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Can You Make a Living Streaming?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Everyone wants to make money playing games. Even more so, streaming games. It's the magic pill, a mixture of celebrity status and gaming expert. Who wouldn't want that?

There was a time when it was much easier. Be the first with a YouTube channel about something interesting, and the money would roll in. That time is gone. YouTube requires you to have a LOT of eyeballs on your content before they will revenue share with you. I've had a channel on YouTube for 8 years, and I still haven't gotten my first payout.

Then along came Twitch (well, ok, the timeline isn't that accurate. Shut up). Everyone flocked to Twitch to stream, because it was THE gaming platform. Other sites, like Mixer, appeared. Then disappeared. These days the big players are Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube. They all have their pros and cons. But the key to success is similar.

I created the point list below to help calculate your chances of doing well, financially.

Are you a woman? +1 point

Are you photogenic (be honest)? +2 points

Are you funny (again, be honest)? +1 point

Are you generally charismatic? +1 point

Are you really, really good at the game(s) you stream? +1 point

Did you start streaming within a year of your platform's debut? +10 points

Do you market extensively? +2 points

Do you network with other streamers? +1 points

Does anyone else stream the type of content you stream? If no, +1 point

Are you already a Partner or similar? +5 points

Add up your points and consult this hand list:

0-3. Meh, maybe. Probably not.

4-5 You have a chance. Maybe not rich, but it could be a side gig.

6-7 You have a good shot.

8-10 You're already making coin.

11+ You probably can buy my house with the money in your sofa cushions.

To give you an example of where I personally rank, I'm at a 1. Maybe a 2 if I squint. The odds of me making a living streaming is very low. Not 0, but mighty close to it.

And so what? I enjoy doing it. I would play the games and talk to myself anyway, so why not share? Do what you enjoy, what you have passion to do. Because if you have that passion, it doesn't matter of you get rich. And if it shows through to your viewers, then maybe you can totally ignore that bullshit list I made.

What do I know? I'm just a 1.

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