Thinking of Becoming a Full Time Streamer? Read This Article First!

Like many other streamers, it may be a dream for you to quit your regular job and jump into full time streaming.

It all sounds so fascinating! Many popular streamers today started only a while ago. Playing games on Twitch, YouTube, etc. they transitioned into full time streaming.

For example, Dr. DisRespect was earlier an NCAA Division II basketball player. Shroud, TimTheTatman, and Ninja were all former professional gamers and e-sport athletes. They are all now professional streamers.

A streaming career can seem lucrative. But is it for all? Does it work now, and can you leave your day job to become a full time streamer?

Let’s try to analyze. We will break these larger questions down into a few smaller but weighty questions like:

When should you become a full time streamer?

If you are on your way to becoming a full time streamer, you need to understand the risks involved.

💡 You need to be 100% sure that you can support yourself by streaming alone. At the same time, you can continue living the same lifestyle as now, while not cutting any corners.

Below are some of the points you should try going through as a checklist before deciding to take the plunge:

  1. You are seeing consistent growth in your streaming community for an average of 3- 6 months
  2. You are currently not in any debt or financial struggle and streaming is not your lone income source
  3. You do not see any issue taking out time in the future to create a consistent streaming schedule
  4. Your income from streaming is not your only source of income right now
  5. Your expenses are not greater than your income from streaming currently
  6. You have plans to grow your streaming channel
  7. You have a backup in case your streaming career takes a hit
  8. You are not sacrificing your education or something else you are good at for streaming
  9. You can handle the stress that comes with managing your streaming community

Even after all this, there is no guarantee that you will become a successful streamer. You will need some luck as well to make it big in live streaming.

Remember: streaming as a hobby may seem fun, but streaming as a full time streamer can get stressful.

How much can you earn being a full time streamer?

Making a living through streaming is doable. It depends on how much you consider as living expenses. A lot of streamers who have a consistent schedule make up to $1000 per month from just streaming alone.

But unlike popular belief, only 1% of streamers earn more than $3000 to $5000 per month. This can be a bummer if you are in it for the money from the start. There is a lot of competition between streamers nowadays. Grabbing your viewer’s attention keeps getting harder and harder. So, a lot of active streamers today treat Twitch as their part-time job rather than their main job.

In essence, depending on earnings from streaming alone might not work out for you.

Want a detailed breakdown of potential earnings from Twitch? Check out this article on how much can a streamer earn from Twitch.

A good way to earn a full-time income is to diversify and increase your revenue streams. To do that, you have to be good with money. Promote your channel on other platforms. Create and publish content on those platforms as well. Curious what your potential basket of revenue streams can look like? Check out how successful streamers have diversified successfully while monetizing their content.

How many viewers does it take to become a full time streamer?

A great chunk of your earnings depends on the subscriptions, donations, bits, and cheers you get from your audience. The real juice though lies in the number of concurrent viewers you’re able to gather.

💡 Many full time streamers who earn comfortably from Twitch have a concurrent viewership of at least 500 and above

Some streamers have gone full time way below that number as well. They have the conviction that they will make it in streaming since they would already be on a fast growth trajectory.

Your target number of viewers will depend on your situation as a streamer. For a student or college-goer, getting 10 viewers per stream is a great deal. But for a pro streamer getting even 500 daily viewers may be a letdown.

My article on Twitch Earnings covers how much you can expect to earn from N number of concurrent viewers. A good number of concurrent viewers means you have a good chance to create a community of people with shared interests.

You can earn from a small number of viewers as well. But even if you are able to generate a large income from them, it is risky to get a large part of your income from a small number of sources.

Generally, your aim should be to get a large number of people to subscribe or donate a small amount. Large amounts of one-time donations or tier 3 subscriptions are outliers. They may vary from month to month.

Risks involved in becoming a full time streamer

I have listed below the top 3 risks. Do keep these in mind when you’re deciding to become a dedicated streamer:

1 – An unknown streaming community

Risks involved

Your career on any streaming platform mainly depends on the support of your stream community.

That in itself is a variable which you cannot control. It’s not in your hands that your audience will like you, even if you are honest and genuine with them.

How you can avoid the risk

Your streaming community liking you is not in your control, but a lot can be done if you engage with them properly.

For this to happen, you need to make sure you are super real and not faking in any sense or do not appear to be faking on stream.

