As the old adage goes, choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Some people are lucky to have a job they actually enjoy doing, but keep in mind that it isn’t the case among most people across the world.
In the case of part-time streamers, many cannot rely on streaming as a full-time career despite how much they aspire to. Why? Simply put, some do not receive enough paid subs or lack many subscribers to generate an income to make ends meet. Meanwhile, others are still far from fulfilling the requirements to become an official partner/affiliate. Becoming a platform’s affiliate means you can monetize your content much more efficiently.
So how do you manage your time as an aspiring streamer with a full-time day job? It’s definitely not going to be easy, but we’re also here to tell you it’s not entirely impossible to manage.
A Full-Time Day Job as a Necessity
For many, a full-time job is a must to save up some funds and upgrade to better streaming equipment— considering how cameras and high-end PCs cost thousands of dollars.
Many up and rising streamers cannot take the risk and leave their steady-paying jobs to devote all their time and effort on streaming. Hence, they have to make do with a schedule that balances both activities in their everyday lives.
With only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, making the most of both activities can be manageable if you have the drive and passion to do so. Here are some tips that may help you balance your streaming career along with your full-time day job:
11 Tips on How to Manage your Streaming Career with a Full-Time Day Job
Just like any job, the key to manage your streaming endeavors while keeping your full-time day job would be to strike an efficient work/life balance. At the end of the day, you will have time for what you make time for. Here are some tips to help you manage your time better:
1. Scheduling is key
Scheduling is crucial when it comes to building your streaming career while keeping your part-time job. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to half-ass your way into your day job. Doing so would only put your career at risk.
The same goes for streaming, actually. You have to pour in the time and effort if you want to carve out a name for yourself. Therefore, having a schedule will help you keep some balance in your life so you don’t end up crashing and burning.
To figure this out, find some free time when you can commit solely to streaming and playing some games. Can you only stream during the weekends? On weeknights? If so, manage your schedule accordingly to prepare your content ahead of time.
2. Have a support system
Balancing both your day job and streaming can be stressful. To get the best of both worlds, you have to maintain your drive to continue doing them at the same time.
What better way to motivate yourself than to find a support system and surround yourself with people who constantly root for you? For instance: if you have work friends at your day job, inform them of your streaming aspirations. Chances are, they will likely help you cover emergency shifts if you need some time off to stream.
The same goes for your streaming endeavors. Inform your community that you also have a day job to commit to, so they won’t demand too much of your time. Transparency is key even in the online world.
3. Don’t push yourself to stream if you can’t
Before you start every stream, it’s ideal to ensure that you are in the right state of mind and physical aptitude. Don’t push yourself too much. Pushing yourself to stream when your body can’t take it might lead you to a case of streamer burn-out. For aspiring streamers, that’s one instance you’d like to avoid as much as possible this early part of your career.
Prioritize yourself first. Your physical and mental health comes before any career — may it be streaming or your day-job. If your body is exhausted and calls for sleep, then take a well-deserved break. Don’t ever feel guilty for choosing to put yourself first over any other worldly responsibility.
Besides, your viewers can tell the difference if you’re 100% into your gameplays and streams compared to if you’re merely faking it for the sake of sticking to your schedule. If they support you wholeheartedly, then they would likely understand your need to take some time off from your streaming activities.
4. Find ways to recharge yourself
How do you cope with a demanding schedule? One solution is to find something to keep your energy going, like drinking coffee and energy drinks. You can also play motivating background music or meditate if you’re in dire need of motivation to keep going.
In most situations where streamers juggle a full-time day job apart from their streaming activities, it’s almost always inevitable to lose sleep due to the hectic schedule and stress. But the good news is, there are ways to help you deal with both activities if you’re willing to push forward.
5. Establish a social media presence
Keep in mind that social media exposure is huge — especially as a content creator. Do not limit yourself to your chosen platform/s only. Branch out to other leading SNS like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. This will help you grow your audience and find new people to check out the content that you offer.
Keeping a bunch of active social media accounts is also a great way to keep in touch with your fans, especially if you’re taking some time off-cam. Staying connected with your community will make fans feel you care about them and that you appreciate the continuous support.
6. Ask help from others
Delegating tasks like managing your chat, discord, or subreddits (if you’ve gained quite a following) is ideal to lift some responsibility off your shoulders. You can even ask someone to help you manage your social media accounts. The most important thing here is: you find people you can trust.
Remember, you cannot accomplish everything at once. It’s perfectly fine to ask help from others. That way, they can help you as a form of support to your craft.
7. Make connections
Connections are vital if you want to be successful in the streaming industry. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent thousands of streaming hours or possess the most high-end gear, if you fail to market your brand properly, it might take some time for your content to take off.
