How to make money on Twitch

How do I start a successful Twitch stream? How can I make money streaming on Twitch? What are the most important things about starting a new stream on Twitch? If you have ever asked about any of these questions than you are in the right place. There are plenty of articles on the internet about starting a stream on Twitch, but most are about 2 paragraphs long. How can you fit so much information into 2 paragraphs? In this article we try to answer all the questions you have about the different ways to make money on Twitch. We give some of our personal opinions on how to grow, as well as quotes received from industry professionals on how to start and manage a new successful Twitch stream.

There are 2 types of streamer accounts that can be earned on Twitch. The first being Affiliate, and the second being Partner. Here we will go over what it means to achieve both, how to achieve them, and what the difference between the two is.

How to become a Twitch Affiliate

The first tier up from a basic account is becoming a Twitch affiliate.  The main difference between a regular Twitch account and an affiliate account, is that Twitch affiliates can start accepting Subscribers, acquiring Bits, and have your own custom emotes when streaming, all of which we will cover later in this article.  By being able to accept Subscribers and bits, you can now as a streamer effectively start to monetize your channel. Since affiliate is the first step towards partner, the requirements are much smaller, and very obtainable.

The steps to obtaining Twitch Affiliate:

  • Reach 50 followers 
  • at least 500 total minutes streamed in past 30 days
  • 7 unique broadcasts minimum
  • 3 or more average concurrent viewers

Once all of these baseline requirements are met, you will automatically be prompted to join the Affiliate program. It can sometimes be hard to keep track of all of these requirements, so Twitch has a live check list that keeps you updated in real time of your current stream minutes, average viewers, and unique streams for that month which are all bundled together in a neat tab titled “Path to Affiliate”  If you have made it this far, and have obtained Affiliate status, then this next part is for you. Where Affiliate probably seemed like it was easy to obtain, achieving Twitch Partner is much more difficult.

What you need to do to become a Twitch Partner

Becoming a Twitch Partner is the highest point you can reach while streaming on Twitch.  There are a few differences between Affiliate and Partner with the largest one being you will be recognized with a purple check mark next to your name at all times to show that you are an official partner of Twitch.  Being a Twitch partner does have some other perks as well. Most of them dealing with different ways to monetize your stream. Twitch partners are able to run ads on their stream. When you have a large enough audience, Ad revenue can start to be a solid source of stream income.  Another difference is Subscriber payouts. As a Partner, you are able to negotiate a higher payout than 50/50 which is the standard. Partners also receive many more emote slots, as well as custom cheer badges for bits.

Twitch Partner Requirements

Where Twitch Affiliate seems relatively easy to obtain, becoming a Twitch Partner is a different story.  The requirements take a steep incline in difficulty. First the average concurrent needed to be considered for partner is 75. You must also stream at least 12 unique times over the past 30 days with 25 or more total hours. The last large difference is that with affiliate once you reach the requirements threshold you are automatically invited. For Twitch partnership when you complete the checklist, a button pops up that says apply. Each Twitch application is looked at individually meaning that completing all requirements does not guarantee partnership. Making it to partner means that you are now among the elite, the select few who made it to the highest point!

 

Twitch Partner VS Affiliate

Basic differences between Partner and Affiliate accounts

As this article is mainly about how to make money on Twitch, we will cover the 5 main ways for you to make money on Twitch and 2 of them are already listed above. Subscriptions, Bits, Donations, Streamer merch and Sponsorship are the main ways that a Twitch Affiliate or Partner can make money.

How much streamers make on Twitch Subscriptions

First we will go over Twitch Subscriptions. Twitch Subscriptions or “Subs” as most people call them, are a monthly sub or payment that someone can make to support you as a streamer.

There are 3 types of subs a person can make to you. Tier 1, 2 and 3. Tier 1 cost 4.99 a month, tier 2 is 9.99 a month, and tier 3 costs 24.99 a month. After the person subs to you, they will count as your subscriber for that entire month until the month is over, or they renew their subs.  You as the streamer receive part of this sub in your Twitch payout each month. If you are an affiliate than the split for any level subs is 50/50. Meaning that with a Tier one sub, which is 4.99 both you and twitch would make $2.50 every month the sub is active. Once you reach the Partner stage, you can negotiate your sub spits.

