How to make money on Twitch without being a Twitch Partner

Last Updated on 08/26/2021 by Dean

While you do need to be a Twitch partner to truly make a living from Twitch, you don’t need to be a Twitch partner to make money on Twitch.

Before you reach the requirements to become a Twitch partner, there are many ways for you to monetize your Twitch viewers as a Twitch affiliate.

You can become a Twitch Affiliate as soon as you reach the following requirements in a 30-day period:

Obviously, the Twitch Affiliate program is the bar. If you’re not streaming to at least 3 viewers at all times, you do not have the following to monetize your traffic.

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate should be your first goal as a Twitch streamer. Once you are a Twitch affiliate you will be able to gain money from Advertisements, Subscribers, and Bit donations.

💰 This article is part of our how to make money on Twitch series.

How Twitch Affiliates make money


Twitch affiliates can get their viewers to subscribe to their channel in the same way Twitch partners can.

Subscribers come in 3 different tiers:

  • tier1 for $4.99 ($2.50 profit for the streamer)
  • tier2 for $9.99 ($5 profit for the streamer)
  • tier3 for $24.99 ($12.50 profit for the streamer)

While you won’t get rich from this as a Twitch affiliate, it can be a good way to make extra money.

Bit donations

Bit donations are a built-in way to donate to Twitch streamers. Viewers can purchase these bits directly on Twitch and gift them to you. For every bit they give you, you will receive 1 cent.

So a 100 bit donations = $1 dollars.


Twitch affiliates can now benefit from advertisements as well, something that was previously locked to Twitch partners only. However, this won’t give you much extra money as the ad rates aren’t great when you don’t have hundreds and thousands of concurrent viewers.

As a Twitch affiliate, you will primarily rely on donations and subscribers. If you’re wondering how much you’ll make from Twitch at this point, we’ve covered this in a previous article: small streamers with 5-50 viewers make anywhere from $50 – $750 per month.

So clearly, you can make money on Twitch before you become a Twitch partner. And you don’t have to stop there! You can make money from other sources as well.

How Twitch Affiliates make money off-Twitch

You can make money way beyond just Twitch. In fact, smaller streamers often make a lot more off-Twitch than on-Twitch.

You can only make so much from subscribers. Every subscriber will give you $2.50 and when you’re a small streamer, you need quite a bit of them to make decent money. Advertisements aren’t great either for Twitch affiliates.

External donations

While the bit donation system is handy for Twitch streamers, it isn’t preferred by your average viewer as not all of the money they donate goes to you as a streamer.

Therefore many viewers still prefer to donate through external sources such as PayPal for example. You should always have an external donation link in your Twitch bio in case someone wants to support you!

Tip: by allowing donators to add a message and enabling pop-up alerts you can incentivize your viewers to support your stream.

YouTube Ad Revenue

Twitch streamers should always publish their highlights to their YouTube channel, as youtube is one of the best sources to funnel new viewers to your Twitch stream. After all, YouTube has an algorithm which Twitch does not.

But YouTube is not only a good source of traffic, it is also a way to make money! YouTubers receive around $5 for every 1000 viewers on a video. By putting in an effort and uploading your highlights on YouTube you can enjoy both traffic and extra money.

Obviously, gaining views on YouTube isn’t easy but it is a process you should learn if you want to be successful as a Twitch streamer.

Affiliate Marketing

Streamers constantly get asked questions about their streaming equipment. What microphone do you use? What webcam do you use…? These are common questions on Twitch.

As a Twitch affiliate, you can sign up for the Amazon Associate program. By joining this affiliate program, you will be able to receive commissions whenever someone makes a purchase on Amazon through one of your links.

Once installed, you can share affiliate links to your streaming equipment in your Twitch bio. Whenever someone purchases anything from Amazon after clicking your link, you will receive a small comission which can add up over time!

Selling merch

Many Twitch streamers sell merch so why shouldn’t you? Even if your reach is still small, there will always be loyal viewers who might want to support you and buy your merch.

Now you might be thinking: doesn’t this require investment? And the answer is no it does not! Anyone can create their own merch store completely for free thanks to a little thing called print on demand.

Print on demand services allow creators to put their design on a product and sell that product online. Once someone purchases a piece of your merch, your print on demand service will take care of the printing and the shipping for you.

It really is that simple! No monthly fees, no investments.

Read also: how to create and sell merch as a Twitch streamer

Subscription-based services

As a content creator, especially an artsy one, there are often specific types of content that you can lock behind a paywall and your viewers would gladly pay for.

Examples of these are illustrations, cosplays, stock portfolio spreadsheets, photography, the list goes on.

Two of the most popular services that are used for this are Patreon and Onlyfans.

These services allow you to charge a certain amount per month to get access to your content.

Patreon and Onlyfans can be great methods for Twitch streamers to make some extra cash off-platform from supportive viewers.

Final thoughts

As you can see, you can definitely make money on Twitch without being a Twitch partner. You can become a Twitch affiliate and benefit from subscribers and bit donations.

You also don’t have to stop there, you can make some extra money through external donations, YouTube ads, by selling merch, starting a Patreon and so on.

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