Streaming on Twitch can be an exciting way to make money online from your hobby. If you enjoy playing the console games, cooking, art, music, slots or have another interest then you could be quids in!
You don’t need a professional studio to start broadcasting to the world. Read our guide on what equipment and software you need to start streaming on Twitch to make money. With the excuses of why you can’t start a stream banished, it is time to dedicate time to your passion and start earning from your Twitch streams!
Making money from your online content can seem like an extensive and daunting process but it doesn’t need to be with our guide on how to start making on Twitch.
Can you make money on Twitch without being a Partner?
One of the first questions often asked by streamers who are starting their money-making journey with Twitch is, “can I make money on Twitch without being a partner?”. The answer is a very simple… yes!
What is a Twitch Partner?
Twitch.tv have a partnership programme for streamers to consider joining as they scale up. There are a series of requirements to join the Twitch Partner Programme. The key factors for acceptance are based on consistency and audience engagement. In the past 30 days you must have:
- Streamed for 25 hours
- Streamed for 12 unique days
- Reached 75 average viewers
You are unlikely to hit the third requirements early on in your streaming career but it is much more obtainable that it first seems if you dedicate time to streaming (and promoting the stream).
Note: if you are Twitch partner, you are unable to make money streaming on YouTube at the same time.
How do Twitch Partners make money?
If you decide to obtain Twitch Partner status, you can make money directly from your streams in the following ways:
- Channel Subscriptions. Your audience are able to directly donate to your stream through a subscription model. As Twitch.tv is owned by Amazon they can do this via their Amazon Prime subscription or by agreeing to a monthly fee that you set in-line with Twitch’s policy.
- Bits. Bits are a virtual currency that can be bought by your viewers and used to “cheer” you during a stream. You share the £ / $ value of these Bits with Twitch. Typically, the more engaging the stream then the higher the value of Bits will get “cheered”. You can also display leaderboards to encourage more “cheers”!
- Ads. It will come as no surprise that the pre-roll and mid-roll ads shows to viewers around their favourite streamers content provide a revenue stream. Streamers get a level of control over the frequency of ads shown and they receive a percentage of the revenue generated.
The journey to being a Twitch Partner can be a fun and fruitful one but it isn’t the only way to make money on Twitch!
How to make money on Twitch without being a Partner
There are a number of ways to make money from streaming on Twitch without being a partner. Here are the monetisation methods to focus on if you want to make money on Twitch:
- Affiliate Partnerships
- Sponsored Content
- Non-partner Subscriptions
- YouTube (yes, YouTube)
1. Affiliate Partnerships for Twitch
Affiliate marketing simply means that companies/brands will pay you for referring customers to them. The beauty of affiliate marketing on Twitch is that you have a specific audience watching your content so you know what products or services they are likely to be interested in.
There are some quick and easy ways to start brainstorming brands that you would like to promote. Make a 3 part list of the following:
- Brands you already include in your content (without being paid)
- Brands you love
- Brands that you see regularly advertised to you on Facebook and Instagram (and don’t get annoyed when you see them!)
Once you have this list, simply google the brands and the word affiliate programme e.g. “amazon affiliate programme” and you will be able to find details of a programme.
You don’t need to be overly technical to setup tracking with each partner but just make sure you stay on top of each programme and make the most of each partnership.
Focus on creating the best content and let us monetise your channel for you! Find out more about Twitch talent management with Radioactive Talent.
How to promote affiliate programmes on Twitch
There are a number of easy ways to promote your newly joined affiliate programmes on Twitch. The key to remember when being an affiliate on Twitch is that you will need your audience to click on a dedicated link to get paid for any transaction they make.
Success depends on how easy you make it for your audience to click on your affiliate links. Top tips to facilitate this are:
- Use a tool called Nightbot and setup Commands. In short, this free-to-use tool allows your viewers to type a command in the chat e.g. !offer to receive an automated response with the affiliate link. You can encourage people to do this through the frame around your video as well as mentioning it.
