Are you willing to walk through fire?

So you want to 'play video games for a living'? It sounds like a dream — working from home, turning your passion into a career, and doing what you love every day while making enough money to live comfortably. There will be challenges, though.

Do you have what it takes?

Cutting things out of your life

You'll need one of these to afford everything

Unless you're lucky enough to have a big bank account, you're going to have to give things up, and even then, you can't buy time. Your chill hours after work? That's now side hustle work time. Going to the club to party with friends is out of the question. No more ordering fancy food because you need new gear instead.

Your friends might be annoyed that you can't hang out and some might even get angry at you. Get used to cooking at home and eating simple. Instant noodles taste delicious when you're working on your dream. You need to spend two hours a day on this minimum and that 9-to-5 job is what's keeping you from starving, so, you have to audit everything else in your life to make time and money for what's basically a side business. When you finally can quit that day job, your income drops down to survival levels again.

The years of struggle

This is going to take a while

Ninja made a splash last year and he's now one of the biggest, most successful, gaming creators out there. You might be thinking, 'this is going to take one or two years, tops'. You might win the lottery, too. Unfortunately, this is the kind of endeavour that most likely is going to take years, even if you're great at it. A good rule is to allocate five years for it before you can quit your day job.

Half a decade sounds like a really long time to be sacrificing and giving things up, but think about your life and how long you really have. If you're 30 right now, five years of building your gaming business on the side will see you at 35 by the end of it. You still have three to four decades of living your dream, though, and that's if modern medicine doesn't keep us going even longer.

The end goal here is your happiness. If you really hate your job and want to turn a passion into a career, giving up a few years to work on your dream is going to give you decades of happiness.

Attacks on your self esteem

People aren't always so nice

Speaking of being happy, what if you create something and it's bad? You might get some nasty comments. The Internet doesn't care about you. Your looks, voice, and everything about you will be insulted, made fun of, and criticised. There are positive voices out there, but vitriol is bound to come your way no matter what you do. You have to practice hardening your shell again and again because haters are relentless. Some due to jealousy, others because they have personal problems which they take out on strangers. Either way, you'll be targeted eventually.

I'm not going to tell you to 'just ignore them'. It's hard, I know from personal experience, but strength comes from practice. Know that these salty haters don't know you, they don't know your life, and their hateful comments say more about their own insecurities than yours. Even if it's friends and family attacking your choices, it's your life and your choices that have nothing to do with them. You just have to keep working on that mental resilience, and at the end of the day, you'll be stronger than ever.

A great tactic to start

Getting on all those screens

You now understand the struggle and sacrifices but still want it? Then here's the best advice I can give to get started. Turn off everything to do with listening to the haters, close your eyes and ears to the criticism, and just make stuff!

It's not a one-platform game anymore. Make an account on seven different platforms with the same name and post non-stop until you reach 100 posts on each. YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn (yes, even there). Post on all seven platforms about gaming every single day and just ignore the criticism, hate, or jokes made about you. It's a trial by fire, throwing you into the deep end, almost like exposure therapy to shock your body and mind into getting used to the mental state of being a creator. You'll also figure out what kind of content works and what doesn't, who your audience could be, and more. You never know for sure until you try.

At the end of 700 posts, you will know if this is what you want to be doing.

So, do you have it?

You have to be strong enough to walk through the trial by fire that is the Internet

That's how it's done. Excuses won't cut it, the Internet isn't going to be kind and it doesn't get easier once you've 'made it'. If all this sounds like it's a nightmare you're willing to fight through, then you just might be able to make it to that dream of turning video games into your career.

Do you want to turn video games into your job? Are you ready to face the challenges?

This is a guest post and the views expressed here are the author's own. 

It's not all fun and games

I wake up at noon after 6 hours of sleep. Make a quick cup of coffee, feed the cats, and grab something to eat as I walk over to my PC and turn everything on. I read the news and watch a video or two as I eat and clear my head of grogginess. Time to work. Sounds pretty normal, doesn't it?

The Life of Working From Home for Yourself

Me sitting at a PC all day, pretty much my daily life

Me being a 'content creator' for video games is a confusing thing for most people. They don't REALLY know what I do every day. People think I do 'computer stuff', or that I review video games, or some even think that I make video games!

