Build a following and perhaps a career
Twitch is one of the most popular streaming platforms on the web, with more than 15 million unique daily viewers and over four million streamers. For many of these streamers, Twitch is not only a way to have fun and share a passion with fans—it’s a way to generate revenue.
While one way to make money is through premium subscribers, another way is through donations. There are multiple ways to set up donations on the Twitch platform, both directly through Twitch and through third-party platforms.
If you’re good at video games and entertaining on camera, you might be able to make a bit of spending money by giving someone something to watch.
How to Accept Bits on Twitch
Bits are the primary medium for viewers to donate to Twitch streamers they like and enjoy. Make a funny joke or pull off a one-in-a-million snipe and you might find yourself on the receiving end of an avalanche of Bits. There’s just one problem: You need to be a Twitch affiliate to receive Bits.
While anyone can send Bits, only those in the Twitch Affiliate program are allowed to receive them—and qualifying isn’t easy. In order to qualify for the program, you need to have at least 500 minutes of broadcasting in the last 30 days. That’s a bit over 8.3 hours.
You also must have seven unique broadcasts over 30 days, with an average of at least three concurrent viewers during that time. Finally, you must have a total of 50 or more followers.
Qualifying for the Twitch Affiliate program requires a significant time investment. Once you qualify, Twitch will email you and send an invitation via the notification tab on Twitch.tv.
You’ll earn one cent per Bit used to cheer you on. This means that for every 100 Bits donated to your channel, you will earn $1.
How to Set Up Donations Through Third Parties
If the idea of becoming a Twitch Affiliate sounds like too much work, you can use a service like Streamlabs to set up donations on Twitch through platforms like PayPal, Skrill, and Unitpay. Setting up these services is as simple as linking your account so the donations have a place to go.
If you verify your Streamlabs account, you can accept donations directly from credit cards. However, verification has vague requirements including:
- A proven track record of legitimate use
- A consistent pattern of concurrent viewers and followers
What these requirements mean is not clear, but it does mean you won’t get verified after just one or two nights of streaming. You will need to put in effort before you qualify, but this isn’t an issue if you have your sights set on becoming a Twitch Affiliate.
PayPal isn’t the only option, however. Streamlabs has numerous integrations including Patreon, Extra Life, Tiltify, TippeeStream, and more. These services make it easy to accept donations without forcing your viewers to purchase Bits from Twitch’s system in order to donate.
Streamlabs is a tool that serves as an overlay for your Twitch stream, but you can also use it to synchronize settings across other streaming platforms, including YouTube, Mixer, and more. You can customize your tip page within Streamlabs to further entice viewers to donate, but it isn’t a requirement—and you don’t have to have a Premium account to receive tips.
Set Up Donations With a PayPal Link
There is a third option that many streamers overlook, and that is simply adding a link to donate. People support creators they enjoy. If you give your viewers a way to support you, they’re likely to do so even if it means following a link away from Twitch.
You can’t add a link directly to your Twitch bio. However, you can add a panel to your Twitch channel from within your Twitch Channel settings that serves the same purpose.
This panel can include an image that you can link to another site (in this case, your PayPal donation link.) You can also include text to invite viewers to donate.
To set up donations on Twitch this way, all you need to know is your PayPal.Me address. This address will look something like paypal.me/username. When someone follows the link, it will take them to a page where they can donate however much they want.
The more customized your donation page is, the more likely someone will send a few dollars your way. Make sure to set the profile image with a picture of yourself or a logo of your Twitch stream. Rather than just a link, you should create a donation button that invites viewers to click.
Once you have several donation options set up on Twitch, all you have to do is focus on entertaining your viewers. Play games well (or don’t), but make sure anyone that spends time watching you enjoys themselves. No one generates a giant fan base overnight, but with dedicated time and a regular streaming schedule, you can build a Twitch career of your own.