Is Live streaming on Twitch a good career option?

Streaming is now gaining massive popularity. It is natural that many people are now considering streaming as an alternate career. In this article, we will discuss whether Live streaming on Twitch is a good career option for you and

Streaming can be a good career option in the long run if you are persistent enough.  In case you are starting out, it can be a good side hustle. Becoming successful in streaming requires a good personality, speaking ability, creativity, and consistency. It may take months or even years before you can start earning, so patience is the key.

To build a successful streaming career, you need to build a sizable community. And the more engaged your community is, the more is the potential to earn and make a living. You can continue to build your community while keeping your existing job on the side. This way you will also have a steady stream of income in the beginning.

Streaming is by far growing at an astonishing rate. But at the same time, only close to the top 1% of the streamers are earning more than $3,000 to $5,000 per month. The most popular 0.001% streamers are earning in the range of $1 Mn to $5 Mn per year.

It is estimated that the top 10 Twitch streamers gross over $20 million between them.

To earn a living from streaming you have to combine it with other ways to monetize your content. There are many options like Donations, Merch, YouTube, Affiliate Marketing, etc. We’ll dive into these further in this article.

The count of Twitch broadcasters has grown 2X between March 2020 and April 2021.

Source: Twitchtracker

Live streaming has gotten a boost post-pandemic, as people are confined to their houses. It offers a perfect way for them to engage, interact and socialize over a shared common interest.

How much can a Live Streamer earn with Twitch?

The below table gives a few general assumptions based on experiences on forums and Twitch live count. Also, Twitch pays out to you when you become an affiliate, so keep that in mind as well.

I have extrapolated the assumptions to give a general idea of how much you can earn. This can be achieved, if you are streaming let’s say 4-6 hours, 5-7 days a week.

Twitch Earnings
Twitch Earnings, Source: Forums and Experiences.

These estimates can be your earnings from Twitch alone, through donations and ad revenues. There is potential to earn much faster and in a better way, if you are not relying on Twitch alone as your earning source.

With streaming, you can unlock a lot of other opportunities. It includes streams like getting a sponsor, affiliate marketing, launching your own t-shirt/ content brand. The possibilities are endless and people additionally earn $2000 to $4000 more with the right approach and monetization methods. Some of the best ways people have monetized their channel are through multiple sources of revenue in Twitch. Some of the popular ones include:

  1. Patreon
  2. Youtube
  3. Twitch donations
  4. Twitch Bits
  5. Game Sales
  6. Brand Sponsorship
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Ad revenue
  9. Merchandising
  10. Subscriptions

How to build your career on Twitch while working or studying?

Streaming might not be for all but based on your lifestyle and will, you can make it big. For that to happen, you need to have a backup and a solid strategy.

I have divided this part based on which stage of life you are at:

How to build your career on Twitch if you are a working professional?

Being a working professional, while simultaneously trying out streaming can be tough. The plus side is you have all the resources available to make it big! Your time management and work ethic are key here.

It is best to dip your toes into streaming first with your existing job and then make it a full-time career. The best way to do so is to:

  • Make a Concrete Schedule

Without a concrete schedule, getting the viewers to latch on and come back to your channel becomes difficult.

When Ninja took a break for 2 days to go to the E3 expo in Los Angeles, he lost a whopping 40,000 followers. Just because he didn’t stream for 2 days.

It is hard to make a habit, but treat streaming as a getaway from your day-to-day work and a place to do what you like. Get that 2 – 3 hours off post your working schedule. You can wind down from work while streaming and engaging with your community.

  • Invest appropriately to get a nice setup

Don’t go overboard here, you have to be frugal with investing in setups. Opt only for the things that can separate you from the majority or at least give you a good starting point.

67% of viewers say video quality is the most important factor when watching a live stream (Livestream).

At the very least, try streaming at least 1080p 60fps.

More than 50% of live streaming viewers leave a low-quality stream in 90 seconds or less (TechRadar).

For starting out in streaming nowadays you need at least a good camera and a mic, to begin with. No need to build a supercomputer if you are just going to talk and play Minecraft in it. You can begin with less graphic intensive and more engaging gameplay.

  • Talk about your life experiences

Audiences love to connect and hear life experiences. You can talk about your job, your life, your family to connect and create that deeper bond with your audience. Remember to have fun while you are at it as that is the sole purpose why people watch other people stream. They want to just relax and have a good time like you.

  • Explore other platforms

Building a Youtube channel or Instagram would definitely boost your findability on Twitch when you Livestream. You can post on Instagram or mention on Youtube that if they want to catch you live, then they can follow you on your Twitch channel.