Honestly, life as a content creator isn't that unusual. It's just I'm at home instead of going to an office. I can work in my pyjamas and I don't have to drive to an office or pay tolls to get there. There's also the constant distraction of EVERYTHING trying to stop me from working. Social media drama calling for my very limited attention, an animé series ready to binge beckoning me away from productivity, my cats mewing at the door asking for food after already being fed. I have to focus and discipline myself because there's no boss breathing down my neck to remind me that this video needs to be done today and if I don't upload it in time I don't make any money. The more I work the more I make, the more I slack the less I make. I have to breath down my own neck and my pay is tied to how hard I work.

Finding Success is Years of Not Giving Up while also Giving Things Up

The real life of a content creator is not what you see when you find out about them. It's the years before, working and building non-stop until finally you get a break and a little recognition. You reading this article now, you probably have never heard of me or anything to do with 'GamerZakh' and if you do know me, it's probably not from 5+ years ago. I did however start my channel in 2011 and spent 4 years doing nothing but work.

I didn't go partying, didn't shop a lot, never went on holidays, and I ate a lot of instant noodles. I had a full-time job, a side job, did freelance work, all while continuing to create videos and maintain my YouTube channel. Seeing friends was a rarity as even when I had free time I was just so exhausted from doing everything. It was slow, a grind, and I gave up a lot of socialising, fun, and really my health a bit.

Finally, after 4 years of struggle, I was earning enough money to be able to quit my day job! My reward? By quitting, I basically cut my income in half and went back to eating instant noodles for a couple years, but I was now doing what I loved for a living, which is what it was all about.

Money is Not Constant

Getting paid is like opening a lootbox

It's like running a business. You have good seasons and bad seasons. Some years are better than others. In 2016, you might make 5 TIMES what you made in 2015! Then in 2017 you earn HALF the amount you made in 2015...

It's something you always have to keep in the back of your mind when you work as a content creator.

Even throughout the year, you could be earning twice as much in December compared to June. Imagine not knowing what number is going to be on your paycheck at the end of the month, every month, forever. It's scary but also kind of exciting because I could double down on my work to try and earn more! It's no guarantee though... you can triple your efforts and still make less money. It's just a very different approach compared to earning the same guaranteed number every month.

"You're so Lucky! You Play Video Games for a Living" - Where's the REAL Work?

Me doing this for a living, every now and then I get the "You're so lucky" comment. I do know that I'm incredibly fortunate to be able to do this as a career, that there's a community that supports what I do, and that my job is fuelled by a never-ending passion for video games. However, me getting to this position isn't just pure 'luck'. Here is something I want to show you, some of the work I have to do day-to-day. This image is the script I wrote for my 2019 list videos. 24,000 words of research, curation, and copywriting. Not to mention, this is just a single year. I've done this every year since 2014 and I still have the scripts to prove it.

Counting all my list scripts, I've written 110,000 words so far!

Does this look like luck?

I have also created and uploaded over 1,400 videos. This was the result of consistent creation and making videos isn't the same as 'playing a video game'. You have to plan, record, talk, edit, render, upload, write descriptions, and design thumbnails. This all takes countless hours to do. Importantly though, despite the amount of work, I enjoy doing it all.

Is the "Do What You Love" Saying True?

It's a common old phrase. Find a job that you enjoy and your work won't feel like work. It sounds like the perfect solution to life's problems, so why doesn't it always work?

Right now, I'm doing what I love for work. The confusion when it comes to people who want to 'do video games' for a living is they don't realise all the things around the video games that you have to love too. If you want to be a gaming streamer and content creator, here are some things that you need to love as well BESIDES playing video games if you want to love your job:
- Writing scripts
- Editing videos
- Designing graphics
- Managing social media
- Researching and reading
- Talking a LOT
- Engaging and entertaining people
- Managing and improving equipment

And there's so much more to it. I do love video games but I also love everything else to do with the job. I'm writing this article right now and enjoying the process of translating my thoughts into writing! Now that I say it out loud, it's kind of weird seeing my brainwaves become words on the screen... that you're reading right now... and that's why I love doing this job and it doesn't feel like work despite it being the hardest thing I've worked on in my entire life.

That's the point! If you want to be a video game content creator you have to love more than just video games and that's why so many people try to make a video or do a live stream and hate it. They give up after just a few tries or a couple months because they HATE everything else to do with content creation.

What else are you curious about when it comes to the life of a Gaming YouTuber or Streamer? Let us know in the comments or find GamerZakh online and ask him!

How you can do it too!