Some large Twitch partners now have splits as high as 90/10 with some even receiving the whole amount of every sub. Subscriber #s as a whole on Twitch have gone up over the last few years due to the introduction of Twitch Prime onto Twitch.  With Twitch prime, viewers can connect their Amazon Prime accounts to Twitch and receive 1 free sub per month to a streamer of their choice. The viewer pays nothing, is still able to sub to their favorite streamer, and the best part is that you as the streamer still receives the payout and split as if it was a fully paid for sub.  The main question that comes up about subs aside from the monetary aspect is what is the draw for viewers to subscribe. There actually are a number of subscriber benefits, ranging from the ability to use the streamers emotes, a custom sub badge in chat, and newly added subscriber only streams. Let’s also not forget the most important part, supporting your favorite streamer!

What are Twitch Bits actually worth

Next we will go over Twitch Bits. Bits are easily explained as the currency of Twitch.  Viewers can buy Bits for a set price from Twitch and then “Cheer”, aka donate them to whatever streamer they choose.  Bits are always at a set price for the viewer and always pay out a set price to the streamer. 1 bit = 1 cent. So Cheering 100 Bits to a streamer is the same as giving them 1 dollar. Cheering 1000 Bits to a streamer would be equivalent to 10 dollars. Most streamers have a Bit leader board where everyone can see who has cheered the most bits over the past 7, or 30 days. Once a viewer reaches different preset Bit milestones they also will receive a Bit badge that will appear next to their name in chat. Bits are a great way for viewers to support you without directly donating to your Paypal.

How to accept Donations on Twitch

The last main way for streamers to make money is for viewers to directly donate to you via Paypal by usually clicking on a link that you have placed as a command in your chat or a panel in your description. This is the most straightforward way for people to support you. Viewers will click on the donate panel you have made, be directed to Paypal where they can put any amount of donation they would like, and the money is then donated directly to you. This is 100% your money, Twitch does not have anything to do with this, and it will go to your Paypal account right away instead of waiting for a Twitch payout.

Having your own streamer merch is important

Having unique branding is important for many different reasons as explained above. One reason we did not mention yet was streamer merchandise or “merch”.  Having your own personally branded merch is another great way for you to bring in some extra cash while streaming. Typically it is best to wait until you have a bit of an established community, however as long as your logo and brand is yours, merch is always an option. Some streamers go with the basic t shirt and hoodie combo, while others go all out with hats, phone cases, socks, and even pillows! Most streamers use a 3rd party website to help them make and sell their merch. TeeSpring, Merchroom, and Meta Threads are a few of the biggest names in the industry. The biggest thing to keep in mind for merch is to remember if you would not want to wear it yourself, why would others. Like everything else, try and make your merch stand out from the rest. Make it something your fans would be proud to wear.

How to get sponsors on Twitch

The final way that streamers can many money streaming on Twitch is through sponsors, or sponsorship deals. There are many different ways that streamers interact with companies, some being paid up front for promotion, while others are under an affiliate deal to make a percentage of all sales they make. Some company’s will offer product in return, or the promise of growth.  Normally sponsorship deals do not start to become a reality until you have built a larger audience. Typically the better deals will come after you make Twitch Partnership. With all of that being said keep you eyes open for companies you may be interested in working with. Try and figure out what you can offer them, and then figure out what you would like in return. Sponsorship usually seems to work best as a 2 way street. Do not be discouraged if sponsorship deals to not start knocking down your door after day 1. Building a reputable brand and being someone your audience trusts is a key to making a promotion work.

If you are looking for more information on how to monetize your stream, linked below is a YouTube video created by DisguisedToast, who is one of the largest streamers on twitch today. In his video he goes into very good detail on different ways streamers can make money. Although the video is great most of the things he speaks about only come into play once you have built a larger community.

Now you have an understanding of all the way to monetize your twitch channel, we will go over some of the more important tips to having a successful stream.  We will break this part down into a few main areas, which after speaking with multiple industry professionals, we have narrowed down as some of the most important aspects of streaming.

