When it comes to making money through gaming, people would definitely think about Twitch.
If you are already on cloud nine with this thought, let me tell you it’s absolutely possible and you will see in this guide how!
It always impresses me how far Twitch’s adoption has gone, up to the point to where some people are calling it the next big thing in video.
Fast forward to 2020, gaming is the next frontier for people who want to be successful in social media and Twitch is the evidence.
Btw, if you are still working on your YT channel, you can check my guide on increasing your Youtube views. A lot of the ideas of that post will be useful for a Twitch channel.
Like Youtube, Twitch is a video streaming platform where gamers and gaming enthusiasts share videos about their favorite games and keep an eye on all the happening events about gaming. They also stream live gaming events and competitions for free and let viewers take part in the action.
If you love gaming, you must have already heard all the legends of people monetizing their passion for gaming through Twitch.
Related: Read the interview I had with Justin Kan, the founder of Twitch.
And if you are wondering how you can join this bandwagon, this guide will help you how to make money on twitch and know which games or shows get the most viewers.
Let’s jump into it.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a social media platform that many gamers use to connect to other gamers or gaming enthusiasts. The platform allows its users to video broadcast their games – from PC games to mobile games -, share other videos, and participate in the online discussions regarding anything gaming.
The platform also provides subscribers ways of reaching out to their favorite streamers through a special service called Twitch Chat. They can also make their own live streaming channels for free.
Since it started, Twitch is now the largest live-streaming site for gaming, followed by YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming, and Mixer. According to Techcrunch, live-video statistics tool provider StreamElements reported that Twitch has recorded a live-stream view total of 2.72+ billion hours in the second quarter of 2019 alone.
Youtube Live only recorded 735.54 million hours worth of views, while Facebook Gaming recorded 197.76 million hours and 112.29 million hours for Mixer.
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How did it become so famous?
When it was established in June 2011, Twitch was like other live streaming sites that appeared on the net that offers its users a way to live-stream their favorite games and share about their lives for free. According to its founder Justin Kan during the TechCrunch Disrupt event in 2014, he got the idea to start the site after the popularity of reality show “Big Brother” came to be and the lowering prices for webcams and broadband connectivity.
He wanted to start the idea of “lifecasting” through Twitch’s early predecessor, justin.tv. In lifecasting, users will share their lives while recording it through a webcam.
The idea was a hit, but there were a few problems because of the “Swatting” attacks on users that led to police searches. Kan experienced it himself and believed that it was not easy to stream video games back in the day because of the setup needed to stream it online.
Since it was becoming popular, Kan hired a specialist video game streamer who gave tips on how other video gamers can stream their games. When this happened, the site – now renamed Twitch – grew and became a must-go-to-site for gamers.
Twitch would then be sold to Amazon in August 2014 for $970 million, which allowed it to prosper as the best online-game-streaming site in the world. It is also the host for many international e-sports competitions, which raked in a lot of people to the site.
How can you make money from Twitch?
Let’s get to the point i.e how can you earn money through Twitch?
There are umpteen ways in which you can make money from this channel, but what you find here is only what really works and brings you great views!
Know your gaming genre
Know what gaming genre you wish to be involved in and find out what money-making avenues will work best for it. You must also be consistent with your content once you pick the genre you want to focus on.
- Live video gaming – If you want to earn through Twitch, live video gaming is one way you can monetize your channel. Stream a session of you playing a video game masterfully and it will definitely catch the attention of people to your site.
- Speedrunning – In speedrunning, you will play a game level or an entire game as fast as you can. It can be any game you want, so pick the ones you know best before you attempt it.
- Talk show/podcast – Aside from live streaming, there are a lot of people who do talk shows and podcasts on Twitch to earn money. Talk about your favorite games, game news and other topics you think are relevant.
- Music – Twitch also has a space in its channels for musicians. If you can make new music based on games or just decent music people would love to listen to, share it and promote it on Twitch.
- Play rare or unique games – If you are the type of gamer who plays card games like Magic: The gathering or board games, share your enthusiasm online. You will definitely find viewers in Twitch who will support you.
- Daily Vlogs – If you want some time to relax from video game live streaming, you may want to try out Twitch’s daily vlog-style lives to earn some money. Here, you just share your daily life or talk about other things aside from gaming.
- Eating (yes you read it right!)- Some Twitch users actually do eat live-streams and discuss what they think about their meals. There is a special section for eating live-streams in Twitch.
