Set up donations on Twitch, and you’ll be ready to accept money from your fans.
These donations can fund your play and build the basis of some lucrative gaming. The big money comes from corporate sponsorships, but you can still make some cash from donations.
You just have to set yourself up to get the most from these donations. Make it easy for your fans to give you money.
To make the most of donation opportunities, you’ll need to gather up dough from your followers via several avenues. We’ll explore three of them in this blog post:
- How to set up donation on Twitch with bits
- How to set up PayPal for Twitch
- How to enable donations on Twitch with Bitcoin
How to Set Up Donations on Twitch With Bits
Gather up enough followers and influence on Twitch, and you’ll become eligible for Affiliate or Partner status. When that happens, Twitch will automatically allow you to accept money from fans.
If you don’t have a big following yet, don’t worry. We’ll show you how to get more Twitch followers here.
Twitch encourages streamers to adjust bits and cheering settings, so you can make the most of this opportunity. Do that by:
- Logging on.
- Heading to the dashboard.
- Clicking on the “Partner/Affiliate Settings” tab.
- Clicking on “Bits and Cheering.”
If you’re new to the Partner/Affiliate scene, consider leaving your bits donation threshold at 1. But if you have been at this a while and your fans always want to give you more, kick up the limit a bit. That way, you won’t be pestered by teeny-tiny payments.
Under “Cheer Chat Badge Settings,” you can change the badges that show up on your channel. If you see something you dislike, uncheck it to remove it. Or upload your own images. Just make sure they’re not pornographic or otherwise offensive. Remember that you want to appeal to a large audience, so it’s best to keep it clean.
Use the “Top Cheerer Settings” to publish a list of your most generous fans. Share the names of your top fans for that week or that month. Or publish a list of your top all-time donors.
You don’t have to use this function, but it’s open to you. And it could entice some people to donate to get on that list.
How to Set Up PayPal for Twitch
Twitch and PayPal are a match made in heaven. Use this option to encourage your fans to send you money directly rather than messing around with the Twitch interface. To make it work, you’ll need a PayPal account.
If you’ve used an online shopping site like eBay, you probably already have a PayPal account. But you might need a new one to accept Twitch donations.
PayPal explains that personal accounts are made for people that do a little commerce on the side, but who mainly spend money online. Business accounts, on the other hand, are for merchants that operate under some kind of business name.
If you hope to make a living from Twitch, you’ll do more than dabble. You’ll spend time on your craft, and you might even need staff to support you. That’s a business, and it requires a business account. If your goal is to make this a regular gig, set things up right from the start.
When your PayPal account is set up, use PayPal.Me. This system attaches a web page (not an email account) to your PayPal life. You can share that link on your Clutch page in a dedicated “Donations” section.
Head to your Twitch channel, click on “Edit Panels,” hit the plus button, and create a “Donate” panel. Write out all the reasons why people should donate to support your work, and then pop in your PayPal.Me link. It’s that easy.
Some gamers avoid PayPal donations, as they don’t produce a real “product.” Sneaky people exploit that loophole by pinging PayPal and suggesting that they bought something that was never delivered, and that can trigger a refund. It’s a hassle, and PayPal’s user agreement doesn’t protect you. If you’re worried about getting burned, explore other options (like the one we’re about to discuss).
How to Enable Donations on Twitch With Bitcoin
Twitch and Bitcoin have an on-again, off-again relationship. As of June 2019, reporters say, the connection is back on. People can choose Bitcoin as a currency when setting up their accounts. You can also create an account dedicated to Bitcoin and entice your viewers to send you money that way.
You’ll need the help of a provider like Bitcoin.com to make it happen. The Bitcoin.com Wallet product lets you collect money from others, and it comes with a handy link you can share with people who might donate to you.
Download the Bitcoin.com Wallet app to get started. Copy that account link. Put it in the Donations panel you created above, and you’re ready to go.
What to Do and What to Avoid With Twitch Donations
Follow the steps above, and you’re ready to accept Twitch donations from three sources. But you’ll need to ensure you follow best practices to make the most of this opportunity.
Make sure you:
- Share your links often. Paste them into chat while you play. Put them at the end of recorded videos. Promote them via your other social media channels. Think of all the ways to get these links to the most people possible.
- Ask for donations. Don’t be shy. Tell your followers that you rely on their donations. Mention your donation box once or twice as you play. People may not even think about donating until you tell them to.
- Express your thanks. Give a shoutout to people who pass you a bit. Thank your best donors publically as you kick off the next round of play. This helps to build your community. Your thanks can often lead to a bigger conversation, and that can ensure a true fan.
Make sure you do not:
- Get greedy. Mention your links during play once or twice, and then stop. No one likes someone going on and on about the need for money. Ask for donations, but don’t push too hard.
- Forget about the taxes. Twitch calls these things “donations.” The IRS calls them “income.” You’ll need to pay Uncle Sam what is owed. Keep track of your income and put some aside to pay the tax bill. You don’t want to be stuck with a big bill with no money to cover it.
- Limit yourself to donations. Keep growing your channel, even when the money starts rolling in. The big paychecks come from corporate sponsorships, and you’ll need to get really popular to make that happen. Donations allow you to grow your fanbase, but keep your eye on the bigger prize.
Guide to Cheering with Bits. Twitch.
User Agreement. PayPal.
How to Set Up Donations Correctly. Reddit.
Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments. (June 2019). Cointelgraph.
How to Create a Shared Bitcoin Wallet. Bitcoin.com.