In 2016, popular streamer Lirik tweeted, “If you are a new broadcaster on @twitch and you already have donation overlays/donation links you are doing it wrong.” This statement led to a lot of controversy and several more tweets. But is his statement true? Is there a way to accept donations as a new streamer without “doing it wrong?” When is the right time to start accepting donations?
Every streamer and situation is different. Generally speaking, it is good to wait until you have a solid following before adding a “donations” panel in your profile. Setting one up prematurely could make you look greedy or needy. Both can be a turn-off to potential followers.
Are Twitch Donations Tips?
While we are referring to the same thing, there are some in the industry who prefer to call the act of giving money to streamers “tipping” rather than “donating.” The word “donation” is typically used when you are giving to a charity or someone in need. To “tip” someone is different. This is the act of giving money for a job well done or a service. Regardless of what you call it, your aim should be to do a good job and produce an excellent stream.
Create Good Content to Attract Donations on Twitch
A good stream is one where you are actively engaging with your community and they are genuinely enjoying your content. At a base level, you should have a high-resolution video, clear audio, and an internet plan powerful enough to deliver your content to the world. As a broadcaster, you should be an entertainer, be skilled in your content, and genuinely care about your community. After all, your viewers will be the ones to eventually tip you. For more information about bettering your casts, read 10 Ways to Improve Your Stream’s Content.
Attract Viewers on Twitch
Most often, in order for you to adequately grow, you need to have strong networking and promotional skills. It is hard to find an audience when you are new. Visit forums, Facebook groups, and other streams to meet people. Give more than you take. Don’t just spam your own content. Other creators won’t like it and viewers won’t either.
When to Start Accepting Donations on Twitch or Mixer
We recommend that you wait until someone asks you if they can donate or until you have between 25-30 concurrent views per stream. By this time, you should have a small community that appreciates the content you are producing. Aim for these metrics, not a set period of time. You might also be able to gauge the interaction of your community to know if you are ready.
If you know from the beginning that you are producing valuable content, don’t hesitate to add your donation panel to your profile. There are always exceptions to every rule!
Don’t Announce When You Accept Tips
Whether you add your donation panel when you begin or wait until you have a following, don’t bring special attention to it. If someone wants to donate to you, they will do it! You don’t have to beg them. In fact, begging could discourage people to tip you. Keep your focus on them and your content, not on how much you are earning.
When you create your panels, make more than just one for donations. Create panels for your social media, biography, schedule, and subscriber perks. Make sure that they are of high quality and fit with your brand. Again, this shows your viewers that you want to interact with them. Twitch branding also shows them that you are taking your channel seriously. Both will entice them to support you more.
When you are ready to set up your panels and start accepting tips, read our guide, How to Set Up Donations on Twitch and Mixer.