The video game industry has exploded in popularity, and millions of people around the world are participating. With the rise of eSports and streaming, there are more opportunities for players passionate about gaming to turn it into a source of income. From gaming sponsorships to advertisements and merchandise, there are plenty of ways to turn your passion into a profitable business.
In this article, we’ll explore different ways to monetize your hobby. Whether you casually game, make content on video game design or want to join the world of eSports, let’s get started!
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Affiliate and Partner Programs
There are a ton of products and businesses geared toward improving the experience of gamers around the world. Companies that sell gaming accessories, hardware, or software often offer affiliate programs to popular content creators in the gaming industry. Affiliate programs are when you earn commissions by promoting their products.
The company may send you a unique link or code for users to use when looking to purchase a product. You earn a commission each time someone buys using your link or code. You can promote these products through a successful blog, social media channel, or YouTube and Twitch accounts.
Partner programs are similar to affiliate programs but often come with a few more benefits. Some game developers may offer partner programs where you earn a share of the revenue from game sales or in-game purchases. Partnering with these companies gives you early access to new games, exclusive content, and other perks. Partners generate buzz around the company, and video games launch through these programs.
Video game streaming has become a popular form of entertainment for gamers and non-gamers alike. With a popular channel such as Twitch or Youtube, you can set up live streams of you playing popular video games. These platforms include a feature allowing audience members to sign up for an exclusive subscription to support their favorite streamers and get access to exclusive content, badges, emotes, and more.
Streamers earn a share of the revenue generated from subscriptions on these platforms. With enough viewers and subscribers, this can become a steady income stream. In addition to streaming platforms, you can also set up a Patreon for your community of followers. Patreon is a platform that allows content creators to receive monetary support through subscription-based pledges.
If you have a tight-knit gaming community, you can create a Patreon and offer exclusive content, early access to videos, and other perks to motivate them into joining.
Advertising can be a lucrative way to monetize your gaming hobby and content. If you have a gaming channel on YouTube, you can earn money by enabling ads on your videos. Google’s AdSense platform allows you to monetize videos by populating ads before, throughout, and after your content plays.
You earn revenue based on the number of views and ad clicks you generate. To enable ads on your YouTube videos, join their partner program and meet the necessary criteria. If YouTube isn’t your platform of choice, don’t worry; Twitch offers a similar service. Twitch allows you to run ads at various intervals in your videos, for example, before you start streaming or during your breaks. Based on the views the ads receive, you earn money.
No matter what platform you release video game content on, you can participate in sponsorship content. Sponsorship content is when a company pays you to promote its product or service. If you have a large following on social media, companies in the gaming niche may contact you to partner up for a sponsored content opportunity. Just remember, you’re legally required to disclose any sponsorships, which may turn off some of your viewers.
If you’re skilled enough in video games to rank among the best, sponsorship opportunities can be a lucrative way to bring in the bucks. Similar to sports betting, eSports players also receive sponsorships from companies. Competitive gaming is a rapidly growing industry, and companies will never miss an opportunity to advertise their logo on a player’s shirt or jersey. Sponsorships for these players come in the form of financial or material support in exchange for promoting their brand and giving them exposure. Sponsorship deals can vary in size and scope but generally provide players with financial support, equipment like keyboards or gaming headsets, or other resources to help them compete and grow in popularity.
However, there are a few types of sponsorships available to eSports gamers. Team sponsorships provide financial support for a given group of players, while player sponsorships are specifically for one person. Companies can also sponsor sports events and tournaments or sponsor influencers.
Similar to band t-shirts, gamers with a large following should consider creating merchandise around their brand. By producing and selling branded merchandise, you can turn your gaming hobby into a profitable business. Releasing merchandise helps build brand awareness by getting your logo in front of people who haven’t heard of you. By selling branded t-shirts, hats, stickers, and more, you can promote your gaming brand and create a sense of community amongst your following.
In addition to growing your brand, merchandise can re-engage your fans and followers. Selling exclusive or limited-edition items, potentially through your Patreon, can create a sense of exclusivity and excite your fans. This helps you build a stronger relationship with your fans and accrue a pool of loyal followers.
Through selling merchandise, you gain an additional stream of income. Before selling merchandise, you need to harness a group of people who will buy it. If you’ve already monetized your gaming content using some of the strategies listed above, a store of merchandise is your next step to further monetizing your content.
Your merchandise will also aid you in expanding your brand beyond the gaming world. By creating trendy and unique items, you can attract fans who may not be interested in gaming but are drawn to you and your brand.
Monetizing your gaming hobby
From eSports sponsorships to monetizing your streaming channel, you can turn your hobby into a business. By building your following and nurturing your community, you can bring in affiliate and sponsorship opportunities. So, what are you waiting for?
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration and Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.