I love playing video games. In fact, one of the things I want to do when I achieve financial independence is to become a Twitch affiliate, and make some extra cash streaming my favorite games. That’s the dream for lots of us, isn’t it? I don’t have a lot of free time to work on this side passion right now, but luckily, it was one of my ex boyfriend’s number one side projects (I originally wrote this while we were still together) , so I got to ride his coattails and dabble in it while he took it seriously! I helped him become a Twitch Affiliate in less than 30 days, and I can help you too!
What is Twitch?
I know a lot of you are into finance and not so much gaming (Hey, I can have layers, right?) so let me briefly explain Twitch. Twitch is an online gaming platform that allows you to watch other people play games. It also allows you to stream when you play, so others can watch you. Streaming is all the rage in the gaming world, it’s a great way to connect with people who like similar games. It’s a lot of fun too!
Lots of gamers also make money on Twitch. There are even a few big shots who stream video games as a full-time job! (living the dream there, right!). The first step to making money on Twitch is getting set up. Start with our Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Stream for information on how to do that.
Once you get everything set up, you can work on becoming a Twitch Affiliate.
What are the Requirements to be a Twitch Affiliate?
You need to meet Twitch’s requirements before you can become an affiliate. Twitch wants you to stream for at least 500 minutes per thirty-day period (that’s a little over 8 hours a month!) with at least seven unique broadcast periods. You can’t stream once per month for 8 hours and call it a day, you have to stream at least 7 days per month. It’s not just about time though, Twitch needs to make sure people are watching you before they let you become an affiliate. You need to have an average of three or more viewers per thirty-day period and you need to have at least 50 followers on the platform. This all seems incredibly daunting, but it’s totally doable!
How Do I Become a Twitch Affiliate?
Dedication – Putting in the Hours
The first step to becoming a Twitch affiliate is actually streaming on Twitch. This can take a lot of time and dedication.
The biggest hurdle for me to become a Twitch affiliate is time. I can’t find seven days a month to dedicate a few hours to streaming. But that was a lot easier for my ex. Since gaming was his passion, he dedicated the same amount of time to it as I dedicated to blogging. He put in over twenty hours of streaming during his first thirty days on the platform. You need that type of dedication if you want to achieve affiliation.
Putting in a lot of time can also hurt your chances of Twitch affiliation. Streaming for 100 hours with no viewers is going to hurt your average (remember you need 3!). So if you have having an off night with no viewers, it might be better to turn the stream off.
The time of day that you stream is very important too. He works nights, so he could easily stream during the day while I’m at work. But unfortunately, most of the people who would want to watch his streams are at work/school during this time. You have to stream when your audience is free to watch. In order to meet his audience at the right time, he streams at night after I have gone to bed, which is usually around 11 pm our time. The great thing is that we are on the East Coast of the US, so most of the country is still awake. Once a week, I try to stream with him. When I play with him, we get online a little earlier so that our friends in the UK can stop by and hang out with us. Like I said, it’s important to stream when people are available to watch.
Streaming is a lot like blogging in that you need consistency in order to keep your audience. If you stop streaming for three weeks, people are going to stop following you. You need to stream regularly, and unfortunately that makes streaming feel even more like job. Blogging is easier in that regard, because if I don’t feel like writing on Wednesday, I can do it on Thursday and no one will know the difference. It’s a bit more flexible.
If you want to be a Twitch affiliate, you have to stick to a schedule. Obviously, life comes first though. It’s ok to change things up when life happens, but maintaining a schedule is the best way to keep your regular followers happy.
Pro Tip 1: Be Entertaining!!
Getting People to Come
Ok, so you put in all this time and have a set schedule, now what? One of the hardest things to do is to get people to stop by your stream. There are so many gamers on Twitch that it is hard to stand out. You may have the most entertaining stream on the planet, but if people don’t know about it, they aren’t going to watch.
