For those of us that have been gamers for a long time, it would come as a surprise to us that we would ever be paid to play video games. Playing video games for a living may sound like a pipedream to your parents but in 2019, it’s a reality.
The topmost competitive video game players make a fine living. The best pro-gamers in the gaming industry make an average of $1 million dollars per year. Yes, you’ve read right.
The portions of earnings come from a blend of Twitch.tv member subscriptions, game prize winnings, YouTube, and brand sponsorships.
Becoming a pro-gamer is a lot more competitive than becoming a pro-athlete for major league sports because the barrier of entry is low. You have to come with talent. It takes a lot of commitment and it’s every bit as compelling in terms of dedication.
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Average Twitch Players
That’s not going to apply for most of us. And that’s OK.
The great thing for us average Joes and Joans is not everyone in Twitchland is into competitive gaming. Twitch has a membership of around 100 million people – that is quite a community to broadcast on.
Some of us like to watch because we’re lonely, bored, or simply really enjoy (like myself) watching someone else play and relive their favorite games. You can stream anytime since the platform is open 24-hours, 7 days a week.
Be Above Average
A lot of Twitch streamers that are successful are known to be interactive with their followers.
Don’t be the player that keeps mute and makes the session very boring. Try and add some humor to it. If you can scream when you are shot, do it!
Try and be quirky, as your viewers are only streaming the videos to be entertaining. Never bore them to death. If you are entertaining to them, they won’t know when they start donating as a sign of being happy that they are entertained. Be humorous and quirky, and watch yourself reap a lot of benefits.
+1 Gamer Girls
The whole ‘eBoy’ and ‘eGirl’ dynamics are pretty predictable. Gamer girls get a leg up since, traditionally, girls are less into DOTA, Maplestory 2, League of Legends etc.
If you want to make a little extra money playing video games, it helps if you have the “Ovarian Privilege” for a lack of a better term. Pretty girls do better and have an easier time earning income, as long as they’re not noob players or behave obnoxiously.
Personality and looks can play the ‘make or break’ factor here. People use Twitch as a form of entertainment. It’s not simply about having a screen recorder, a good microphone headset, and a consistent schedule — although those things are important too.
Think about what style of gaming you wanted to do; some people are goofy, some share their lives, some focus purely on gameplay and strategy.
What is your ideal audience? How do you plan to appeal to them? Are you building a brand or personal style that can make you unique?
Popular YouTuber PewDiePie began his popularity playing horror games, screaming at the top of his lungs, and cussing in Swedish.
What’s going to be your brand?
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How To Register on Twitch
The biggest platform is Twitch.tv so we will focus on Twitch. Twitch has made registration quite easy, and it doesn’t take a long time to create an account.
Twitch has online chat support and Twitch forums for tech support if you encounter any trouble uploading or connecting.
1. Start by signing up by creating both a password and
2. Try to download the Twitch app on your laptop or PC. Ensure you download the one that is compatible with your device.
If you want to stream using your laptop or PC, it is easy, as all you need to do is to press the “Stream Key.” The ‘Stream Key’ is visible on the Twitch dashboard. Copy its link and paste it in your broadcast software.
3. Some players want their viewers to see them as they play. To do this, they get a video capture instrument like a webcam. If you want them to hear from you, you should consider buying a microphone if the webcam mic is bad. For those that want to be witty, they always get a microphone to allow their viewers to hear their commentary.
4. Set up a PayPal account to get the money that accrues to you from streaming. Link the Paypal account to your Twitch account to allow you access your earnings. Patreon is another option, which leads to…
1. Ask for Donations
Setting up donations on Twitch is a clever way that you can earn money while you play and stream to your virtual hoard of followers and casual internet strangers.
Once you have signed up to a video game streaming platform, you can then place the donation button on the channel that you run. This permits your viewers, who love to watch you play games, donate to you. A lot of gamer earn through this means.
It could be as little as a dollar to as much as thousands of dollars. There are a lot of members of the gaming community that won’t mind throwing a little bit of money at you in support.
Just don’t expect to get thousands of dollars from a single donor. It is not very common of a gesture. Twitch can make it up for it in volume. When I use to stream, I noted frequent small-time donors and generally, people were shy. Of course, your mileage will vary.
By the way, though Twitch may be christened as “donations,” you still have to give the IRS its cut. Seriously, don’t play with the tax man.
One great thing that comes with donations is that your fans doesn’t have to be expected to pay to subscribe to Twitch if they’re shy. And you don’t have to have a minimum number of followers before you are allowed to enjoy this perk.
No matter how small or large your followers may be, you can still benefit from the donation option. The random strangers and dedicated followers that love watching you play video games can decide to give you money without strings attached.
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2. Collect “Bits”
In the past, we would have had to pay a lot just to play video games. I could remember saving up a lot of amounts to play video games, but with the coming of innovation, times have started to change. Can we thank our stars for the Bits feature?
Twitch made an announcement that it is introducing ‘Cheering,’ a tipping system, in 2016. This system was created to offer viewers the opportunity to give the streamers they love ‘Bits,’ online currency on Twitch.
When Bits are converted to USD, it’s ranked at 100 bits to $1.40.
