How to Make Money with Streaming (YouTube/Twitch/Facebook)

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Streaming platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook have opened up new opportunities for people to earn money by creating live and recorded video content. From gaming streams to cooking shows, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making money as a streamer. However, building a successful streaming career takes time, effort, and perseverance. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore how to make money streaming on popular platforms and provide tips to help you succeed.

Overview of Streaming Income Potential

The potential to earn significant income as a streamer has increased alongside the growth of platforms like Twitch and Facebook Gaming. Top Twitch streamers can make over $100,000 per month from various monetization methods. While reaching that level of success is difficult, many full-time streamers earn $3,000 to $5,000 per month once they build a sizable audience.

Even for part-time streamers, the extra income from streaming can be meaningful. Someone streaming 10 hours per week could reasonably make an extra $100 to $500 monthly. The income potential increases for streamers willing to put in more hours and effort to grow their brand.

While gaming streams tend to get the most views, you can earn money in any niche, from cooking and music to simply chatting with your audience. The keys are creating engaging content, growing your viewership, and leveraging all available monetization options.

Streaming Monetization Methods

Here are the main ways streamers make money from live streaming and uploaded video content:

Advertising Revenue

Platforms like Twitch and Facebook pay streamers a share of the advertising revenue generated from ads placed in and around their videos. The more views your content gets, the more ads are shown, and the higher your income.

On Twitch, streamers earn approximately $3 to $5 per 1,000 ad views as part of the site‘s Partner Program. Facebook also offers ad revenue sharing for gaming creators in its Level Up Program.


Platforms like Twitch and YouTube allow viewers to subscribe to channels for a monthly fee. As a streamer, you earn a percentage of these subscription payments.

On Twitch, Affiliates earn 50% of the subscription fee, while Partners earn 70%. Subscription prices range from $4.99 to $24.99 per month. YouTube offers multiple subscription tiers ranging from $0.99 to $49.99 per month, with creators typically earning 55% of the fee.


Viewers can send tips and donations to support streamers they enjoy. Platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook facilitate direct donations using payment processors like PayPal or credit cards. Streamers will often list tipping options on their channel pages.

Third-party services like Streamlabs also make it easy to accept tips while streaming. Alerts can be configured so when a viewer donates, an animation and your choice of audio will play to recognize their contribution.

Merchandise Sales

Once you build an audience, you can earn additional income by selling branded merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, and other items featuring your logos and designs.

Many streamers use print-on-demand services to handle merchandise fulfillment. This way you don‘t have to invest in product inventory upfront. Companies like Teespring allow you to design shirts and other items and earn a commission when they sell.


Popular streamers can earn significant income through brand sponsorships. Companies will pay to have their products featured, promoted, and endorsed in your videos. Sponsorship income potential increases along with your audience size and level of influence.

Micro-influencer sponsorships are also an option for streamers with smaller, highly engaged audiences. For example, a gaming equipment company may pay a couple hundred dollars for you to showcase and review one of their products.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate programs allow streamers to earn commission by promoting products and services. For example, you can include affiliate links to games, equipment, and other products relevant to your audience. When viewers make a purchase, you receive a percentage of the sale amount.

Amazon Associates and affiliate programs for gaming merchandisers like Razer are popular options. Individual game developers may also have affiliate programs to reward streamers who help drive sales.

Building a Successful Streaming Career

Becoming a successful full-time streamer takes time and effort. Standing out in a saturated market requires creativity, perseverance, and business savvy. Here are some top tips for building your streaming career:

Choose a Niche

Rather than broadcasting generic gaming content, identify a specific niche that you‘re passionate about and knowledgeable in. This could be speedrunning a specific game, playing competitively, focusing on retro games, or even non-gaming content like cooking, music, or science.

Focusing on a niche helps attract the right audience rather than attempting to appeal to all gamers. As you stream, continue refining your niche by identifying types of content and topics your viewers respond to.

Interact With Viewers

Reading chat comments, responding to questions, taking viewer requests, and overall making your audience feel included will foster loyalty. Making real connections sets you apart from streams that ignore their viewers.

