7 Proven Ways to Earn Money with Video Games

So if you have been curious on how you can utilize video games to earn some side income or turn it into your passion project or business, you have come to the right place. I will break down the difficulty levels of each way and give you guidance on what it takes to succeed in each field.

Start a Website or Blog

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Startup Costs: Low

This is one of the easiest ways to get started. Creating a website is very simple nowadays with WordPress. It takes barely any technical knowledge and you can get started in less than 30 minutes if you know what you are doing.

What Kind of Content to Create?

It will depend on your interest. You want to list the things you enjoy doing. Video games will be one for sure. Here is an example of mine:

  • Watching anime – action, romance, comedy etc.
  • Playing mobile and PC games
  • Hang out at comedy clubs to watch funny skits from various comedians
  • Watch twitch streams
  • Read finance and self improvement books

This is what I spend my time on. Write yours down and figure out what you enjoy doing. Also, if you look through your buying history on your credit/debit card, you will gain insight on what you truly like.

After that, ask yourself these honest questions:

  • What could you do for 3 years straight, without getting paid?
  • If you are a millionaire and never have to work, what would you do in your spare time?
  • What do you enjoy doing for fun on the weekends?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What do you talk about with your friends?
  • What were some of the things you loved doing when you were a kid?

These questions gets you to really hone in on what you truly care about. You will be surprised what you will find by answering these questions.

Since most of you are gaming fanatics, we can narrow down our niches to mostly gaming. The key is to pick a sub genre and stick to it. For example, here is a list of gaming niches you can put your focus on:

  • PC (Most games are well-covered, so you will have to go after newer games)
  • Mobile (Android, iOS)
  • Consoles (PS1 to PS 4, Xbox, Wii and more)
  • eSports (mostly MOBAS like League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm)
  • Card games (Hearthstone, Magic the Gathering)
  • Fighting games
  • Gaming News Site
  • Gaming Gadgets/Gear/Hardware/Software

With that being said, the next step will be to:

  1. Get a web host (I recommend BlueHost for beginners, WPX Hosting for advanced users)
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Start creating your content!

Setting all of this up should take you no more than 30 minutes if you following the instructions!

How To Earn Income?

Good question. There are many ways to do so. I will list all the ways that you can use to monetize your website:

    • Banner Ads – Networks like Adsense, Ezoic and Monumetric allows you to earn income via page views. Normally you would get $0.25 to $1 per 1000 impressions depending on how aggressive you monetize it.
    • Referral(Affiliate Marketing) – You basically refer users to either buy a product or send them to a video game network to play a specific game. A conversion will net you some money.
    • Creating a Product – This can be a digital or physical product. Most would opt for a digital product since a physical product requires actual space.
    • Sponsorship – Advertisers can come to your website to have you promote their game, website or product. This usually happens when you start getting popular and have a good reputation.

Start a Video Game YouTube Channel

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Startup Costs: Medium

How YouTube Works

Starting a YouTube channel is also an easy way to get started. YouTube has a special program called the YouTube Partner Program. Anyone that uploads videos to their platform and follow their content guidelines and policies will be able to earn money from their ad revenue system. They share ad revenue with you. I am not entirely sure about the percentage, but it is right around the 50-60% mark.

As for how much you can earn for views generate will depend on how much advertisers are willing to pay. One can expect $0.50 to $1.50 per 1000 views. I personally average 33 cents per 1000 views, which is way under the average.

If you are dedicated to uploading videos on a consistent basis and get a lot of subscribers, you will be able to generate a huge audience and earn $3000+/month. It will take time and possibly a years time of consistent uploading and content producing to reach that level, but it will be worth it! Freedom is right around the corner!

Creating Content and Equipment or Tools Required

Now you are also going to utilize the method mentioned above for websites and blogs. Once you have narrowed down your niche, you can start creating videos around that topic. However, you will need some equipment to get started.

There are a few types of recording style:

  • Screen recording – Mostly for recording pure game play. Requires a good PC/Console screen recorder to upload to YouTube. OBS Software and Screen-o-matic are good options to start.
  • Vlog – Generally holding the camera while recording. You can start off using your smartphone to record. However, eventually you will want to use a decent camera.
  • Static – The camera is still in 1 position and recording the surroundings. Just like vlogs, starting off with smartphone will suffice until your channel grows.

In addition to owning cameras, you will also need other tools to improve your channel quality:

While you won’t need all of them, it can definitely speed up your content creation process.

Stream on a Streaming Platform

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Startup Costs: Medium

This is probably one of the most popular dreams that a good portion of the gamers strive to achieve. That is, sitting home and playing video games while plenty of people watch you play your favorite game. Unfortunately, most do not see the hard work, persistence and perseverance required for this dream career that most fantasize about.

You will need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I willing to stream consistently (even when you don’t feel good)?
  • Can I sit on my chair 4-8 hours a day playing games?
  • Can I play and interact with the viewers in my channel?

If you choose to pursue this path, I want you to know the road isn’t easy. You need to be consistent in streaming and good content plus personality to pull it off.

To get started, you will need a broadcast software:

There are also other options here that is recommended by Twitch, but the 3 mentioned above are the ones that I see streamers using.

Here is a simple guide on how to stream on YouTube.

Successful Streamers

I am going to list a few examples that made it through sheer persistence and doing what they love. It took them a while to build up their audience, but they did it by publishing good content on a CONSISTENT basis.

Kripparrian (Now TSM Kripp)

He is one of the most dedicated gamers that didn’t give up on his gaming a career. He used to play WoW, Diablo 3 and now Hearthstone. He never stopped producing content for his viewers and his consistency is what paid off.

The video above is Kripparian’s back when he wasn’t that famous just yet. This also goes to show how far he has come in 6 years. Closing in on almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube and  184 million views on Twitch, he is the veteran of streaming.


