How to Make Money Playing Video Games
Throughout the following paragraphs I will explain in detail which steps to take if you want to pursue a career in the live streaming industry. Furthermore I want to say that you are more likely to succeed in this field of work if you are passionate about video games and have no problem to openly talk to an audience. Although you may never see your viewers they are still actively watching and reaching out to you on a daily basis, keep that in mind.
Read until the end to get to know a secret way to make a fultime income testing video games or click the following link!
With this quick reminder out of the way, let’s start with the blueprint on how to achieve monetary success playing video games. If you aren’t familiar with Twitch.tv, it’s a live streaming website where thousands of people from all around the world stream video games, real life or even themselves having dinner, yep you read that correctly.
There are certain categories that are allowed to be streamed but if you decide to stream sport events for example, you will quickly get banned - twitch is very strict when it comes to their terms of service. You should also be aware that swearing and all kinds of controversial topics can lead to a ban if any page admin happens to tune in at the right time.
Twitch and YouTube have a chat function during each livestream where the streamer can interact with his/her followers. Some of the people on the internet tend to be provocative so don’t go down to that level of stupidity and focus on your gameplay. You can also have moderators who are allowed to ban users from your channel - choose your mods carefully though!
For streaming your screen and gameplay we recommend to download OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) since it’s free and relatively easy to use.
Make sure to go through the settings of your Twitch account and activate some of the panels on your channel. Those will make the stream more interactive and that’s what it’s all about anyways: interacting with your viewerbase.
The rule #1 on Twitch is that you are actively engaged in your chat. You should always read it so that you can include your audience in that stream and to communicate with them. They will appreciate it very much and they will tell others about you - word of mouth is extremely powerful on platforms like Twitch!
You should also try to integrate your audience in your streams. Set up a donation software, let your viewers decide the music that’s playing, shout some of them out directly, let them choose the stream’s content themselves and play with them, do some giveaways and much more (and don’t forget to time your streams correctly so that people in different time zones can also tune in). It’s essential to have a good relationship with your core audience because they are the ones who really care about you.
In the beginning we recommend to use the website plug.dj by creating a new room where all the viewers can join and play their music. Maybe set up 2-3 days a week where you actively try to include your audience in the stream.
When it comes to creating a brand through your persona it’s important to stay cool and relaxed. Show people how you are, talk to your audience, do some cool stuff, open mail/gifts or do something else and just be yourself. Streaming is a great way to let people get to know you and to grow a passionate audience. If there are a lot of funny moments, your viewerbase is more likely to create a highlight and send it to their friends. You profit from this as well since it’s now your turn to showcase this highlight on your channel. It’s all about content and being entertaining and trust me, everyone is entertaining in some way, you just have to practise.
As I already mentioned, Twitch is mostly used by gamers and therefore gameplays are the most popular type of streams on there. You may have heard from streamers like Ninja who is now sponsored by Red Bull or huge trends like Fortnite - that just goes to show how powerful that platform can be. So if you’re passionate about video games and if you want to start your own Twitch career you should definitely go for it!
It’s relatively easy to use your streams for content on Youtube or even Podcasts by the way.
You have the possibility to watch your past streams and use the video content, just do some small adjustments in your editing software and you are good to go. If you are too lazy and don’t have the know-how just hire someone from UpWork.com for example.
Once you established yourself on one platform it’s easy to connect different social media accounts of yours and start growing them. If your followers are passionate they will support whatever you are doing! In today’s day and age, having followers is like owning a new currency. I know that sounds dumb but it’s the simple truth. Hotels let you stay for a shoutout on your Instagram profile for example.
But enough of followers and social media…
Twitch is supporting a subscription service, which means a user is able to subscribe to your channel for $5 a month. You get approximately $3 dollars of every new subscription and this is where things get interesting. Once you start acquiring first subscribers the curve will grow exponentially because people don’t want to miss out.
Most streamers have custom emotes related to inside jokes or something else, that you can only use as a subscriber. Now if you brainstorm for a bit and think of new ways to benefit your subscribers I am sure you are able to come up with some great ideas.
It’s all about pleasing your customers since they are more likely to return anyway. It’s harder to acquire a new subscriber than to keep an existing one. However Twitch has thought of a solution for that problem as well. Since the platform was bought by Amazon it’s possible to connect your Amazon Prime Account to Twitch and subscribe to a channel for one month for FREE. The user pays nothing but you still get your $3 by Twitch.
