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How to Make Money on Twitch: A Guide for New Streamers

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There are many reasons why people decide to start streaming on Twitch, but one of the most common reasons is that they want to make money on Twitch. There’s no shame in this, but know that it can take some time and work before you start seeing payments.

Learn more about monetizing your stream and turning it into your side hustle in this guide.

Jump Ahead to What You Need:

How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?

As more people try to monetize their hobbies, how to make money on Twitch has become a common question. Making money on Twitch is an option for everyone who joins the platform, but there’s more to it.

With the growth of streaming, Twitch has become saturated with users trying to get their cut of the deal. This, unfortunately, has made it harder than ever to make serious money as a streamer. This is not meant to discourage you but rather to get you to think outside the box when creating your stream.

Once your channel is live and you’re ready to consider your money-making options, there are two main ways to make money on Twitch. The first is to become an Affiliate, and the second is to become a Twitch Partner. Each has its own set of requirements and benefits, meaning you don’t just sign up, but more on that later.

Another option is to make money from your channel outside of Twitch. You can use a combination of strategies to increase your income, but we’ll get into that in a bit.

🔥 If you’re wondering if you can really make a living from Twitch, check out the interview we had with xtwoshoes, who revealed his secrets on how to become a twitch streamer.

How to Become a Twitch Affiliate

Becoming a Twitch affiliate allows gamers to earn money from their channels. The most effective way to become a Twitch Affiliate is by delivering quality content and promoting it on social. 

Requirements

To become a Twitch Affiliate, you have to meet the criteria set out by Twitch. Currently, this includes:

  • You must comply with Twitch’s terms of service
  • Gain 50 followers
  • Maintain an average of 3 concurrent viewers
  • Stream 500 minutes or more within the last 30 days
  • Stream over at least 7 days over the last 30 days

Once you’ve reached your Twitch Milestones, you will automatically be sent an email inviting you to join the Affiliate program. Remember that you can lose your Affiliate title, so it’s not a lifelong guarantee.

You will know that you have succeeded when Twitch sends you this invitation!

If you decide to accept the invitation, you will have to fill out some standard paperwork to ensure you get your payments legally. You’ll have to fill out some basic information, sign an agreement, provide specified tax information, and let Twitch know where to send your payments.

It takes the average streamer a period of 2 to 4 months to reach affiliate status.

🔥​ To check if your channel meets all the requirements navigate over to the Insights and achievements section. This can be found on the left hand side of the Creator Dashboard. Then check the progress of your Path to Affiliate goals.

How to Reach Affiliate Status

1. Channel Branding Is Important

Design a Twitch logo, profile banner, panels, overlays, offline screens, alerts, subscriber badges, and emotes! Have a consistent brand name across all of your social media channels. 

💡​ Note: You won’t be able to use your emotes until after you become an affiliate and they are approved. 

2. Stream Quality

Take your equipment seriously because producing high-quality content is vital. Make sure you have the optimal sound, visual quality, and lighting when making your videos. 

🎮 You might like: What is the Best Gaming Gear Every Gamer Should Have?

3. Fill out Your Twitch Profile

Let your followers know who you are, what your channel is about, why you are streaming, etc. Your Twitch bio is basically a hook to lure in new followers!

Add links to your social media, and interact with people on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other sites. 

4. Stream Regularly

Setting goals and a schedule will make it easier for you to stay on track. Also, keep in mind that being charismatic and approachable can go a long way. 

5. Offer Incentives

Invite your followers to participate on your channel. Interaction is the key to keeping your viewers interested.

  • Ask how they are doing and if they like your content
  • Let them vote on what your next stream should be about (play popular games for your followers)
  • Consider playing a game where users can interact with you
  • Thank them for participating
  • Use a loyalty system for increasing engagement and loyalty like StreamElements
  • Create contests and giveaways

6. Build Community

Building relationships is an important part of your streamer journey too. Look for opportunities to collaborate with other streamers in order to start building your community. Look for Twitch communities where you can engage with other streamers.

How Do You Make Money as a Twitch Affiliate?

You can start making money from your streams as soon as your paperwork is filled out and approved. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Subscriptions: When you become an Affiliate, your channel will display a subscribe button. Viewers can then subscribe to your channel for a fee. There are different tiers and types of subscriptions (monthly, quarterly, etc.), and you will be awarded a percentage of each new subscription. To turn this into a recurring income, do your best to keep your subscribers engaged and excited about your streams. You can include additional perks for subscribers to make it feel worth their investment.
  2. Twitch Bits: These are essentially small donations viewers can send to you. Viewers can buy Twitch Bits and then spend them on your stream. These appear as an animated cheer in your chat. As a streamer, you will get paid one cent for each Bit used on your stream, which may sound like nothing, but it can add up. Bits can be more reliable than donations because they’re protected against chargebacks.
  3. Ads: As an Affiliate, you can start running ads on your channel and earn a cut of the revenue made from these. This can be tricky to navigate at first because you don’t want to bombard your viewers with ads. Avoid front-loading or backloading ads, and don’t run too many ads right away. Experiment with ad lengths and frequency to get the hang of them without putting off viewers.

 

How Do You Become a Twitch Partner?

