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Yes, most of us do it out of passion and we don’t require revenue to continue supplying free entertainment to our audience.

Yes, most of us would want to be paid for our job, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary.

According to the OECD data, Americans spent 1783 hours at work in 2016. In the world of Twitch, this would mean less than 5 hours of streaming daily. We know many full-time streamers who go way over that, and “work” isn’t isolated to streaming alone — preparing social media posts, answering fan e-mails, researching games and sponsorship possibilities that could help your “company” (channel) shouldn’t be considered an off time.

Hence why, although openly asking for donations could cause some brows to raise and is considered a faux pas of Twitch etiquette, streamers shouldn’t feel bad while searching for new opportunities to gain revenue — of course, as long as they stay away from fraudulent businesses and illegal practices.

Probably the best video about making money on Twitch ever made. Like, ever.

Because of my work (partnering influencers with GOG.com) and being a Twitch partner myself, researching new tools and ways to boost Twitch channels is my daily task. I test a lot of them on my channel, which got me through Revlo phase (never again), Patreon phase (I estimated way more time to prepare rewards than I realistically had) and many other hits and misses. With these experiences, I approach novelties carefully, but with a healthy dose of curiosity.

So, here’s a small list of new and potentially great ways you can boost your streaming revenue this year.

Free donations

They don’t require your viewer to pay a dime, but you receive a real donation in the end. Sounds too good to be true?

GawkBox allows viewers to donate by completing sponsored tasks

Actually, this idea isn’t new, but >GawkBox (no affiliate link added) might be the first company which translated a well-known “earn a beer money on your PC” scheme into the world of content creation. Basically, your viewers can donate to you by completing a simple sponsored task — this might be downloading an app or F2P game on their phones, completing a survey or following a certain Twitch/Twitter account.

Example tasks available for viewers on Gawkbox

Gawkbox has both advantages and disadvantages, so let me start with the first: it’s a simple way for mobile app creators to gain downloads and new players for their games. If you’re a content creator and your target audience is young, they are statistically the most avid players of F2P mobile games and they could help you by doing what they usually do anyway. Last but not least, viewers are free to choose the tasks they want to complete, so you’re not forcing anyone into downloading a certain game/promoting a single product — it’s all up to a viewer browsing the list of potential donations.

Unfortunately, this tool is quite “fresh” and doesn’t seem to be fully finished yet. The biggest disadvantage of Gawkbox for me is not being able to check localized offers my viewers may see on my profile. Living in Central Europe, I barely see any ways to donate; Gawkbox representative told me they have offers for US, Canada and Western EU as for now, with more to come in the future. That means I won’t be able to see what my American viewers can do to donate to my channel unless I use a VPN or ask a friend. With no guarantee Gawkbox won’t promote sites I don’t want to endorse in the future (for example, G2A), I can’t vouch for it yet, although I’m open to check this tool out once they share more information about their partners with content creators.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have their sworn enemies and fans

Following the recent drop of Bitcoin and its mass coverage in the media, cryptocurrencies are getting more popular than ever before (who would have thought, right?). With a great amount of content online aimed towards beginners and tools designed to make crypto approachable— and by “approachable”, I don’t mean approachable for that-kid-you-knew-from-school-who-was-super-cool-because-he-used-Tor, I mean approachable for your grandma — anyone can start their investments.

Well, that doesn’t mean everyone should. But we’re not going to talk about investing into currencies yourself here, as it’s a topic for an entirely different article. We’re only talking about safe ways to gain revenue as a streamer who doesn’t have time to research altcoins, read white papers etc.

And just like with dollars and euros, the easiest way to gain revenue in cryptocurrency is to accept donations in Bitcoins, as well as other similar currencies (Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold etc.). There are many advantages to using cryptocurrency donations over PayPal: there are no chargebacks, you retain more anonymity and there are no fees involved in direct transactions. You will stumble upon fees while exchanging to dollars and with other use of widely available tools, though, so always read about the pricing before you perform any monetary actions.

“But Outstar, no-one will donate this much to me, one Bitcoin is worth $12,000!”

A lot of people seem to not know this, but you can buy and donate only a fraction of a cryptocurrencies, like 0.000079 Bitcoin (which in this very moment equals 1 dollar). I will write a little bit more about fractions below.

