6 Realistic Ways for Gamers to Make Money Online Without Big Investments

6 Realistic Ways for Gamers to Make Money Online Without Big Investments

We gamers have a perfect skill set for making money online. We're well-versed in the ways of the Internet, we know how things work here. We instinctively feel how will a particular community behave towards balance changes, new maps or new rule sets in our games. We're inherently digitally social, independent, creative and we don't respect arbitrary boundaries.

We are online entrepreneurs, marketers, psychologists and strategists..and yet, many of us haven't realized it yet.

What if I told you that you can earn 4 / 5 - figure income each month just by working alone with your PC, doing what you love most (hint, it's gaming) without needing to spend hundreds of dolla dolla bills beforehand?

Times are changing. There will be no better opportunity to get into streaming, becoming a pro player and winning tournaments, becoming an esports coach, building a community website or producing awesome content for YouTube than now. Wait a few years and the market will be over-saturated to such an extent your chances will be almost zero.

The main reason why I wrote this guide is that when you Google for exact steps on how to do it, the only posts and guides you'll find are bullshit ones that just tell you general stuff like "start streaming", "do Youtube", "git gud" or many outlandish ideas that actually don't work. There is nothing but crap out there - they think gamers are idiots who can't spot easy clickbait.

Well, in this guide I'm going to show you the realistic and real ways how gamers can earn a living by playing video-games - without big starting financial investments. I will illustrate the mindset, exact steps, strategies and various forms of income that you can leverage in order to become a person who earns his living by playing games or doing enjoyable stuff closely related to them.

Step 1: Prepare your mindset (less than $40)

- feel free to skip this step if you're sure you know everything about building a successful project or a business or plan to study up with free resources, but I strongly recommend at least skimming through it -

Like when considering which guns to buy in CS:GO or which champions to play in League of Legends or Dota2 for the upcoming match, preparation is key in business too (and you are going to build a business if you want to earn money gaming, it doesn't matter if you're a pro player or not - you will still be a business yourself in the most basic sense). You generally don't want to bring a knife into a gun fight, because the one with the gun usually wins.

This analogy is good because I've made it up and I'm fabulous and because your mindset is your gun. Your mindset is the single biggest difference that'll make you or break your if you want to make money on Internet.

There is one thing we need to be clear on first. The reason why you don't need big financial investments in order to start making some cash on the ye ol' webz is because you're going to invest something much more valuable than money - your time.

You might not realize it now (don't worry, you will soon), but your time is the most awesome resource you have. With enough time, you can do almost anything and the more successful you are, the less time you'll have to utilize (that's where you start spending money to pay for other peoples' time).

There is no such thing as a reward without investment. There is no free soup. There is no free to play. Everything is paid for. You WILL have to work and invest. If you're not ready to work & invest for your success, you will not succeed.

So, how to get the biggest gun for the smallest buck?

Gamers are lazy. Ok, maybe not all gamers, but I am for sure. That's good though, because the most successful entrepreneurs are the laziest life forms on the planet. Do you know why? Because only a lazy person gets creative enough to make up the most ingenious ways how to solve a problem he (or other people) is having. Oh, here's a funny thing: people will pay you for solving their problems.

The most lazy - and therefore EFFECTIVE - ways to prepare ourselves for our journey to moneyland is to simply learn from the best. If only there was a way to get some of the best brains in the world to teach us their secrets, eh? If only there was some medium they used to store all their tips and tricks for us to replicate...

And yes, I'm practically soaked in sarcasm now. This medium is called books - you might have heard of them - and it was 3 books that completely changed my life, my work ethic and enabled me to build 3 companies, a non-profit, plus earn more than 30 000€. These books are essential if you are serious on making money on the Internet or offline by using ANY business form or strategy.

Just take a moment to fully understand what I'm saying here - for less than $40 investment you're getting at least 100000x worth of lifetime experience from the biggest money-making beasts of the business world. And this experience stays with you and you can use it to earn 684348 times more than the first $40 bucks. I'm pretty sure you can save this much. If not, don't worry - there are blogs you can read, plus you always can learn from your own mistakes, right?

Each of these books is written in an easy-to-read and conversationalist tone which is awesome, because I can't stand textbook type business books where I fall asleep during the first chapter. I can't recommend them enough. 