Lirik’s rise to success wasn’t a one day thing. Like Kripparian, he started off with WoW and transitioned to Dayz. Since then his channel grew and he averages 20,000 – 40,000 viewers per stream (also sometimes depends on the game). As of October 2017 he has around 1.83 million followers.

He also has a sub-reddit dedicated to him. Also, he recently decided to take a short break. Have a look at his own insight on stream…

Ask yourself this, how many of you are willing to drop your studies/work/main job now and instead try playing video games, while not being a pro, just for the fuck of it, and seeing if you can just…. do it for a living. Also, coming from an Asian, immigrant family and doing this.(if you are Asian you know what I mean)

I’m not some God figure. I’m a nerd, who is shy, who happened to just decide to stream and see what the fuck happens. Looking back, I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking. Maybe it was my addiction, or love, for gaming. I just always thought I had funny moments in video games so why not just broadcast it and see what happened? No fucking idea. I never even used a cam. Why do you think I hate reading games? Because, I can’t be myself listening to some Witcher 3 NPC talk for 5 hours without you guys seeing my facial expression. To me, I feel as though you watch for the entertainer not the game. I get self conscious I guess, I don’t fucking know.

Make no doubt that streaming is an extremely lucrative career once you get over 1000+ consistent viewers…

Become a Video Game Writer

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Startup Costs: Low

If you love writing and majored in English or Journalism back in school, this is something you can pursue. There are a few ways you can get started.

Option 1: Search for Game Journalism Opportunities

Here are some web sites that you can rely to start your journalism career:

You will need a good resume that highlights your strengths. Also, I suggest you start writing for free on any writing web site to get a good port folio. Below are some sites that you can write for to kick start your port folio:

  • Hubpages – Can earn some side income. I used to write quite a bit there until I started my own site OnlineFanatic.com.
  • Linkedin – Writing on Linkedin gives you credibility. This way, you can refer to potential employers in the journalism industry.
  • What Culture – High quality site but hard to get in unless you can contribute quality and insightful articles (2000+ words)
  • Sociable Co – Easier to get in than What Culture.

When I say quality, your English will have to be at a decent level. Here are some examples of articles that you should be striving to achieve:

Not only do they have well laid out sections, they also have some images to spice up the article.

Option 2: Paid Writing (Freelance)

There are a few sites that will pay you per article. You have to write on their platform to earn. Think of it as freelance writing.

  • iWriter – A writing platform that pays you based on your star level. The higher your rating, the better your pay gets. If you get to the 4.5 star level, you can expect at least $15 / 1000 words. Not a high amount, but you can start here if you really need cash. It is easier to start then the following platform…
  • Writer Access – Another platform similar to iWriter. They pay based on number of words. The goal is to get to at least 5 stars to get the $0.056/word level ($56 per 1000 words). That is much more lucrative than iWriter, but also a lot harder to get to the 5 star rating.
  • Reddit Hire a Writer – You can look for people asking for various topics. Most of them will not be video game related though.

Become A Professional Gamer

Much like streaming, this is also a very popular dream of many video gamers. This also requires hours upon hours of dedication to a specific game. For example, below are some games that some have dedicated their lives to:

All of these games requires skill and tonnes of practice to become really good.

Some may say its talent…but its perseverance and hard work. Nobody wants to hear this though! 🙂

If you are serious about this, start practicing on the game you are focusing on. If you can actually dedicate 4-5 hours a day to practice the game mechanics, I would say you have a chance to become good.

Start a Podcast

If you are someone that loves to talk about video games, podcasts is a perfect way to get your voice out there without always having to show your face. It is a great alternative to YouTube.

Here is a list of steps to get started in Podcasting:

  1. Decide the niche in gaming you want to be in (PC, Console, eSports, Mobile etc.)
  2. Come up with a name for your podcast (this article helped me)
  3. Planning the episode content
  4. Get the equipment required (A microphone, sound proof walls)
  5. Recording and Production
  6. Publishing and Marketing
  7. Building a Community

A List of Podcasts for Ideas

Below are some podcasts for various games:

Become a Video Game Tester

The good thing about a video game tester is that it is an entry level job, so you won’t need a bachelors or masters to get in. As a game tester, your job is to help game companies test their games to find bugs or crashes. Remember, if you dream of endless days spent playing your favorite video games, you’ll be severely disappointed.

You have to take the job seriously and meet the expectations of the companies that hire you to do so. As a game tester, your objective is to break the games in any way possible and to report anything that breaks to people on our programming, design, or art teams.

Also, you will also want to have a resume (or CV) ready so that you can apply for one.

Below is a list of qualities that most companies will look for:

  • High School diploma or equivalent.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Good problem solving skills.
  • Basic knowledge of video games. Familiarity with games consoles and handheld games.
  • Basic ability and dexterity in playing video games.
  • Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, and Internet.
  • Minimum typing skills 40 WPM.
  • Overtime is encouraged during impending deadlines, but is not mandatory.
  • Prior writing experience a plus
  • Ability to multi‑task in a fast-paced environment.
  • Flexibility and willingness to independently navigate areas of unfamiliarity.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Positive and professional attitude.
  • Strong word processing and other computer skills.
  • Independent worker (i.e., takes initiative and works well with little supervision).
  • Efficient and productive.
  • Knowledge of the entertainment software industry.

How to Get A Job as a Game Tester?

The fastest way is to search online using these portals to find companies that are looking to hire game testers:

For the search, you will want to use either “Video Game Testing”,”Quality Assurance for Video Games” or “QA Game Tester” to find relevant jobs in your area.

Other Relevant Video Game Jobs

Aside from game testing, there are also a list of jobs below that you can consider:

Keep in mind that you will need to have relevant skill sets for the jobs.

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