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I love playing video games. In fact, one of the things I want to do when I achieve financial independence is to make money as a Twitch affiliate. That’s the dream for lots of us, isn’t it? I got two separate Twitch accounts to affiliate status in less than 30 days, and I can help you too! I’ll give the full back story at the end for those who are interested – we’re not going to be like those recipe posts where you have to scroll through years of back story to get to the goodies. Instead – jump right in and learn how to become a Twitch affiliate fast!
What is Twitch?
I know a lot of my readers are into finance and not so much gaming (but hey – gaming is a legitimate side hustle!) 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. Live 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 ton of fun too!
Lots of gamers 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 days. 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. These affiliate requirements seem incredibly daunting, but it’s totally doable!
How Do I Become a Twitch Affiliate?
The big question is – how do you get there? There are a few things you can do to help you make Twitch affiliate fast -but you have to be dedicated. You have to put in the hours, you have to time your streams correctly, and you have to stick to a schedule. You also have to be entertaining, network, and draw an audience. All of this seems very difficult, but don’t worry – I’ll break it down for you!
Putting in the Hours
The first step to becoming a Twitch affiliate is actually streaming on Twitch. This takes a ton of time and dedication.
In order to become a Twitch affiliate, you have to dedicate a ton of time to Twitch. You won’t even be considered unless you stream for at least 500 minutes and 7 separate days a month. For people with full time jobs, family obligations, school, and other things going on in their life, that can be a lot.
And those are just the minimum requirements. In order to actually build an audience (and build a rapport with that audience) you will probably need to stream even more. A great way to commit to Twitch is to create a schedule.
One caveat to the time thing before I get into why a schedule is important – Putting in too much 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 are having an off night with no viewers, it might be better to turn the stream off.
I actually got to affiliate by following this guideline. Knowing I was super close to an average of three, I stopped streaming for the night when my third viewer had to go. I didn’t want to risk hurting my average by hoping another person would pop in. Sometimes you have to be strategic in when you call it quits for the night.
Ok – back to the schedule.
Creating a schedule helps in two ways. First -it helps you mentally prepare for your streams. If you want to take this seriously and build it into a legitimate side hustle, you need to put the mental energy in and treat it like a business. You need to set a schedule that works around the rest of your obligations and stick with it. Sometimes that means saying no to a happy hour or something else fun that comes up, and sometimes it means logging on when you just aren’t in the mood. But trust me – it will be worthwhile.
The other way it helps is by offering your audience consistency. Your fans want to know when they can expect to see you. They don’t want to be left waiting. I created a banner on Canva with my schedule, and posted it as my general headline on Twitch. Now, anyone who pops by my channel knows I stream on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. And I make sure I stick to it!
Obviously, life comes first though. It’s ok to change things up when life happens, or if you have an emergency. But I caution you that “life happening” shouldn’t just be “Meh, I’d rather do something else tonight”. Maintaining a schedule is the best way to keep your regular followers happy, and keep them coming back.
One final thing that needs to be mentioned about time and timing is choosing the time of day that you stream. You have to know when your audience is going to be present and available. Many people are free in the evening, so if you’re trying to draw that crowd, it’s best for you stream at that time.
You need to pay attention to what time zone you are in as well. I can only stream in the early evening – and since I live on the East coast of the US, that means a large portion of the country is still at work when I get on. Fortunately, Twitch is multi-national, and a ton of people from Europe are winding down around that time, so I can draw a diverse audience. It’s awesome that there are people on at all hours of the day, but its also important to try to schedule your stream for when your audience is available to watch.
Pro Tip 1: Be Entertaining!!
Getting People to Come to Your Stream
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.
So, how do you get people to watch? In the beginning, there are two main things you can do draw attention to yourself. You can network, and you can choose games that people want to watch.
Networking isn’t easy. Not only do you have to build your Twitch following, but you have to build communities elsewhere as well. It’s tough, but it’s definitely worth the effort. The three main places to network are through social media, discord, and Twitch itself.
The best way to advertise your stream is through social media. I primarily use 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 I 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 my friends on Facebook, I 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.
Another great place to network (and a must-have if you want to take gaming seriously) is Discord. It’s tough to find channels to join, especially when you are just starting out, but there are a ton of channels that are dedicated to helping streamers grow. Most serious gamers also have their own channels, and those are great places to engage with like minded people.
I just recently started a discord channel for my Twitch – it’s a combination of helping other streamers grow and a place for my fans and followers to come hang out with me. It’s brand new, and the people in it so far are incredibly supportive. Come join! We have great conversations about growing the stream and learning how to monetize.
One note about Discord – make sure you are following the channel rules. Don’t spam your links (that’s actually important for Twitter as well). Engage with other people and build friendships. That’s the key to growth.
