MAKING MONEY WITH TWITCH is not easy, and it’s done gradually – you can’t do it overnight. There is no need to sugar coat this, and no way to get around it. However, don’t be discouraged by this. There are several ways you can earn money by broadcasting.
First and foremost, you need to be either really good at the game you are broadcasting or really entertaining as a person. Both are a jackpot. This is so you can attract more viewers. Let’s go into details about this.
– Ad Revenue
Twitch itself advises users to broadcast three or four ads per hour of broadcasting to increase their ad revenue. This is not a reliable source in any way, shape or form since probably 80 percent of the people use an ad-blocking add-on. Twitch pays out ad revenue via PayPal.
This is a more reliable way to increase your earnings on Twitch. If viewers like you, they will donate different amounts to you. Donations can be a huge source of income. Some streamers even get ten-thousand dollar donations on their streams.
If a certain company likes what you are doing, they will offer you free gear or money for using their products. Not only that, but you help them advertise it. It’s a win-win situation.
These are the ways for non-partners to earn money off of Twitch. But you can get creative and add more ways to increase your earnings even without partnership. You can have your own website shown on your channel, or you can have your own merchandise. There are tons of ways if you are creative enough.
Now you might ask yourself, how do I become a Twitch partner, then? Becoming a partner with Twitch is not exactly easy. Twitch requires you to have an average above 500 viewers and stream at least three days per week.
If you are new to Twitch, but have your own YouTube channel, you can also apply for partnership if you have over 15,000 views per video and 100,000 subscribers. This is hard to achieve for some people and requires a lot of work put into it. Oftentimes, it requires more work than your average work hours per week.
Why even bother, then? What are the advantages?
Being a partner gives you a few perks. People can change the quality of your stream, which will attract an even more audience since everyone can now watch your stream at a rate that works for them. You can customize emoticons and a few other cosmetic things that you can come up with. What’s most important is that you get your very own, shiny Subscription button.
Viewers can now subscribe to your channel with a monthly fee of 5 US dollars or the same price in other currencies from around the world. You share this income with Twitch at a rate of 3/2. Three for you, two for Twitch. This is often the most reliable and best way to improve your income.
None of this can be done without your dedicated followers. It is time to ask yourself…
How do I grow my stream?
FIRST, ASK YOURSELF what your motive is to start streaming. Is it to be famous? Is it to earn money for a living? If these are your motives, chances are you will not be very successful.
Your streaming career will not be successful without a big group of dedicated followers watching your broadcast either.
How do you get them? A good tip is to stream a new popular game that just came out recently. If you pick an extremely popular game you will get lost in the crowd, but if you pick an unknown game, it will be hard for people to notice you. You should ultimately stream a game that you love, and that feeling will come through the screen. People will notice your love for the game and you won’t appear as a faker.
The most common way to get followers is through your social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc. Expose that Twitch account you worked hard to make publicly. Announce that you are going to stream and what game you are streaming.
Another way to get Twitch followers is via forums. Most of the bigger gaming communities have forums that will allow you to talk about your stream. But don’t be a ghost there. Don’t just write something and never return again. Use them instead, use native forums, use Reddit especially, the community there is vast, use game related forums, use everything you can find to help expose yourself out there.
Ask your viewers to share the channel, to further expose you. People will tune in out of curiosity at first, but if you are entertaining or educational or provide some content that others do not, they will tune in again and again and again. They will recommend you to their friends who also are interested in the game. Viewers will keep flowing in on their own, once you are liked by some.
YouTube is another way to increase your host of viewers. With Twitch, you can archive your broadcasts. An even better option is to record your gameplay and upload it to YouTube. This way you kill two birds with one stone: you increase your YouTube channel views and you increase exposure of your Twitch channel.
Organize giveaways. This is very tricky to do. Some people will tune in just for the giveaway, never to return again. You can combat this by using a bot that will keep track of how long people are watching and give them points accordingly. This is not perfect but you don’t want to award leeches.
Share the love. Some of your viewers can be streamers as well. Send your viewers over to their channel. This is called a “raid”.
Another interesting function that Twitch has is hosting. When you are not streaming, host people that you know. This goes hand in hand with raiding. You can do this by simply typing /host XXXX in your chat. You can un-host by typing /unhost. Hosting or getting hosted is a great way to earn more followers. If you are by any chance getting hosted by a famous streamer, you won the lottery. People from his channel will watch yours. Undoubtedly many of them will stick around when their guy/girl is not streaming. Many will stick around forever.
Go dual stream when you both play the same game, either cooperatively or competitively. Let people link their stream in your chat, or join a streaming community.
All these are great ideas to get more followers on your stream but after getting them, you need to keep them there, or all of the above will have no point whatsoever.
Getting people to stick around
WHEN YOU START STREAMING, you need to ask yourself: Why am I special? There are over a million streamers out there; why are you better than the rest? Why is your channel worth watching? Think about what makes your stream special and build on that.