Delivering Happiness

by Tony Hsieh (one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world)

This one started it all, 5 years ago. My GF got to read this books as an assignment for her University marketing class and I just found it lying around at home when I was bored and just loitered around.

It would be awesome if I could tell you that once I touched the book a choir of angels sang and a light from the sky overwhelmed me, but nothing like that happened.

What happened was that this book completely changed my life without all the special effects and without me knowing it by then.

Delivering Happiness is a book about finding your purpose, about why would you want to start a company, or a project. It's a bit of a life story of Zappos' founder Tony Hsieh, taking you with him on his journey of building a huge success out of nothing.

This book will teach you the mindset of a founder, visionary and a person full of purpose.


Purple Cow

by Seth Godin (a marketing mastermind and a genius)

There are 2 types of people that read Purple Cow. The ones that had their lives changed by it and the ones who were too stupid to understand what the book was about. 

This book is completely essential to anyone who wants to market ANYTHING - a business, an e-commerce store, a stream, a podcast, himself, his esports team, ANY-fucking-THING.

The main premise of Purple Cow is this: if your business is not unique - like a purple cow would be - you will be forgotten or worse, never noticed. This might seem like a no-brainer, but even long years after this book was first published companies of planet Earth still don't get it.

This is good news for you - there are wide opportunities for your project to stand out, since so many of others are too afraid of being purple. Do you know why I swore in the paragraph above? One reason is that I swear in my real life and I like to be authentic. The other one is that it made the paragraph stand out, probably making you remember it. A simple example of a purple cow.

This book will teach you the mindset of a marketer, salesman and a consumer psychologist.


REWORK

by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

The third book you need in order to become an Internet - money - generating - machine will show you how much of what you think you know about working, managing your time and discipline is FLAT OUT WRONG. 

You will need it because otherwise you are very likely to assume things that just aren't true, like "I need to work at least 8 hours a day" or "I need to hire as many people as fast as possible to become rich" or "I need to focus on what my competition is doing" and many many many other bullshit notions.

After you've read through REWORK, you'll emerge as a completely new person, with totally different perspectives on how the work needs to be done, managed and measured. 

As a new student of business intrigued by what drives success, your mind will be boggled by this book. It will add many many hours of restful sleep to your calendar, while removing many wasteful hours of stupid and useless work at the same time.

This book will teach you the mindset of a manager, leader and a smart working person.

You can, of course, be successful without reading these three books, but it'll be a bit harder. It would be like starting a CS:GO match without buying any equipment and just relying on your skill to knife down everybody armed to the teeth. It would be like having an opportunity to build a second Protoss base for free and not taking it. It would be like not firing a charged Deadeye into a Play of the Game sextuple kill.

I repeat - for less than $40 you're getting a million dollars worth of experience you can convert to real money and will use for the remainder of your life. I know I do. Read them.

Step 2: Choose how you'd like to make money

There are many ways open to gamers who want to make money on the Internet and don't have the luxury to invest big amounts of it beforehand. On the other hand, it would be stupid of you NOT to invest when you see your work starting paying out later - the more you invest, the more you earn.

That's why I talk about both situations: one is for the starting phase, where you don't have any cash to invest and don't care about the quality of your work much - the second one is what you should invest into when you earn some bucks, in order to play in the bigger leagues and earn many times more.

When reading through these options, keep in mind 1 rule:

If you want to make money by playing video-games, you have to become a business. Think like a business, work like a business, earn like a business. No shortcuts.

1. Stream on Twitch

You can earn:

  • $2.50 per subscriber / month
  • $ from ads / month (if you can manage to air an ad every 8 minutes, the ad revenue goes up very quickly, but don't go overboard - people don't like it much)
  • $ from affiliate partnerships - producers like Razer, Logitech and such will happily give you a cut if you help sell their products or just sponsor you with their equip
  • GOAL: get Twitch Partner statusgain as many subscribers as possible after that happens + build partnerships with brands

It will take you probably: 

  • 3 - 4 months to become a Twitch Partner
  • 6 - 8 months to pay your monthly rent, food and maybe something on the side
  • 1 - 2 years to earn 4 - 5 digits

Twitch is awesome in the way that it's practically free to start (as you probably have a PC, webcam and a headset / mic) and you're being paid for playing games. It's a revenue stream which is exclusive to gamers and not that hard to start with.