This way you can make sure to have monthly income and if it’s enough one day to make a living off of it, congrats - you turned your hobby into a well paying job.
Some of the most successful streamers have around 20.000 subscribers on a regular and much more if there are special events or the hype around that streamer rises. You do the math here. 😉
Let’s also not forget advertisements on your live streams and saved videos. You can choose to automatically upload your stream on your Twitch channel and everytime someone wants to watch it they get an ad. Same goes for ads during your actual live session - you decide when you want to show ads on your livestream by clicking a small button on your Twitch dashboard.
Now I am by no means saying that it’s easy to achieve those numbers, it’s goddamn hard for sure but not impossible. Even if you missed the trend of YouTube and Twitch you can still grow on those platforms with some effort. It’s important to be consistent with your streaming times and ask your viewers what they want to see. Some streamers are only playing one video game to catch all the hype (Fortnite) and other stream a variety of games to please everyone. This is your decision!
Try to cooperate with other streamers and be part of tournaments so your name gets out there. If you are entertaining and some funny stuff happens on stream, be prepared to appear on YouTube. Someone will always find the funniest stuff happening and upload it to their YouTube channel for a ‘TOP 10 Twitch Fails Compilation’ or something like that.
This is good publicity for you my friend, keep it up!
Once you achieved a solid viewerbase and are active on your social media channels, brands are going to reach out to you for sponsoring. Many live streamers and YouTubers are sponsored for example by G Fuel or even computer manufacturers themselves. Check out twitch.tv/lirik and look beneath his streaming window. You’ll find neatly organised and themed buttons to click which lead you to various websites for him to make money if you purchase something. He averages around 20.000 viewers per stream who are all going to see these links.
You know you have truly made it if video game publishers start to ask and pay you to stream their game and give honest feedback about it. They can even give you a custom discount code and everytime one of your viewers uses that discount code on their game, you earn a percentage of the profit.
Other ways to monetize your followers is by putting out merch for example. Every big streamer has a banner underneath their stream with some limited time merch that isn’t limited at all. They hire an artist to sketch something related to their stream and use a website to fulfill their orders. Those websites are designbyhumans.com or redbubble.com for example.
Say something along the lines ‘If you send a picture of you wearing my shirt I will repost it on my Twitter and Instagram’. Boom you just made a couple of thousand dollars in 24h if you are relatively well known on Twitch.
You can also simply use affiliate links in your channel overlay. Link to the headset you are using on Amazon or review some new stuff you just bought and put your affiliate link in the bio. People will at least check it out, if not even buy and this is an easy but effective way to create a side income stream. Just google Amazon Affiliate Program and convince yourself!
Now the main problem you are going to face is how to become popular on Twitch instead of how to monetize your audience. We already mentioned being part of tournaments, jumping on new and hyped games and utilizing YouTube by creating memorable experiences and moments.
There is however always another possibility if none of that seems to work: paid advertising.
Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and even Twitch itself makes it very easy to run marketing campaigns to a wide audience. We have published a whole eBook about the power of Facebook’s Advertising Manager and how you can use it to your advantage effectively.
The short version: target men, aged 18-35, interested in video games and from North America, Europe and Australia. You would then create the ad itself showcasing some funny moments of your stream or yourself introducing yourself with some gameplay in the background.
Secret tip: Instagram story ads work great at the moment and will drive a lot of traffic to the target page if done right. Just make sure to run the campaigns while you are actually streaming!
This blog post was about establishing an online presence on Twitch and YouTube while expanding your online influence into other areas of the web.
Keep in mind that websites constantly gain and lose interest and that it’s not unlikely for Instagram, Twitch and other social media platforms to get replaced. You have to adapt if this becomes a real scenario and transfer your follower base form one website to another.
We know, this seems like a lot of information in a very short amount of time but don’t worry, once you really start pursuing this path you’ll learn quickly. Please don’t make the mistake of taking this career as a hobby, because it’s not. You are building a legitimate business, which takes a lot of time and effort to grow but will eventually bear fruits, if done consistently.
If you want to know about another way on how to make money playing video games, check the link below. You can basically become a game tester and note down bugs, freezing screens and how to make the game better.
Companies like Rockstar, Nintendo and Valve are paying good amounts of money to 'average gamers' for testing out their new games and participating in a survey.
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