Now that you’ve set the perfect Twitch overlays, figured out your Twitch settings and have been streaming for a while, you’re probably wondering how to become a top Twitch streamer. It is no secret that for the highest-paid Twitch streamers, most of their income comes from having a large and dedicated community, which creates additional income opportunities. If you've been wondering how to become a successful Twitch streamer, then this article will cover the variety of ways you can make a living from it.
Growing an audience
The first and most important goal of your Twitch career is growing an audience or community. You need to find ways to get people to watch your streams. First, post your upcoming and live streams across all your social media channels. Your first viewers will likely be friends and family. In order to gain new viewers, you will need to figure out what audience would be best suited to your content. For example, if your favorite game to stream is Apex Legends, create clips of your best moments on stream and share them on the Apex Legends Reddit and community forums. Make sure your clip includes the link to your stream and your stream schedule.
Speaking of stream schedules, it is very important to set and maintain a streaming schedule. It will be easier for people to find and return to your stream if they know exactly when it is live. Try to be conservative with your stream schedule in the beginning and be sure to update your community in case you have to cancel a stream.
If you have the budget, you can also pay to boost your posts on a variety of social media sites. When you first start out, you may not have a large following outside your circle of friends, so you can use the advertising platforms of various social media sites to boost the visibility of your live stream to specific demographics. Just be sure to put your advertising dollars towards audiences that will have an interest in the content you produce.
Another way of gaining an audience is by tapping into the audience of another content creator. To do this you will need to network with other content creators. You can network in a variety of ways, such as being an active member of their community or by meeting fellow content creators at gaming events. Once the connection is made, you can ask them to host your channel or play with them on stream. Twitch has introduced a new feature known as squad streaming to help with co-promotion. Many of the top twitch streamers got the first boost in their career by being hosted by another popular Twitch streamer.
Finally, another way to gain viewers is by doing giveaways. You can set follower or viewer goals to giveaway prizes. The only issue with this method is that viewers usually will only stay around for the giveaway. If you plan to do a giveaway or other paid methods to gain traffic, make sure you are showcasing your most engaging content in order to get viewers to stick around.
Monetizing your Audience
Once you have built up a stable and hopefully growing viewership, you can start to monetize your viewership. If you’ve been wondering how much Twitch streamers make, then this section will cover the variety of ways they can make money from their content.
Twitch offers both Partner and Affiliate programs for those who wish to monetize their content. Becoming a Twitch partner allows you to run ads during your stream, which you earn revenue from based on the number of people who viewed the ad. Both Partner and Affiliates also gain access to subscriptions. Subscriptions are purchased by viewers to gain access to custom emotes and badges in your chat. There are three different subscription tiers and the revenue is split between you and Twitch. Additionally, partners may be given access to bounty boards where Twitch allows you to stream specific games and earn revenue from the number of viewers watching. Tier 1 subscriptions can also be purchased for free if the viewer has an Amazon Prime account and you will still receive at least \$2.50 per subscription.
Subscriptions and ad revenues generate most of the income for the top Twitch streamers. You want to se tup your stream in a way that incentivizes subscriptions. This can include setting up subscriber alerts, subscription goals and using Twitch extensions that remind viewers when to renew their free subscription. For viewers that aren’t subscribing, use a chatbot or ask on stream to disable adblockers while watching. The highest-paid Twitch streamers also get to ask for better revenue sharing agreements for subscriptions and ads.
The next method that you can earn an income is through donations or tips from viewers. The most common method is putting a link to your PayPal account on your profile and ask viewers to tip you to support the stream. You can then use a variety of services to display these tips on your stream and further incentivize this by allowing viewers to add messages to the tips, trigger special alerts or allow viewer-submitted videos to be played. It is a good practice to read any messages your viewers send no matter the donation amount so that they will continue to support your stream. You never know who is viewing your stream, so you may end up on a viral video of someone donating a huge amount of money to your channel.
If you don’t qualify or don’t wish to join Twitch’s partner program, you can create a Patreon account. Patreon is similar to Twitch subscriptions in that your viewers can subscribe to you for a monthly amount to gain access to a variety of perks like access to a private Discord or shoutouts on your streams.
If you have a large enough community, you can begin to sell merch. The most common merch is T-shirts and these can be of your logo or anything that you feel your community will enjoy. Popular sites like Teespring and Spreadshirt are great places to start creating your own merchandise.
Eventually you’ll be able to procure sponsorships for your stream. Sponsorships can vary. A sponsor may pay to have their logo or advertisement on their stream. Some of the most lucrative sponsorships are those that pay you to play or promote a specific game. When you are looking for sponsorships, it is important to create a deck highlighting your stream viewership and content. Also, be careful on social media and on stream to not engage in any behavior that would drive away sponsors.
Building a Streaming Career is a Long Term Goal!
Being a top Twitch streamer won’t happen overnight. It can take months or years before you build a sizable enough audience to make streaming your full-time job. As long as you continue to network, promote your streams and maintain a consistent streaming schedule, you’ll eventually find success!