Let’s talk about making money on Twitch. It requires a lot of thought, hard work, and maybe even a little bit of luck. Let’s dig into the ways that you can monetize your stream and make a few bucks so you can continue to improve your broadcasts.
Getting past the awkward stage
When you first start streaming, your ability to make money rests outside of the Twitch ecosystem. If you’re not an affiliate yet, you cannot get bits, and you can’t have monthly subscribers. This causes new and growing streamers to feel like they can’t take steps to monetize their stream down the line. Simply put, people feel weird trying to get money from people on a free platform. Well, it’s time to get over that. Every successful marketer will tell you that you need to tell people to take action. You need to let people know what their options are or they’re not going to open their wallets. It’s the same concept as telling someone that they should follow your stream to know when you’re going live. Tell your viewers why they should subscribe, donate, give bits, or even buy your merchandise. If your viewers like your content, they’re going to want to know how to support your channel. Let’s go through some of the ways to make money on Twitch.
Monetize your stream through donations
A big positive to donations is that they are processed outside of the Twitch environment. That means you don’t even have to reach affiliate before you implement them into your stream. The most common way to accept donations is via a Paypal account. Services like Streamlabs and Stream Elements can help you show on-screen alerts when a viewer donates to the stream. You can customize your alerts to read a message that the donor has provided on-screen to add a little bit of interactivity to the broadcast.
Some viewers have found success in using a Patreon account to get donations. Patreon accounts allow streamers to customize monthly donation tiers based on how much a viewer wants to donate. This allows streamers to organize and provide custom benefits to their viewers. This is a big place where streamers can get creative with their community. These tiered rewards can be anything from custom stream sounds that are bound to viewers, to giving them shoutouts on the credits of your stream.
Make money on Twitch with subscriber benefits
Starting off with the most obvious benefit built into a Twitch subscription, we have the emotes. An affiliate can have up to seven emotes through subscriptions depending on their subscriber count. If people like your emotes, they may subscribe just for the emote alone. If you can get people to use your emotes around other Twitch chats, you have effectively created a new advertisement for your stream. It’s important to make your emotes have some sort of meaning to people. If emotes are an inside joke, new viewers may not understand the point of the emote. Try not to alienate newcomers to your community. Like donations, you can use the built-in organization of Twitch subs to add subscriber benefits. Stream bots are able to recognize your subscribers and give them special privileges in your chat like the use of sound effects, the ability to post links, and many more customizations.
Make Money on Twitch with Bits
Twitch bits, once people have them, it’s hard to stop them from giving them away! Bits are a fun way for viewers to show their support, and there are ways for you to make it more worth their while. Using services like Streamlabs and Stream Elements, you can allow your viewers to play custom messages on stream. Viewers like this because it allows them to become a part of the stream. Additionally, you can set the minimum amount of bits a viewer can give in your channel. This can be useful if you run into troll situations where someone tries to disrupt the broadcast.
Twitch has recently rolled out bit emotes as well. Unlike sub emotes, these are permanently rewarded to people who reach certain bit thresholds, as long as they are available on your channel. For affiliates who are limited to five tier 1 emotes slots, this is a great way to add more incentives via more emotes using the bits system.
Monetize your stream with merchandise
Think you need to be a big streamer to sell branded merchandise? Think again. Stream Elements and Streamlabs both offer programs to get your designs on all sorts of items. The best part is you don’t actually have to handle the shipping and processing. These services will take care of every aspect and even allow you to create alerts for your stream when merch is purchased. All you have to do is set it up and make sure that you advertise it on your stream.
Making money on Twitch through affiliate marketing
You can also make money on Twitch by signing up with businesses like Amazon and Humble Bundle to get a small cut from purchases coming from your platform. Essentially, you put links in your Twitch panels that lead to an outside site, and once a purchase is made you take a slice. There are a lot of affiliate marketing programs around the net, you just have to keep an eye out for them.
Not everything that can be monetized, should be monetized
At the end of the day, you’re on Twitch to grow your community. It’s up to you to decide what should and shouldn’t live behind a paywall. Sometimes it’s a good idea to give something out for free, when it can lead to growth down the line. So be smart with your monetization and try to use it in a way that encourages a fun atmosphere in your channel.