A lot of viewers on Twitch are known to earn from five Bits to a hundred Bits on Twitch when they watch ads that span for thirty seconds.
Bits can also be purchased using the Amazon payment system. If a viewer has a player that he or she loves and wants to ‘Cheer,’ he or she can give then Bits.
How does a viewer give a player Bits? It’s quite simple.
Let’s say a viewer fancies what a player did in the game, he or she can type in ‘cheerxx,’ in the channel’s chat bar, with the number if ‘xx’ typed signifying how many Bits that will be gifted.
100 Bits translate to $1 to the Twitch Partner.
Let’s say a person types in the chat bar ‘cheer100’, the player will be given ‘100’ Bits.
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3. Collect Subscribers
This is one way that you can earn, but it involves a lot of work. Twitch has 1.7 million live streamers altogether but only 17,000 of them are Twitch Affiliate partners. So when you do enter into this arena, you are considered in the bigger leagues
Subscriber count varies depending on the exact community and numbers of viewers. To get a subscribe button, you would need to join Twitch Affiliate partners.
In order to qualify to become a Partner and get the subscribe button, streamers must have over
- 50 followers and over the last 30 days.
- At least 500 total minutes broadcast.
- 7 unique broadcast days
- And an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers while streaming.
- All content must be DMCA (copyright free) and within their terms of service guidelines.
Let’s say you have a large following, of at least 500 viewers that regularly watch you; you are made a Twitch partner. To earn more money on Twitch, you should target to become a partner, as it comes with lots of perks.
It’s hard to give an approximate rule but generally, if you have 300 subscribers then you can potentially make $10,000 to $
Increasing your level comes with quite an effort, though you stand to benefit a lot from it a lot. If you reach this point, things are bound to get a little more serious and it’s not far fetched you will eventually be making close to minimum wage full time with a fun gaming side hustle.
Those who subscribe to your channel are those that are in love with you, and won’t mind seeing you succeed. Every subscriber that you get gives you a payment of $2.50 monthly, and Twitch pays you that amount, no matter what. This is the golden option that a lot of gamers won’t mind having.
Affiliates can earn on Twitch by accepting subscriptions from their viewers. Affiliates will have access to all subscription options: $4.99, $9.99, $24.99, and the Twitch Prime free subscription.
One thing you should know is that you don’t have to be a near perfect gamer before you can earn. All you have to do is be entertaining.
It is common to see those that do not understand a lot about gaming amassing a lot of followers. Why is this so? Because t
If you have any social media following, try and get your social media followers to become your followers on Twitch, and you are off to a good start.
4. Utilize YouTube
You can earn with a YouTube channel as well. There are a lot of gamers that earn quite well from pre-recording gameplay and posting them on their YouTube channels. Creating a YouTube channel can also help to boost your Twitch account, as your subscribers on YouTube can get to know who you are before they decide on subscribing to your Twitch channel.
Try to regularly post highlight reels of your streams, and you will begin to see them subscribe to your Twitch channel slowly. Call it a trailer on YouTube might get people to watch the main thing on Twitch.
If you have an established YouTube Channel then consider applying to the partnership program on Twitch using your YouTube stats. You may apply with the following criteria: 100,000+ YouTube subscribers, 15,000+ average views per video, and DMCA copyright free content + Twitch’s terms of service.
5. Earn Ad Revenue
No one likes third-party ads (except maybe the brands that are running the ads) but they are an effective way to support Twitch partner without out of pocket costs from Twitch viewers.
Are you against monetization from ads? Don’t be! In my humble opinion, you can’t be without ads. Ads are what makes the entire Internet work. One can say it is akin to the fuel that makes the car work.
Once you become a Twitch Partner, you get a part of the revenue from the ads. This is usually dependent on how many subscribers you have. You can customize how many ads you want to display per hour during your play stream in your Broadcaster’s Dashboard.
Let’s say you have a hundred subscribers; you will be expected to earn $250 every month from shared ad revenues. This cost the viewers’ nothing but a few minutes of their time at the expense of the brands that’s marketing and paying you for your hard work. I would advise going as far as reminding your viewers to disable Adblock in support.
Twitch is owned by Amazon so if any purchase was made by clicking on ads, then the revenue is split between you and Twitch. You will be paid out in PayPal.
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Though earnings and success may differ wildly from gamer to gamer, it has been shown that video game streaming can be profitable to those that are dedicated. To a small portion of Twitch streamers, it has become a full-time job that takes care of their bills and more.
Streaming while you play offers the necessary exposure that can allow you to become a professional, and even compete well in eSports championship. Any exposure is good exposure. You will never know the misc. opptunities that streaming may offer – you could become a brand sponsor and get free swag from gaming companies! Or maybe even your own merchandise line?!
At the very least, you might even end up with a close-knit group of online followers and a new set of friends.
Go in with realistic expectations and have fun. If you think about it, it should be about fun first. If you’re not having fun first, how can your followers have fun with you?
If you decide that you don’t want to make it your full-time job, you can use it to make extra cash as a side hustle. In this case, it can be like driving for Lyft or freelancing, except streaming and playing games on Twitch