The Path to
A big problem with the “Push to Partner” is
that Twitch Streamers start on the platform,
and then its really, really easy to make Affiliate,
and then its really really hard to make Partner,
and since there is nothing in between the
discouragement is already built into the
Let’s be honest for a minute, 3 average viewers, 50 followers, 500 minutes broadcast on 7 unique days. That really isn’t difficult at all, especially if you have a few friends or a few guild mates (gamers). Truthfully, if you can’t make affiliate on Twitch you should really sit down and think about what you are doing with your time.
Then we suddenly get these new criteria for Partner and it is: 12 days, 25 hours, and 75 average followers. While yes, there are technically three criteria for making Twitch Partner, the truth is there is really only one: the 75 average viewers. If you are aiming for Twitch Partner then streaming has become your hustle, and I would expect anyone who is making this their hustle to do this at least 3 days a week. Also, given how shows ramp up, if you can’t dedicate at least two hours to streaming, then a career in streaming may not be for you, you may be better off with making videos. I will add a special caveat to this, that there are some one-hour long programs that can be very successful if they are marketed and advertised right.
That said, its only natural to want to be a partner. You have one box that’s Affiliate, and one box that’s Partner and then really nothing after that. I say this as a Twitch Partner (and of a very small channel) that I chased it because I’m a check the boxes kind of guy, but I learned a lot the hard way, so hopefully you don’t have to.
Tip 1: Don’t worry about making Partner really. Worry about building the very best possible channel, putting on the very best possible show you can. When you do that, you will be building a show, a brand, a channel that Twitch should want to court, should want to invite to the Partner program.
Now, I know some people only care about advice when they know who is giving it. My last show was 230 max viewers, 165 average. My May 2021 so far is 160 average viewers and 11,304 unique viewers. I’ve been down the hard road, and walked it again so I can help you navigate it easier.
Your journey as a twitch streamer goes: Streamer > Affiliate > Partner
The pro about making Affiliate is that you can start to make a little bit of money. The con to being an Affiliate is that you can no longer restream. If I was starting as a streamer right now, I would probably consider using Restream.io to stream to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and maybe Dlive. There are lots of ways to set this up so that you can be on 4 platforms at one time.
That being said, if you delay being an Affiliate you won’t make money on Twitch, but if you only have 5 regular viewers, you probably aren’t making that much money anyway. If people want to support you, they can do so at Patreon or Buymeacoffee.
The pro about making Partner is that you get a lot more emotes for your show, you get the quality wheel that allows people to downgrade your show quality if their internet can’t keep up, you get a higher percentage on some of your subs, and you get the coveted purple checkmark.
Now, sadly Affiliate is where most streamers careers will end. There are 51,500 Twitch Partners and last month there were 9,355,405 monthly broadcasters. That means less than 0.5% of streamers are partners.
This morning when I pulled the data for Twitch, the top 10 channels accounted for over 25% of the total viewership on Twitch. So, makes sense to chase partner right? No. Being a Partner doesn’t generate views. Generated those views is what makes you a Partner.
In the thread this all started in there was a lot of advice. I’m hesitant to ever call advice bad. Advice is advice. Its insight, its leads. With that said, you have to look at all the advice and figure out what works for you. You also have to vet and validate the advice, because some people are giving advice, and yet their channels are stuck at 5-10 viewers. If the advice they are giving works, why is it not working for them?
One piece of advice from that thread was:
Think of it this way. You go to work every day. Same time same place. But everyone you work with is different every day. It would be hard to familiarize yourself with anyone right?
Pick games that aren’t too saturated and being consistent in that directory. People will see your name and be like oh I’ve seen this name a lot, let’s see what it’s all about.
This a good analogy, but it doesn’t really fit, because I mean you will eventually be known, or see, as long as you are in the top 9-15 streamers. You just don’t want to be buried, and if you are more than 15 people down you probably aren’t getting seen.
This advice is getting to a more key point. Do you want to be known for a particular game, or you want to be known as a variety streamer?
