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How to Make Money on Twitch: 12 Ways You Can Start Today

Ever find yourself watching a video of someone playing a video game and wondering if you can make money on Twitch?

It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s not a dream anymore. It’s now a reality. People have found out how to make money on Twitch just by streaming their gaming sessions.

With Twitch.TV, you can join 3.8 million broadcasters and live stream anything from you playing your favorite game to a tutorial on how to assemble a computer table Ikea-style to more than 15 million daily viewers.

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As of 2020, Twitch is the number one esports live streaming service in the world.

It beats direct competitors MixerSmashCast.tv, and YouTube Gaming by a long shot.

And streamers are leveraging the power of the platform to make more money than ever thought possible.

How Much Money Do Twitch Streamers Make?

Making money with Twitch can be impressively lucrative, especially if you’ve got the right mix of personality, skills, and luck.

For example, popular Twitch streamer Ninja (real name: Tyler Blevins) has previously revealed that he earns around $500,000 per month from Twitch Prime subscriptions, sponsorships, and partnerships, as well as YouTube revenues from his 5 million subscribers.

Note that Ninja has been livestreaming since 2008.

Ninja Twitch Streamer

Nowadays, though, Ninja exclusively streams on Twitch’s rival Mixer. He’s now worth upwards of $15 million, so he’s not doing too bad.

Not everyone will be pulling that kind of money, of course. But it’s still possible to earn some money.

How much cash you can make by will depend on your popularity, number of subscribers, type of content streamed, and the monetization option you choose.

How Do You Monetize Your Twitch Account?

Donations

Donations may seem like an insignificant monetization option, but imagine having a million followers who all decide to each donate a dollar within a span of 30 days.

You’d be a millionaire in a month, just from the donations.

Realistically, though, only a few of your viewers will donate, so keep this as a secondary option for income and don’t depend on this too much.

Affiliate marketing

Another common way to monetize your Twitch account is by joining various affiliate programs and promoting other companies’ and people’s products and services.

You do this by displaying a customized link to a site where your viewers can make a purchase. For every purchase coming from a click to your custom link, you’ll get a percentage of the cost.

This is different from the Twitch Affiliate Program, which you’ll learn about below.

Sponsorships

If a brand is impressed with your content and happens to have the same target audience as your videos, they might ask to sponsor a livestream or two (or two dozen, if you’re really good) so you can get paid to promote their brand to your viewers.

To be seriously considered for sponsorship, whether one-off or long-term, you’ll need to have a huge fan base with specific demographics that appeals to a certain brand. Plus, you’ll need to maintain a solid, reliable reputation.

As you know, these don’t come overnight; it takes a lot of work and a lot of livestreams to build a fan base and a good reputation.

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Once you have these, though, it can really open up a huge source of steady income for you.

The Twitch Affiliate Program

Twitch sends an invitation e-mail to any streamer who has been working consistently to produce content.

Those with at least 50 followers, an average of 3 (or more) simultaneous viewers in the last 30 days, at least 8 hours of total broadcast in a month, and at least 7 broadcast days in the last 30 days get an invitation email from Twitch to be part of the Twitch Affiliate Program.

Once you become an affiliate, you can earn by accumulating “Bits” or when people subscribe and support your channel.

You also have the chance of earning from game sales and in-game items that originated from your channel.

Twitch Subscriptions

Once you’re a Twitch Affiliate, your viewers can subscribe to your Twitch channel.

Subscribing to a Twitch channel is more than just following; it’s following with added monetary support.

There are three subscription tiers currently available to users: $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 monthly subscription.

Twitch also offers Twitch Prime, which is included with Amazon Prime and Prime Video, which viewers can use to subscribe to a channel of their choice for free.

What do viewers get from their subscription? They get unique emotes (or emoji), badges, special alerts, ad-free viewing, exclusive chatrooms, and exclusive competitions.

Which viewers are willing to pay subscription fees? Your genuine fans who truly like and appreciate the content you’re offering.

As for you as a streamer, subscriptions are a good, steady way to make money on Twitch. Also, it’s a good incentive to keep creating content.

Twitch keeps 50% of the fee and the Twitch Affiliate or Partner gets the other 50%.

Ad revenues

Twitch affiliates can earn money with shares in the advertisement revenue generated from video ads shown during their streams.

There’s no set income earned this way, but as a streamer’s followers increase, so will their ad shares.

Traditionally, video ads on Twitch streams are disruptive, but Twitch is introducing changes to make advertising on Twitch beneficial to everyone: advertisers, streamers, viewers, and Twitch, of course.

Twitch affiliates (and partners) are now allowed to take ad breaks and show ads via picture-by-picture so viewers don’t miss any of the gaming action. Enabling ad breaks would also allow streamers to disable pre-roll ads, that is, video ads that play before every stream, for a certain amount of time.

This is similar to the primary way of making money on YouTube, which is through ads. There are also a few other ideas listed there that could possibly be used to make money on Twitch as well.

