What Is The Twitch Affiliate Program?
Twitch’s affiliate program offers creators a chance to share in the company’s earnings. Like most online affiliate programs, payments are based on the creator’s popularity and audience engagement.
There are many ways for creators to share in the wealth, including:
- Ad Revenue Sharing
- Bits (an emoji-based donation mechanic set up by Twitch)
Being a Twitch affiliate also gives you access to Channel Point rewards, custom emoticons, and other features that aren’t available to other creators.
However, if you are looking up articles about how to be a Twitch affiliate, you probably know most of this by now. While being a Twitch affiliate can be rewarding, it can also be difficult to get your foot in the door.
Twitch has a few metrics that it looks at when deciding whether or not to offer a creator an affiliate contract, including:
- Amount Of Time And Days Spent Streaming (8 Hours/7 Unique Days)
- Number Of Followers (50 Followers)
- Average Number Of Concurrent Viewers (3 Viewers)
Each one of these factors have their own set of challenges associated by them. There are different strategies that creators can employ to reach each of these goals.
Today, I wanted to discuss some of my best tips and strategies for reaching affiliate status on Twitch. I used these strategies myself and was able to hit affiliate on Twitch in my first month of using the platform.
Hitting The Follower Number
On Twitch, you need 50 followers to hit the metric for reaching affiliate. Truthfully, 50 is not a lot for a platform of this size. YouTube requires 1000 followers before they offer you affiliate status. Here are my best strategies for organically growing your follower number.
Note: It is possible to hit your follower number by using a follow-for-follow strategy. There are plenty of Facebook groups where people will follow you. Since Twitch’s 50 follower number is just a number, you can hit the 50 follower metric pretty quickly.
However, these followers will most likely not watch your streams or engage with your content. Also, your follower feed on Twitch will be flooded with streamers you don’t watch. In my opinion, organic follower growth is the best strategy.
Tip #1: Engage With Your Audience
People are more likely to follow you if you engage with them. Twitch is a very community-oriented platform. While it is true that some people watch Twitch creators to see the games/content, most of them watch because they enjoy the company of the streamer.
This may seem like common sense, but I have seen many creators sit there silently while people attempted to chat with them. Make sure that you are talking to your viewers and people in your chat room. Get to know them, and ask them about themselves. Just like making friends in real life, making friends on Twitch will increase the chance that they will come back.
Tip #2: Get To Know Other Streamers
As I stated previously, Twitch is a very community-oriented platform. This is true for streamers as well. While each streamer is attempting to build their own community, they are also part of other streamer’s communities. Twitch is a never-ending web of people befriending each other.
While it is important that you talk to people in your own stream, it is equally as important that you are watching other people’s streams. Getting to know other streamers is one of the most fulfilling aspects of using Twitch. Everyone can help each other grow and creators can collaborate with each other.
It is also important that you go about networking the right way. Many Twitch streamers and users do not look kindly at selfish self-promotion. Going into someone’s stream and talking about your own stream will not get people to like you.
The best advice I can give here is to be genuine, be yourself, and also be selfless. Give the streamer the attention and love they deserve. Even though you are a participant in someone’s stream, the stream isn’t about you. Twitch rewards users who are authentic and community-minded.
Tip #3: Network On Social Media
Many Twitch streamers and creators have found success by promoting their streams outside of the Twitch platform. Just like musicians, writers, and artists, Twitch streamers utilize social media in their marketing efforts.
Make social media accounts for your Twitch account. Use these accounts to meet other streamers and potential fans. You can use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform where Twitch streamers are active.
If you only want to use one or two social media accounts, I would suggest doing some research beforehand. Go on these platforms and look at the Twitch communities and the communities for the types of games you play. You may find that one social media network has a bigger and more active fanbase than the others.
Tip #4: Network On Discord
Discord seems to be the social platform of choice for Twitch creators. Discord allows you to have multiple message boards for different games and topics. It also has voice chat rooms which come in handy when playing multiplayer games.
You don’t necessarily have to start your own Discord server right away. However, it is beneficial to join the Discord servers of the streamers you love. Many streamers also have self-promotion sections of their server which will help you get more viewers. I have also seen Discord servers that rally their community to help you reach affiliate.
Hitting The Days And Hours Numbers
Twitch requires that content creators stream at least 8 hours on 7 unique days within a month before being considered for affiliate.
Tip #5: Make a Reasonable Schedule
It is possible to grow a following by streaming at random times, and by not having a schedule. However, it will be more difficult to hit affiliate when you do this. Also, if you find yourself streaming all of the time you are risking getting burnt out and stressed.
It is better to create a basic schedule that is easy for you to manage. When creating a schedule, think about your own lifestyle and how often you can stream without impacting your life. You could also do some research into the games you play, and find time slots where your game of choice is less saturated with other streamers.
Tip #6: Be Consistent
Now that you have a schedule set up, the next hurdle is streaming consistently. It is fine to take a few days off here and there, but for the most part you want to be sticking to your schedule and streaming consistently.
Your audience is going to come to expect to see you online at certain times, and on certain days. By not honoring your schedule, you are risking alienating your audience. It is no different than when a television show doesn’t air on the agreed-upon date and time. You are entertainment and friendship for your audience. Make sure that you show up for them.