This article is written by GamerZakh, a video games content creator who is also a contributing writer to eGG Network. 

You may be wondering how it's possible to actually make enough money to live by creating videos on YouTube or streaming on Twitch and Facebook. It's all part of what's called the '4th Industrial Revolution', which has brought about the 'Gig Economy'. Fancy names for what's actually going on in the current generation, where basically anyone can turn their passion into a business!

The 4th Industrial Revolution & Gig Economy

From the video game 'Youtubers Life', a game about being a YouTuber

Youth unemployment is an issue all around the world. Many get degrees from universities but that's no longer a guarantee of a job. Fifteen years ago, you'd be left high and dry, struggling to get any job you can. Now, if you have the passion and discipline to chase your dreams, you can turn what you love into your career.

Enjoy gardening? Make a blog about gardening and put ads on it. Love making music? Get yourself a SoundCloud account and post videos on YouTube. Got an interest in crafting? Sell your creations on Etsy. Great at painting? Scan them for prints on DeviantArt. Like designing T-shirts? Sell them on DesignByHumans. Even me writing this article is my part of being in this revolution and this is one of my 'gigs'. The possibilities in this Golden Age of the Internet are limitless and nothing like this has ever existed before! If you're reading this you're on the Internet and can get to making and selling your passion online right now.

Of course, on the gaming side, we have creating videos for YouTube along with live streaming on Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, YouTube itself, or the many number of other streaming platforms there are today. Where does the money come from? Can it actually be a stable job? How do you turn it into a business that becomes your career? In this article I'm going to tell you what I know about making a living in the gaming industry online.

Where Does The Money Come From?

First thing's first, you gotta change your mindset on what all of this is. You're not some random person posting on the Internet. This creation of yours is going to be your business. Like a TV channel, a shop, or a service you provide—you are creating things for people and that's going to earn you money. Treat it like a side business, not a hobby, and you'll take it much more seriously. The most common question I get is:

This isn't a monthly fixed pay from your company, you ARE the company! You should try for at least 3-4 ways of making money and combine them all together to make a 'salary'. Let's break things down a bit to possibilities:

1. Advertisements

When you watch a YouTube video and see an ad, someone's making money.

2. Sponsorships

Start getting lots of views and you can offer to promote things for money.

3. Community Support

People who really like you would be willing to give you money directly on Patreon or Twitch.

4. Merchandise

There are many websites online where you can upload your personal designs and people can buy T-shirts, mugs, stickers, hats, and all sorts of things.

5. Partnerships

You can get referral links with some companies where if people click on that link and buy something, you get some money too, like a Humble Bundle Partnership.

6. Freelance Gigs

Once you start making a name for yourself, it will open doors to new kinds of jobs, like me writing for eGG.

Is It A 'Stable Job' Though?

Is this really an upgrade from a 'traditional' job?

What is a 'stable job' nowadays? You can work at a company for 30 years and they shut down, leaving you unemployed without warning. New employees get reviewed every year and can be fired if the company isn't making enough money. I'm NOT saying that the traditional 9-to-5 job is bad or that you can't find success there, I'm just saying that jobs in the 'Gig Economy' can be just as stable, whether you're a Grab or Uber driver, a freelance web designer, or a YouTuber. The difference is that you're the boss of yourself and your success and failure is entirely up to you.

But Don't Quit Your Day Job!

Not yet at least. Until your passion is actually paying your bills, keep your salary and stay in school. There are 24 hours in a day. Let's say you spend 10 hours going to work or school including travel. You sleep 8 hours. 2 hours for eating and 'downtime'. That's still 4 hours left in a day you can spend building your passion online. If you want to make your dreams come true, those hours need to be dedicated to building them. Then, after 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 years, you will be making enough money and can quit your 9-to-5 day job. It's not going to happen overnight or even in a few months.

Reducing your expenses is also a great way to achieve your dreams too! Cook simple at home, don't go out partying, and stay away from buying new clothes. All that can come later. 'Enough to live' is defined by you, so if you cut expenses then you can go full-time into your passion sooner.

The Criticism & Hate

As soon as you express an interest in wanting to 'play video games for a living', you're going to hear a lot of hate and negativity. Sometimes it's from people who care about you and just want to make sure you do okay in life. Other times it's from people who are jealous and really want to do it too.

Here are some of the most common negative things said to me and what I think about them:

"It's not a real job! Playing video games is useless to society!"

