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A conversation with a professional streamer on what it takes to go full-time

By Admin User on April 5, 2022

Streaming video games is a big business these days. Look at platforms like YouTube and to see just how much money their top earners are getting. Some are earning millions of dollars every year while they entertain people by playing video games, Dungeons & Dragons, or even just having conversations.

Getting into streaming now can be seen as a lucrative career path for many younger people. It’s easy to look at the big payday — in the multi-millions — that organizations like Critical Role or individuals like Ninja get, and decide that you could be doing that too. However, that’s a pretty rare thing to actually happen.

It’s not impossible though.

It does require a lot of hard work, and won’t be something that happens overnight. Which I found out by talking to a streamer named TouchpadWarrior who just recently made the decision to go full-time. He now plays World of Warcraft for a living. It took him six years but he’s been able to live his dream of becoming a professional streamer.

Cory: What made you want to get into streaming?

Touchpadwarrior: Honestly, I was working as a chef, and I already had, like, a lot of hours, and I had a very bad fear of not being able to spend time with friends or family because of being in the kitchen all the time. And I knew a few buddies that were already doing this thing on Twitch. I was like, I don’t know what that is, and they showed me what it did and how it goes and whatnot.

I had hopes and dreams of being able to spend time with my family and work from home and do entertainment. As time went on, it became more of providing a little bit of de-stress and relief out of folks’ days. People would pop in and go like, “Hey man, I’m so glad you’re live. This is my de-stress time where I chill out.” We share a passion for a game that we love and have a few laughs along the way.

Touchpadwarrior after getting his Twitch Partner status died his hair purple to celebrate.

C: Is there a path to full-time streaming? Is that something that’s attainable these days or are there too many big whales out there that just mean it’s not something that is attainable?

TPW: It totally is. It’s entirely on your work ethic. As with any entrepreneurship type thing, it would be about how much time you dedicate to it that’s what you get out of it. Starting off, it’s really rough, but if you keep the ball rolling and keep making content and trying to make network connections, things like that. It is hopeful.

For me currently in my position, it did take six years, but I’m actually going full-time next month. It’s very nerve-wracking because my income is entirely based on people’s generosity. So a little scary, you know?

I try to try to find patterns because there’s no consistency in that revenue source. So you’ve got to try to find other ways to passively generate income on other projects while you’re working on the streaming stuff.

C: What would you say the biggest piece of advice you could give to somebody wanting to start streaming is?

TPW: The biggest, I’ll give like two or three actually because one is just never enough. Consistency is the most important thing. If you don’t have a consistent schedule, then how are people going to find you or know what you’re going to do? What are you going to do if you have no consistency in what you bring to the stage, to your show, camera, whatever it is? Then how do you set up what your branding is, who you are as a person?

Because if you decide to have a persona, not me personally, but some people do, and you change that persona every day, there’s no consistency there either. Trying to be consistent with your time and when you go live, have a schedule, and that’s the hardest thing to do because you’re creating your own world, you have to make a schedule.

That’s the most important thing, and I can say that confidently because people always warned me about it. The first couple of years it was very rocky and I had no consistency. As soon as I switched to having a consistent schedule, that’s when things started actually growing.

C: You were talking about personas. Is there a reason why you decided at the beginning not to go with persona, or was it just authenticity on your part?

TPW: Authenticity. I just want to be myself. I personally don’t believe that I should change myself and who I am. Finding comfortability in who I am.

I just wanted to relax. I wanted to be myself. I didn’t want to have to worry about, like, putting on a face every day when I went live. I felt like I didn’t want to be fake with people and be over-animated and be like, Wow, look at this thing that’s so rad. And no, I’m just. I’m just a dude, man. Just I like this game, like a drink. That’s about it. If you vibe with that sweet let’s hang out.

But it felt like way too much extra unnecessary effort to try to do a persona.

Touchpadwarrior after his extremely successful “Add to beard” night

C: What would you say is your proudest moment or the moment that sticks out over the six years? What is the number one moment that sticks out to you?

TPW: Man number one, that’s rough because I really thought about a few moments. Obviously, hitting Twitch Partner was a huge one because after six years and 1000 to 1400 hours a year streamed for six years, that was the biggest one.

But probably there is something we did called the “Add to Beard” Night. So it was per subscriber, I would add something to my beard. For example, these little velcro patches, because I found out these stuck to the beard really easily. And so I came up with the concept of like, okay, let’s add to beard per sub.

That night was wild because I think we had like 600 subscribers that night. And I just ended up having I ran out of patches. I did anything prepared, nothing. I sort of put in like pens, just anything I could find. I started sticking things to my hair and then my fiancee came in and she had some horns that she made from like cosplay foam.

I was wearing horns. I had sunglasses on, and just covered my face and everybody had a good laugh. It was a fun time and very eventful.

C: Now that you’re a full-time streamer. Where do you hope to be in the next year? Do you have a goal? Is there something that you that you’re ending for now that you’ve gotten Twitch Partner status?

TPW: Probably the goal I’d like to achieve within the next year is creating different revenue streams to have more consistency and stability with what I’m doing. I think that what I’ve got going on is good, and I think there are a lot of things I need to fine-tune still.

Creating other passive revenue. So actually creating YouTube content which if you are new to streaming, you definitely need to do that. I didn’t. If you want to take six years. Yeah, go for it, buddy.

I highly recommend different platforms with different revenues and creating more content to hopefully have more reach and be able to finely tune, really good edited videos to produce and put out there in the ether. Instead of just like a random video at two am being like, “Hey, thanks for popping in. I appreciate it.”

Like, there’s so much extra I could see out of myself because I had been working at 50% of my potential. So I’m excited to be able to focus in and really create good content.

C: Finally, where can we find you online?

TPW: Where can we find me? You can find me at Touchpadwarrior.

Not to be too pompous, but you could probably Google it because it’s such a bizarre, unique name. I’ve Googled myself a few times and it shows all the socials.

So, Touchpadwarrior, so, or on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. We’ve got all the things, the stuffs, and the whatnots.



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