Viewers of your stream can subscribe to your channel for $4.99 a month or watch advertisements during the broadcast and you can receive a share of the profits, if you get accepted into the Twitch Partner programIn order to do that, you'll need at least 500 average views and broadcast at least 3 times / week.

You see, the partnership has to be valuable for them firstly - if you generate money, you will get your cut. That being said, the only 2 types of Twitch streamers who can earn money from their work are:

  1. Insanely good players
  2. Entertainers

Nobody is interested in watching people who aren't entertaining in one sense or the other.

If you're not an insanely good player who can teach or entertain his viewers, start practicing and improving until you are.

If you're not keen on practicing and becoming a real good master player, I'd focus on the entertainer part - meaning you'll have to find your unique way of presenting yourself and your stream.


You can also get better at Overwatch by checking my guides.


This means building a personal brand. Imagine Coca-Cola of streamers. When I say PewDiePie, you instantly know who I'm talking about - he's the Coca-Cola (or a Purple Cow) of YouTubers. 

So, you need to become a brand yourself. Your personal brand is your looks, your sentences, your jokes, your stream design, what do you play, how do you play it - you get the gist. Think about what kind of viewers you want to attract, think about what's special about you and use it!

Yarrrr, try turning it on and off again mateys!

For example, My_Goggle has dreadlocks, loves metal & rock and focuses on FPS. He's an entertainer. Surefour, on the other hand doesn't stream videos of himself, but he's a completely insane Overwatch PRO player and frequently plays weird electronic music, while singing to it. Going back to entertainers, BurkeBlack's stream is full of pirates! 

If you don't stand out, you'll just get drowned by a flood of same - uninteresting grey streamers. 


If you want to invest in your dream

How did Pro Halo player “Ninja” grow his Twitch channel from 10 viewers to hundreds of thousands? Learn the ins and outs starting a Twitch channel from scratch and building it into an empire. 

Dive into the complexity of starting a live stream and building it into a reliable income, covering branding, gimmicks, growth hacks, and interaction with fans. Join Ninja in the Dojo as he talks through the steps he took to build a comfortable living out of a stream that started out with five viewers.


hat you need to stream on Twitch with a PC

NO INVESTMENTS

Min. PC requirements: Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent), 8GB of RAM and Windows 7 or newer

Graphics card: A graphics card strong enough to support whatever you're playing and, ideally, one that supports DirectX 10 and up.

Internet: The faster your Internet connection, the better — you should probably aim to have an upload speed of at least 3MB per second.

Microphone: Any gaming headset that enables you to transmit eligible voice will work.

Camera: Any webcam from last 2 years will do.

Streaming software: You can use Open Broadcaster Software, which is completely for free.

INVESTMENTS

A dedicated streaming PC: Even while Twitch itself doesn't put a big strain on your PC, playing resource - intense games while streaming at the same time can get quite taxing and the quality of your stream will suffer. If you don't want to upgrade 1 by 1 (CPU, RAM, GPU, motherboard...) a one - time investment into dedicated streaming PC at one point, such as Cyberpower PC Gamer Extreme (around $700) can prove quite smart. 

Graphics card: Viewers don't want to pay for watching someone playing on low details. If you don't want to buy a completely new PC, aim to save up for a good, but affordable GPU, like NVIDIA Gigabyte Geforce 1060 Windforce ( around $200).

Microphone: There's no better choice than a Blue Yeti microphone (around $118), hands down. 

Camera: 90% of streamers use Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. I have no reason to argue with them, the camera is totally badass for the price (around $60). With a green screen (around $18) for a digitally customizable background it's the pro streamer's choice.

Streaming software: If you want to upgrade from OBS, I recommend going for XSplit.

What you need to stream on Twitch with a console

Console players have it easy investment - wise. You can stream directly to Twitch from Xbox One or a PS4 without using any external devices or software - on Xbox One, you'll just need the free Twitch app; on PS4, you can go live right from the system's Share menu.

