How to Make Money on Twitch

Posted by in Work & Income | Updated on May 30, 2023
At a Glance: Streamers on Twitch have a number of ways to make money including, but not limited to, receiving donations from viewers, affiliate marketing, and brand sponsorships. Earnings for Streamers are highly dependent on the number of viewers, but an average of 5-10 viewers per month can earn as much as $50 and $200.

Livestreaming is a relatively new form of entertainment. Its popularity has grown as broadband internet has become cheaper and widely available. Twitch is the leading live streaming platform for gamers. If you are wondering how to make money on Twitch by becoming a streamer, read on.

11 Ways to Make Money on Twitch

There are many different ways to make money from your audience on Twitch. A few of these are outlined below.

1. Donations from Viewers

One source of income for streamers is donations from viewers. You can add a donate button to your channel using a third-party payment processing app. Several payment providers offer easy integration. 

2. Twitch Ads

If you become a Twitch Partner, you will be able to run ads during your stream. Payment for these ads depends on the viewership of your channel, so it works best if you have a lot of regular viewers. Ad revenue could be up to $3.50 for every 1,000 viewers.

3. Twitch Bits

Twitch Bits are a kind of currency that users of the platform can send to their favorite streamers. Every Bit you get is worth 1¢. Bits come with a visual component called Cheermotes (cheer emotes). Viewers use Cheermotes to cheer you on during a live stream.

You can think of Twitch Bits as a live, on-platform version of donations.

4. Twitch Partner Program

The Twitch Partner Program is open to the top streamers on the platform. Although the eligibility requirements are not specific, to become a Twitch Partner you must:

  • be an established streamer with a history of previous streams (>25 hours on at least 12 different days),
  • have a significant and engaged audience (>75 viewers on average),
  • stream consistently,
  • have a good reputation in your community.

Twitch partners receive a share of the revenue that Twitch generates from advertising on their page. 

5. Brand Sponsorships

Companies that want to sell things to people are always looking for ways to reach them and get their attention. One of the ways brands get people’s attention is through their favorite streamers.

In-stream brand promotion can easily cross the line into deceptive advertising. Twitch’s Terms of Service require that you do the following if you decide to promote a brand in your streams:

  • tell viewers that you are being paid for promoting the product,
  • tell viewers that Twitch is not associated with the promotion.

The actual promotion can take several different forms. Some streamers just mention the product during the stream, others include the name of the brand or product in the stream title. 

Some brands offer a commission on sales of their product. Other brands may give you valuable products for free.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way for a seller to incentivize you to promote their product to your viewers. They offer a commission on sales generated by your viewers. 

This is usually done with an affiliate link, which your viewers click to visit the seller’s website and make the purchase. This link is often paired with a promotional code that viewers can use. 

Whether via a link or promotional code, the sales linked to your stream can be directly counted by the seller. They then use this number to pay you a commission on those sales. 

7. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is just like the affiliate marketing programs mentioned above. The only difference is that this program is specifically for products sold through that website.

8. Merchandise

Merchandise or merch is a way that viewers can support your channel while receiving unique items. The most common merchandise is clothing featuring visuals related to your channel or mugs, pens, and figures.

This method of how to make money on Twitch is potentially very lucrative if you have a large enough, enthusiastic audience. There are third-party service providers that you can use to produce and ship merch on your behalf. You can also produce and ship merch using local businesses in your area.

9. Coaching

If you become a successful streamer, other streamers may look to you for advice and guidance. You can offer other streamers coaching to help improve their skills. There are various ways you can help other Twitch streamers. 

A few of these are:

  • optimizing their user profiles to attract interest (or generate income from affiliate links),
  • graphic design to give their channel a consistent look, and build a visual basis for merchandising,
  • merch store setup and merch design,
  • live-stream communication and audience engagement skills.

Anything that is difficult about streaming and takes time to do well is something you can coach others on. Keep in mind that other people will only accept (and pay for) advice from you if you are good at streaming.

10. YouTube Channel

Having a YouTube channel allows people to see your content even if they miss your live streams. This can help maintain audience interest in the long term. If your audience is large enough, you could also monetize viewership on YouTube to gain extra income.

11. Patreons Subscriptions

New streamers on Twitch cannot set up subscription tiers. Patreon is a way that you can immediately start providing extra content to some of your viewers in exchange for subscription fees. You can set the monthly subscription tiers and then provide various perks such as extra content, direct interaction, and shoutouts in your public live streams.

How Much Money You Can Make on Twitch

The income you can generate as a Twitch Streamer depends on the number of viewers you can regularly attract. Larger audiences mean more income. 

With a small audience, between 5 and 10 regular viewers, you can expect to generate between $50 and $200 per month. Although this seems like a small number of people, it is very challenging to reach this level. 

There are thousands of streamers, each catering to many different niches, so it is not easy to stand out and attract an audience. It takes time and dedication. Top streamers may generate tens of thousands of dollars in income, but it has taken them years of near-daily streaming to reach that point.

How to Build Your Audience on Twitch

Building an audience on Twitch is a long, slow process. It requires patience and consistent hard work over several years. There are several factors associated with building your Twitch channel:

  • Consistency: even if you don’t stream every day, try to keep a regular schedule and become part of your viewers’ routines.
  • Uniqueness: Find your niche. Viewers have thousands of streamers to choose from, so you must give them a reason to watch your streams.
  • Marketing: Use social media to promote your channel. Engage with viewers and other streamers.
  • Engagement: The most successful streamers are generally the ones who interact a lot with their fans. Social engagement creates parasocial relationships with viewers and encourages them to watch and donate regularly.

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Final Thoughts 

There are many different ways how to make money on Twitch. All of them require you to live stream regularly and have at least a few regular viewers. Some income is directly from your viewers, including donations, subscriptions, and merch sales. Other income is indirect, through advertising and affiliate marketing. Twitch streaming is potentially lucrative but requires dedication to building an audience over several years.