How to start accepting crypto-donations, you ask? First, you need to have a wallet, a place where your crypto will be stored. Hardware wallets are considered to be the safest, but they cost money — as a beginner, you can start with a free software one. There are many wallets available online, but be careful and use only the most popular ones, recommended by a huge amount of users. I started with >Blockchain (no affiliate link added). After getting your wallet, you will receive an address which works similar to your account number/PayPal e-mail — people can send their donations there. It looks like this: 1Khya96J4WWN2NWxztSYeRDuNXscu2UgfE (yup, it’s my actual Bitcoin address).

Three VERY important things to remember:

  • Each cryptocurrency has its own type of addresses. You can’t send Dogecoin to a Bitcoin address and vice versa. To receive a chosen currency, you must have a specific address for it (so, to receive donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash, you have to have 3 different addresses shared). Just imagine this like having different PayPal addresses for dollars, euros etc. If someone will try to send a currency to an address which doesn’t accept it, an error will occur — this currency WON’T be exchanged to yours automatically!
  • Some wallets allow donations starting from a set minimal fraction. For example, they allow people to donate Ethereum, but only starting from 0,0001. Your donators have to know this before sending you funds!
  • The anonymity of cryptocurrencies doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay taxes from them in the same way as you pay taxes from your regular donations. Don’t be shady, consult a fellow accountant and ask how to tax your revenue according to your local law.

If you’re more interested in the cryptocurrency, you can consider various affiliate programs that exist in crypto world. You can get a good share by advertising well-known and respected hardware wallet brands like >Trezor or >Ledger (no affiliate links in both) or check out affiliate programs promoting software wallets, exchange sites and more. I’m personally in the testing phase of researching a few of them, including the long-term saving app >Heleum (affiliate link added), so you might expect another article once I gather more data. Just remember to do a lot of research yourself and don’t promote anything your viewers can lose their money on.

Smart sponsorships

By “smart”, I mean influencers themselves got smart — in 2018, less of us will agree to promote products without receiving them first and being able to decide whether we feel okay with advertising them.

How do I know that? In 2016/17, I received a few offers from food and clothing brands which did not agree to send me free samples of their products to convince me to their affiliate programs. It could be dictated by the growing size of my channel, sure, but 2018 started for me with first legit offers, like a partnership proposal from >INTO THE AM (affiliate link added). They fulfilled all important points I mentioned below.

Do not agree to promote products you’ve never seen. Your viewers won’t be convinced to buy items using your affiliate link if you’ve never used them. Promoting expensive hardware products doesn’t make sense if you yourself can’t afford them.

A checklist for your potential sponsor:

  • a company agreed to send the package of samples of their product to your physical address, no matter if you’re an US resident or not
  • a company agreed to your right to decline partnership after receiving these products, in case you don’t want to endorse them
  • a company doesn’t require any exclusivity and doesn’t force you to use affiliate links where you don’t want them

A funny example of the contrary: in terms of exclusivity, company called Soylent asks streamers to “refrain from eating other foods on stream in the same hour that you promote Soylent to your viewers”. :) I believe protein shakes fulfill your appetite for an hour, but letting your sponsors dictate your diet may not be the best idea.

Offline time

Remember the dreadful times when your Twitch channel existed only when you were online? When any days off would automatically turn your SocialBlade charts to red, subscriptions to drop and people to forget about you instantly?

Well, it’s still not over entirely, but content creators on Twitch finally received tools to make their channels active even during time off. On January 18th, Twitch finally introduced Video Producer with Premieres function teased on last year’s Twitchcon.

Twitch is bringing its confetti to #YoutubeIsOverParty

With these tools, you can upload your pre-recorded videos to Twitch and make a big event — with countdown and champagne — out of them simply showing up in your library. You can also use vodcasts to re-run your best streams and highlights when you’re gone fishing on the other side of the world. In the blog post about new additions to the site, Twitch employee mentions subs, Prime subs and bits being a vital part of the offline content, although he doesn’t say how vodcasts will notify audience about them (chat only?) and there is no mention about ads. If Twitch wants to conquer YouTube fully, they have to give content creators a chance to earn money from ads even when they are offline.

Although everyone takes it (and should take it) with a grain of salt, I sincerely believe a proper use of these tools can make Twitch channels thrive even when they are offline; if not now, then maybe after more tools will be introduced to bring more pre-recorded content to the site.

Anyway, it’s a final time to wish you all a successful year with a huge support from your followers! May your channels thrive, remember about a healthy work balance and don’t be afraid to wish for a comfortable life based on what you love to do the most. Good luck!

— Outstar from twitch.tv/outstarwalker 👋

Source : https://medium.com/@outstarwalker/new-ways-for-streamers-to-earn-money-in-2018-ad13074a7e54

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