- Experiment on other stuff – Twitch is not just gaming heaven, it is also streamer heaven. You can monetize your channel by promoting unique content such as experiments, performing art and other things you are good at.
- Sell merchandise – If you have a good following and a trademark, you may want to check out selling merch in your Twitch account. Make sure that these products are of high quality and reflect your brand as a Twitch streamer.
Ever wondered how Snapchat makes money? Check it here!
When you make the big leagues, here are other ways on how you can continue earning money:
- Twitch Subscriptions – Some users can make their Twitch channels private and open it to users for a fee of $4.99 per month. If you go use this route, you will earn half of the subscription fee while Twitch takes the other half.
- Twitch Affiliate Program – The program allows any channel with 50 followers, has 3 or more viewers in their live broadcasts for a month, 500 minutes of the broadcast time for a month and 7 broadcast dates to join. When you get invited by Twitch, you can earn “Bits” which you can exchange for game items or discounts.
- Ad revenues – Like Pinterest that makes money through its advertising network, When you set up ads in your Twitch account, you will get part of the revenues these ads will generate. The amount you earn varies, but it is a good way to have a steady stream of income while using Twitch.
- Donations – Users do have an option to earn money through donations via Twitch. Of course, you need to make sure your reason for raising a donation drive is for a good reason.
- Paid livestreams – Nowadays, gaming companies look at Twitch as a great avenue to check their products. Look for job openings from companies that are hiring gamers to stream their games for a fee.
- Sponsorships – If you are one of the big names in the industry, you will definitely get the attention of sponsors. But if you do catch the attention of a sponsor, you must ensure you keep your reputation spotless.
Tips to get more Twitch viewers
Of course, if you plan to monetize your Twitch account, you need to make sure you get the right viewers on your site. The more unique your channel’s content is, the better the chances you can get people to go to your site.
- Promote your account on social media – If you want people to know you are on Twitch, you should let them know about it. Share your page in your social media accounts.
- Attend events or meetups – Twitch has several events where streamers can meet up and enjoy the games or topics they love talking about. TwitchCon and PAX are just some of the events where you can meet up with fellow Twitch users and introduce your brand.
- Participate in other people’s streams – Get people to check your page by participating in other streams. You can talk about that person’s content and share your opinion about them.
- Design your Twitch account – Like other websites, Twitch channels must have a good layout that will promote the site better to people. Design one or get someone to help you with it, and use plug-ins you think your viewers would love to check as well.
- Know the games you will stream – Not all video games have a huge following, especially if they are old. Know which games are often viewed by Twitch streamers.
- Stream constantly – Always schedule the time when you will stream and ensure that it is a long stream time. Longer stream time often indicates that it’s quite an awesome game you which in turn makes people curious about your content.
- Multi-stream – If you want your Youtube or Mixer followers to know you are streaming in Twitch, use sites like Restream to help you simulcast your stream in all these social media pages. Not all Youtube or Mixer viewers have Twitch accounts so you can get more viewers from these sites if they see your stream.
I am sure now you have a fair idea of how to monetize your Twitch channel and increase your viewers, but it is important to remember that not everyone who monetizes their site will earn the same amount of money other streamers are earning.
So, before you start monetizing your Twitch account, do the following:
- If you have a day job and have just started your Twitch channel to monetize it, don’t quit immediately. Create a schedule that will help you release a stream and at the same time, work without interruptions.
- Research what is hit and what is not in Twitch. Know everything you need to know about Twitch and find out what pitfalls you have to avoid when promoting your Twitch channel.
- Once you start earning through your Twitch channel, always include your earnings in your taxes. Nowadays, online earnings are considered income sources that you have to declare.
- Do not let streaming get in the way of family life. Always allow a certain amount of time for streams and keep the rest for your family.
- Always rest when you can. You do not need to stream for 24 hours just to get people into your Twitch channel.
- If your chosen genre doesn’t work for you, try another genre that you think you are good at. Earning money on Twitch or on any other social media site does need trial and error before you become proficient with it.
Always have a plan B in case you cannot maximize your Twitch channel for monetizing!
Your takeaway from this guide!
With gaming now becoming a popular industry for many millennials, it is no wonder many gamers are looking for ways to monetize their sites. If you are considering monetizing your Twitch channel, you need to ensure your content is up-to-scratch and definitely make an impression on your target audience.
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