In short, yes. You are able to accept donations from people if you are not a Twitch affiliate or Twitch partner. Donations are separate from Twitch and will require you to set up a donations page yourself. Although donations are not an efficient way to make money on Twitch, it’s a nice way for loyal viewers to help monetize your content.
You can even accept crypto donations which have comparatively lower transaction fees compared to things like PayPal.
Ways to Earn Money Without Joining Twitch Affiliate Program
There are many great ways to monetize your Twitch channel. Most of the methods used to monetize will require you to have a PayPal account in order to receive payments and will still be reliant on your Twitch viewer’s generosity.
Selling merchandise is a great way to make more money on Twitch, regardless of affiliate status. Often viewers love to show their support for their favorite streamers or content creator by buying merch as it offers something more for them than emotes. Creating your own merch store is often free, and easy to do.
Joining affiliate programs with third-party services is a very effective way to earn some extra cash. Many will expect you to have X amount of concurrent viewers and Twitch followers before they will consider your application, whereas others will accept smaller streamers on the basis they are able to sell.
Often you will need to meet the amount of sales in a time period in order to keep your affiliate status with that company, you might not even receive any money for your time being affiliated. Most affiliate programs will require you to reach a minimum balance threshold before receiving a payout, which normally ranges from $20 – $100.
Sponsorship deals are very much like affiliate programs, although you will normally receive a higher payout and often a discount code to pass on to your viewers. Some sponsorships might even be a one-time thing in which you will promote the product and get paid for your promotion. However, sponsors often look for content creators with a larger audience which makes it harder for small streamers to get.
This does not mean you have to be a popular Twitch streamer to gain sponsorship – you can gain sponsorships on social media accounts, like Instagram or Twitter, and promote them live on your Twitch to later post that content to your socials. This is an easy way to not only monetize your content but also advertise your Twitch channel too.
Another great way to gain some extra money is to take commissions for your services. If you are artistic or even just really good at editing videos for YouTube, sites like Fiverr are a good place to sell your expertise. You don’t have to be a Twitch affiliate or Twitch partner to be successful with your commissions either.
Use your social media accounts to advertise your commissions, and make sure you are offering fair and competitive prices for your skillset or you may earn very little money from this.
If you have a YouTube channel, once you reach a YouTube partner you will be able to receive ad revenue on your YouTube videos. This does require as much work as Twitch affiliate, if not more, but some creators find their content performs better on YouTube due to the lack of discoverability on Twitch.
Many Twitch partners will use a Youtube account to highlight their content to gain extra exposure and revenue. This doesn’t necessarily need to be something you stop when you eventually become a Twitch affiliate or Twitch partner.
How to Set up Donations
To set up donations for your Twitch, you will first need to sign up with a service such as StreamElements or StreamLabs. You can simply just share your details for your PayPal account, though that is not recommended and will not display an alert on your Twitch stream. For this article, we will be using StreamElements, though the steps to set up StreamLabs will be similar.
Open the StreamElements website and log in with your Twitch account.
In the sidebar, click the Revenue drop-down menu. Select Tipping settings.
Selecting Tipping settings then, under payment provider, connect your PayPal or bank account where you would like to receive donations.
Under Page Settings, set your minimum donation amount and change any of the other donation settings to fit your needs.
Finally, go to the Tip Panel Setup tab and copy your donation link. Now paste it into your text or image panel or create a command in your chat. This last step is very important as viewers will not be able to donate money to you without it.
How to Add a Donation Button
Adding a ‘donation button’, or a donation panel, on Twitch is very easy. Donation panels give your Twitch viewers an easy and obvious way to support your channel and are used by many Twitch streamers.
First, open your Twitch channel page. Now go to the About section and click Edit Panels. Click the Plus Panel.
Next, click Add a Text or Image Panel.
Add an image to your panel to gain the most attention to this section, then paste your donation link, which we copied above in step 5, into the Image Links To section and hit Submit.
Your panel should now be ready to use. To view and test it, toggle off Edit Panels and click your new donation panel. Use an image that fits your brand to attract more attention and create a consistent channel aesthetic as I have done below!
How Much Can You Earn Before Reaching Affiliate?
There is no cap on the amount of money you can earn before reaching Twitch affiliate. In order to join the Twitch affiliate program you will need to reach the following requirements in a 30 day period; 3 concurrent viewers, 7 unique broadcast days, 500 total minutes broadcast, and 50 followers.
Before becoming a Twitch affiliate, you will not receive payments from Twitch bits, Twitch subscriptions, or Twitch ads – that does not stop you from receiving donations.
Setting up donations for your Twitch is quick, easy, and a great way to monetize your content without having Twitch affiliate status or joining the Twitch partnership program. Just remember to be grateful for any donations and do not expect Twitch users to give you their extra money, especially not from new viewers of your Twitch channel.