On the other hand, if you make connections and befriend other established streamers — you may gain the exposure that you need. More people will likely tune in to your streams as a result.
8. Establish a unique identity
Give your audience a reason to remember you by. May it be a funny laugh, pro gaming skills, or a signature costume. Most likely, your followers will associate you with the identity you establish online and remember you among thousands of other streamers and gamers.
Your online persona is also a great determining factor as to why and how your viewers come back to regularly tune in to your streams. Even if your streaming schedule is irregular at present, you can rely on your audience to give you their time if you’ve successfully given them a reason why they need to check your content out everytime the camera goes live.
9. Make a to-do list
It’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed if you’re managing both activities. As a result, you may forget a task you need to do as you’re too busy thinking about other stuff.
Time management is key. If you frequently forget even the mundane tasks you need to do, having a to-do list will help you focus on your objectives. Not only that, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment for the day.
10. Attach your business email on your channel
Many aspiring streamers skip on the chance of attaching their business email information on their channels or social media accounts. Because of this, interested brands may have a difficult time reaching out to them for partnership, collaborations, and promotions.
As an aspiring full-time streamer, it’s important not to miss opportunities that may help you grow your channel further. This may just open up a world of opportunities for you in the industry. Accordingly, always check your emails and respond promptly to any business inquiries.
11. Have fun!
Balancing a streaming career on top of your full-time day job can affect your work, social life, and personal relationships.
One important thing to ensure when you stream in your free time is that you have fun doing so. If it’s an activity that’s taking much of your time, it might as well be something you truly enjoy. It’s just a bonus that you’re actually good at what you’re doing.
Of course, relying on your streaming activities as a way to make ends meet (if you receive enough donations and paid subs) is just as valid. But if you reach a point where you’re not enjoying what you do anymore, it may be difficult for you to bounce back and continue.
A Step Closer to Full-time Streamer Status
For the lucky ones, landing an official platform partnership is a step closer to quitting their day jobs in order to focus on growing their online communities.
Such is the case of Twitch streamer PerlaBabe, who was evidently filled with emotion back in January as she officially got partnered. Being a Twitch partner means that she is now close to fulfilling her dream of becoming a full-time streamer.
Famous for being a variety streamer, her Twitch channel is famous on the Just Chatting category and gameplays like Fortnite. But despite her generous following of 47.8k followers, she was not accepted as a Twitch partner until recently this year.
Twitch’s partnership program invites “creators who stream a variety of content, from games, music, talk shows, art, to just about anything else you can imagine.” Not only does it enable streamers to earn subscriptions from their viewers, but ads can also be seen on their channels.
The program is designed to help Twitch creators enjoy the platform’s full support, helping them transition to stream full-time. Perla is among the lucky ones who got an official Twitch partnership. This may just help her rely on the income from her streaming-related activities as her primary bread and butter.
To make ends meet, she has to work as an exotic dancer in clubs which is something she remarked as she doesn’t enjoy. She’s quoted saying: “I do it because I need the money…”
Now a Twitch partner, she’s elated to be closer towards her goal of quitting her day job to stream full-time!
“Also thank you to all of my supporters thanks to you guys ,I have became a partner and I’m closer to quit stripping and becoming a full time streamer 😌💖 I love you guys soooo much .”
A Checklist for Aspiring Full-Time Streamers
Out of the hundreds and thousands of other similar streamers, how do you make sure you can keep up with the competition and even stand out from the crowd?
● Build a high-quality equipment
It’s ideal to ensure that you provide your audience with high-quality video and audio. In case any new viewer decides to check out your content, you wouldn’t want to discourage them with poor video and audio quality.
Having a great online personality and pro-gamer moves cannot be of much use if your followers can’t hear or see you properly.
First off, set a desired budget for your streaming set-up. You don’t have to empty your bank just to get a streaming PC, camera, or a microphone of high quality. A simple Google search can lead you to budget-friendly options for beginners.
● Offer unique content
So how do you get an effective head start from scratch? To join in the competition with other streamers, you have to make sure the type of content you offer is something that’s worth checking out.
If you’re having trouble attracting viewers early on, it’s not a bad idea to play mainstream games everyone else is playing. New viewers will likely check out your gameplays and give it a glimpse.
The downside to this though, is the possibility of your mainstream title gameplays to be buried under hundreds of other streamers who stream the same. If you’ve garnered enough following, it’s best to consider branching out to other content varieties: like Twitch’s Just Chatting streams, IRL videos, and even vlogs.
● Create a timeline and stick to it
If you feel stuck in your full-time dayjob, daydreaming on a daily basis to finally hand in your resignation letter and switch your focus on streaming— it would help to create a detailed timeline to turn your vision into reality.
