Popular streamers make earning a comfortable six-figure income sound so easy.
They just point the camera at themselves, play video games, and wait for people to throw money at them.
However, for a beginner streamer like yourself, life on the computer screen won’t start off like that.
But if you do have a passion for gaming and the grit to turn your passion into profit, then Twitch is the perfect platform for you.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money on your live streaming platforms, regardless if you’re on Twitch, Youtube, or Facebook, what’s important is that you actually learn to monetize the content that you’re creating.
So in this article, I’ll show you multiple ways you can make money on Twitch.
We’ll cover topics like:
- The different types of Twitch users
- How you can grow your following and make money off of subscriptions
- How to set up donations on Twitch
- How affiliate links and ads work
- How you can sell your own merch and gain sponsors
- Then, we’ll end the article with a couple of tips on what you can do next.
Different Types Of Twitch Users
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the article, let’s first start with the basics.
What is Twitch? What makes it so popular?
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Twitch is a live-streaming platform that lets gamers upload live videos of their gameplays for their viewers to watch and enjoy. It’s similar to how news crews post live footage on your TVs.
Although non-gamers may not see the appeal of watching other people play Fortnite or League of Legends, Twitch is extremely popular.
Since its release in 2011, Twitch has amassed a huge following ranging from kids, teens, to older gamers. In fact, the streaming platform has more than 15 million daily active users as of today.
On the surface, Twitch may simply look like a video-streaming site, but at its core, Twitch serves as a social network for gamers.
It allows fans of a particular game to form a community of their own without the interference of third party networks like Facebook or Instagram, which I think is the site’s main strength.
And, it’s also a cool avenue to make money.
Of course, not all Twitch users are in it for the hard cash. Not all users have enough support to start generating income from streaming, and they don’t really have any intention of doing so.
Which leads to the question: What are the different types of Twitch users out there?
First, we have your everyday Twitch users. The viewers. They are there to have fun watching videos, or to learn a trick or two on how to improve their skills in Call of Duty, or whatever their favorite game is.
They’re also the life and blood of today’s popular Twitch streamers. If not for them, streamers like Ninja or Dr. Lupo won’t be making any money at all.
Next, we have the Twitch Affiliates and Partners.
The site’s affiliate program allows streamers with a big enough fan base to earn on Twitch through subscriptions, Twitch Bits, donations, or profit from in-game items on the site.
It also puts them one step closer toward the coveted status of Twitch Partner which essentially gives you the advantage of added earnings from advertising and more perks like extra emotes and 60 days of past broadcast storage.
Different Ways Of Earning Money On Twitch
Subscriptions make up the bulk of most Twitch streamers’ earnings.
Subscribers can choose among three subscription levels: $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99. For small-time streamers, the money collected from subscriptions is split 50/50 between the streamer and Twitch.
As the channel grows, however, the streamer may take home a bigger percentage of the profit.
But before you can add a “Subscribe” button to your channel, you’d have to apply for a Twitch partnership first.
This means that you need to have at least 50 followers and a minimum of 500 total broadcast minutes and 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days.
Getting those first 50 followers can be difficult, so why not buy some followers to boost your growth? You can buy followers very cheaply, and you can have the 50 you need in a matter of minutes, instead of months. Interested? Then check out my article on the best websites to buy to buy Twitch viewers and followers.
You’ll find more detailed instructions on how you can apply for a Twitch Partnership here.
Twitch keeps a share of a streamer’s profit, which explains why milestones are necessary. So the higher the number of subscribers a streamer has, the larger the earnings for the platform.
Now here’s the tricky part. Consistently creating good content is not enough.
The secret to growing your subs lies in how you interact with your audience. It’s vital you talk to them and keep your viewers and followers actively engaged.
Find a topic relevant to your channel and brand, and ask them questions. Encourage respectful feedback and kick out trolls.
It’s important that you interact with your fans the way you communicate with your real-life friends.
You can also use social media to your advantage. Get them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and establish a consistent brand across all your social media channels.
Right now, you’re just getting started, and with a combination of good gameplay, charisma and devilishly good looks, you’ve managed to build up a small base of viewers.
Congratulations, you now have over 50 followers on Twitch!
So what does this mean?
You can now become a Twitch Affiliate yourself and have a share of the pre-roll ads that Twitch runs before viewers can watch your stream.
Now, this typically isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it does give you additional monetization options with one being your eligibility to accept Twitch donations.
Twitch donations are a way of how viewers can show support to their favorite streamers.
But, please, don’t go asking people to make a donation. Only go live with your donation button when your chat starts asking for it.
For a newbie streamer, your main source of revenue will come from Bits, which are kind of like mini-donations that your fans can send to you in the form of “cheers”.
Larger donations are done through online payment services like PayPal, or even your Crypto wallet. But if you want a smoother transaction, the best bet for you is to use third-party donation services like Donorbox or Streamlabs.
The good thing about setting up donation buttons on your profile is that the process is pretty much the same regardless if you’re using Bitcoin, PayPal or Streamlab.
All you really have to do is copy your PayPal, Crypto wallet, or your donation page’s link address and paste it on your channel’s “Edit Panel”, and you can now start accepting donations from your audience.
You’ll find a detailed guide on how you can set up donations on your Twitch channel here.
Pro tip: It’s good to set up donation goals and to show your progress towards that goal.