If you want to stream from another device though - or want more control of your stream - you will need a capture - card. The best and most popular on the market right now is the Elgato Game Capture HD, which seamlessly records 1080p video from Xbox One/360, PS4/PS3, Wii U and just about any other system with an HDMI output + it also sports a Component adapter, if you wanted to show off something from your retro consoles collection.

Streaming from a console is a nice way to test out how all this Twitch streaming stuff works, but having a capture - card enables you to maximize your profits by customizing and having complete control over the stream, so I'd recommend investing in one in later stages.

3. Become a YouTube personality

You can earn:

  • $0 - $800,000 / monthly from ads
  • $200 - $10,000 from partnerships
  • $100 - $10,000 from affiliate product placements

Do these numbers look weird and not very specific? That's because YouTube works this way. Sometimes people click on the ads they're shown, sometimes not. Partnership deals range from really cheap ones to the really expensive ones. Affiliate income depends on the number of clicks you're able to generate.

It will take you probably: 

  • 6 months to grow a nice audience
  • 12 months to pay your monthly rent, food and maybe something on the side
  • 1 - 2 years to earn 4 - 5 digits

Setup (taken straight from Google):


This one is really obvious, right? Everybody knows that you can make money off YouTube! 

Well, it's not so easy. I see literally hundreds of wanna-be personalities, content creators, let's play people who think they'll become the next PewDiePie every day. Do you know what do they usually have in common?

They have no idea what they're doing, business and marketing-wise. 99% of time their content is not polished, not interesting, boring, not standing out at all, badly promoted, etc etc. Often these types think about making money first, creating awesome content second.

Well, let me tell you something - content is king and always will be. If you can't create awesome stuff, you'll never be successful on YT.

On the other hand, what defines "awesome" content? That's the break some people get - sometimes, something seemingly randomly goes viral and BOOM! A YouTube personality is born. 

The thing is - if these creators were focused on monetizing their accounts and not creating content they love to create, this would never happen. So, if you're really serious about earning your living with YouTube, focus first on the content and growing your audience - don't forget to stand out in the meantime as well.


If you'd like to invest in your dream

What does it take to become a full-time YouTuber? Learn from one of Call of Duty's most famous voices, FaZe Apex.

From celebrating his first 1,000 subscribers to now sitting on a throne of almost 4M, he shares his personal journey for taking YouTube from hobby to career.

Join Apex in the Dojo and learn how you can start coming up with viral video ideas, learn the ins and outs of shooting and editing, and grow your fanbase like never before.


Now, let's say you've got that down and you're sitting on some few thousands subscribers that love the content you're producing. Maybe it's time to think how are you going to monetize!

The most basic - and horribly ineffective - way you probably know about is using automatic YouTube Google ads to make money, but it's actually pretty terrible compared to other options. The thing is, how much you earn from the ads depends on how many people watch them, how long do they watch them, if they click on them or not. Do you know many people who like to watch ads or who don't have AdBlocker on? Thought so.

Of course, with some million views on a video or so, you're looking at some okay cash from YT Google ads, but it'll be nothing spectacular - so I'd not focus on them if I were you. 

Here's where your monitizing efforts would be spent much better:

  • affiliate links to Amazon or ShareaSale (do a product review / recommendation and check the money clinking to your account)
  • forging a deal with brands (ie. write to Razer and tell them you'll review the new Razer Deathadder Elite)
  • doing sponsored content (brands are always looking for quality YT channels in their niche, they will contact you to promote their stuff if your subscriptions numbers are good)
  • persuading your supporters to donate (maybe through Patreon?)

What you need to create and edit videos for YouTube (supposing you want to work with HD videos, no reason not to)

NO INVESTMENTS

Min. PC requirements: Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent), 8GB of RAM (upgrade ASAP to 16) and Windows 7 or newer.

Graphics card: A graphics card strong enough to support whatever you're playing and, ideally, one that supports DirectX 10 and up.

Game capture card: If you're not on a console, you don't need one. If you are, go for Elgato Capture HD.

Internet: The higher the upload, the better.

Microphone: Any gaming headset that enables you to transmit eligible voice will work.

Camera: For face capture, almost any webcam will do (non-HD), for shooting externally use your smartphone, DSLR camera, or Besteker HD Budget camcorder.