Why having a good stream Schedule is important

The #1 tip given to us by current Twitch Partners was that you must have a consistent streaming schedule. It is a common misunderstanding that if you do not stream every minute of everyday that you cannot be successful. Pick a schedule that works for you. If you have school or work, than schedule around that. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of you time and make sure you are leaving time to sleep. If you are not at your best, then your stream will not be at its best.  They key word from above is consistent. Think of it this way. If you have a favorite TV show, such as Game Of Thrones, you know what day and what time it comes on every single week. Your viewers can do the same thing with you. If you make a schedule and stick to it every week, viewers will know that it is time for you to start streaming, and will be more likely to show up and support you. When you are tired after work, or feel like playing games off stream remember – consistency is key! Below is a quote from one of our larger successful partners. Hixcap was in school when he first started creating content. When asked about school an scheduling this is what he said:

I don’t think it affected my grades since I found a good balance between creating content and school due to the flexible timetable I had.  I had a fairly improvised schedule, but I basically made sure to get everything in on time by prioritizing my work over playing games when necessary – Hixcap, successful content creator

How to stand out on Twitch

After you have set your schedule, the next and just as important idea is that you need to be making unique content. In other words, what makes you different from all the other streamers out there, and why should viewers watch you.  Being unique is not an easy task in this day and age, as arguably everything has been done before. With that being said, there is always a way to make something your own. Whether it is an online personality like Dr Disrespect, being one of the best players in a certain game like Ninja, or being an all around funny variety streamer like Summit1G. Make your stream yours, and give people a reason to watch you over other streamers. This part, in my opinion, is the hardest part of the entire streaming journey, but once you find your personal footing, the stream and community will start to become yours. Below is a Professional esports player/streaming for CLG. We asked him his thoughts on how important it is to be unique.

How to make your stream look like a pro

So now you have a set schedule that you are going to stay consistent with, you have an original idea that you think will make you stand out from the rest, what could possibly be left to do?  What you have off screen can sometimes be just as important as what you have on screen. Making your stream “look good” is the next important tip for starting a stream. Do not think that making a stream look good automatically means it is expensive, as there are plenty of ways to make a stream look nice without spending much money.  Try to position yourself in your room where lighting seems to be best. A standard acceptable webcam that many up and coming streamers use would be a Logitech C920. It is a higher quality webcam with a very reasonable price tag. There are many options for mics, everything from a snowball, to Audio-Technica 2020. Of course there are plenty of better more expensive options but we can maybe save those until you get that purple partner check mark.  Now you and your background look good, but what about on screen items? Take time making your panels and on screen alerts. If you are not artistic at all, hire someone to do it. Twitter, Reddit, deviant art, and Fiverr are all great places to find stream graphic artists to get you started. If money is really tight, than there are free stream graphic options, that will certainly work until you are able to get custom ones made. The most important part of making your stream look good is remembering who you are, and that you are trying to be unique and stick to your new streaming brand.

How to Network on Twitch

Okay, take a breather. You have made it this far. The last but certainly not least part of trying to start a successful stream is networking.  This does not mean going into a partners chat and shouting your stream out, or asking large partners to play games with you. Networking is all about meeting like minded people who share the same goals as yourself. Look for a stream team. Stream teams are a great place to meet streamers who may have just started streaming, play the same games you do, or streamers who are simply trying to make some new friends. Invite them to play some games with you, share your community with them, and in turn they will share theirs with you. Grow together, and possibly make a great friend in the process. Do not expect anything to be handed to you, hard work, as in anything is the only way to see real results. Make a twitter account, meet new people, and try and be the best streamer you can be.  Below we asked Chad, a long time esports industry higher up what he thought was important when you are looking for a stream team.

Same community values such as if they are a group of table top rpg players, might not be the best idea for a competitive Fortnite player to allign with them as no roll over fans. – Chad, Long standing esports industry professional

Start your Twitch journey now

Well congratulations! You now have the basics on how to start a stream and be successful on Twitch. The most important thing to remember is that you cannot expect instant results. Streaming takes time and dedication. It is almost an art form of its own, than you can mold to be whatever you want it to be. Below we made a checklist of things that covers everything we went over in the article. When you are starting up your stream, remember to check back on this checklist to make sure you have everything covered before hitting that possible life changing “go live” button.

One piece of advice I’d give is don’t expect instant results people get discouraged easily. – FaZe Diggy, FaZe clan member

Looking for more information? Below we have listed some other valuable places to go

Articles/Videos:

  • https://www.twitch.tv/p/partners/faq/
  • https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/make-money-twitch/
  • https://smartasset.com/career/how-to-make-money-on-twitch
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m5P_n5njCQ&t=6s

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