Once you reach Affiliate status you will be able to start earning money on Twitch. This post will cover several strategies you can use to get to Twitch Affiliate so that you can monetize your channel.
What is Twitch Affiliate?
Twitch Affiliate is a platform status achieved by reaching early milestones. It allows streamers to monetize their channel through subscriptions and Bits. Reaching Twitch Affiliate can take as little as a week with proper planning and a bit of luck. It takes the average streamer 2-4 months to reach Affiliate.
Twitch Affiliate Requirements
Here are the requirements you will need to meet in order to become a Twitch affiliate:
- Gain 50 followers.
- Maintain an average of 3 simultaneous viewers within the last 30 days.
- Stream 500 minutes or more within the last 30 days.
- Stream over at least 7 days over the last 30 days.
If done precisely, you can potentially reach Twitch Affiliate in as little as a week’s time.
How to Become a Twitch Affiliate
We spoke to a handful of Twitch streamers who reached Affiliate in two weeks or less and compiled a list of their hot tips. The most common struggle with reaching the status quickly is keeping an average of 3 concurrent viewers. Network with other streamers to easily and efficiently jump this hurdle.
- Brand your Twitch channel
- Plan content in advance for each of your streams
- Set up your stream schedule
- Strategically select your genre
- How to get concurrent viewers
- Produce interactive content on Twitch
- How to use social media to get Twitch viewers
- Be enthusiastic and positive
Regardless if you decide to reach the status in a week or over the course of a month, here are some key strategies to help you meet your goal:
1. Set Up Your Channel for Growth
Take time to plan the direction of your channel. This will give you the chance to lay a solid foundation to build your content. If you have everything set up properly, you won’t have to worry about troubleshooting or gathering new information/products along the way. What things should you sort out?
Play to your personality and strengths when building your stream brand. Know where you want to go with your content, what risks you are willing to take, and what it will take to get started. Use that information to choose your stream name, design your logo and other graphics, and set up your social media accounts.
If your name isn’t on brand, you will want to learn how to change Twitch name. It is important to change it sooner than later to ensure that you don’t have to change too much on your links and social media.
Graphics for Your Channel
Once you have an idea of your branding, design (or pay someone to design) your logo, profile banner and panels, Twitch overlays, offline screen, alerts, subscriber badges, and your first 2-3 channel emotes. You won’t be able to use your emotes until after you receive affiliate status, and they are approved (generally takes about 48 hours).
Displaying your future stream emotes in your profile will show viewers you are taking your channel seriously. Having them available will also help your content during your first week (see step 3) and give you another topic to discuss.
Stream Equipment and Software
Strive to produce high-quality content from the beginning. Have a good understanding of how your stream equipment and software work. Make sure that your camera and microphone are good enough to entice an audience.
Practice switching between scenes, make sure your visual quality is good, your overlays are positioned correctly, and that your audio is synced with your video. Play with your lighting and background until it is aesthetically pleasing. Have a few friends give you feedback to maximize your results.
Fill Out Your Twitch Profile
Write your full profile. Let people know who you are, what you plan to play or do on your stream, and why you are streaming. Add your social media links and leave space for your upcoming schedule and future subscription rewards.
View your Twitch bio as a hook to reel in new viewers. Keep it intriguing and give people a reason to return to your channel.
Know Your Target Audience
Take time to find your niche. While it will likely morph or change over your first few months (and it will be influenced by your viewers), finding unique things that you can bring to your stream will set you apart from your competition. In addition to that, find a niche in your content as well. If you are a gamer, don’t play an over-saturated game. Find a game that has a lot of viewers, but fewer streamers so that it is easier for you to be discovered.
2. Plan Content in Advance for Each of Your Streams
Know what you want to stream, what games you want to play, and what you will talk about in advance.
How Fast Can Your Reach Twitch Affiliate?
You will need to have at least 7 streams and a total of 500 minutes of broadcasting time to reach affiliate status. If you were to only stream seven times, this would work out to just under an hour and 15 minutes per stream (71.43 minutes). As many people stream for a minimum of two hours per session, this is easily doable.