  • Be genuine with the audience as much as possible
  • Be confident when you are streaming and conversing with your audience. Having above-average confidence generally helps.
  • Try to be funny on the stream, crack some jokes or anecdotes. Being funny is not hard set and depends on your personality. It helps to connect with your audience but make sure you know your boundaries.
  • Provide something of value over your stream. It can be entertainment or knowledge. Streaming without providing value content may not be as rewarding to the audience

2 – No extra benefits or perks with streaming

Risks involved

You may be earning the same with live streaming as you were earning with your day job. But keep in mind, there are no benefits or perks like healthcare, 401k, insurance, etc. that come with that streaming salary.

You have to consider these as expenses and need to deduct them from your live stream income.

How you can avoid the risk

Though there are no extra benefits that come along with these streaming platforms, there are a couple of ways to tackle this issue:

  • Make many revenue streams. Try monetizing your content on other platforms like Youtube, Reddit, etc.
  • Invest your income judiciously. Investing all your money into streaming to upgrade your setup etc. is overkill. Invest a part of your income into mutual funds, cryptocurrency, or real estate. Diversify your portfolio. It would be beneficial to generate a regular month-to-month income.

3 – Getting Banned From the Streaming Platform

Risks involved

Many popular streamers like Dr. Disrespect have been banned from Twitch. The reasons vary. If you flout any of the rules and guidelines, you might land into some trouble. They might ban you without giving a warning or prior notice.

Getting your channel unblocked and returning to your audience might be an uphill battle. These streaming platforms can be non-transparent in their review procedures. It might take days or even months to get it done even if you were in the right.

How you can avoid the risk

You have to keep it in check and abide by the streaming platform’s rules and regulations.

For Twitch – check out the Twitch guidelines page for more in-depth information.

Taking cues from some real-life examples, here are some don’ts to avoid getting banned:

  • Do not distribute unauthorized advertisements. It might include links to a dubious site for getting rich quick kind of schemes, etc.
  • Do not stream nudity, pornography, or other sexual content. There are a lot of channels that are bordering on this type of content but it’s mostly playing with fire. One step in the wrong direction can get you banned.
  • Do not share copyrighted content without permission from their owners. Sharing copyrighted music, streaming pirated games, etc. can get you banned.
  • Do not cheat in any online games. If you are streaming and caught cheating, you can get banned from the game and the streaming platform.
  • Don’t spread hateful content while streaming. Keep your stream clean. Know your boundaries even if you are dissing or not agreeing with something.

Can you become a streamer with a full time job?

For many, becoming a streamer with a full time job is the best way to proceed. You can become a streamer with your full time job and earn a decent side income. Decide to double down on live streaming based on your outcome of doing it with your full time job.

Juggling work and your streaming schedule would be a handful in the beginning. But a lot of streamers have done it successfully and are now full time streamers.

How to manage your stream along with a full time job?

Streaming along with your job can be tough. The plus side is you will have all the resources available to turn it into success. You can get the clarity that live streaming is something that interests you. And that you will be able to continue doing it.

The main benefit of a steady source of income is that you can spend it on essential things like setup and content.

Top 3 ways you can manage your stream along with your job

  1. Making a concrete schedule
    • Without a proper consistent schedule, you will find it hard to connect with your audience. A consistent schedule helps the interested audiences to know how to find you at what time. So, get that 2 hours off post your working schedule. You can wind down from work while streaming and engaging with your community
  2. Investing in a nice setup
    • Often, you can make use of your already purchased devices, like a DSLR, Go-pro, or even your phone. You can invest slowly and decide what and when you want to upgrade
  3. Exploring New Games
    • You can use analytics from sites like TwitchTracker and Twitch Tools. They can help you find out the best trending game for which there is less competition. Making your mark in an already established arena of games like PubG, Fortnite, etc. can be a daunting task. Playing fresh and new games can help you build up an audience base right at the start.

If you want more ideas on managing your stream with your day job. Check out my article on building a streaming channel for working professionals.

In conclusion

Becoming a full time streamer can be a rewarding experience if you manage to put in the time and effort. Assess your current situation. Make short-term goals to discover if streaming is giving you the desired results. Then decide if you want to pursue it full time. There are many benefits of becoming a streamer but there are a thousand pitfalls as well.

Assess the risks and take a calculated decision. Allow yourself to make those mistakes at the start and learn from your mistakes. Grow your community bit by bit and don’t lose hope.

Hustle hard my fellow streamers!