Who doesn’t want to make some money doing something they love, like streaming?
In this article we cover the DOs and DON’Ts of making money from streaming.
First of All…
You Deserve It
Many streamers have the wrong idea when it comes to their content and money. It is important to realize that everyone values money differently, and people pay for things they view as valuable.
Everyone values their time and how they spend it. When someone spends a lot of their time in your stream, they view it as valuable use of their time. Eventually, they may feel compelled to give something back to you for entertaining them.
And of course, streaming is a lot of work! Significant effort goes into your stream behind the scenes, before goes it even reaches your audience. Then putting on your actual show to entertain your viewers is a lot of work too. If your content is valuable to someone, and they’re willing to pay, why not give them the means to reward you for your hard work?
People will not stop liking you just because you make money. The people over at GameWisp do a great job explaining this further: Streamers: No One Will Hate You For Making Money
Don’t Screw Over Your Supporters
Making money is okay, but if you make a poor transition from free to paid, people are going to get upset.
Do not take things that were always free and turn them into paid content. Keep things free that have always been free. Anything that costs money should be something new, and generally above and beyond your normal content. Some examples include “behind the scenes” content, early access, a new chat room for Subscribers, etc. Also, do not make all of your new content paid, because any of your supporters that are tight on money will feel left out.
Always provide alternative means for people to support you when they can’t give you money. Encourage people to tell their friends about your stream, to support you on social networks, and to give you feedback on what they like to see on your stream. Remember that when you’re starting out, networking and the efforts of others are more valuable to your stream than money.
Don’t Expect to Make a Living
Only the people at the very top of Twitch make enough income from streaming to do that as their job. If you’re starting streaming from scratch, with no audience from anywhere else, it is essentially impossible for you to get to the top.
That being said, you don’t need to be at the top to make money. If it’s your dream to get to the top, go for it! Just be realistic with your expectations or you will burn out.
Now for the Methods!
When people talk about making money from streaming, Twitch Partnership always comes up. Getting Partnered on Twitch is a goal of many streamers for this reason.
Unfortunately, Twitch Partnership is difficult to achieve. Furthermore, once you’re there, Twitch Subscription fees are generally 50%. That means when someone Subscribes to you for $4.99, you will get $2.50 and the other half will go to Twitch. Partners also earn money from running ads on their channel, though how much ad-blocking affects this is unclear.
It’s great if Twitch Partnership is one of your goals, but why not make some money on your way there?
The easiest way to start is setting up to receive donations. Most streamers have a “donate” button since it is a snap to create one through PayPal. You never know who may donate, so we highly recommend that you have a Twitch panel for donations.
It helps to state what the donations will be used for. “All donations will go towards the stream” is a common statement. However, the more specific you are, the more likely people will support you. For example, if you are raising money for a new console or a new computer, say so. Why not also put the donation goal on your stream with a progress bar?
You can also try “I will do X for donations” type of fundraising, like dances, singing songs, and so on. If it seems silly, that’s because it is. People pay for fun things.
Donors love seeing their name on your stream. Look into on-stream notifications for received donations, scrolls, “top donors”, and so on. Use the notifications that fit the style of your stream. Many people also list their past donors under their stream to recognize their contributions.
If you are talented at creating things, whether it be crafts, drawing, painting, or something else, you can turn that into side-money by selling your creations or by taking commissions. Twitch’s recent relaunch of their Creative section can only help your efforts.
Even if you are a complete beginner, all you need is the drive to create and the patience to learn. But if you’re just starting streaming, and just beginning with your art of interest, do not expect to make money from your creations anytime soon. Nevertheless, always leave the option open, because you never know who might want your latest creation, no matter how bad you think it is.
GameWisp is a website that provides the means for non-Partnered streamers to have Subscription-based content (#SubButtonsForAll). It is becoming popular with non-Partnered Twitch streamers since there are no minimum requirements to use it. Many of our community members already use GameWisp for Subscription income.
GameWisp takes a far smaller cut for providing Subscription services, versus Twitch’s 50% cut. You can read about this in detail on their blog post “Hey GameWisp, How Do You Make Money?”
GameWisp is also more flexible with the payment options for your Subscribers. You can set the prices to whatever you wish, and even have multiple levels of Subscriptions. You can also customize the benefits for each level. Your Subscribers are not restricted to only paying the prices you set. Rather, they can Subscribe using any amount they want, and then receive any benefits below the amount they paid.
If one of your stream goals is Twitch Partnership, you might wonder if using GameWisp will exclude you from future Partnership. Check out this blog post: Can GameWisp Users Still Achieve Partnership?
Sponsorships, Affiliations, Referrals
Another option is to look into working with companies interested in having their products or services advertised. You will need to actively advertise and recommend them on both your stream and social networks. Just dropping a 5% off code for gaming glasses in your Twitch panels will get you zero income.
You should actually use products or services yourself, before you start recommending them. That way you avoid looking like a sell-out who will recommend anything for a quick buck.