Affiliate Links And Advertising
Affiliate marketing is another way of earning extra cash on Twitch.
What you’re basically doing is marketing other people’s products online using a customized link that leads to a website where potential buyers can purchase products from your partner company.
Whenever somebody makes a purchase through your link, you receive a share of the money they spent on the linked website.
A lot of Twitch streamers sign up with companies that focus on video game-related merchandise or technology products. But if you find it hard to cultivate a game-related affiliate partnership, you can still team up with companies like Amazon.
After all, any affiliate link is better than no affiliate link at all.
Affiliate programs are a sure-fire way of monetizing your channel, but you might want to limit your affiliate advertising to products that you’d recommend yourself. This way, you don’t lose credibility with your viewers.
Once you’ve reached the coveted Twitch Partner status, you’ll have access to additional revenue streams aside from affiliate links. And that is via ads.
Content creators make around $250 per 100 subscribers from ads alone, making it a very lucrative income source especially for users with millions of followers.
Streamers are offered standard IAB pre-roll and display advertising opportunities, and Twitch pays streamers according to the CPM model.
Let’s say Twitch charges $2.00 CPM, this means that an advertiser must pay the streamer $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions or views of its ad. Be careful not to spam your viewers with too many ads though!
Create And Sell Your Own Merchandise
Once you’ve built up a solid fan base and a close-knit online community, it’s time you consider selling your own merchandise.
A lot of people think that setting up a merch store is complicated. It’s not.
All you need is a third-party service platform like Streamlabs, Teespring or Patreon. Using one of these platforms, you can link it to your Twitch channel, and boom, you can now make money off whatever you want to sell.
Not sure what to sell?
Get started with an original logo that’s true to your brand. Once you’ve created your logo, it’s only a matter of editing it on T-shirts, hoodies or mugs, and you have yourself your branded products.
Then you can promote your merch on your feed and tell your viewers to head out to your online store.
Also, be sure to wear and use your merch!
It’s hands down the best way to spread the word about what you’re selling and to show your audience the value your products offer.
Also, don’t forget to give your buyer fans a shoutout when streaming!
“Today’s CareerGamer’s video is brought to you by Emperor Palpatine and the Death Star, now fully armed and ready to obliterate planet near you!”
See that’s an example of how you can acknowledge a paying sponsor while streaming.
The great thing about sponsorship deals is you don’t have to give Twitch a cut of the profit.
Companies are always on the lookout for established streamers who can promote their products during live streams by wearing their merch or using their products on camera.
For example, if you’ve watched several of Ninja’s live streams, chances are you’ve already seen him take a swig or two of Bud light. Or perhaps, you’ve seen some streamers enjoy a cup of Nissin noodles during their gameplay.
My point, you can make really good money from sponsors.
However, one thing to be aware of is you should always be upfront about when content is sponsored or not to maintain good relations with the companies sponsoring you and your fans.
Compete In Tournaments
If you think you have the skills to play games professionally, you might want to try entering tournaments.
While this option is more applicable to people in pro teams, that doesn’t mean that you, as a Twitch streamer, can’t cash in on Fortnite and other tournaments.
But how can tournament play make you money on Twitch?
It’s simple. You can promote the fact you are playing in a tournament to your fans before you play in it so you’ll get more people watching and supporting you. This can bring a boost to your earning on all monetization fronts.
Additionally, if you win, you’ll also get a nice cash prize.
You’ll find cash-prize tournaments are constantly running on third-party websites like GamerzArena, ESL, GameBattles and E-Sports hub. You can even host your own tournaments on these sites as well.
Fun fact: Twitch has around 3.2 million active broadcasters.
Twitch is one of today’s go-to platforms for gamers, and that’s for a good reason.
Twitch helps users socialize and allows them to form a community of their own. Now with over 15 million daily active users, there’s nothing stopping you turning your streaming hobby into a money-making career.
Thankfully, you don’t need millions of viewers before you can start monetizing your content.
You can start monetizing today, and have cash trickling in that’ll help you make even better content, that’ll pull in even more viewers.
And as you get more viewers, you can look at more effective ways of making money.
And thus, it’ll grow forever in a circle.
Once you’ve built a big enough following, there is no ceiling stopping your potential growth. You can look into more money-making tactics like selling your own merch, signing up to affiliate networks, and partnering with companies for sponsored content.
And you’ll have the money to create more effective marketing and PR campaigns.
So work hard, stream as often as you can. Build your audience. Then monetize as soon as you can so you can support yourself to make even more of the great content your fans love.
Can you lose affiliate status on Twitch?
While you don’t need to maintain the initial requirements once you’ve achieved affiliate status, you can certainly still lose your affiliate status if you break the rules in the Affiliate Agreement.
For example, if you simultaneously stream to YouTube once you’re an affiliate, you are breaking the terms of your agreement and Twitch can remove the affiliate status from your account. You can also lose your affiliate status if you’ve become an “inactive streamer” over the course of 12 months.
What does it mean to become a Twitch partner?
Twitch Partners get to enjoy a lot of perks. That includes extra emotes, 60 days of past broadcast storage, financial support and the ability for fans to subscribe to their channels for $5, $10 or $25 per month.
How long does it take to become an affiliate on Twitch?
Twitch requires streamers to have at least 500 total minutes broadcast and 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days, as well as an average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days to apply for the site’s affiliate program.