So, you want to start streaming huh? Do you want to do it enough to turn it into a viable side hustle – or maybe even a full-time gig? Before you jump in, it’s probably smart to figure out exactly how Twitch affiliates make money, and how much money Twitch affiliates can make.
What Are the Twitch Affiliate Requirements?
First – a short recap of the requirements for Twitch affiliate. You need:
- 50 followers
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers per stream
- 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
- At least 500 total broadcast minutes in the last 30 days
Its tough to get there, especially getting 50 followers and an average of three concurrent viewers. If you’re having trouble, check out this guide on how to get there in 30 days.
Now, back to making money as a Twitch Affiliate.
How Do Twitch Affiliates Make Money?
There are multiple different ways a Twitch affiliate can make money. These include getting subscribers, donations, cheers, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.
Making Money with Twitch Subscribers
The first way that most affiliates start generating income is by getting subscribers. Twitch offers three different tiers for subscribers
- Tier 1 – $4.99/month
- Tier 2 – $9.99/month
- Tier 3 – $24.99/month
When you get a subscriber, you split the profit with Twitch. So, you make about $2.50 a month for every tier 1 subscriber, $5 a month for every tier 2 subscriber, and $12.5 per month for every tier 3 subscriber. If you can get 100 tier 1 subscribers, you can make an extra $250 a month! The more subscribers you get, the bigger your payout.
This is why it’s so important to have an awesome channel and amazing perks (like custom emotes!) for your subscribers. You want people to subscribe to you, and you want them to sell your channel for you. Building your channel is the only way to increase the amount of money you make on Twitch.
Making Money with Cheers and Donations
But getting people to sign up for a monthly service is hard. I get that, and so does Twitch. Which is why they came up with a few fun ways for their affiliates to make money without subscribers. These are the cheer and donate functions.
The great thing about donations is that you don’t have to be an affiliate to make money this way. However, if you aren’t an affiliate, you probably don’t have very many followers, and so you probably won’t make a ton through donations.
Getting a donation box set up is easy. You need to have OBS Streamlabs, and you need to have an image ready to go that’s 320px wide. You can create this for free in Canva.
Once you have your image created, go to your Streamlabs account and search for “donation settings”. Configure your Paypal address, then copy the link they give you.
Next, go to your Twitch channel. Scroll down and click the “edit panels” button. This will give you the option to add a new panel. Click the add button, then click “add new image or text panel”. Upload the image that you made, and then past the Streamlabs URL into the “image links to” box. And done!
Here’s a video of how to do it:
Cheering is another option for getting donations on Twitch, but it’s limited to affiliates, like most of the options on this list. Cheering is done with bits. Twitch users can purchase them from the platform, then spend them to “cheer” their favorite streamers. It’s a great way for users who don’t subscribe to show support for affiliates that they like without committing to a monthly fee.
Bits are worth about one cent a piece when you get them. They cost a tad bit more to buy, but Twitch has to make its money somehow! On the plus side for users, you start getting discounts when you buy more bits, so if you buy in bulk, you’ll be getting more value out of your bits.
Making Money with Affiliate Marketing
Once you reach affiliate status, you can easily monetize your stream through the Amazon Blacksmith program. This program allows you to set up referral links to your favorite merchandise. These links will lead users to Amazon, where they can purchase the products. You will get a commission for any products that you sell.
Other companies may also have affiliate programs that you can join. A popular one for gamers is Razor, which has pretty high pay outs. The sky is the limit with affiliate marketing, there are tons of products and platforms that you can find. However, you need to have a place to link them – which is why the Amazon Blacksmith program is one of the easiest to use. You can add your links to your panels, like you did with your donation button.
All affiliate programs have one thing in common: You get paid off of commissions. So you need to get people to use your links to purchase products they were probably already going to purchase.
Making Money through Sponsorship
One of the ways that bigger streamers make great money is through sponsorship. These are agreements where a brand pays you to promote their items. It can mean that you play a certain game, use a certain program, or even wear a certain outfit on your stream. The requirements are set as an agreement between you and the brand you are working with.
Generally, you will need a lot of traffic to your stream to get sponsorship from brands. Some people will say that only Partners can get sponsorships, but that’s not a Twitch thing. It’s usually because Partners have the most influence with streamers. If you can prove to a brand that it’s worthwhile to work with you, they will.
Do Twitch Affiliates Get Ad Revenue?
Twitch recently allowed affiliates to start making money with ads. As an affiliate, you get a small portion of the revenue generated from running ads on your stream. This money is paid out once you get to the $100 threshold. Twitch gives you the ability to control the length and frequency of the ads.
Be careful to not let your channel get too spammy with ads though. Nobody is going to want to watch if there are too many ads.
How Much Money Do Twitch Affiliates Make?
Alright, now that you now all of the great ways there are for Twitch Affiliates to make money, I bet you’re wondering how much you can make!
It’s time for some hard truths – most affiliates don’t actually make that much. The majority of them make less than $100 a month. However, there are some who have gone on to make Partner that have turned gaming into a full-time job.
It’s difficult to determine exactly how much the top earners on Twitch make because there are so many different ways to make money. However, some of the biggest streamers have disclosed their incomes, and its eye popping. They can make up to 20K per month. Yes, per month! And that’s usually just with subscribers!
But these are folks who have achieved partner and who are pretty famous on Twitch. Unless you put in tons of time and energy, you probably won’t make that much.
If you take your stream seriously, schedule regular hours, and stick with it, you will probably be able to make enough to turn it into an excellent side hustle, and possibly even a full-time income.
Is Becoming a Twitch Affiliate Worth it?
That depends on your goals. Do you want to put the time, money and energy into starting a stream and gaining followers? Do you want to turn gaming into a legitimate side hustle? Then yes, I think it’s worth it. Hell, I don’t even play that much, and I’m trying to get to affiliate (I know I could get there quickly if I just put the time in – but sometimes it’s hard to find that time). I’m sure I would be one of those that makes less than fifty bucks a month though – I don’t have time for a regularly scheduled stream. And nobody is going to want to subscribe to your channel if you don’t show up regularly.
If you do show up regularly, you would need 1000 tier 1 subscribers to make $2500/month, with subscribers. That would give you an income of 30K/year. That doesn’t include any of the money you might make through the other options though. The great thing about streaming for income is that there are so many different ways to make money. Some may make it through their loyal subscribers, while others may generate it through affiliate sales and ad revenue. There are tons of options!
Is it Hard to Get Twitch Affiliate?
Nothing worth having is easy now, is it? But, Twitch didn’t make it that hard to get to affiliate status. In fact, if you put in the effort, you can get there in thirty days! Most people take a bit longer, because they don’t have that much time to dedicate to the network. I’ve been trying since April, but I also haven’t streamed since April – you definitely aren’t going to get there that way! But, if you follow the advice in that post, you will get there pretty quickly.
What Else Do I Need to Know to Make Money With Twitch?
Like anything else, you will get out of streaming what you put into it. You can’t expect to just buy your gear, set up a stream, and start making thousands of dollars a month. Most things don’t work that way.
You also shouldn’t expect to blow up and make 20K a month. Those are the Twitch superstars. Yes, it’s possible that you can do it, but lets be honest, it’s not probable. What’s more likely is that you will stream for 2-3 years without making a lot of money. You might make $100-$200 per month. But if you stick with it for that long and longer, people will start to remember you and recognize you. You’ll start building your base, selling a few products, and becoming a name. At that point, you will probably be able to turn it into a full time job.
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.