donations is very important. Even if you’re having a really bad day, even if you’re ill, it’s really important to say ‘Thank You’. Always look to strengthen your relationship with your audience after all they’re the ones paying the bills.

Be open and honest about your situation to your viewers. Some people might think you are a millionaire and play games all day. So why should they give you money?

Unless you tell your viewers, they won’t understand that you might be doing this part time. So let them know how you are doing, that way they can see you grow.

Try setting goals

Try setting goals. When you reach your goal, a certain event might happen. Maybe you’ll finally play that game everybody’s been talking about. Or Maybe You will let an audience member join your game. The possibilities are endless.

People like achieving targets. The orientate your efforts in the right direction and give you something to strive for. You could set an amount of money you want to reach within a certain time frame.

And goals don’t just help you. Goals also help your audience feel a sense of accomplishment as a group, and as the community. Just make sure there’s a worthy reward.

Show me the money

One of the best ways to achieving your monetary target, is to have some sort of visual indicator. This could be a bar that fills up. Showing milestones along the way. It could even be a fancy animation.  You should aim to at least have some sort visual indicator.

This helps people know where they are on the journey towards the target. It makes them feel part of something, Like rooting for your favourite sports team. As the timer ticks toward the end game, you can feel a sense of anticipation: the end is in sight. Having something similar might push your viewers to add that final donation.

Show viewers the money

Let your audience know what the donations are for and how important it is to you.

Is the Money for a new game or equipment? Is the money to help you improve the channel?

Answer these questions when you first set your goal. This Allows Your audience to know exactly why they are supporting you and where the money is going. You might find some of your audience will only donate money to you if they know where that money is going. So keep them updated as much as possible.

Add alert notifications

Adding Alert notifications whenever you receive a donation allows you to acknowledge and thank the viewer. It allows the viewer that donated, to know that they were successful. They have a Moment to shine in the spotlight.

Plus, it shows other viewers that you’re being donated too.  

Positive feedback

Helping people feels good. Using this logic, donating to people should also trigger a feel good factor.

But how can you make it even better and why should you?

The happier a donating viewer is, the more likely they are to do it again. You need to try and encourage this positive feedback loop.

To do this you actually have some tools at your disposal. In the case of alerts notifications. There are a wide range of different customisable options for you. That range from very simple to completely over the top. It’s all about making the viewer that donated feel as special as possible.

Third-party notifications

For those willing to invest and some fancy notifications there are companies out there that will do all the hard work. Companies such as Streamlabs, Muxy and SteamElements to name a few. Each With their own strengths and weaknesses. But it might just take you to that next level.

Create Top Donations lists

We all like to feel important. Some more than others. Why not use this to your advantage. Add a light bit of gamification to your channel. Get your core audience to want to be included at the top of your donation lists.

Climbing to the top

Why should your audience want to climb to the top of the list?

Your audience wants you to succeed, they also want some recognition for helping you succeed. This is why having a top donation chart can really help grow your channel. It helps you make money and makes sure your top donors feel like they have played a part in your success.

Be Creative

You don’t just have to have notifications for when someone donates do you. Think about having notifications for “The Highest Donation of the Day” or “The Highest Donation of the Month”. You could set it so that each has a custom animated notification. You might even set reward for the highest donation of the stream/day/Month/Year. This gives something for the donors to aim for.

Enable bits

So what is a ‘Bit’?

A ‘Bit’ is a type of virtual currency bought through Twitch. Your viewers can purchase ‘Bits’ on Twitch through Amazon payments and PayPal.

They can then use them to ‘Cheer’ you on. A ‘Cheer’ is a chat message that uses ‘Bits’. By doing this your viewers will earn ‘Cheer Chat Badges’ this is a nice visual indicator to show how much they support your channel.

These bits are turned into money via revenue shares for partners and affiliates.  

Each Bit is worth 1 cent to a streamer.

“The standard share for Partners and Affiliates is 1 cent per Bit used to Cheer for them. In some special cases, like esports tournaments or charity events, there may be different revenue sharing arrangements.” – Twitch

Donating versus Twitch ‘Bits’

So what’s the Difference between donating and Twitch ‘Bits’? Twitch ‘Bits’ are used in chats and Donations or usually a one-off payment. The more ways your viewers can give you money the better it is for you. So it might be worth looking into, if it’s alright for you.

Freebie

Remember the majority of your viewers will watch your content for free. Don’t get upset if you’re not reaching the amount of money you’re expecting. The majority of your money will come from a very small section of your community. This small section will be the most dedicated.  Often donating to multiple times or even subscribing to you. Just remember In order to build successful channel you need all of your viewers.

Free is your Foundation

You will have members of your community that have never donated to you and never will. They could be active members of the community. They could be helping spread the word about your channel. Don’t be too quick to judge the people watching you. You never know how they are contributed to you.

You need to be honest with yourself. Would you pay for the content you have just created? Don’t expect money just to start rolling in the moment your stream begins. Don’t expect something for nothing.

Blocker

Why not just ask people to turn off adblock. Say something like “i understand not everyone can donate to me, but you can do one small thing that’s free and really helps me, just turn off your adblocker. I know most of you do because your awesome and want to support me. So thanks.

Wait before you party

So you taken some advice on board and started to action it. Its working and the money started rolling quicker then you can spend it. Has someone just donated a huge lump sum? If so be wary. There has been a recent upsurge in scammers making fake donations.

How can someone make a fake donation? This is done by Simply making a large donation. The unsuspecting twitch streamer rushes out and spends it. The fake donator then does a chargeback.  Which often results in an unchallenged refund. By the time the twitch streamer realises the money is no longer in the account they have spent the majority of it.

So a word to the wise. Wait until the money has cleared: wait before you party.

Conclusion

In conclusion make sure you explain to your viewer’s how to donate. Don’t overlook the simple power of informing your viewers how to donate. Just because you know how to do it, don’t assume everybody else can.

Being polite goes a long way, remember to say ‘Thank You’. When people donate to you they’re not donating to you because of your channel. They are donating to you because of your personality. So any donation is a compliment, treat it as such.

Try setting goals. But remember to try and let your viewers know the ‘why’. The ‘Why’ is important in terms of building a relationship. The ‘Why’ motivates your viewers. So let your viewers know why you’re trying to achieve your goals.

Add alert notifications to better acknowledge any donations. You should do everything in your power to encourage the feel good factor. This Includes creating ‘Top Donations lists’ so the Viewers who donate the most are acknowledge.

Enabling ‘Bits’ will help your viewers donate to you while expressing themselves. The more ways your viewers can donate to you the better off you’ll be.

Remember the majority of your viewers will watch your content for free. Try not to have unrealistic expectations.

Related Questions

What’s the difference between donating and subscribing? Donating is a one-off Payment which is normal paid directly from the viewer to the streamer via PayPal. Subscribing will be a fixed amount paid each month to Twitch, Usually $4.99/month but is split between Twitch and the streamer 50/50.

Should I use a third party donation website? Using a third party donation website like Patron can add an extra step that some people will not be prepare to take. But if Twitch is not your main platform, then it might be great for you. So you can direct all your different platforms into one place.

Does twitch make money off users donations? No, not Usually. It is a payment directly from the viewer to the streamer, usually via PayPal.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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