How to Make Money on Twitch

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Do you enjoy playing video games and have a passion for making money online? If so, this is the article that you have been waiting on forever. Keep on reading to learn how to make money on Twitch, exactly what it is, and why this can be the dream site for people who want to make money online while also having quite a bit of fun.

What Is Twitch TV?

Twitch LogoIn short, Twitch TV is an entertainment website where people can watch other people play video games live via stream. There are a few other things that can be done on Twitch besides gaming, but more on that later.  For now, let me explain exactly why Twitch TV is such an amazing opportunity for people who love gaming and want to make money on the Internet.

Entertainment is constantly changing. First there was print, then the radio, television, video games, and finally the Internet. Many people will agree that there really aren’t many outlets that combine them. Well, thanks to Twitch, that has all changed in recent years.  Twitch primarily connects people who enjoy playing video games to people who want to be entertained by watching video games on tv. Sometimes this is because those who are streaming games offer tips, but more often than not, it’s just because they are being entertaining while playing said games.

Once inside of a channel, viewers are able to comment inside of a chat room that is viewed by everyone watching, including the person who is streaming the game. While it sounds a bit chaotic, it’s actually quite a bit of fun once you are used to the platform.  When streamers become good at interacting with their audience while playing a popular game, the magic of Twitch really starts to shine through in the form of an online income.

Have a look at this video where Twitch streamer The Rum Ham gives a great explanation on how much small twitch streamers make.

How To Make Money On Twitch

There are actually quite a few different ways to make money on Twitch. First, let’s talk about how to get started on the platform, and exactly what is going to be expected of you from your audience.

  • Do you have a game that you enjoy playing?
  • Do you have a camera and microphone connected to your computer?

If you can answer yes to both of these questions, which most of us can, then you already have everything that you’re going to need in order to make money on Twitch.  Also, if you answer no to these questions, but you have an Xbox One with a camera, or a PS4 with a camera, you’re in luck and can stream on these devices also.

Now, keep in mind that actually making money on Twitch, or online with any other avenue, does take actual WORK. You aren’t going to be able to just jump on when you want, where you want, and expect to make bank.  There simply is no such thing as a push button, easy money making opportunity on the Internet. If you’re being told that there is, look out, because you’re most likely going to end up sad and scammed out of your money.

Now, with the basic knowledge that this is going to be hard, let’s get started!

The First Step

The very first thing that you need to do in order to make bank on Twitch is to learn how livestreams work. You can do this by creating a free account and just jumping into some of the more popular Twitch streams. This gives you an opportunity to see first hand exactly what other streamers are doing in order to be more popular.

Do you need to be a pro gamer in order to do this?

Absolutely not! Some of the most popular streamers are playing games like The Sims 4, Sim City, Bejeweled, and other more casual games.  Other streamers may be playing competitive games such as League of Legends, Smite, World of Warcraft, or more professional friendly titles, but the main key as you will see in the streams, is to simply be outgoing and entertaining.  Basically, you need to be really good, or have a great personality in order to rock it on Twitch.

When viewers see people having fun, they are inclined to stick around to have fun too, and that’s exactly what you need to be doing during the first step of the process.  Watch the streamers, interact in the chat system, and pay attention to how streamers are interacting with viewers. This will give you a much better understanding of what viewers enjoy, and how you can keep them engaged on your own Twitch streams.

Step 2 – Create Your Own Stream

Don’t worry, when you are first getting started, you are most likely going to be hearing a lot of crickets. This is perfectly normal. Just play the game and have fun! During this phase, you just want to get yourself familiar with the streaming tools available on Twitch and how to get donations from your viewers.

You may want to make a couple of calls to friends and family members and have them come chat with you in the chat area of your stream so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with answering and interacting with chat while streaming. Believe it or not, mastering chat interaction is the hardest part of this entire process, and with just a little practice (we’re literally talking hours) you can be mastering it.

Also, you’re going to want to build up a platform for viewers to give you donations at this point. One word of caution is to not use PayPal for your donations. This is because there are a lot of “Twitch Trolls” that look for channels that allow PayPal donations, donate, and then request their money back, leaving you with return charge fees, and a lot of headaches. Instead of using PayPal for donations, look into services like Patreon that allow viewers to make donations as you continue to post more streams.

Once you feel comfortable streaming to friends and family members and understand the basics of how donations on Twitch work, it’s time to head into step 3 which is all about exposure.