Becoming a full-time streamer doesn’t just happen if you merely keep wishing for it to take place. You need to have patience and faith
By creating a specific timeline for the streaming career that you desire, you can stick to it and celebrate milestones little by little. This will also help you determine if you’re headed to the right path or if full-time streaming is really for you.
Give yourself some time. Stick to your job for a few years first, before deciding if it’s a good decision to finally quit. You cannot expect to have a million followers overnight. You have to devote yourself, even with the limited hours you have to stream, to provide good content towards your subscribers.
● Pay attention to your income
It’s always safer to wait until you’re guaranteed to be financially secure before resigning from your boring, full-time desk job. Not having a steady stream of income while you’re still growing your channel can be a big mistake on your part.
Simply put, you cannot just rely on a month of good income from streaming. Sometimes, it can be a fluke. Before you make any commitments, it’s important to figure out how you can cover your financial needs as you proceed with your transition.
Additional streaming ideas to consider
Working a full-time day job means you only have limited time in the day to spend on streaming. In case you’re in dire need of quick streaming ideas, here are some things you can consider:
● Play titular games
On a similar note to what’s presented above, playing titular & mainstream games can help you jumpstart your streaming career. If you had a long and rough day at work, you might want to pick a game that’s usually watched and enjoyed by the majority of your viewers and at the same time easier and shorter to play.
Trying to play games that are less popular will most likely take you longer to gather viewers so most streamers with limited time usually play games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, League of Legends, Rocket League and more.
Aside from popular games that will build up your viewers, streamers with limited time are less likely to play plot-inclined games or games that have a long storyline which will require the players to finish it within months or weeks.
● Variety is always a good idea!
As was previously mentioned, variety can help spice up your content! Another content idea that could cover up for your limited streaming time is hosting games with your viewers such as Question and answer. It is considerably a great way to interact with your fans and what’s more is it can go both ways.
You might just want to sit there and answer questions from your viewers about random things such as your personal life, your hobbies, your opinion about a particular issue or game-related questions.
You can also opt to do it the other way around, where you will play a game with your viewers and ask them questions that they have to answer correctly in exchange for some giveaway prices such as merchandise, gift cards, and in-game items. This way, you can compensate for your lack of streaming time compared to other streamers and at the same time, take a breather from constantly playing games.
● Unboxing and Reviewing
So, you’ve randomly received that text message notifying you that the item you ordered will be delivered today. May it be a brand new keyboard, headphones, cellphone, games, and collector’s item. It is always a good idea to share it with your audience whenever you don’t feel like playing for the day.
Unboxing and reviewing items on stream can make you and your viewers both curious and excited. How can you do it the right way?
- Make sure to show every important detail of its packaging because it’s one of the parts viewers are curious about.
- Unseal it with care. Many viewers often criticize unboxing videos because streamers just aggressively destroy and tear the packaging which sometimes damages the item inside.
- Always speak your mind. Don’t leave your viewers hanging and always tell them anything that you notice while unboxing the product to satisfy their curiosity.
- Don’t leave wrappers and garbage around your streaming place. As much as possible you can ready up a bin or a corner where you’ll put your garbage so it will not be all over the place during your stream.
- Be very honest and precise about your review. Show every feature of the product to boost the interest of your viewers.
- Lay down the pros and cons of the product. Your viewers might be interested in getting one for themselves so be the one to tell them the positive and negative parts of the product to help them decide.
- Give an overall rating of the product and a reasonable explanation of why you gave it that rating.
Is being a streamer a “real job”?
Of course. Unfortunately, many boomers still believe that a typical 9-5 is the only “real job” that’s acceptable. However, this traditional mindset is greatly outdated.
Many big shot streamers quit their day job or even their studies to become a full-time streaming personality. While they are often judged for their untraditional path, many have found success in the industry. They can now live comfortably off their multi-dollar platform donations, subs, and other paid promotions.
Notable names such as Youtube king Pewdiepie, Fortnite pro Ninja, and Twitch’s number 1 female streamer Pokimane have all found success as they pursued their passion.
Streaming is an actual job. It’s not just playing games and sitting on the couch for the entire day. It also involves hard work, considering the long hours you have to record yourself, play video games, research relevant game information, edit your gameplay clips, and many more behind the scenes.
Turn your favorite hobby and your life passion into your career! Many streamers can only dream, but if you’re stuck with a day job to make ends meet — fret not, as it’s possible to turn your streaming career into your main source of income.
If others can do it through grit, luck, and perseverance, you can most certainly do it as well. Believe in yourself and be patient!