How a 22-year-old Twitch streamer earns $200,000 a year - Business Insider

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1/16/2021 5:01:00 PM

A 22-year-old Twitch streamer who earns over $200,000 a year shares how she got her start and the biggest misconceptions about making it big in streaming (by MrBrianJRoberts)

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would top $159 billion before the pandemic last year. But with millions of people suddenly stuck at home and turning to games for entertainment and connection, the industry experienced a surge in growth like never before. By the end of 2020, that number crossed $180 billion, according to analysts at marketing intelligence firm

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. With the industry flourishing, so are the gamers and streamers who are a part of it. Kailey "Kbubblez" Hankins, 22, is one of them. "Gaming has been a thing in my life for as long as I can remember," Hankins said. Her dad has always been a gamer, she said, and that's where her interest started.

"My mom and sister would always say, 'Come to the roller skating rink,' but we [my dad and I] would do raids on 'World of Warcraft' instead," she said. "My fifth grade present for getting straight A's in school was 'The Burning Crusade' expansion pack."

The nickname Kbubblez comes from her love for Bubbles of "The Powerpuff Girls." When she was a kid, she said friends and family would always call her bubbly because of her personality. "She definitely stands true to her name, Kbubblez, with her bubbly personality," said Amy Edge McCarthy, co-executive producer for MTV's "Revenge Prank," who worked with Hankins for

her episodeon the show.Hankins has been a full-time streamer for the last four years, and went viral in 2017 after posting a video ofher dad scolding her live on Twitch. She reported earning over $200,000 in 2020 and has over 210,000 followers across all of her platforms, half of which are on Twitch.

"If you could rank a streamer on a scale of 1 to 5, I'm like a 3.5," she said.Hankins began streaming at the age of 18 and did it for 12 hours a day for the first two yearsFor the first four months, Handkins said she streamed without knowing how to make money from it. "I did it just to make more friends because I didn't have any friends that played games at the point because I was getting homeschooled, and I also didn't want to tell anyone I was a gamer because it wasn't cool then," she said. 

She started streaming 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for the first two years until she was finally able to quit her day job and do it full time. "It's not an overnight thing," she said.Pre-COVID-19, she said, she would play on a strict 9-to-5 schedule, taking breaks for light exercise and lunch in between. Her schedule today is more scattered, with her streaming anywhere from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. She does gambling streams now, too, where streams herself in Poker tournaments and asks viewers for advice while also explaining how to play poker to those who don't know how.

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The most common questions she gets are about the time investment, income, equipment, and getting more viewers as a streamerHankins said she receives dozens of messages a day from people wanting to become full-time streamers and learn from her success, and there are a few misconceptions she always has to address. 

The time investment to build a platform is a big one. "People message me that they're streaming once a week for an hour or so and get discouraged because they're not growing," she said. "It just doesn't work that way."Second is income expectations. "It could be different every day," she said. "You might not make a whole bunch of money or have a whole bunch of people watching every day."

Third is about equipment. People will message Hankins asking what gear they need and include screenshots of their online shopping carts, some with over $4,000 worth of products. But she's reluctant to recommend that early on. "When I first started streaming, I had my dad's eight-year-old, hand-me-down computer, which was a case built with all of his old parts," she said. "That, and I had a $40 headset with duct tape on it. I'd do 12-hour streams on it, and during the summertime, it'd get so hot my computer would shut off two or three times mid-broadcast, but it didn't stop me."

The final concern is on the lack of views new streamers get. "There's a lot of people who are entertaining in this world, and what's going to make people want to watch you is building a relationship with them and being consistent with them," she said.

Hankins really took off once she began to stream her day-to-day life, not just gamingHankins credits her success to treating her viewers as friends. This is what led her to start streaming her day-to-day life, known as 'IRL' streaming, and not just gaming on Twitch. This phenomenon was relatively new in 2017, and

researchnow shows it can lead to deep and meaningful relationships over time.  Read more: Business Insider »

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kaileybubz MrBrianJRoberts Is there to read this wo buying an account? MrBrianJRoberts The article is behind a paywall. So I don't know how this nobody got her start or how she makes money, and I don't care. I just watch much hotter chicks on myfreecams for free. MrBrianJRoberts It's capitalistic poison like this that has ruined our youth. Now women of all ages become prostitutes from home through the internet. Russian infection that is destroying America.