Step 3 – Playing Well With Others

If you’ve been involved with online marketing for any time at all, then you’ve probably heard about guest posting somewhere along the way.  If you haven’t, it’s when you go onto a bigger, more popular site that is closely related to yours and you create a post that links back to your site with the goal of attracting visitors from the larger site. It helps the larger site by you providing free content, and helps your site by gaining backlinks and potential traffic.

You’re going to do the exact same thing, only on Twitch. Remember how phase 1 was all about watching bigger channels and interacting in the chat? Well, here’s where you take it to the next level. You continue interacting with more popular streamers in the hopes of landing what is known as a hosted stream. This is when a more popular streamer allows you to play a game with them, and they announce your stream to their viewers. This let’s you suddenly gain viewers that you can then convert into followers who will come back to your channel over time in order to watch you stream.

By being active in the communities of more popular streamers, you can begin to forge the relationships that you’ll need in order to set up these types of hosted streams. Another option that you may want to consider once you are more comfortable is to contact larger streamers and see if they’d be willing to take payment in order to host you on their streams.

ChloeFox on TwitchA great example of this is a Twitch streamer called ChloeFox who (in my opinion) a very entertaining streamer who always interacts with her audience and when offline, she hosts other streamers’ channels. This spirited community vibe has landed her sponsorships with Seagate and Corsair, who are pretty big names in the PC industry.

More often than not however, it’s much better to gain your hosted streams by just being active in the communities of larger streamers. One word of caution here though, don’t expect to target the biggest streamers for any title.

Start small, and win small.

Your first goal should be to just have 100 viewers who come back to watch you time and time again. Once you’ve done this, you can then begin to target 200, 300, and so on.  Once you start really growing your viewers, right around the 500 – 1000 viewer mark, and do so regularly, it’s time to move on to step 4.

Step 4 – Beginning To Earn While You Play

Once you are seeing at least 500 viewers on a regular basis, it’s time to apply for the Twitch Partner Program. Similar to YouTube’s Partner Program, the Twitch program allows you to show ads to your viewers and make a little money for doing so.  Once you’re accepted into the program, you can begin showing ads and receiving $2.00 per 1,000 views of the ad. No, this isn’t a fortune, but it’s the first of many ways that you can make money streaming on Twitch.

There are a few additional requirements in order to join the partner program that are outlined below including:

  • A regular broadcast schedule of at least 3 streams per week.
  • Rule abiding content that conforms to Twitch’s Terms of Service, DMCA Guidelines, and Twitch’s Rules of Conduct.
  • A steadily growing audience and chat (be active and be gaining more followers.)

Step 5 – Gaining Sponsorships

Once you have a very large following, you can also apply to be sponsored by companies such as Alienware, or Razer if you’re on PC, or various third party gaming companies on consoles. Some streamers can even get sponsorships from the console hardware companies if you have a large enough following.  It does need to be noted that obtaining the following in order to reach this level often takes years, and many Twitch streamers will not reach this level regardless of their efforts. It’s just the sad truth of the matter, and there’s no way around it.

Aside from joining the Twitch Partner Program and picking up sponsorships, you should also be taking advantage of the other ways that you can be making money while playing video games.

Other Ways That You Can Earn Money Online Playing Games

Don’t worry, we’re not going to be talking about the many different sites that allow you to make wagers and play against other players. Avoid those by the way as many of them are very questionable. Instead we’re going to focus on a few other ways that you can actually make money on the side while also building up your Twitch following.

First, you should be building out your social accounts and making sure that you’re showing them on the side of your Twitch stream. This lets your audience know where they can find you online.  Having a lot of social activity will also gain you followers on the social platforms which will in turn help you have more people checking out your Twitch stream.

Second, you need to be recording some of your streams and posting them to YouTube. This will help you gain even more exposure for your content, and help you to find more people who are interested in the games that you’re playing.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to have your own website in order to maximize your potential outreach.

I see way too many streamers failing to implement this step, and by doing so, they’re leaving a lot of money laying on the table.

By having your own website, you can promote games that you’re currently playing, the hardware that you’re currently using, and so much more. Any items that you use or review could potentially be earning you thousands of dollars in monthly commissions.  Not to mention that one slip up on Twitch, and you can find yourself losing your account and unfortunately, your income. By having your own website and social following, if you should ever need to start from scratch again, you’ll already be miles ahead of your competition.

Where Can You Learn How To Market Yourself On Twitch

If you’re seriously considering getting started on Twitch as a streamer, then you need to know exactly how to market your social accounts, YouTube presence, and most importantly, your website.  Thankfully, all of these things are covered over at my top recommended resource. By following the training that they provide, you can quickly have your site and social accounts up and running before you ever start your first stream.