You also need to be networking on Twitch itself. I love to find super small streams, pop in, and say hi. Sometimes they will come support you back, and other times you will find a cool stream worth following. Either way, you usually make the person’s day, especially if you are their only viewer. It’s a great way to make new friends and show support to your fellow streamers.
Bonus – Reddit
One bonus place you can look to for networking is Reddit. There are tons of different Twitch communities out there – but most have rules about self promotion. Find the communities that interest you and engage with like minded individuals. Make sure you are following all the rules of the subreddit though.
Pro Tip 2: Advertise! People Need To Find Your Stream!
The other way to get people to check out your stream is by choosing the right games to play. You need 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 first time I tried streaming, way back in 2018, I played Bubble Bobble, an old school regular Nintendo game that hardly anyone has ever heard of. Nobody is searching for Bubble Bobble, and 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. I enjoyed mixing up my streams between older games that everyone loves (Mario for the win!) and newer games that still get a lot of interest (Animal Crossing for the most part). Switching it up worked well, and I drew people who were interested in both options.
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? There are a few things that you can do to accomplish this – and those are be personable, engage with your chat, play party games, and be supportive.
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.
When I stream older games, like Mario, I tell stories from my childhood about what it was like playing when they first came out. I also talk about my favorite characters in the game, how hard the levels are, and my favorite items. But I don’t just focus on the game, I’ll talk about my day, my life, and anything else that I can think of. It’s hard to keep a conversation with yourself going, but it gets easier over time.
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! I 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. I’ve had people come and join just because we were playing Jackbox. They decided to follow and come watch us play different games because it was so much fun. 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!
I mentioned this in the networking section above, but it’s just as important in getting people to stay. 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 I achieved affiliation is quickly is because of how supportive I am. I’m constantly on Twitter engaging with streamer friends, even when I don’t have time to stream. I host my friends on my channel when I’m not playing. In addition, I follow people and watch their streams. Sometimes, I’m too busy to engage, but I’ll just leave a friend’s stream on in the background to help them get their viewer count up. And guess what? They usually reciprocate. Being a great Twitch friend pays off in spades.
Bonus Tip – 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. My boyfriend and I both have twitch accounts, so whenever I stream, my boyfriend made sure to sign in and watch. 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.
There are tons of ways to achieve this. If you live with anyone (roommates, family, whatever), ask them to leave Twitch up while you stream. Invite your gamer friends to play with you, and have them all follow along over Twitch. They can also add additional fun and engagement into your chat for viewers. You can also invite your real life friends over for a gaming night, and have them follow along on Twitch.
When I had an average of 2.9 viewers, I asked my Twitter friends to come lurk for me. A few of them delivered, and that was the push I needed to get past that coveted 3 mark. The point is, there are tons of ways you can ask your community to help you get there, so don’t be afraid to do so!
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 and 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.
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 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 or Discord, I’m always willing to help smaller streams gain their affiliations. You should also check out the Streamer Cast, an awesome podcast made by small streamers, for small streamers. It’s available on on Spotify and Apple podcasts.
And, as Promised, A Little Backstory
Some of you may be wondering who I am, and how I know how to get to Twitch affiliate quickly. Well, I’m a streamer, and I just made Twitch affiliate myself after actually trying for about 3 weeks. My first experience with getting someone to Twitch affiliate in less than 30 days was with an ex boyfriend. I helped him way back in 2018 (when this post was originally published). He was unemployed at the time, and had all the time to dedicate to streaming, so it was incredibly easy for him to reach affiliate quickly. I helped him a ton with networking (since he had never used Twitter at all) and by being one of the viewers in his stream. I also was on screen a lot, which probably helped him more than he’d like to admit.
My second experience getting to Twitch affiliate fast was with my own stream. I first started my own Twitch account at the same time my ex did, but I never took streaming seriously. I think I streamed one time between 2018 and 2020. You’re definitely not going to reach affiliate like that! But in April of 2020, I decided that maybe I wanted to give streaming another go. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very consistent, and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I streamed three or four times at random, then gave it up again. But towards the end of June, I decided I really did want to take it seriously. I set up a schedule, and was determined to stick to it. I treated streaming like a business, and followed all the steps above to reach affiliate status as quickly as possible.
My first stream was on June 20th, and by July 10th, I reached affiliate status. To be fair, I already had about 15 followers from the past 2 years, so if I was starting from scratch, it probably would have taken me another week or so. But still, 20 days to affiliate is awesome. And if I did it on two separate occasions, I can help you do it too. Join the discord. Follow me on Twitter. Let’s grow together.
This post was originally published in 2018, but updated with new information in July of 2020
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.