Video editing software: Lightworks free edition, iMovie for Macs

INVESTMENTS

A dedicated video editing PC: To edit 4K, full-HD videos you will need a much better CPU than the one on the left. Say at least Intel i7-6800k, which is a great CPU with high processing power for a moderate price. At around $400 it offers six-core processing power. Hyper-threading allows it to operate as if it had 12 cores which is a huge boon when rendering.

RAM has to be at least 16GB for smooth sailing and consider upgrading to 32GB.

Graphics card: Video editing eats a lot of GPU. Try GeForce GTX 1070 for smooth results.

Game capture card: If you're not on a console, you don't need one. If you are, go for Elgato Capture HD.

Microphone: There's no better choice than a Blue Yeti microphone (around $118), hands down. 

Camera: If you want to capture your faceuse Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. If you're looking for external cameras, you have to shoot in 4k, where I like GoPro Hero 5 Black.

Video editing software: There are many to choose from, but I loved working with CyberLink Power Director.

4. Become a pro player / build / join a professional esports team and win tournaments

"You can't make a living off playing video-games!" said probably every parent ever. 10 or 20 years ago, they might have been right, but today's a completely different day.

Today, professional esports players can earn tens of thousands of dollars and even get a US visa which enables them to go into USA and receive regular salary there - just like football or basketball pros. 

If you manage to win some big tournaments, woohoo - that's a fucking big load of cash. 

There's a little problem though. How do you achieve that?

1. Get really good and a team can scout you (if playing a team game)

No team will ever scout you or accept you if you don't belong into the creme de la creme players in your game. Whether it's DOTA2, League of Legends, CoD or Overwatch, if you aren't good, you won't play in a professional team (if you don't create it yourself that is). 

So the first order of business is to git gud. You can do that by watching streams, studying up on the game and basically spamming it while focusing on your own improvement rather than whether you're winning or losing.

When you belong into top players of the game of your choice (rank 1 in HotS, Legend in Hearthstone, TOP 500 in Overwatch), there is a good chance  a team will notice you and offer you a place. If you're playing a single player game, then congrats, you're ready to enter a tournament!

One way to grease the wheels is to not forget that the team you'd like to join is made of people, not just random string of 1s and 0s. When you get so good you'll be playing on the highest levels, people will start to notice you and you will notice them - you'll be playing with the same guys and gals over and over again. 

This means that: If you're a pain in the ass to deal with or otherwise unpleasant, a good team will not ask you to join them - if you aren't really a god at this game - and neither will anybody else.

A little bit of another warning: just like when applying to a job, be sure to watch out for you social media presence, too. No team wants a negative PR and as such will not accept anybody with racist, offensive or otherwise unacceptable behavior - and rest assured, they WILL run a check on you.

After you're in the team of your dreams - or you're not, because you're competing in a single player game - it's time for applying into tournaments, where the money's at. Win some and in addition to prize money, sponsors will flock to you asking for sponsorship deals, brand partnerships and stuff.

I'm not the one to talk about tournament pressure since I've won only around 3 - 4 original DotA tournaments like 8 years ago in CZ / SK region, but there is a guy who can offer much better insight. If you're interested in learning how to handle tournaments and win big, check this 53-times Smash Bros tournament champion Zero's course at LVLUP DOJO starting at $13.50 with IHN discount you automatically get as a thank-you for reading.


If you'd like to invest in your dream

Dealing with the overwhelming pressure of competing at the highest level comes through hard work and deliberate practice. Covering mental fortitude, daily routines, tournament preparation, and more, join ZeRo in the Dojo as he talks through the mindset needed to become a champion.

As of early 2014 ZeRo was making US$40,000 a year from prize money, sponsorships, and twitch.tv streaming money and has a "bounty" on his head that will be paid to anybody who can take a set from him at a future tournament.


2. Build a professional esports team by yourself

If I had to answer the question of which one is harder to do - joining a team or creating one - I'd probably say it's about the same, just in different ways.

Getting really good and joining a team is more about individual practice, working on yourself, determination and consistency.

Building a team is more about your management, problem-solving, planning and coaching skills on top of your gaming skills that also need to be improved if you're taking an active playing role in your team (you could also be the coach or the manager). 