Plan Out Your First 8 Streams
We suggest that you thoroughly plan out your first 8 streams. Yes, we said 8, not seven. Here’s why! The reason you want to get to Affiliate status is so that you can monetize your stream. As you build hype and momentum through the week, periodically let your viewers know what you are doing. Give them an incentive for helping you if you make it.
After you’ve reached affiliate, use your eighth stream to fulfill that incentive. You can either do this on the eighth night or wait 3-4 days for your first emote to be approved (a great way to immediately attract subs). If you choose the latter, you can still opt to stream between the seventh day and your incentive stream.
Let your viewers know when you plan to party. If you have entertained them successfully, many of them will join you. A few may be ready to financially support you now that you are an Affiliate!
Offer Incentives and Invite Feedback
Optionally, throughout your affiliate push week, direct viewers to your profile to view your 2-3 (or more) future emotes. Invite them to vote on the one they would want if they were to subscribe to your channel. Not only will this encourage their interaction, but it will also subtly put the idea of future subscriptions in their minds. Continue to give your viewers options for their perks as your channel grows.
Plan out your content. See if you can collaborate with friends (or other new streamers). Brainstorm stream name ideas and talk to your friends for constructive feedback. While your current goal might be to reach affiliate status, your overall goal will be to attract and maintain a community. It is important to start this at the very beginning of the process.
After you have planned your streams, be professional and show up to your stream ready and on time. Being on time shows your audience that they can trust you to be reliable and consistent and they will be more apt to subscribe to you in the future.
You should also plan the titles for your streams in advance. A big part of attracting 3+ organic concurrent viewers is by selling your broadcast through a strong stream title.
3. Set Up Your Stream Schedule
If you want to hit affiliate in seven days, you will need to stream every day for a week. While you shouldn’t stream every day regularly, reaching affiliate status is a big deal and is worth it if you can find the time. Make sure that potential viewers understand that this won’t be your typical schedule by posting your future stream days and times in your profile.
Pushing affiliate in a week will take a lot of time and dedication. If possible, line it up with time off of work, summer vacation, a holiday break, etc. This will give you a little extra time to prepare for your stream and broadcast your content. After your show, review it to find your peaks and take note of your viewers to strengthen the next day’s content. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity, so make sure you have the time and help you need in advance.
If you aren’t pushing for the affiliate title in a week, spreading out your schedule allows you to have more time to plan on how to strengthen the content for each one. This will also allow you to gauge right away if you can continue indefinitely on that schedule. If needed, adjust it for more time with real-life activities and responsibilities.
4. Strategically Select Your Genre
A great hack for finding organic viewers is to use statistic sites such as SullyGnome. They have a feature where you can see the streamers vs viewer numbers through each hour. Looking through the history of the last week or two can give you an idea of when you have a better chance of reaching new followers. Look for times where there are still a lot of viewers, but fewer streamers.
In addition to individual game stats, SullyGnome features charts for many metrics. This chart shows the 5 games that had the highest increase for average views over a week in August 2019 alongside the Twitch viewership counts.
5. How to Get Concurrent Viewers
One of the fastest ways to build viewership is to ask your friends and family to support you in your new venture. If you have a social media following, let them know when you will be streaming. Having three or more concurrent viewers is necessary for you to achieve affiliate status and their help can be the ticket.
They can also help keep your chat active for other viewers who happen by your channel. If you are coming from another platform, let your followers know. Most will follow you to continue watching your content and it will give you an immediate boost to your stream.
How to Network with Other Streamers
Unable to find a real-life support system? Start to network with people online. If you play an MMO, let the gamers you frequently play with know about your streaming plans. Frequent forums relating to your category and interact with people by answering questions or sharing valuable tips or techniques. While you shouldn’t self-promote, some people will look into what you are doing and may follow you on Twitch.
Another strategy is to visit the channels of other broadcasters in your specific genre (who are near your level and follower count). Again, do not self-promote, but be an active contributor to their chat. Interact with other members of that community and ask the streamer questions relating to their life or content. Be respectful and helpful. If the streamer/other viewers ask if you play or stream the game, let them know. Some will follow you and the streamer may even raid or host your channel when they go offline.