The best way to advertise your stream is through social media. We primarily used Twitter, because it’s the easiest platform to connect with like-minded people and create a community. The Twitter gaming community has been fantastic! I have made awesome streamer friends on Twitter, and they are some of the most supportive people I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with. They are highly entertaining too!
If you are trying to become a Twitch Affiliate, you need to be on Twitter. You can share your Twitch link, advertise when you are streaming, and make friends who will want to support you. It’s an all-around win for everyone! There is no way that Brian would have become a Twitch affiliate so quickly without the help of Twitter. Shameless plug: If you are on Twitter but struggling with engagement, check out my guide on how to gain 500 Twitter followers in one month, it will show you how to build an engaged Twitter community (also feel free to reach out to me for advice, you can find me here!).
I’m sure you can advertise through the other big social media sites, particularly Facebook and Instagram, but outside of sharing a link to our friends on Facebook, we haven’t really explored those platforms yet. If you have a lot of gamer friends on those, it wouldn’t hurt to share your links whenever you play.
Pro Tip 2: Advertise! People Need To Find Your Stream!
Another great way to get people to check out your stream is by choosing the right games to play. You will want to play something that’s popular, but not so popular that everyone else is streaming it. Right now, everyone is playing and streaming fortnight, so it might be hard to get noticed as a small streamer. There’s too much competition.
But you also don’t want to play a game that nobody cares about. The one time I tried streaming on own account I played Bubble Bobble, an old school regular Nintendo game that hardly anyone has ever heard of. Nobody is searching for Bubble Bobble, nobody wants to watch someone play a game that they don’t know. I had a big fat zero viewers.
You need to find a balance between these two extremes. Brian played a lot of Dead Cells during his first thirty days. It’s a newer, popular game with a lot of action. But it isn’t so popular that you can’t be found by people who are interested in that game. It worked out, as he managed to average a few viewers per stream.
Keeping your Viewers
Alright, so you are streaming a lot and getting people to stop by. Great! Now the last step is keeping them! How do you get people to stay and watch your stream? How do you keep your average viewer count up?
The first step is to be personable. I know it can be super awkward to talk to yourself, but you have to power through. No one is going to stay and watch you quietly play a game. They want to hear your voice! Talk about what you are doing in the game and why, talk about your day, tell jokes, have fun! That’s why everyone is there. Brian is incredibly high energy so this came easily to him. He told stories and entertained himself all day long, and that helped keep his viewers entertained. It might take some practice and some stepping out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it.
Engage with your Chat
People really like to be seen and heard. One of the best ways to get someone who is just checking you out to stay is to talk to them. When someone new joins your stream, say “hi” and thank them for joining. Monitor the chat, ask your viewers questions, have them help you while you are playing the game. Make friends with your viewers and your followers. They are much more likely to stay and to come back if they feel a personal connection with you. And you get to make new friends in the process! Everyone wins.
Another great way to get your viewers involved is to play party games. They can play along with you! We love to play Jackbox, which is an assortment of short party games that anyone can play along with via cell phone. This is a great way to engage with viewers. It gives you something to talk about and keeps them involved at the same time.
Obviously, you don’t want to only play party games. You want to play your favorite games. But having a party game session every now and again is a great way to mix things up and make new friends. We’ve had people come and join us just because we were playing Jackbox who decided to follow and come watch us play different games. They stayed because we followed the other two rules above, we were personable and engaging while playing the other games. We treat everyone who watches like friends who are in the same room with us.
Pro Tip 3: Be Supportive! People Will Help You if You Help Them!
Twitch, like blogging, is not just a one man show. It’s a community. One of the best things you can do to gain and keep followers is to support other streamers. Follow other streamers on Twitch, engage with their chats, and retweet their links when they are streaming. Doing these things will not only make you feel good (because it’s always nice to help others) but it will come back to you as well. Support others and they will support you. Make friends with others in the community and they will support you.
I think one of the main reasons that Brian achieved affiliation is quickly is because of how supportive he is. He is constantly on Twitter engaging with his streamer friends, even when he doesn’t have time to stream. He makes sure that he hosts his Twitter friends on his channel when he isn’t playing. In addition, he follows people and watches their streams. He’s a great Twitch friend to have, and his quickly growing community proves it.