Your other option for making money on Twitch is to become a Twitch Partner, which is considered top tier or a level up from being an Affiliate. This program is more exclusive, and there aren’t criteria you can check to see if you qualify. You can, however, request that they consider your channel. Go to your Achievements Dashboard and check if you’ve completed the Path to Partner achievement. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll be made Partner, but it will activate a button that allows you to apply for it.

As a Partner, you will continue to have the same monetization options as Affiliates (subscriptions, Twitch Bits, ads), but with more perks. For example, you will get custom Cheermotes, and more channel emotes to make your channel feel more professional.

Additionally, as a Partner, Twitch will provide you with tools to customize and grow your channel. This includes a verified user badge, custom chat badges you can assign to your subscribers, and priority support, among many others. You will also get access to exclusive promotional opportunities, like being featured in spotlights and participating in panels. All of this can spur your growth further and help you stand out from the competition.

👉 Check out Twitch’s Creator Camp to get more tips on how to monetize your content.

Which One’s Better: Twitch Affiliate vs Partner?

Partner is seen as a step up from Affiliate, so it is considered the better option. Becoming a Twitch Affiliate is automatic once you meet the criteria, but Partner will require that you stand out from your peers, so it can be harder to unlock.

With that said, the Partner level is reserved for more serious and consistent streamers who are committed to making a high income from Twitch. If it’s not that serious for you and you’re only looking to make a helpful side income, then Affiliate may be just fine.

How Do You Get Paid on Twitch?

Once you’ve reached Affiliate or Partner on Twitch, you may be wondering when you’ll get your first payment and where. The way Twitch pays streamers is pretty standard, so you have nothing to stress over.

When you become an Affiliate, you will have to select where you want to receive your payments in the initial paperwork. Your options include direct deposit, PayPal, check, a wire payment, or Twitch can even hold your payments while you decide what option is best for you.

Remember that the payment method you choose will affect how long it takes your payment to clear and how much is taken in processing fees. Some platforms will charge a higher percentage to complete the payment, so do your research before choosing. Twitch will cover these fees for Partners but not for Affiliates.

To be eligible for a payout, you must meet a $100 threshold. At the end of a calendar month, Twitch will check how much you’ve accrued, and if this amount is equal to or over $100 (pre-tax), they will schedule a payment for 15 days after that. If you don’t meet the $100 threshold, what you have will roll over to the next month until you meet it and are eligible for payment.

How Can You Make Money from Your Stream Outside of Twitch?

You don’t have to go through Twitch to make money as a streamer. There are plenty of other platforms and methods you can use to increase your streamer income. It’s a great idea to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner while also using the following methods.

Create YouTube Content

Many Twitch streamers also have a YouTube channel where their viewers can watch additional video content. If you have a good number of subscribers and views, you can earn a good amount of money from YouTube on top of your Twitch income.

Creating video content for this platform is easy, especially since you can create compilations using clips from past streams. You can also give viewers new content, like behind-the-scenes vlogs, gaming tips, or a gaming setup tour.

Sell Merch

Your viewers may be interested in showing their support by sporting gear related to your channel, especially as your community of viewers and subscribers grows. You can create merch for your channel with some of your catchphrases, your gaming logo, or other designs that resonate with your viewers. Tons of print-on-demand sites will let you sell your designs on any number of items, from t-shirts to socks, without needing much more from you other than your designs.

Affiliate Marketing Links

Influencers aren’t the only people who can use affiliate links. Plenty of streamers include affiliate links in their panels to earn a little extra.

Being a Twitch Affiliate is not the same as using affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link to a seller’s product that you promote on your channel. Whenever someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you get a share of what they spend. For example, you can include a link to an Amazon listing for a product you talked about in your stream. If this is an affiliate link, every time someone clicks your link and completes a purchase, you’ll get a percentage of what they paid.

Streamers tend to use affiliate links for the gear they use. You can create a panel detailing the items you use to stream and include affiliate links to these products. Avoid overdoing it since this can be offputting for your viewers.

Look for Sponsorships

Sponsors will generally approach channels with a significant number of followers or subscribers. Even if you don’t have thousands of followers yet, you can still approach companies and pitch them your channel. Look for brands that make sense to work with and avoid compromising your beliefs for a sponsorship. Viewers like authenticity, so an obvious cash grab won’t go over well.

If you plan on reaching out to potential sponsors, have a pitch deck ready. This will show sponsors the benefits they’ll get from working with you, which can pique their interest.

Ask for Donations

Getting donations from viewers is super common on Twitch. When you visit a streamer’s profile, you will likely see a Donations panel that you can click on to support them. You can go through several third-party websites to collect your donations, such as Patreon, or you can simply give your viewers a link to your PayPal, Stripe, or whatever payment service you choose. Make your own donations panel in no time with Placeit’s Twitch Panel Maker.

This will allow your viewers to make donations at any time to show their support. Thank your supporters whenever they make a donation and consider having perks for those who choose to do so. These donations are susceptible to chargebacks, so don’t celebrate a huge donation until it has cleared.

Final Thoughts

Making a passive income through Twitch is a great idea, but it will take some dedication to get there. Get creative with your stream and stay consistent to climb your way up the ranks. Keep yourself motivated by celebrating important milestones along the way and be sure you’re using all the strategies possible to monetize your stream. Don’t forget that we have a wide variety of designs to decorate your profile. Get ready to make a Twitch banner! P.S. If you were wondering, we also have offline banners for Twitch.

Let us know what tips helped you make money on Twitch in the comments below!

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