At the end of your stream, raid or host other channels as well. Not only will this help out other streamers (whom you should view as allies, not competition), they will most likely thank you for raiding your channel. This lets their viewers know of your existence. Some may check out your show next time you go live. Stay on their stream for at least 15-20 minutes to interact with them and their following to build relationships with them.
6. Produce Interactive Content on Twitch
Here are a few ways you can create interactive content:
- Consider playing a game (or doing an activity) where viewers can interact with you (this works better with niche games/categories that are not oversaturated). Many Twitch users enjoy being part of the show and will click on titles that announce that they can potentially play with you in some way.
- If they ask to join your content, enthusiastically thank them for their participation and let them know that one of the requirements to do so is to follow your channel. In the future, when you have amassed a large following, you can do the exact same method to turn some of your followers into subscribers.
- While we generally encourage you to not participate in follow-for-follow schemes, if you have managed to meet the other requirements and are still struggling for follows, it would be a good way to quickly hit this milestone. Understand that this will not benefit the overall future growth of your channel and creating an organic following is always the best option.
- Find communities of like-minded streamers who are excited to support each other. Engage with them and ask some to view your stream for a while and give you feedback on how to strengthen your content. Our hope is that members will be able to connect with each other to build small teams that can actively support and critique each other for growth.
- You could also set up a follower goal widget (such as the one from Streamlabs) to track your follower number on screen. This is a very easy way for people to see your goals without you having to verbalize them.
7. How to Use Social Media to Get Twitch Viewers
While you shouldn’t overuse social media to promote yourself, there are a few clever ways you can funnel people back into your stream.
Be active on Facebook groups related to streaming or your specific content. Let people know what you are building and ask for advice and help others when you are able. You will be able to network through these areas and possibly set up collaborations in the future.
The Twitch Streamers Community is one of several Facebook pages focused on helping streamers network.
If you are raided by another streamer, thank them on Twitter by calling out to them. They will appreciate it because you have made your following aware of them, and their followers will see your tweet and may follow you in return. On the same note, send out a tweet at the end of your stream thanking your viewers for watching and mention who you raided.
8. Be Enthusiastic and Positive
Like anything else, people are more inclined to buy when they are in a good frame of mind. Viewers flock to places that are enjoyable. Build something that people want to be a join. Be charismatic. Always talk on stream, even if there is nothing in your chat.
Maintain a good attitude throughout your broadcast with high energy. Engage with your viewers and include them in whatever ways you can. Make sure that your content is valuable. Take risks to find specific niches that will help your stream stand out and be meaningful to viewers.
Don’t go into streaming with an air of entitlement. While people are attracted to confidence, many are put off by arrogance. It is your job to create something that people will want to support. Don’t just expect them to show up without putting in any effort into your channel.
Twitch Affiliate Payout
The most exciting thing about becoming a Twitch Affiliate is the ability to monetize your channel through ads, channel subscriptions, and bits. Once you have reached the Twitch payout threshold of $100 USD, you’ll be paid within 60 days. You will also be able to add up to 5 emotes to your account as you gain subscribers, allowing you to offer them additional incentives for monetization.
How to Apply for Twitch Affiliate
When you reach your Twitch Milestones, you will automatically be sent an invitation to join the Affiliate program to your email. At that point, you can accept it and begin to monetize your account and upload your Twitch emotes. You don’t need to apply for Affiliate status, though you will need to apply for Partnership status later on in your Twitch career.
Can You Lose Twitch Affiliate?
You can lose Twitch Affiliate status if you stop streaming and let your account go inactive for a year or break certain terms of service. You can also be promoted to Twitch Partner, though some streamers choose to forgo partnership status so that they can continue to stream cross-platform to grow their overall brand.
How to Know When You Are a Twitch Affiliate
You will know that you have succeeded when Twitch sends you an invitation through email. You don’t need to apply, the process is automated.
After you have reached the necessary requirement for affiliate status, Twitch will notify you through email. You will then be able to set up how to get paid on through your Twitch profile settings. While you can get Twitch affiliate in a week, it will require some pre-planning and preparation. You need adequate software, a clear sense of your brand, and a plan on future strong content going forward to the next major milestone: Partnership.