Give Yourself a Head Start
The last thing you can do to reach affiliate status in thirty days is give yourself a tiny little boost. Brian and I both have twitch accounts, so whenever he was streaming, my tablet was signed into my account and it was watching him as a follower. That counts as one of the three average views you need to reach affiliation.
It also helps in another important way. Humans are naturally drawn to groups. Someone who is just browsing is way more likely to check out a stream that already has viewers than one that has no viewers. It’s just human nature.
You can also ask any gamer friends you have to come hang out with you while you play. Brian’s best friend enjoys playing games as well, and will often come over and hang out while he plays. And you guessed it, his phone is usually on, signed into his Twitch account, and following along. He’s engaging in with the chat while also hanging out with Brian. He’s also providing additional entertainment to the online viewers. Don’t be afraid to invite your real-life friends over for a night of gaming, and have them follow along on your Twitch account. It will definitely boost your viewership and be a more entertaining stream for your viewers.
The Next Step: Become A Twitch Partner
After reaching affiliate on Twitch, you can start working towards the next step: becoming a Twitch Partner. Reaching partner status on Twitch is a lot harder than becoming a Twitch affiliate. You have to stream for over 25 hours on 12 different days, which is doable if you want to put it that much effort, but you also have to have an average of 75 viewers! That’s a lot! Do you remember how hard it was to just get five?
Even if you meet the requirements to become a Twitch partner, you still may not get in. Twitch reviews all partner applications manually, and there is no information on exactly what they are looking for. The requirements listed are the bare minimum, and it sounds like you want to go above and beyond that prior to applying.
How do Twitch Affiliates Make Money?
Once you become an affiliate on Twitch, you can start making money with your stream. You’ve just unlocked the “subscribe” button, which viewers can use to access your custom emotes and show you support. Getting people to subscribe is way harder than getting them to follow, so you need to have an awesome stream to convince them to keep coming back.
You can also make money with donations as cheers as a Twitch affiliate. This way, viewers can give you a little something here and there without subscribing to your platform. Other methods of monetizing your stream include affiliate marketing, and even sponsored streams. It takes time and effort to build any of these things up – but the rewards can be awesome. For a complete guide on how to make money with Twitch, check this out.
How Much Money Do Twitch Affiliates Make?
I know it’s the dream to get paid to play video games, but the reality is that most Twitch affiliates don’t make enough to turn it into a full time income. An unofficial Twitter poll from 2017 showed that about 50% of affiliates make less than fifty bucks a month!
That’s usually because they don’t have enough time to dedicate to the stream. If you want to make a full time income streaming on Twitch, you have to dedicate a huge amount of time to it, and that’s something a lot of us just can’t do.
But that doesn’t mean its impossible, and it also doesn’t mean that you can’t turn it into a reasonable side hustle. Some affiliates make over $700 a month, which is awesome side hustle money. And the real money is getting to Partner status, where you get a share of the ad revenue.
How Much Money Do Twitch Partners Make?
It’s incredibly difficult to give a break down of exactly how much money Twitch Partners make because there are so many different ways to monetize and most partners aren’t transparent with their income. But, we can estimate based on what we know about how Twitch pays.
The top earning Twitch partners can make 20K per month just on subscriptions alone! But that means you have to have about forty thousand subs, which although possible, is quite difficult. But don’t forget, Partners also get a share in ad revenue, and even smaller streams can get some money from that. The average pay out for ads is about $250 for every 100 subscribers.
Remember, these folks treat streaming like a business. Although it’s possible to make this type of cash, it’s not likely that everyone is going to be drawing in these massive crowds.
You Can Do It
Becoming a Twitch affiliate is hard work, but as I said before it is doable. If you follow these guidelines, you will get there in about thirty days. If you need any more advice, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter , I’m always willing to help smaller streams gain their affiliations. Let’s Partner together to be Twitch affiliates!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.