- Use Frames on your Twitch channel. Below your video, there is an opportunity to add images and links to promote your affiliate programmes. These are easy to customise when logged in to Twitch by going to that area and following the prompt.
- Direct users to your website. Having your own website gives you complete freedom on how you want to display content and go in to further depth on each brand partner that you have.
Tip: Set up a command using Nightbot called !site to maximise your revenue opportunities. Also, setup a simple email capture form with a service like Mailchimp so that you can message your viewers on a channel that you are in full control of! You need to be GDPR compliant when you start to capture information. Ask us if you have any questions about this!
2. Sponsored Content
If you can show brands that you have an engaged audience then, regardless of the size, you can start negotiating sponsored streams. Like with the affiliate programmes in (1), brands want to work with talent to get in front of a relevant audience.
Here are 5 things to consider when working on sponsored stream content:
- Does the brand fit naturally in with your content?
- What is the brand actually looking for? Is it simply awareness or another metric such as link clicks, competition entries or sales?
- Why would a viewer engage with that brand? Is there an incentive?
- What other promotional activity can you offer the brand? This may include promoting them on Instagram and your website as part of the “package”.
- What do you want from the brand? Money? Product? Both?
It is important to think longer-term about adding value to a brands marketing activities whilst ensuring you get fairly compensated for your work. This can be a hard balance to find and often comes with experience!
How can streamers approach brands for sponsored content?
Starting a conversation with brands can seem like a difficult first step but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some quick fire ways to approach brands for sponsored content opportunities:
- Twitter and Instagram. Tweet at and DM brands who you really align with. This is likely to be the ones on your “currently use but don’t get paid” list from above. Stand out by including a picture of you using their product/service or another visual hook. Hey, why not record a quick video to introduce yourself and why you would like to promote them!
- LinkedIn. Search for the company name + marketing e.g. “ASOS marketing” and click on the People tab. Connect with marketing executives at the relevant business. Pop a personalised message to each one and ask to be pointed in the right direction for influencer marketing management.
- Agencies. Lots of brands exclusively work through agencies to find talent to work with. Influencer agencies will be able to connect you to with relevant and quality
3. Non-Partner Subscriptions
When we say “Non-Partner Subscriptions” we mean taking monthly subscriptions from viewers without having to be a Twitch Partner (see above).
If your audience are willing to pay towards your stream, don’t let the lack of Partner status ruin your revenue stream! Utilise a PayPal or Patreon donation button and start accepting those micro-payments.
One of the key benefits of running subscriptions this way is that you are in complete control of the pricing and rewards on offer. Set this up for success by aiming to get more viewers donating small amounts on a regular basis.
What can you offer to your paid subscribers above and beyond your loyal “free” viewers?
This one doesn’t need much explaining. People love streamer merchandise. It is easier than ever to mock up and sell branded products to your adoring fans!
Work out what merchandise your viewers are likely to be interested and start building! There are often no costs to setting up your merchandise shopfront; you are left with a margin on top of the production costs as profit.
Think beyond just putting your channel name on a t-shirt. Do you have a saying that people shout back to you in the chat? Would it look good on a tote bag?
Experiment with different products and designs to see what people really want and, oh, just ask your fans to fill out a one-click questionnaire to let you know what they would buy!
Tip: set up a command in Nightbot for !store that takes your viewers straight to your online storefront.
We have spoken about how to make money from your Youtube channel on the blog before. The reason this has creeped in to an article on how to make money on Twitch is because of the overlap in media.
A simple way to monetise your Twitch stream even when you aren’t streaming is to create highlight videos from your stream and upload them to YouTube. This is an effective way to increase your reach and have multiple touch points for your audience to connect with you. If someone missed the stream, they still got their daily dose of you an a chance to be a revenue generating viewer.
You are now ready to start making money on Twitch! If you have any questions or would like a see how we can help you make money from your Twitch channel, get in touch.