Some people come for you; some people come for the game. If you are known for a particular game, this is dangerous because when you leave the game, you lose those viewers. This is cross platform advice, the same holds true for YouTube as well. When you switch games, you may see your numbers dip. You just need to accept that.
Some other advice was:
Build your community outside of Twitch. Have little off stream events on discord. They can be movie nights, tournaments, etc. Something to just have fun. You get some of the most committed members that way. Usually they then bring their friends and your community explodes.
Raid smaller streamers. Twitch communities are always great when you connect with people at the same level. Don't just stay and leave. Get to know the people you raid. Build a relationship. Suddenly you don't realize but they will raid you back and both people benefit. The more memorable experiences you can make, the quicker you will grow. Raid someone with 2k viewers and you are throwing your networking chance away.
This advice is really solid.
Building a community outside of streaming is key. You need to be available even on days you aren’t streaming. Let people know what you are working on. If you have other projects, include them. Let them see early iterations of stuff: art, music, merchandise, webpages, whatever it is you do, let your community do it with you. That way they are more inclined to show up to the streams because “they don’t want to miss a thing”.
The raiding thing, however, there is so much there we need to focus on
1: Its not just about dropping your people off. Its about the off the air networking, connections, etc. You need to know the people you raid. You also have to view the raid as a gift. You are GIFTing viewers to a competitor, and there is a lot of risk with that.
Maybe they do the show better. Maybe their production value is better. Maybe they are more entertaining. If they are, then you need to benchmark what they do well. Benchmark doesn’t mean copy, it means emulate. If you have bad panels and they have good panels, get better panels. If they have good overlays and you have bad overlays, get better overlays.
2: Don’t raid really big streamers. This just comes off as begging for attention. In fact, most big streams have their threshold set so high that unless one of their peers raids them, you won’t even see the raid notification.
3: Finally, I don’t know where this came from, and it’s not exactly raiding, but I’m going to put it here anyway: Never be in someone else’s show and then say “oh I’m off to stream.” Unless you are personal friends with a streamer, that comes off as at the best tacky and at the worst, you’ll end up getting banned from a fellow streamers channel and then you burned that bridge.
The last piece of advice
Think of it as if it was a business selling products - if you're not selling many, ask yourself why? Run market research groups for your 5 concurrent viewers, why are they there, why do they watch you?
No, don’t do this. Don’t think of it as a business selling products realize that you ARE a business, selling products.
I will give you an example from my channel. We have an emote in my channel that was locked behind T2. We get a fair number of trolls in the channel so we do a lot of banning. My Tier 1 subs asked me to move that emote to T1 instead of T2. I did that, because my viewers asked me to. Sure, I could have kept it at T2 and encouraged people to buy a T2 sub, but that is bush league as well. Instead, I did what my viewers wanted, and I noticed a substantial uptick in T1 subs right afterwards. People want to
Some General Jahlon Advice
1: If you are not an affiliate yet, maybe don’t get affiliate and explore restreaming to multiple platforms at one time. Getting affiliate is easy, but building a community across YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook gaming might benefit you better if you can go live on all 3 platforms at one time.
2: Set a schedule. The single greatest way to keep getting found, is to be findable. You are findable when you are at the same place at the same time each week.
3: Build your community outside of Twitch. 90% of people can do this via a Discord, and they are free. The best way to start is if you don’t have a Discord already, stop right now and create one. Starting is the most important part. If you need help with motivation you can hit this video
4: Understand the Value of your channel and the value of your viewers. Don’t expect subs, bits, tips, sponsorships until your channel, your shows are top shelf. I have an entire video done on the value of value.
5: Never stop learning. If you are chasing partner, then you are probably chasing this on the financial side, so this should be your hustle. If its your hustle its not the time you are streaming you devote to it. Its before the stream, during the stream, after the stream, on your non stream days.
If you need anything, or want to ask anything, ask away and I will do my best to give you an answer.