Getting people to play, train and co-exist together for longer than a week offers its own unique challenges and sometimes feel like you're supposed to dress 5 wild monkeys on crack into tuxedos while juggling a bowl with nitroglycerine in each hand. You need to be the team's psychologist, psychiatrist, scheduler, organizer, doctor and a secretary. It's hard work and it sometimes doesn't work out - as many of you already know. 

When you're building an esports team, this is what you need answers to:

  • Team roles - Who do you need, what will they play and how will they play it?
  • Practice sessions - How will you practice? How often? How do you know your practice is effective and you're not wasting your time?
  • Teammate psychology - How do you deal with angry teammate? Can you play with a flamer? Do you play with a bad mannered person because he's good? How do you avoid problems with egos clashing down the line?
  • Communication - How do you resolve conflicts? How do you communicate effectively? How do you tell somebody he's fucked up without him leaving the team?
  • Team mental health - How do you deal with success? How do you deal with failure? How hard or easy is for your opponents to pressure and tilt you?
  • Money - Where do you get sponsors? How to make sure you don't scare them away with bad manners / behavior? Do you need a manager?

Giving you all the answers is impossible, because every game and every team composition will be different + I'd have to write another 10,000 words and this post is long enough as it is - so I'll just forward you to my friend Scump who also has a course at LVLUP DOJO ($13.50 with IHN discount) if you're interested. 


If you'd like to invest in your dream

A true glimpse into the competitive world of eSports, this course breaks down in detail what it takes to build and lead a professional team to victory. Covering everything from how to choose the right teammates, best practices for playing as a team, branding, dealing with tournament pressure, and more, join Scump in the Dojo as he talks through the steps he had to take to achieve this astounding level of success.

Scump is professional American Call of Duty player. He is a two time MLG X Games gold medalist and is sponsored by several gaming hardware companies, including Turtle Beach and Scuf Gaming. He is also sponsored by Loot Crate, Gymshark, and Brisk Mate.  As of September 2016, Scump has won $262,293, of which nearly $100,000 was won in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.


5. Build a gaming, community or a niche website (affiliate marketing monetization)

You can earn:

  • $50 - $10,000 / month (depends on how much time you'll invest)
  • $200 / sale from such affiliate partnerships like WP Engine
  • GOAL: get as much traffic as you can that clicks on your affiliate links

It will take you probably: 

  • 1 week to build a site you're okay with
  • 3 months to write at least 10 really good posts which will start generating affiliate income
  • 1 year to start generating $1000 - $2000 / month
  • 2 years to generate $5000 - $10,000 / month

If you love games and gaming community but aren't the best player or entertainer, maybe you're really into writing and creating awesome non-video stuff (video stuff is for YouTube)!

I know I am. 

I love writing articles like this that teach / help people get better in anything I'm able to write about. I like to write about Overwatch, about how to play my favourite heroes and about problems gamers face and how to solve them, because I'm a gamer and a psychologist. This combination gives me a unique point of view I can share with people and they - mostly - like it.

That's fine and dandy I hear you think, but are you doing it for free? Just for the warm feeling in your belly? 

Well, for the most part, yes. You can't do something you don't really enjoy, that shit kills you slowly, but surely. On the other hand I need to have my time reimbursed, at least a little bit.

There are 3 major ways you can monetize a community / content website:

  1. Slap on as many Google AdSense and other ads as you can and hope people will click on them
  2. Get so good at this shit companies will pay you for including a sponsored post on your site
  3. Recommend quality and problem-solving products for your audience with utilizing affiliate marketing

Considering I hate Google AdSense ads and standard in-your-face graphic advertisements with a passion, plus there are no sponsors who'd like to sponsor me - yet! - there is only one way I could earn some cash from this site and sleep well: affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most rewarding ways to make money on the internet without investments. Why? Because apart from a website you don't have to invest a dime in anything else, just your time + it doesn't alienate your readers, it actually helps them (if you're honest). Here's how to make the best website of 2017.

Affiliate marketing is awesome because when you do it correctly, it's entirely possible to just wake up, open your laptop and see that you've generated thousands of dollars overnight while drinking beer with friends. It's an awesome feeling and it looks like this.

