Streaming on a platform like Twitch can be a great way to earn extra cash, especially if you’re stuck at home without access to your normal job. Larger streamers can get affiliated or partnered with Twitch and receive a cut of advertisements and other bonuses on their videos, but those first starting out don’t have those luxuries. Instead, they must turn to donations if they want to make money from their Twitch streams. With Digital Trends’ Twitch donations guide, you’ll learn how you can use a third-party service to get donations up and running on your content.
The first step in setting up donations on your Twitch page is to link your account with StreamLabs. StreamLabs is a useful tool that allows you to customize your game streams when running through OBS on a PC, but even if you stream from a console or a different device, it will still serve your purposes.
Go to the donation settings page on StreamLabs, and if you have not linked a Twitch account, you’ll be given the option. Sign in, and it will connect the two. StreamLabs is a major and legitimate service, so you don’t have to worry about misuse of your information.
The easiest way to then get your donation link up and running is by connecting it to your PayPal account. You can enter the email address associated with the account on the next screen you see. This doesn’t require your PayPal password, and once the email is entered into the field, your account will be ready to receive donations from viewers.
Those viewers need to know where to go to donate, of course. On your StreamLabs account settings is a link to the donation page — the URL will be streamlabs.com/YourTwitchUserName.
Copy this URL, then go to your Twitch channel. You’ll see a button named “Edit Panels.” Click that button, scroll down until you see a plus sign, click “Add a Text or Image Panel,” and paste the URL where it says “Description.”
Title the panel something like “Donate!” and you can even add an image that will link to the same StreamLabs donation URL.
Ensure the link is working correctly by clicking it and going to the donation page. Here, Twitch viewers can enter their usernames, pick an amount to donate to your channel, and even write a message or send a GIF. Sending a GIF requires a minimum $1 donation in order to keep people from overloading you with messages.
Because you’ve linked your PayPal account, this money should be in your account almost instantly, though transferring it to your bank will typically take about one business day if you aren’t willing to pay a small fee.
Make sure you let your viewers know that there is a donation link in your channel description. Creating a colorful and appealing image that links to your donation page will help with this, as will thanking those who have donated while you are streaming.