Slow mode and moderators can help manage chat in larger streams. You can also do special events like Q&As and polls to engage viewers.

Collaborate With Other Streamers

Collaborating with other streamers in your niche allows you to connect with new audiences and increase discoverability. You can guest star on each other‘s streams, participate in group events, promote each other‘s content, and more.

Stream Consistently

A consistent streaming schedule is key so viewers know when to watch you. This is especially important when starting out. Stick to a schedule like streaming Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7-10 pm. Consistency shows commitment and keeps your streaming momentum going.

Diversify Content

Have variety beyond just streaming gameplay – this could include vlogs, tutorial videos, funny highlight compilations, interviews with fellow streamers, and more evergreen content. Diversifying gives viewers more to watch and promotes discovery.

Use Social Media

Leverage other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to promote your stream and clips. Share personal aspects of your life to give fans a window into your world. Social media also helps build connections with viewers.

Track Performance

Analytics provided by streaming platforms are crucial for identifying what content performs best and when your viewership peaks. Study the data to optimize your approach – double down on what works and change up what doesn‘t.

By implementing proven streaming best practices and persevering through the ups and downs, you can build a thriving streaming career that provides a steady income. Keep evolving your content and brand to rise above an increasingly competitive landscape. The effort is well worth it if streaming is your true passion.

Is Streaming Right for You?

Before diving headfirst into streaming, reflect on whether it aligns with your skills, interests, and lifestyle. Ask yourself:

  • Do you enjoy entertaining and engaging with an audience for hours at a time?

  • Are you passionate about gaming or another streaming niche that will sustain your interest long-term?

  • Are you willing to commit to a consistent schedule – streaming takes time away from other priorities.

  • Do you have a thick skin to handle criticism and negativity that may come your way as your channel grows?

  • Are you willing to put in the effort to constantly improve the quality of your streams and promotion?

  • Do you have ideas for providing value and standing out in your chosen niche?

  • Can you accept that growth may be very gradual at first and consistent effort is required to build an audience?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you may have what it takes to succeed in streaming. Turn your passion into profit by providing value to viewers – combine entertainment and quality content within your niche. Patience and persistence are key.

Streaming Platform Comparison

The three dominant platforms for streamers are currently Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Gaming. Here is how they compare:


  • Focused primarily on gaming content

  • Largest platform with over 30 million daily active users

  • Most monetization options like subscriptions and tipping

  • Chat and communities tailored to streamers

  • Requires consistent effort to stand out among millions of other streamers

YouTube Live

  • Broad platform beyond just gaming

  • Leverage existing YouTube subscriber base for instant audience

  • Ad revenue earnings potential higher than Twitch once viewership grows

-Can be challenging to get visibility relying solely on live streaming

  • YouTube algorithm favors heavily edited content over raw streams

Facebook Gaming

  • Integrated with world‘s largest social media platform

  • Instant access to all your Facebook friends and followers

  • Lower barrier to entry compared to Twitch and YouTube

  • Monetization options more limited compared to other platforms

  • Gaining visibility can still be difficult without paid promotion

For most new streamers, it makes sense to begin on Twitch or YouTube given their larger user bases focused on video streaming. However, expanding to put your streams on multiple platforms can help maximize discoverability, viewership, and revenue.

Key Takeaways

  • Streaming platforms provide multiple ways to earn, including ad revenue, subscriptions, tips and more. Top streamers can make over $100,000 per month.

  • Building a successful streaming career takes consistency, business savvy, and outstanding content tailored to your niche.

  • Twitch and YouTube are the most popular platforms, with Facebook Gaming on the rise. Multi-streaming across platforms is an option.

  • Reflect on whether streaming aligns with your interests and lifestyle before committing fully.

  • Patience and persistence are crucial – it takes most streamers months or years of effort to build a sustainable income.

  • Maintain a positive mindset during ups and downs. Stay adaptable as you continue growing your channel and brand.

The potential is there to turn streaming into a full-time career by providing value to an engaged audience. With the right mix of skills and mindset, your passions can be translated into streaming success.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.