The Twitch Partner Program

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Any Twitch streamer who aims to make it big in the site dreams to be accepted into this program.

Unlike their Affiliate Program, the Twitch Partnership program is exclusive. You’d have to send an application for Twitch to check if your channel is qualified.

There are no published, set criteria on how Twitch Partners are selected, although they are known to consider content quality, average viewership, your engagement with your viewers, and stream frequency and consistency (that is, can they expect new content from you every week on a certain day?).

When you do make it as Twitch partner, you’ll reap all the benefits offered to affiliates, plus live chat privileges, custom emoticons and prefixes, verified user badges, and other exclusive-to-partner perks.

12 Ways You Can Make Money on Twitch

Below are 12 ways people are making money on Twitch to give you some ideas on how you could start and what kind of niches are available on the site.

If you’re just starting out, try and remain mindful of the type of monetization path you’d like to pursue down the line.

Make sure you keep your content relevant to that path to further your chances of succeeding.

1. Live video game, “Let’s Play” style

Twitch.TV is first and foremost the home of esports, so expect the competition among gamers to be fierce.

But if you’ve mastered a particular game and have a unique personality, there’s a good chance you’ll succeed in competing with older, more popular streamers.

The best thing about Twitch is that anyone can do it. Take Mackenseize, for example – she’s been diagnosed with a seizure disorder as a teen.

Now, even if the 25-year-old Hearthstone streamer seizes every once in a while during a stream, her 37,000+ followers continue to support her with every game she explores.

2. Speedrun

Speedrunning is the same as livestreaming any game, except that the goal of “speedrunners” is to complete an entire level or a whole game as fast as possible.

TheMexicanRunner, for example, is a hardcore speedrunner for classic games and has made a huge following with his NESMania quest, wherein he tries to finish every officially licensed game from the original Nintendo Entertainment System at record-breaking speeds.

Super Mario Twitch

3. Talk shows and podcasts

Twitch.TV also has streamers who host talk shows on gaming, where they talk about various games, review them, talk about the latest news, gossip, and issues about the gaming industry, and maybe even interview guests and hold round-table

Other talk shows on Twitch.TV do not focus on gaming.

h3h3Productions, for example, is an Israeli-American comedy channel produced by husband and wife team Ethan and Hila Klein.

Hila and Ethan

With more than 570,000 followers, H3’s main content is a mix of commentaries, sketches, satires, and reaction videos about internet culture, YouTube policies, viral trends, and online personalities.

The duo even interviews YouTubers and celebrities.

Because more and more people and content creators are staying at home these days, expect Twitch to have more and more talk shows covering a variety of topics.

4. Play casino games

If you’re not a fan of video games and instead prefer playing poker and other casino games, there’s a special place for you on Twitch.TV.

Whether you’re a fan of slots, poker, or roulette, there’s room on Twitch.TV for you.

The most popular Twitch casino streamers as of 2020 include ROSHTEINCasinoDaddy, and ClassyBeef.

5. Radio-style stream

It’s not as popular as esports, but the Twitch Music category is a goldmine for anyone looking to create content or just chill.

Aside from taking advantage of the Twitch Music Library, which houses precleared music for Twitch broadcasters to use in their livestreams, you can also discover other streamers like NoCopyrightSounds who are focused on providing non-stop music to the Twitch community.

Of course, if you have the resources, you can always copy the success of legit radio-style streaming channels of Monstercat, Spinning Records, and Relax Beats, among many others.

6. Perform music

When the Music category was first launched in 2016, Steve Aoki, T-Pain, Deadmau5, and other EDM artists supported Twitch and the users embraced them wholeheartedly.

Today, big-name artists like Kanye continue to use the platform as a way to promote their music, increase followers, or simply chill with the Twitch community.

Even if big-ticket artists are sure winners on Twitch, it shouldn’t be stopping anyone with real musical abilities to earn money from Twitch, or even make it big.

There are plenty of hidden gems on Twitch, such as husband-and-wife gamers/musicians Travis and Allie of a_couple_streams, Kyle Landry’s Piano Madness, and a whole lot more.

7. Play Magic: The Gathering

The cool thing about livestreaming is that even physical games like Magic: The Gathering can be broadcasted from your home.

And if you’ve been a master-gamer of Magic since it was launched in the early 90s, you can still bring out your card collections and revive the glory of competing against other Magic fans.

However, playing the digital version of Magic: The Gathering, Arena, has been more popular in recent years, enabling gamers who aren’t in the same location to stream their game.

Interested in joining Twitch.TV and earn money from your Magic: The Gathering skills, but don’t know where to start?

Check out the channels of LSV, Caleb Durward (CalebD), Kenji (NumotTheNummy), and Bob Ristau, and see how you can stream your own MTG plays and actually make money.

8. Live IRL

Twitch opened the IRL category to a ton of criticisms, but once the initial shock has passed, many existing Twitch streamers welcomed the idea and use it themselves for downtime, non-game streaming.