This is my report for November 2016.

The way affiliate marketing works is simple enough - you send people from your website, email list or an ebook to a product page / ecommerce store through a special link and if these people buy something there, you get a cut from the profits. 

So basically what I'm saying is - build a community website producing content about something you're passionate about (Arkham Horror LCG, my current addiction / Overwatch / a site for girl gamers / best gaming chair cushions / etc etc) and recommend products your audience would enjoy or could use to solve their problems.

Sounds easy, right?

If your visitors trust you, yes, it is. If you start recommending shitty products, they will stop listening to you really fast and nothing will be left for you to generate income from. So, the first step of affiliate marketing is:

Create a website and RECOMMEND ONLY QUALITY PRODUCTS

You can have a beautiful website for less than $30 and 4 hours of your time these days. If you know some coding, you can have it completely for free, without financial investments. The website is not a problem, check how easy it is to make a successful 2017 website in a lazy way here.

What products can you recommend then? As a gamer, there are probably many things you know about. It isn't possible to get into affiliate marketing with video games though, nobody really provides an affiliate service for them. Steam doesn't need it and people don't buy games from Amazon much. 

Your content could look like this.

Your content could look like this.

You need to choose a niche you'll specialize in. Of course, it doesn't have to be gamer-related! If you know much about pianos, write about them. If you know much about computer hardware and Overwatch, write about that. If you're experienced in diving equipment, go with that one.

Now, there are 4 partners that will pay you for doing this:

  1. Check out Amazon affiliate program (get around 7% from ANY purchase your traffic makes in 24 hours of the visit) and promote just about anything from your niche
  2. Visit ShareaSale (or Clickbank, Commision Junction, etc etc) and find a product related to your niche you'd like to promote (get from 10% to 70% from each product purchase your traffic makes in next 30 days usually)
  3. Contact a product seller directly and make a deal with him
  4. Combine them at your leisure

The difference between Amazon and other affiliate programs is that with Amazon you get paid for any purchase your visitors make in 24 hours, while with other affiliate programs you get paid for just the product you're promoting, but your visitors have 30 days usually to make the purchase.

With Amazon people convert really well, since they know how to "force" people into buying something when on their websites, but the payouts are lower and customers only have 24 hours to buy. Therefore if you want to go with Amazon, you should focus on sending more people through your links and worry less about the quality of this traffic.

With other affiliate programs such as ShareaSale the story is more about sending the right people to the right product. It doesn't matter if you send 1 million people to the product page if these people aren't interested in that product, they will not buy. But, if you promote WP Engine to people interested in Wordpress hosting for example, you can make $200 per sale! That's a $200 if a person buys $25 product! And there are many more high-impact products like this, you just have to search for them.

I personally go with combination of Amazon Affiliate and ShareaSale. AA is perfect for electronics products because people are not scared to buy such expensive things from them (and it means higher payout for me than if I promoted just books for example) and SaS is ideal for digital and cloud products from experienced companies.

Be careful! Amazon Associates Program has some strict rules you need to follow or you risk getting your account suspended!

The second step of affiliate marketing is then:

Choose between Amazon Associates Program and ShareaSale, make a deal with a product owner, or combine them.

Now, the only thing that remains is to drive traffic to your articles that have affiliate links in them. The easiest and proven way to do this is to provide real value. In this post I have researched what gaming equipment Overwatch pros use and then proceeded to test it myself so I could compare and review it for people who are interested in buying the best gaming equipment for Overwatch.

In this article I asked 300 gamers what they wanted for birthday and Christmas so I could show anybody interested in buying a gift for a gamer what the gamer really wanted. Here, on the other hand - pun intended - I talk about how I solve my problems with wrist pain after long gaming and work sessions.

If I just went and slapped together some random products and copied their descriptions from Amazon, I doubt anybody would have been interested in reading such an article. 

"But how does this generate traffic to my site?", I hear you asking. Well, I'll show you.

  1. When a person reads an article that provided him with a value, he's inclined to share it. If he shares it, you get more visitors! Yeah!
     
  2. When you know what people search for on Google, you can write an article on such topic and people will come to you by the magic of Google Search - this is called SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

    Best tools for SEO are SEMrush and Long Tail Pro Platinum. If you want to know how to use them for getting traffic to your site, check out the "making the website of 2017" guide here.
     