Are you extremely good at the game and your stream is educational for new viewers and players alike? Are you an entertaining person? Take some ideas from other streamers! It’s not exactly robbery to do so. There’s a difference between learning from others and stealing their style.
Creating your own content is better with a camera and microphone. If you don’t have these, you will be at a severe disadvantage. Your stream will be dull and boring if you don’t at least talk.
Take a second look at your channel. Is the design good? Twitch has “panels” that will allow you to customize the area beneath the video player. This is important too. Don’t just put text in there; make it appealing! Scroll down to the Advanced section if you want to take a look at how to design your Twitch panels.
Do you interact with viewers, or are they just left there feeling all alone? A key to building up a dedicated following group is interaction. “But I have no one watching me…” No! Just don’t ever think about it like this. You are the actor here; even if there is no one watching you, keep at it. Someone may tune in out of nowhere and, if they see that you don’t talk, they will leave immediately after. You should always act like there are a million people watching. Also, don’t ever complain to your viewers about your lack of viewers. They are there, they are watching, and you are complaining to them. It sounds silly and unappreciative.
Always keep the dialog flowing. Even if there is no one watching you, just talk about what you are doing and why. A quiet stream is an empty one. Also, don’t look at your viewer count. It does not do you any favors and may discourage you. You should act like there are tons of people watching regardless.
Do you have a troll “problem” on your hands? Maybe it’s not a problem for you, but keep in mind that some people don’t like them and they want a civilized discussion without someone spouting nonsense after everything. How you handle trolls is ultimately your own choice.
Your stream quality: don’t go overboard. We mentioned above that some people have slower internet connections and can’t watch your leet stream with 60 fps at 1080p. There is really nothing more annoying than a stream constantly buffering; not even King Joffrey was hated more than this! And nothing will make viewers leave faster, either. As a new streamer, which probably means that you will not be partnered at first, make it 480 or 720p at 30 fps. If or when you get partnered, your viewers can choose whatever quality they want. For now stick to the lower stream quality. Go through your settings once more, and see how it goes.
The most important thing is to not have buffering issues. Due to the complexity of stream setup, your audio will not always run smoothly even if you did not change any settings at all. Always check and recheck settings before you go live. No one likes their ears bleeding. Newcomers will most likely click “back” rather than help you troubleshoot your issue. Just listen to your stream from another device or computer. Check all volumes and when you are good to go, go live.
Many people will just tune in without saying a word, ever. These are commonly known as lurkers. Do you want to greet them? Would you rather your chat be quiet or people interacting with each other? As a new and growing streamer it is advisable to greet every new arrival. Some will not respond, some may even leave, but some will respond in a positive way. These are the ones that you need. The chat, ultimately, creates the atmosphere of the stream. Even at big E-sport events, just watching the game is not the same as participating in the chat, even if it’s all memes and spam.
Sometimes, you can get raided. Have a plan when you do. Introduce yourself to the newcomers, tell them what your stream is about, greet them and – first and foremost – thank the streamer who sent his viewers to your channel. It helps you grow.
Set up a streaming schedule and stick to it. I can’t stress how important this is to growth. Post your schedule in the panels of your channel. When you are going to end the stream, announce when you are streaming next and preferably raid your streaming friends’ streams too. If sometimes you can’t make it, announce it beforehand.
Don’t make a habit of missing days too often though, since you will give the impression that your schedule is just made up and people will not show up to watch your streams if they feel like you won’t be there, either. Try to stream as much as you can. The more you stream, the faster your growth will be. Simple as that.
Mix things up. Organize some sort of event. Tell your community in advance via social media, and announce it on stream as well. Some ideas for events can be random giveaways, 24 hour streams, guests on stream, charity streams, viewer/subscriber games (if you can play your game in co-op), celebration for hitting certain milestones, etc. Don’t do events too often though, since they won’t feel special that way. Sometimes people you haven’t seen in ages will again show up; try to reconnect with them.
If you have been streaming for a while and you haven’t seen much growth, maybe it’s time to reflect on yourself. Again, ask yourself some questions.
– Do you really enjoy streaming? This clearly shows that people who don’t enjoy it themselves, more often than not, are not successful at all.
– Do you stick to your schedule?
– Do you have technical problems by any chance?
– Are you interacting with your viewers enough so they don’t feel like ghosts?
– Is your attitude the right one?
Watch your own VODs. Is your stream something that will make people come back for seconds? If not, try to improve on certain points. Watching your own VODs is the best way of self-reflection. You can spot a lot of things in that way.
Same as with everything in life, try to find the fault in yourself first, before looking at others. Another good way to improve your stream is asking the community what can be done to make things better for them. People will give you a lot of tips or criticize you. Don’t take criticism in a bad way. It’s a good way to improve. Look at it like that.