I have always loved video games. Ever since I was 3, when was first introduced to the world of video games through the Nintendo Gamecube, and have since grown an attachment to them. I absolutely love them, enjoy playing them, and it is my preferred way to spend my free time.
Considering you are reading this, it is most likely that you enjoy video games as well, and you spend a lot of time playing them. Do you every spend a whole afternoon playing video games, and then felt bad afterwards and feel like you got nothing accomplished? What if I told you that you could turn your video gaming addiction into profit.
Sounds crazy right, but it actually is possible and very simple to do. All you need is your preferred gaming device, an internet connection, and a Twitch account. There are many ways of going about doing this, but before we get into that, I would like to first explain to you what Twitch is and how it can be used to your benefit.
What is Twitch?
For those of you who don’t know, Twitch is a live streaming video platform that allows users to live stream video game playing, and even broadcasts of eSports competitions. Most people use the platform to simply watch their favorite gamers play some of their favorite games live. But did you know that those people being viewed are just people like you and me?
Yes, even the biggest streamers were once just people like you who loved video games and wanted to make some money from playing them. They were extremely successful in doing so, and maybe your audience size will never be the size of theirs, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to gain some people who love to watch you and do so often.
I just want to quickly note that this tutorial is how to set up Twitch and stream from your computer. You can definitely do it from other gaming devices, but we will just be covering PC today, because that is what most people game on.
Set Up Your Twitch Account
If you have decided that streaming is what you want to do, you need to first create a Twitch account. To do so, you must first go to the Twitch sign up page, and enter your information, and your account will be created within a minute.
Once your account is created, it will ask you to pick some games you are interested in watching, so just pick 3 you like, it doesn’t have to be what you plan to play, just any 3. Once you have done that, it will allow you to access your channel, but before you do anything, I would highly recommend that you edit your profile.
A lot of people think that they need to jump right into streaming right away, and that is just wrong. You should definitely first set up your profile. To do this, simply click on your name in the top right corner of the screen and toward the bottom of the drop-down menu, hit the “Settings” button.
You should then change your display name to whatever you desire, it will automatically set it to your username, so change it if you want. Then when add a profile picture, you should either use picture of yourself, or a picture of one of the games that you plan to play. Finally, add your bio, which shouldn’t be that long, and shouldn’t take you that long. Once your account is set up, it is time to start streaming!
How to Record Your Gameplay
To start, you first need a program that will allow you to record your gameplay, your voice, and maybe your facecam. The program I recommend is called OBS, and they are really cool because they allow you to record multiple things at once and make it into one livestream very easily and it will look very professional.
To install OBS, you must first visit their page, and download the version that works with your operating system. When installing, I would recommend you include the different sources, because these are going to be your sources of video, so make sure you include all the plug-ins you need to make your stream the best it can possibly be.
Now that it has completed installing, open OBS, and go through the auto-configuration wizard. Within, you must specify what you want to use the program for (in this case streams), select the resolution you want for your streams, select streaming service, and enter your stream key.
“Wait, what’s a stream key?”, you may be asking yourself. Your stream key is a code that allows your OBS to stream live to your Twitch account. To get yours, you need to be logged in to Twitch, and then click the (Link) within the OBS config and it will bring you to a page, where it will show your key. Copy that, paste it into the config, select your region, hit “Apply Settings” and your set up.
With your OBS set up, you now need to configure all your sources and create all of your scenes. A scene in this case, is a group of sources (facecam, game, etc).
To make a scene, click the “Add” button located within the “Scenes” tab, then name the scene what you desire. To add game footage to your scene, click “Add” within the “Sources” and click “Game Capture”. To set up audio, hit “Add” under “Sources” and select “Audio in”, where it will allow you to choose your preferred microphone.
One more thing to remember is making a background to your stream. Maybe add your Twitch name in the corner, or maybe your logo, really anything that will make you stand out. To do this, hit “Add” within “Sources”, then hit “Image” and select “browse” to search for your desired image. Adjust it to your liking and your done.
Remember, if I didn’t cover something that you want to do on your stream, play around with the program and you will discover some cool things you didn’t know you could do, and if you need help with something, just leave a comment below and I will be happy to help.
When you want to start streaming, it is very quick and simple. All you do is boot up your favorite PC game, and click “Start Streaming” within OBS. That is it, and when you are done, big surprise, hit “Stop Streaming”.
Make Money from Your Streams
With your streams starting, now it is time to start making money. The first way I would recommend is through ads.
Earn Ad Revenue
If you have registered as a Twitch Partner and started to gain some subscribers and popularity, you will start to earn ad revenue. Your Twitch will bring about $250 per 100 subscribers per month, that’s pretty good.
Ask for Donations
Another way that a lot of streamers make money is asking for donations. This can be done right out of the gate, you can add a donation button to your channel, which allows your viewers to throw cash your way. Donation amounts vary from $1 to even thousands of dollars from one donation.
Anyone can add a donation button to their channel, and strangers who enjoy watching can toss you a few bucks.
In October 2016, Twitch announced a new tipping system called “Cheering”, where viewers can gift their favorite streamers online currency called Bits.
Viewers can earn anywhere from 5-100 Bits (100 Bits are worth $1.40) by watching 30 second advertisements. They can also purchase Bits outright via Amazon payment system.
When a viewer likes something you did in your stream, they can type “cheer100” into the chat bar of your channel, where “100” is the number of Bits they want to gift. For example, let’s say someone types “cheer1000”, you will receive 1,000 Bits, which is worth $10.
Nice work, your stream is set up! A key factor of earning is gaining viewers. This may be hard in the beginning, you may only have a single viewer, but if you stick with it, people will find you. Everyone, even the biggest streamers were once beginners and had a single viewer.
You need to keep on streaming, keep on playing the games that you love. Make sure the enjoyment from these games is real. First, it will be a lot more fun for you, and second, if you really enjoy something, let your love come through your stream and your viewers will see that and respect and like you for it. Keep smiling while gaming, and I wish you the best of luck in growing your audience.
If you have any questions about anything that I explained here, that I forgot to mention or that you are just wondering, leave them down below and I will answer them as soon as possible.