If you’re thinking about (or have ever considered) making money on Twitch, there are two things about live streaming everyone should understand. First, live streaming is not only about playing video games and inviting other people to watch you do it. That’s part of it, but streaming is about creating content and the entertainment value you are providing for people. Second, and maybe even more important, is that for many people live streaming is more than just a hobby—it’s a bona fide revenue stream. So much that some people have dedicated their lives to streaming and now call it a day job.

But don’t quit yours yet though. It’s true that it’s incredibly easy to start live streaming. It’s also true that some people know how to make money streaming, and there’s no reason why you might not learn how to do it, too. You might even be able to learn a thing or two from businesses that are using it—that’s how widespread live streaming has become. Here are some tips to start your path towards making money on Twitch.

Streaming Services

Live streaming entrepreneur playing video game to make money on Twitch
Live streaming entrepreneur playing video game to make money on Twitch

Video and live stream software has made streaming easier than ever before. It’s as simple as a few steps and clicks, and you’ll be on your way to adding themes, widgets, and other useful features to your videos and live streams. The main purpose here is to improve how your Twitch stream looks and feels.

  • OBS—Open Broadcast Software is a free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. It’s easy to download and start streaming quickly on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  • Streamlabs—This is a streaming app that offers a simplified version of OBS. Designed with streamers in mind, this awesome service offers a host of features aimed at improving the visual appeal of your Twitch stream and boosting viewer engagement.

Donations from Friends and Fans

Twitch entrepreneur holding new headphone donation from online fans
Twitch entrepreneur holding new headphone donation from online fans

Receiving the first tip or donation is proof that your live video streaming project is moving in a good direction. You’ll get a very special feeling when it dawns on you that someone, somewhere in the world is appreciating what you’re doing enough to send you a couple of bucks.

Most live-streaming platforms and websites allow you to make money streaming by letting viewers send you donations or tips. They usually have integrated services, or even their own “virtual goods” or “currencies”. Some examples of these currencies are YouTube’s Super Chat and Twitch’s “Bits”.

Sponsorships and Sponsored Content

Live streamer playing sponsored video game on Twitch
Live streamer playing sponsored video game on Twitch

Brand deals and sponsorships are another way you can engage with businesses in a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you have a large following on streaming platforms and you’ve made a name for yourself, brands will reach out to you with offers. Keep in mind: if companies don’t reach out or your following isn’t as large, then you’ll have to do the reaching out yourself.

Either way, when dealing with brands, it pays to be professional and detail-oriented. You’ll want to negotiate the specifics of the deal to be perfectly certain you’re on the same page regarding your commitment.

Some of the ways you make money through deals with brands include:

  • Sponsorships, where your whole streams are sponsored by a brand.
  • Banners and other types of advertisements you can display during your streams or on your channel or profile page on the platform.
  • Sponsored content, like when a game developer pays you to play their game.

Your audience is what will get the brands’ attention. You should be able to pull decent audiences and have a clear understanding of who they are, what are their interests, and how to satisfy these needs. The deal you strike is how you make money streaming. Just be careful not to make deals that will make you appear as a sellout. Your audiences might not like that, and if you lose them, you lose the sponsors.

Create and Sell Your Own Merchandise

Twitch streamer revealing new merchandise online
Twitch streamer revealing new merchandise online

Merchandise is an important revenue stream for many people in different avenues of entertainment. Podcasters, musicians, and yes, those who live-stream video content too! Streaming platforms have recognized it and this gives users plenty of advice and offers them some great tools and resources to help boost their merch sales.

These tools are a great start but you’ll still have plenty of things to figure out on your own if this is your choice of how to make money on Twitch. Some products you may consider selling include: T-shirts, mugs, stickers and even plush toys. You can also sell digital products and goods, like music or eBooks.

Another point to consider if you decide to take this route is the design, production, inventory, and shipping of your merchandise. Here are a couple of ways you can implement them:

  • Build your own online store: You’ll handle production, store inventory, and ship products, all on your own.
  • Take charge of the design, but utilize a platform-approved company to take care of the rest for a cut.
  • Partner with stores that let you take advantage of special opportunities on select platforms, such as YouTube merch shelf.

Each of these solutions will offer you different profit margins and will require different levels of involvement. You can handle everything and take on both the expenses and the profits. You can also outsource some of it for a cut of the profits. Either way you can tie your merchandise business with your live stream.

And there you have it! These are just some of the many tips and techniques that can help you generate a profit from streaming on Twitch. If you need some great guidance or inspiration, I recommend checking out Kate Stark or Bruce Greene. They started from the bottom and now have become quite successful in terms of making Twitch streaming their everyday job. So get out there, use those streaming resources, try to get sponsored and stay consistent with content. It’s a long road to success but a road well traveled by many streamers. So keep gaming and stream on!

Have any more tips on how to make money on Twitch? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.