Tip #7: Get Into A Routine
The easiest way to avoid streaming inconsistencies is to build a routine for yourself. For example, say you stream after work on weekdays. Have a routine for getting home from work, getting your stream set up, and going live. Block off this time in your schedule and make it into a ritual that you can follow regularly.
Hitting The Concurrent Viewers Number
Yes. The dreaded concurrent viewer number. This is one of the hardest parts of hitting affiliate on Twitch. Building an audience can be a slow process. However, we have a few strategies to keep people in your stream.
Tip #8: Engage With Your Audience
Asking your audience questions is a great way to keep them engaged and watching. Do your best to keep the conversation going. Even if you don’t have many active viewers, keep talking.
There is nothing worse than being in a stream where the streamer is ignoring their audience, or not being engaging. This is a sure way to make sure that people stop watching your stream.
Tip #9: Support Other Streamers
A big part of growing your audience on Twitch occurs outside of your own stream. By supporting other streamers, they will often return the favor. This includes being active in their streams, as well as giving them shoutouts in your own streams.
Tip #10: Coordinate Raids With Your Friends
Raiding is an excellent way to grow your audience. In Twitch terms, a “raid” is when one streamer sends their audience to another streamer. This helps expose one streamer’s audience to a completely new person.
Many streamers will raid people they have never met before. You may be surprised when you get raided as a new streamer. When this happens make sure to thank the raiding streamer, and do your best to get to know their audience.
Also, if you have friends that stream before or after you, you can coordinate your streams in a way that allows you to raid each other. Not only will this increase your potential audience for the long term, but it will also increase your concurrent viewers in the short term.
Tip #11: Do Challenges And Events
Challenges and events can be great ways to get your audience to stick around. There are some basic community challenges that many streamers use. This includes follower goals, and subscription goals (for those who have already hit affiliate).
You can also employ game-specific goals. If you are good at a specific game, you can ask your community to challenge you to meet specific goals. This can be as simple as playing with the keyboard/controller upside down or getting a specific amount of points.
Some excellent ways to do challenges and events include:
- Follower Goals
- Special Streams, such as karaoke
- Bonus Holiday Streams
- Viewer Challenges
Tip #12: Use A Loyalty Points System
While this is not a native function of Twitch, many Twitch bots have loyalty features. This gives viewers points that they can use for chat room games, such as a chat-based slot machine.
Points are typically awarded over time, or through the use of raffles. While the points don’t do anything, it adds an element of fun to the chat room. Some streamers will also use their loyalty points for determining the winners of giveaways.
Effective Nerd uses the loyalty points system built into the Stream Element’s chat bot.
Tip #13: Wait For Your Old Streams To Fall Off
Since Twitch’s average concurrent viewers are measured on a monthly basis, you may have to wait for your old streams to not be counted in the average.
Unless you already have an audience on another platform, your first few Twitch streams will be a bit lonely. While this is completely normal, those streams still get counted in your average.
Having multiple streams with 0 average viewers will pull down your average. Even after you start averaging 3 viewers, you may have to patient for your average to adjust.
Other Tips For Reaching Affiliate On Twitch
Tip #14: Show Off Your Other Talents
Twitch is a great platform for creativity outside of playing video games. Many streamers are also artists. If you have talents outside of streaming, don’t be afraid to show them off!
One of the best parts of streaming on Twitch is the creative freedom it gives you. You can design your own overlay, draw on stream, or even produce music on stream. Show your creative side to your audience.
Tip #15: Learn More About How Twitch Works
There is a lot going on in terms of what is under the hood for Twitch creators. Twitch’s Creator Dashboard has a variety of screens and options for you to manipulate. Many of these features get added and expanded once you reach affiliate status on Twitch.
By learning more about how the platform works, you can improve the overall quality of your streaming. In turn, this will provide more value to your audience.
Tip #16: Have Consistent Branding
It is important that your branding is consistent across all of your accounts. Most creators do this by creating a logo for themselves and picking a color or two for accent. These images and colors are used throughout their Twitch account, stream overlay, and social media accounts.
Doing this lets your audience know that you are professional and take your streaming seriously. It also helps people identify with your brand. A really good branding aesthetic will catch people’s eyes and gain their attention.
Tip #17: Begin Preparing For Affiliate
While preparing yourself for affiliate may not help your audience directly, it can serve as motivation for what you have been working for. Becoming a Twitch affiliate opens up a lot of fun and exciting features for the platform. Plan ahead for all the fun you will have later!
As for affiliate preparations, you can begin to design your emotes, and think about what you want to do for channel point rewards and giveaways.
Tip #18: Improve Your Setup And Overlay
Having a strong visual aesthetic to your stream is an important part of being a Twitch streamer. You should always be working to improve your overlay and Twitch set up.
There are many ways to improve your stream setup, including:
- Having A Visually Stimulating Overlay
- Have A Bot Setup That Is Both Fun And Informative
- Have Consistent Branding Throughout Your Stream Elements
The more polished and interactive you can make your stream, the more likely it will be that people will stick around and watch.
For some extra help on your journey to becoming a Twitch Affiliate, make sure to check out Twitch’s official documents on the subject!