Within the IRL category, gamers can now eat, sing, craft, cook, play sports, and other activities without being reprimanded for doing so at their respective game-specific category.

IRL streams can be anything under the sun. Here are multiple examples that actually happened on Twitch IRL streams:

  • KitBoga calls IRS, tax, virus, and other scammers and plays along for hours. He uses a voice changer to get into full characters like old-lady Edna and fools scammers for as long as possible.
  • Someone doing math homework
  • A guy assembling an Ikea closet
  • Someone decorating a Christmas tree
  • Architect designing a house
  • Fully-clothed Andy Milonakis streaming from inside a running shower
  • Someone staring at a wall (this kid made $100 for this activity)
  • A guy making balloon animals for over an hour
  • An American reading books in French
  • Bounty hunters who livestream while working
  • Someone who made two Google Homes talk to each other for hours
  • A garbage collector streaming his job on a regular day
  • Japanese man going to his local barber, eating out, and taking his viewers to interesting parts of his city
  • An Arby’s employee who streams his entire shift

As you can see, IRL is the most flexible and fastest-growing category yet still provides a way to make money on Twitch.

As long as you go live with your idea and give it your all, you’d be surprised that there will always be a market for anything streamed.

People generally want to be entertained, taught to do things visually, or just get a good laugh from something totally random.

9. Social eating

Social Eating was one of the “Creative” sub-categories Twitch launched in mid-2016 in its goal of expanding from just the number one gaming streaming site to an all-around streaming site.

Simply put, streamers get to eat live and “share their meals with the community.”

Inspired by South Korea’s mukbang, where social eating is super-popular, Twitch welcomes this very specific group of streamers to the site, but with their own set of rules.

Plus, if you’re planning to stream your meal preps and cooking, social eating seems like a natural progression your community can follow.

10. Go to work and make money on Twitch?

Make Money on Twitch

The majority of game streamers on Twitch have some sort of IT-related jobs or skills.

There’s a huge demand for game development tutorials, so if you’ve got the patience, talent, communication skills, and passion to teach programming, coding, web development, photo/video editing, robotics, or any other tech topics, you’re good to go.

Twitch is where it’s at.

This also goes for specific programs.

For example, if you have advanced knowledge of Blender (the 3D modeling software), you can stream how you do things and you’d be surprised at the interest these streams bring.

If you’re under 20, you might want to check out our list of online jobs for teens for some ideas on jobs you could potentially stream from the comfort of your home.

11. Wrestle

If you don’t know it yet, Twitch.TV has been promoting professional wrestling in recent years.

They’ve got several big companies already involved and have partnered with the likes of IMPACT! Wrestling and House of Hardcore to grow a Twitch community around wrestling.

Twitch even joined WrestleCon, giving its partners like Tangent access to stream the slams, dives, and global wrestling action live and share it to other fans.

If you’re a fan, don’t miss Knokx Pro Wrestling Academy’s Twitch channel, where you can want watch streamed pro wrestling and listen in the input from the crowds watching to influence matches.

You can definitely get some ideas on how you can run your own wrestling channel there.

12. Get Creative

The Twitch Creative category is like a rabbit hole filled with streamers providing some of the coolest or weirdest projects in the world.

Whether you’re a viewer looking to watch something fresh, or a streamer planning to monetize Twitch, the Creative category can give you plenty of ideas on how to monetize, like KayPike and her bodypaint marathon streams, talented artists with awesome crafts like acrylic pouring, livestream painting (like Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting), glass blowing, Lego or Gundam building, tattooing (only for licensed tattoo artists), blacksmithing, carpentry, restoration, and a ton of other creative activities.

Performance arts are also under Twitch Creative, so if you plan to stream your karaoke adventures, stand-up comedy, magic, theater production, voice acting, poetry reading, dance choreography, and more, this can be your second home.

Are You Ready To Start Making Money On Twitch?

The best thing about Twitch is that it’s free to use for all. You don’t have to set out to make money on Twitch, but why not create an account, start streaming while you game or do your other activities, build a following, and see what it turns into?

Who knows, you may be the next hottest Twitch streamer!

Are you a Twitch viewer, subscriber, streamer, or all of the above? Were you inspired by any of the ideas above? Share your story in the comments!

3 thoughts on “How to Make Money on Twitch: 12 Ways You Can Start Today”

  1. Have you come across any tips or tricks to advertising yourself in order to gain a twitch following? I’ve really wanted to start this, nervous about gaining a following.

    Reply
  2. Hallo there,

    I have always been a huge gaming fan and I liked the idea of live video games. I thought online jobs were the only “official” ones like typing or coding but I’m happy to see I can game for money.

    I like exploring new games, the hardcore ones mostly. So this is going to be the perfect fit for me. Thanks a lot for the list. It has been helpful.

    Reply
    • Sure thing Dave! If you can build a following, Twitch can be an insane source of revenue. It’s only growing in popularity as well.

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