  3. If you really provide value, Reddit and other forums will accept your "promotional" posts there, because it's not about selfish self-promotion. It's about helping the community there and people generally have no problems with supporting you by clicking on your affiliate links if you really helped them.

The final step of affiliate marketing is then:

3. Drive traffic to your content by providing value, using SEO, building a personal brand and an email list

Because all of this won't matter much if you don't get traffic to your site. A high quality content will certainly help, as people will share it between themselves, but that's often not enough.

You will also need to use SEO techniques to rank high in Google searches for terms you think your audience searches for and you'll also need to build an email list for those times when Twitter, Google or Facebook decide you don't deserve your followers anymore - which Facebook did two times already. 

And lastly, without a well-built personal brand you'll never achieve the groundbreaking success you want to and this applies to both professional gaming, normal real life and online / offline business. You are the only asset nobody can take from you, so you'd better develop and use it right.

Fortunately, one of the greatest personal brand builders who has risen from the gaming industry - Nicolas Cole - is the one who introduced me to LVL UP DOJO and he teaches a course on personal branding, building a business and earning money as well.


In 2007, Nicolas Cole was one of the highest rated World of Warcraft players in North America, and one of the first e-famous gaming bloggers with a dedicated audience.

Since then, Nicolas has amassed millions of readers all over the world writing for major publications such as Inc, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and more.

Want to learn how to build a loyal, profitable Personal Brand in gaming? Learn from one of the industry’s pioneers.


What you need to make money on the Internet with affiliate marketing

NO INVESTMENTS

Website: built on free platform such as Wordpress with a free theme

Hosting: cheap one such as SiteGround

Keyword research / SEO tool: free Google Keyword Planner

INVESTMENTS

Website: built on free platform such as Wordpress with a premium theme (mobile optimized, secure, fast) from StudioPress or Thesis / built on Squarespace platform

Fast and secure hosting: WP Engine for Wordpress sites, higher-tiered SiteGround plans for other platforms

Keyword research / SEO toolSEMrush or Long Tail Pro Platinum


6. Start selling products or services

Experience profitability.

Everyone has something to sell. Here are just some ideas for gamers I've made up right now:

You can earn:

  • $50 - $10,000 / month (depends on how much time you'll invest)
  • GOAL: sell as many products or services as possible

It will take you probably: 

  • 1 week to build a site you're okay with
  • 1 month to see some sales
  • 4 - 6 months to start generating $1000 - $2000 / month
  • 1 year to generate $5000 - $10,000 / month
  • if you're really good in a game, sell coaching services
  • create digital guides and walkthroughs to sell as digital downloads on Amazon Kindle Store
  • if you're graphically talented, design gaming T-shirts & hoodies and sell them
  • tutor elementary / high school students in your local area
  • repair broken PCs, take care of malware and viruses in your area
  • offer website design services, SEO services, website administration services
  • write gaming themed self help books and sell them
  • write gaming themed fiction and sell it on Amazon Kindle Store

Just pick one thing you're good at and I guarantee you that there is ALWAYS somebody who is willing to pay you for doing it. 

This is less passive than affiliate marketing. This is creating and starting a business. If you ask me, a job is not the way to live a life - it could be taken from you any second your boss wakes up in a bad mood and you're actively investing your time in someone else's project. Why shouldn't you invest that time in yourself and keep all the money?

Having a successful business is the stuff really rich and happy people are made of.

And It's actually pretty easy to set up an ecommerce store. Pick Wordpress (free), get the best hosting there is so you don't get hacked or limited by slow speeds ($25) and set up your store through WooCommerce for free or with other plugins and themes. Done.

Here's a free ebook which shows the complete process of making an ecommerce website on Wordpress, written by some of the biggest WP experts. 

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit

Step 5: Invest more

Step 6: Profit more & repeat steps 5 and 6

Mass Effect Andromeda Official Trailer Released

Mass Effect Andromeda Official Trailer Released

Sombra and her Abilities Revealed in New Epic Overwatch Animated Short: Infiltration

Sombra and her Abilities Revealed in New Epic Overwatch Animated Short: Infiltration