This will allow you to earn far more income while you are building your presence up on Twitch. So, if you’re considering giving Twitch a shot, make certain that you’re well prepared first, and just remember that you’re playing games, so it’s supposed to be fun!

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16 thoughts on “How to Make Money on Twitch”

  1. Wow! Awesome stuff! I have a gaming website and I play A LOT of games and have always interested in Twitch. I know it’s a lot of hard work as you stated, but I think it’s worth a shot. That was a lot of information there that I needed because I have been looking for ways to make money with video games because it is my ultimate passion, thanks again!

    • Hey Jack,

      Thanks for chiming in and offering your thoughts.

      If you already play games, then there is no harm in at least creating a Twitch account to see what it’s all about! At the very least, you’ll meet some like minded gamers.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this article and found a lot of the information you have on here really useful.Actually applying this information is actually going to be the hard part though I would think. I have a limited amount of experience using Twitch as I’ve had an account for nigh two years now and have streamed off and on, rather irregularly, for about the same time. The thing is though, I never really knew how to grow my channel or viewership, or even how that growth is even supposed to look.

    So as far as time and effort goes, what kind of growth should someone expect on a weekly or monthly basis and how long do you think it would take to go from 0 regular viewers to 100?

    • Hi Davonte,

      Here are a few things I recommend:
      * A schedule
      * webcam with green screen
      * Thanking folks for subs and follows
      * A personality

      In my experience, having a consistent schedule that is listed within your Twitch Bio is important. I also find being consistent with gameplay is important and people who visit your stream are there to watch a certain game.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for the post Jay! This was a real eye opener. I am an avid gamer and game-watcher. I also follow some gamers on Youtube that do twitch streams often. I felt that if you were going to stream content on Twitch you had to be a pro, but really it is more about your personality. Thanks for the post!

  4. Hey Jay! This is awesome! I’ve always been an avid gamer, but in the past couple years been putting it off more and more…. because I felt like I should invest more time in “job” things, and trying to figure out a career.

    This is actually legit though! Of course, I understand it’s not just an easy ticket to income… you still have to work for success, but this is something I can totally see myself doing! Even the guy, The Rum Ham… he only streams weekdays for about 3 hours. This is totally manageable!

    Thanks for the review; I’m so excited to come across this!

    • Hi Mei.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Starting an online business takes work and time.
      It doesn’t matter if it’s an affiliate website or a Twitch channel – take the time to build an awesome audience and grow your tribe!

  5. Wow. This is my first time coming across this. I am really addicted to video game and I didn’t know that you can make money playing video game. This is an informative article. I can build up my viewers in a short time because I can spend hours and hours playing. I will give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hey man, first of all thanks for this great, interesting and very informative article on making money on twitch.
    I am quite a gamer myself and I also enjoy watching others play either on youtube or live directly on twitch. It probably wouldn’t be a too bad idea to give it a try myself.

  7. Another great way to earn an income online with Twitch. Thanks for sharing Jay and also being upfront about putting some real work into it if you want to make money from the Twitch platform or online in general. This might be something my grandson could get into as he loves to play online games with his dad, so I’ll share this article with them and encourage them to give it a go.

  8. It is amazing that people can actually make money through online games. There is a street fighter competition on tbs where people compete for money, so making money through games seems like something new and exciting. Who would not want to earn an income while playing a game. Twitch seems like something to definitely look into and I will be bookmarking this page to learn more.

  9. I know nothing about gaming but your site was very informative. It sounds like twitch is kinda like a you-tube in real time where you can charge people money to show them how to beat the game. Cool idea. Now, can twitch give interactive feedback and allow the watchers to give you advice? That would be cool.

    Brad

  10. This is awesome! I had a friend that did this and was never sure about what software he was using and how it worked. This is such great information. I have been big into LOL and was thinking about recording my games. I might have to give this a try next time I hop on.

  11. Wow, great info about making money in gaming especially for an avid gamer like me. But sad to say I have stopped for a while playing the game due to busy in focusing on online business.

    But After reading this I think it’s worth to give a shot in this, Jay.

    Thanks for letting me know and I enjoy the read.

  12. Love this article! I always follow and read your articles. This gave me so many ideas where I can implement with these. Good job for placing different ideas to a one and awesome article. You have provided us best result for a better SEO collection. Keep it up 🙂

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