what is a twitch affiliate, In the race to Twitch Partner, becoming an affiliate is the halfway-house to the ultimate goal for many broadcasters. But what is a Twitch Affiliate, and how can you become one?
What is a Twitch Affiliate?
Twitch Affiliate is a program that supports streamers in making a living from doing what they love to do; streaming. Available globally, the affiliate program allows streamers to:
- Earn on Twitch with Subscriptions
- Start Earning on Twitch with Bits
- Earn revenue from the sale of games or in-game items on Twitch
“The Twitch Affiliate Program puts qualified streamers one step closer toward the dream of making a living from their passions. Twitch Affiliates can start earning income on Twitch while they build their audience and work toward the coveted status of Twitch Partner.” — Twitch
If you want to connect it to real life, Affiliate is like the “part-time” of streaming while Partner is “full-time”.
You can find more about Twitch Affiliate here.
What are the requirements?
At launch, Twitch deemed the affiliate requirements to be:
- At least 8 hours broadcast in the last 30 days
- At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
- 50 followers
It’s do-able for anyone who is willing to put in the time, create good content, form a consistent brand, be consistent in the time you play, the games you play, and the way you play.
Your Twitch Achievements tab (within your dashboard) will show your ‘Path to Affiliate’ tab which enables you to see how close you are to be invited.
How do you apply and where do you sign up?
You cannot apply to be a Twitch affiliate. Twitch says that:
Qualified streamers will be invited via email, Notification, and an announcement in their dashboard.
You can lose your affiliate status if you are an “inactive streamer”, this is on an individual basis but mostly involves inactivity over the course of 12 months.
How does it compare to Twitch Partner?
There are loads of things that are different between a streamer, a Twitch Affiliate, and a Twitch Partner. The below chart provided by Twitch shows all the differences.
Tips for becoming a Twitch Affiliate
- Plan your streams and be consistent (read our guide to building a community and growing your following)
- Interact with your viewers — make them feel like part of your family, ask them how they are, discuss funny things that are happening
- Network with other streamers in the games/genres you play — host them, play games with them, become friends with them (but don’t spam them)
- Build a community off-stream — think Discord, Twitter, or Facebook Groups
- Looking for more ways to become successful on Twitch? Here’s a huge guide to becoming successful on Twitch!
How To Be A Successful Twitch Streamer — Seven Real Tips
Let’s run through the seven things that’ll help you become a successful Twitch streamer. But firstly, I need to ask, what does ‘success’ mean to you?
1. What is your definition of success?
What do you want to happen by the end of this — what is the end game?
- Do you want personal freedom to work when you want, where you want, and how you want?
- Do you want financial freedom to earn money doing something you enjoy?
- Do you want to find happiness by working on something you love every day?
- Do you want to make friends who enjoy your passions and hobbies?
- Do you want to be known as an expert in your chosen genre or niche?
Some people may be delighted that 25 people watch their live streams and because it’s a hobby and something they love to do — if that’s you, then keep doing what you are doing. Other’s may not be content with that, and wish to have 25,000 viewers…
What are your goals?
- I want to reach Twitch Partner within one year
- I want to have 10,000 followers on Instagram
- I want to make money from creating gaming content
- I want to work with Casey Neistat on a gaming documentary
- I want to change the world
Let’s break down one of those goals… 10,000 followers on Instagram:
- Is your profile set up for growing followers? Are your profile image, bio, and contact details optimized? How many people do you follow?
- What does your audience want to see?
- Do your photos and videos have an overall ‘feel’ or ‘look’ to them? What content currently gets high likes and engagement? Do you know why? Can you replicate the success?
- Are you correctly using hashtags? Are these hashtags too popular to stand out? How many are you using? (30 is the maximum!), are they relevant to your audience?
- Are you using Instagram Stories?
- Are you using IGTV?
Nothing is going to happen because you just ‘want’ it to, unfortunately, none of us are entitled to reach these goals through luck and sporadic work. You need to plan, find your niche, constantly engage, work hard, take streaming seriously and endure patience in order to reach these goals.
I cannot stress how important planning your content, brand, and time is. If you want to reach any of the goals and successes we discussed in the previous paragraph, how do you reach them?
While writing a 17-page document and spreadsheet on how you are going to be successful could be helpful, there is always a case of thinking & planning, and never doing. Be sure to try out some of your ideas to test them — then learn what went well, and what didn’t.
What should your plan include?
- Why are you doing this and what are your goals?
- What are the video and social channels you are focusing on?
- What is your introduction to new people? How do you sell yourself in one paragraph?
- What learnings have you made so far — what works and what doesn’t?
