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making money on twitch

The Truth About Making Money On Twitch

In 2019 it was reported that Tyler “Ninja” Blevins earned $17 million. At the core of his income is a dedicated fan base that tunes in every day to watch him stream, subscribe to his channel and even send donations. It’s success stories like this that get people interested in making money on Twitch.

However getting enough viewers to start making money on Twitch is difficult. Very difficult. If you really want your twitch stream to be successful and grow you need to start treating it like a real business. This means putting yourself in a strong position to give your stream time to grow.

There is a huge amount of competition on this platform and you need to be doing something unique to stand out from the crowd.

This post will be a serious dose of reality but should also put you in a better position to start growing your streaming audience. This same info will work whether you are a new streamer or veteran.

Disclaimer: This is not easy

As you may or may not know, building an audience on Twitch is not easy. Gone are the days of firing up your stream every day, playing games and watching the cash flow in.

Twitch has become very saturated. As such it’s very difficult to rise above the noise. You need to be unique and provide something that no other streamer has to offer.

You can’t expect instant results. If you really want to be successful and turn streaming into a livelihood then you need to be patient. Success will not happen overnight. Therefore it is really important that streaming is something you truly enjoy.

You Need Sustainable Income

This one might seem obvious if you have an understanding of what it takes to build a twitch community. However there are a lot of streamers who jump into full time streaming far too early.

For anyone who has $0 in their bank account with bills to pay here is some real advice. Go get a real job. You will put yourself into bad situations and make unnecessary mistakes if you don’t have a little nest egg to work with.

A lot of streamers will fail because they jump in at the wrong time. Starting a twitch stream isn’t something you should start when times are bad. You are setting yourself up for failure.

So go get a job. Get a steady paycheck to take care of your bills. Devote your free time to to pursuing your passion as a streamer. Having this income will also give you the money you need to invest in streaming equipment and set up.

You Need to Save Money

This relates back to the previous point. When you start getting those juicy paychecks it can be very tempting to go out and spend it. DON’T.

Put this money away for a rainy day or invest it back into the stream. If your goal is to make it as a streamer, you need to think about the bigger picture.

You need to also identify what you’re spending your money on. Once you do this you can look at ways to cut spending. Saving this money allows you to invest back into your streaming career.

Building An Audience

First things first. You need to treat Twitch streaming like a real business. Understanding this will put you ahead of most streamers straight off the bat.

Twitch Has Between 2.2 and 3.2 Million Monthly Broadcasters as reported in this article. That’s a whole lot of competition. Becoming visible in this noise is difficult to say the least. Chances are when you start you will be at the very bottom of the category you choose to stream on.

So what can you do ? You need to be unique. You need to view your stream from a viewers perspective. Why would they check out your stream?

The small amount of viewers that may stumble across your stream should read your title and be intrigued. You want your potential viewers to be so intrigued that they can’t resist checking you out.

It’s very important for you be honest with yourself. If you stumbled across your own stream would you actually be interested in checking it out ? Once you are honest with yourself you can start to identify how to improve.

How Can I be Unique?

Telling you to be unique is a bit vague so lets expand on that some more. Your stream needs to offer something to the viewer that they have not experienced before.

Just like you would do with a business, you need to find your niche. Sorry to tell you but firing up your stream and playing games just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

The three biggest factors that tend to lead to a Twitch stream growing an audience are:

  • The streamer is extremely skilled at a game and in the top 1% percentile of skill for that given game. Every body wants to learn from the best so it’s natural that viewers will be attracted to these streamers
  • The streamer has connections with other big streamers and they play together.
  • The streamer has a very specific niche that provides one of a kind entertainment to viewers

The first two points are not something that can easily be taught or replicated. So let’s focus in on how to find a niche.

Finding Your Niche

Finding your niche can seem like a daunting task. It requires some thought and reflection to find your interests and passions.

If you can make a list of your top 5 interests and hobbies then you are off to a great start.

Finding Your Interests

If you are not sure what exactly qualifies as an interest ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you spend your free time ?
  • What kind of Youtube or magazine topics are you subscribed to ?
  • What are some areas you have skills or ability to solve problems in ?

Many of you will probably choose gaming as one of your interests. This is completely fine but make sure you can identify at least 4 other interests.

If gaming is not really of interest to you then do not worry. The presence of the Twitch’s just chatting category means that you don’t necessarily have to play games.

Applying Your Interests

Take some time to think about how you can combine these interests to create an engaging Twitch stream.

To help you with this are some examples:

  • Do you know how to bake delicious treats ? Create a Twitch stream showing you making baked goods and share you recipes
  • Are you extremely good at finding Easter eggs and glitches in games ? Tailor your stream to show off these skills
  • How are your voice impressions ? Create a stream where you use voice impressions to interact with your teammates
  • Know how to play an instrument ? Turn your Twitch stream into a living room concert

These ideas are just scratching the surface of what’s possible. You don’t necessarily have to do something that has never been done before. In fact if there are other streamers in your niche who have a sustainable stream, then you know there is an audience who are interested in that niche.

As long as you can offer something a bit different or improve on what those streams are doing then you will find success.

Successful Streamers and Their Niche

Let’s take a look at some streamers who have managed to break through all the noise in recent years and identify what made them unique.

Dr.Disrespect is one of the biggest streamers on Twitch. Whether you like him or not it’s undeniable that he is one of a kind Twitch streamer. With a unique character built around this persona and utilizing visual sets, each stream is a performance. The likes of which had never been done before.

Kitboga is another streamer who in recent years has garnered himself a sizable audience. Kitboga’s streams involve calling scammers and wasting their time known as scam baiting. He does this while putting on voices and acting as different characters. As you can probably imagine this was a super unique idea that really boosted his audience and visibility.

As an exercise, try to find some popular streamers who have been able to grow a large audience. Now try to identify a list of factors that could have contributed to their success.

Common Misconceptions

Here a few common misconceptions that streamers put too much emphasis on. They may not necessarily be wrong, but they certainly shouldn’t be given as much credit towards success as they have been.

“You need to stream at least 8 hours every day”

While being consistent is definitely helpful. The idea of grinding viewers is not healthy and a completely inefficient. If you stream is unique and interesting enough you will gain viewers.

Kitboga who was mentioned above started out streaming one day per week on Sunday’s. Additionally his streams on average are only 5 hours long.

“Networking will help you grow your Twitch channel”

This one may come as a bit of a surprise. Given how many videos and posts are done on this topic. Sure networking will help you connect with other small streamers and its great having that common ground.

However, you need to question how this is going to grow your audience ? They might raid or host you every now and then, but chances are its just 20 other small streamers who are “networking”.

Your time would be much better spent using that time to focus on creating top quality content for your stream, and improving aspects of your stream that need work.

This isn’t to say you can’t or shouldn’t be networking. Rather just understand that there are much better ways to increase your viewers.

Final Thoughts

Making money on Twitch requires gaining a sustainable amount of viewers which can be extremely difficult. It takes time and patience. Before jumping into streaming you need to put yourself into a good place financially. This will give you time to allow your stream to grow.

Finding a niche is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful Twitch stream. If you believe you have found a great niche that you can invest your time into, take the plunge.

Finally the most important of all this is to make sure you enjoy the process. If you are only motivated by the end goal of making money. Chances are you will give up before seeing it through.