This can bring in the initial flow of people to your stream. If you manage to create content that can hold people’s attention, it will definitely boost your viewership.

It is not limited to YouTube or Instagram. Many Twitch streamers got a chunk of their viewership from Reddit, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. as well. Do explore other platforms to build your personal brand.

  • Explore New Games

Don’t get stuck playing the usual top games. Expand and find those hidden games with high viewership and less competition.

If you manage to find such games first, then you probably would walk away with a healthy viewership and people in your community. You can check out tools like Twitchtracker and twitchtools which can give you the stats that you want.

Deduce average viewership from the live viewers’ count and live channels and come up with the game that you see potential streaming.

Game types can also help you get noticed. For example, in an open-world game, viewers might want to check out many streams to see how each person is playing.

There are lots of ways to choose the right game to stream for you.

How to build your career on Twitch if you are a School or College Student?

You should be at least 13 years of age to be eligible to stream based on Twitch guidelines. Trying to be a streamer while in school or college might be a great idea to get a hang of the outside world and interact. It can be easy, especially since you have time at your hand and resources may not be far out of reach if you have supportive parents. The hardest part though may be managing people’s expectations. Your community may agree or disagree with your opinion and they may know more about you than you know about them.

Dropping out of studies and becoming a full-time streamer is a bad idea though as you would be missing out on a lot of knowledge required to succeed in life. The world may be kind to streamers now but nobody knows about the future. A good solid foundation enables you to withstand the mental pressure that comes with the ups-downs of life.

Just stream while attending school or college to give it a try and see if it is your cup of tea. Start streaming as a hobby and create an environment where you can interact and learn from your mistakes.

The things you would need to keep in mind would be:

  • Take time out of your free schedule

2 hours a day is all you need to spare. Cut down on your time watching anime/tv shows or just casually hanging out with friends. Instead, focus that time on your streaming schedule. It would take some time to set up things. But once you are up, you can definitely do your favorite things while streaming and potentially earn something as well.

A stream generally has to be at least 2-3 hours long so that people have enough time to find you and join your stream.

  • Learn new skills

Streaming requires a lot of other things other than just playing games or chatting. It requires you to have good visual artwork in your channel, video editing skills, engaging audio tracks, marketing tactics, etc.

School or college provides you with a bunch of tools, mind space, and a community interested in the same ideas. Gather a variety of skills and master them, so that when you are ready, the world is ready to watch with awe.

These skills can also help you get future-ready and sometimes get you a job too.

  • Gather community support

Right audience nowadays is much more encouraging while watching a student express themselves. You can also gather your friends as this is the time where you will have contacts of the same age group with similar interests and the time at hand.

You can ask your friends to open their own streaming channel and try to create content together. Trust me, this can be a lot of fun and also entertaining to watch.

  • Explore other platforms

Build your brand or showcase your creative side on platforms like Youtube or Instagram
You can bring in a lot of audience from these platforms onto Twitch if you post interesting or useful content for them.

  • Be unique

Don’t try to imitate the popular streamer and his/her content. It is important to build your own personality. If you try to imitate someone else’s personality, you will hide your uniqueness. 

Instead understand the popular streamer, how he/she is engaging with their viewers. Think about how they have managed to get that bond with the community.

Try to be creative and express yourself positively on your stream. Some examples other streamers have tried are, Keeping a Christmas tree in the background and hanging presents when somebody subscribed, Singing songs for the subscribers, etc.

You can get all creative and have your own thing on your stream.

How much time does it take to build an audience on Twitch?

It usually takes around 7 to 8 months to build a channel with a respectable audience size and viewers.

It however depends on the amount of effort, creativity, and consistency that you have shown in that time. People have earned a respectable view count of 50-100 within 7-8 months. Many streamers with hard work have crossed that view count as well. While on twitch it does not depend on your follower count as much as view count, which is the number of people watching you while streaming.

So if you have successfully followed your schedule and have been entertaining, then a lot of people may know how to find you and what to expect.

I know what you are thinking that how hard streaming can be and is it worthwhile becoming a full-time streamer. Check out the articles in the link to get more information.

In Conclusion

Streaming can be a great career option if done rightly. The best strategy is to do Live Streaming on Twitch while creating entertaining snippets of content. You can post these snippets on  Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, etc.

Idea is to gain some popularity across channels and build your community. They can all then head to your twitch channel to help you grow and earn enough to call streaming your career path.

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