- What makes it different from everyone else? In ‘business talk’ this is your USP (unique selling point)
Planning also includes your channel design and ‘voice’. Think about who you are and what you want people to think. Purple might be your favorite color, but think about how that color choice affects people’s perceptions of you and your ‘brand’
Understand how you are currently using your time — do you currently wake up and spent 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram? When you are sitting on the bus home are you adding things to Pinterest boards or messaging friends? Could you be spending this time doing something productive such as networking with other streaming, engaging with your Discord community, or answering emails?
It may be that you need to do these things to give your mind a break — if this is the case, don’t stop doing them! Self-awareness is one of the most important things to learn, and understanding when you can (and need to) switch off will be more and more significant as you continue your content journey.
When is your brain most awake? Are you most productive in the evenings before bed, or at 11 am on the weekends? Factor this learning in and be sure to plan your content creation around your own body clock and internal productivity habits.
Understanding your good and bad habits and working to remove them, adjust them or work around them will be one of the first steps to success.
While we discussed consistency in time AND games in our guide to ‘Building A Community and Growing Your Following’ guide, it’s always worth reiterating over and over again.
Consistency isn’t just creating a schedule, but being consistent in the games you play, the rules and values you set down, your community engagement, your brand messaging & design, and lastly…the times you play.
3. Find your value
Earlier we talked about USP — what makes you different from everyone else? What values do you want your community to live by?
Consider what you already spend your time on. Do you have 600 hours on Overwatch? Why not stream some of it?
Let’s go one deeper… do you main D.VA? Could you teach people? Could you show off some of your skills live on stream or in YouTube highlight videos? That’s value.
While not everyone needs to find their own unique niche’, some are going to find success by being themselves and doing something similar but different enough from somebody else! Let’s face it… it’s not all about winning and there is always 2nd place and 3rd place.
4. Money talks
How much can a streamer make from donations? How can I make money from streaming? How can I get more donations on Twitch?
Sometimes the desire to make money quickly will ruin your chances of making even more money later on. Some streamers don’t even set up a donation page until somebody asks them “
how can I donate to you?.”
Let’s be honest — what is more, likely to make money? Streaming and asking everybody who comes in to join your empty $0 Patreon? Or building an audience to 10,000 people and then saying “if you want to support the channel, you can join our Patreon which is launching right now!” and seeing 250 people instantly jump in because you’ve entertained them for 6 months.
Be patient and wait until the opportunity feels right.
One thing to always consider is your call-to-action (or ‘CTA’ in marketing-buzzwords…lol). This is the ONE thing you want somebody to do when they consume a piece of content. Do you want them to follow you? Join your Discord or donate? Then make sure your content, the words you use and
Be aware that asking somebody to donate is likely to make them not want to do it, donating is a voluntary action somebody does when they want to support you or feel you deserve a reward for something you have done for them (whether this is entertaining them, helping them, inspiring them or teaching them). Don’t spam somebody by asking them for money… you wouldn’t do that in real life, would you?
5. Building a real community
One of the major reasons Twitch is such a big platform and such a big community is the instantaneous nature of the platform. It’s like if your favorite TV host could talk back to you, listen to your feedback and get to know you. There is an exclusive feeling of watching it live, viewers don’t want to miss out.
Engagement with your viewers (and potential viewers) is everything. While Twitch is instantaneous and you are expected to respond to viewers while streaming — you cannot ignore their questions, messages, and support across all your other social media channels such as Twitter, Discord, and even YouTube comments.
Networking isn’t ‘follow 4 follow’ or leaving emoji smiley faces on their Instagram pictures, it’s spending real quality time engaging with them and their content. It’s just like being a friend in real life…
You should be hosting and raiding other streamers after finishing your stream, you must be in their chat talking and engaging with their content, you could be a part of discussions on Twitter and Discord with them.
6. Success isn’t just ‘partner’ or ‘followers’
Yeah… we all want to be more popular, become a partner or make money doing it. But you’ve got to fall in love with the actual process of doing it. If you’re not enjoying what you do day-in and day-out, not only will it be obvious to the people watching you, but you’ll make lower quality work, lose patience and give up.
Happiness is the ultimate aim. The joy in ‘doing’ streaming, building a community, and developing friendships.
Remember there are ways to translate your success into more success, for example:
- Content on other channels
- Subscription platform growth
- Social media channel growth
- Making friends play games with
- Merchandise sales
7. Balancing work and life
I talked about time management further up, but understanding the best way to balance your work and life balance is crucial to seeing long-term success on Twitch. Many streamers work incredibly hard for a few months, but it burns them out, breaks some of their friendships and their real-life suffers as a result of them trying to chase 1,000 followers or following the path to partner.
A healthy balance between the two is the best way to grow as a streamer. You are rarely going to see instant success so you must try and take this slow & steady…
Build up the time you invest into streaming, as you build your channel and develop your content. You’ll see rising returns every single time.
I hope that’s helped you in some way to understanding what it takes to become successful on Twitch.