I don't play video games for a living. I talk, host, entertain, write, educate, inform, and discuss for a living. Sure, it's about video games, but that's like saying Bob Ross painted for a living. Bob Ross didn't get famous for painting, he got famous for being Bob Ross. If you just sit there playing a video game not saying anything, no one is going to watch that. There's a lot more work and skill that goes into it. Plus, I earn money from around the world and spend it where I live, which is one of the best things for the local economy. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people think is a 'real job'. You don't have to justify your passion to anyone, you know why it can be good for yourself, just prove them wrong by doing it.

"You think you're good enough? You're really arrogant!"

This one tends to come from other people's own insecurity. They're angry that you think you can do it when they don't dare. It's not that I think I'm so good or that I'm arrogant, I just wanted to give it a real shot and put in the work. Watch my first video, it's TERRIBLE! I knew it was bad but I released it anyway. That's how you get better and with each year I keep trying to get better than before.

"Don't bother, only really lucky people can make it!"

Do you think Psy got lucky with Gangnam Style? Well did you know that Gangnam Style was on Psy's 6th studio album? Psy's first album released in 2001 and only 11 YEARS later in 2012 did Gangnam Style get made. It took over a decade for Psy to 'make it'. The same is true for anything you want to do, including streaming video games. It's not luck, it's time.

"I can't do it! I have zero experience & don't know what I'm doing!"

It's like farming, it takes hard work and patience.

None of us knew what we were doing when we started. Everyone is making excuses for why they won't start, that they're waiting for the "perfect moment", or that they "tried" and it "didn't work".

S P O I L E R - A L E R T !

There is no perfect moment and if you tried making YouTube videos for 6 months then gave up, that's not really trying. Shortcuts aren't going to cut it here and you have to put in the TIME and WORK. You know how long it took me to earn even a basic minimum wage salary from YouTube? FOUR YEARS. A stable liveable wage income? SEVEN YEARS! I started at the end of 2011 and have made around 1400 videos so far. Do you think they're all masterpieces? Of course not, but you have to make bad videos before you learn how to make good ones.

That's the reality of running your own business, being your own boss, and working on the Internet from home. Sure, you could point to the super rare examples of people who 'made it big out of nowhere', some people win the lottery too. That doesn't mean you have to win the lottery to be successful or that winning the lottery is the normal way of doing things.

And That's It!

That's some quick insight into how I started from zero and worked 7 years until I had a stable income making video game content online. All the details on HOW to do it you learn as you go. This article focused on the attitude you need to make it happen. It takes time, dedication, and hard work, which sounds super cheesy and cliché, but that's really it. The reality is simple but hard. Now, if you really want it, go get it!

Got any questions about how to do all this? Let us know in the comments or find GamerZakh online and ask him!

Turn your passion for gaming into a job that pays the bills!

So you want to make money playing video games? Sounds like a dream but can you imagine the nightmare of how discouraging and negative people could get? Parents and friends telling you that you're wasting your time, people itching to say 'I told you so', and what if it all fails and leads to nothing? These fears haunt you and you think to yourself, ‘I’ll do it when I’ve thought it all out and the timing is perfect’, and then you never even start and it all remains a dream. Sound familiar?

I’ve been there, I’ve had those thoughts, and I’m here to tell you that it is possible to make yourself a career in video games. You can still end up a winner even if it doesn’t work out! Crazy, I know, but absolutely possible!

State of the Game

First thing you need to know is that what I’m going to tell you is simple but by no means easy. It’s going to take work, dedication, passion, and a thick skin. The gaming industry, in many aspects (YouTube/Twitch/E-sports), is relatively new and is in a golden age. However, this golden age actually started a decade ago and the market is now saturated with thousands of hopefuls. If you look at many of the big names today, they started from scratch and built the foundations years before people were clamouring to get a piece of the pie. Now you’re coming in a few years late, so you have some catching up to do and it’s going to be a fight to make a name for yourself, but there’s still time.

There’s More Than One Job

Realise that there is more than one way to skin a cat. The gaming industry is vast and growing, so there’s a lot of room for disciplined newcomers. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one path either. You could be a:

Being a ‘Personality’

Even if you’re not going the host/presenter route, you’ll want to create an image for yourself as competent, charismatic, and passionate. These are life skills that will help you in everything. Try looking into a mirror and talk about something coherently for 10 minutes straight. Record your voice to hear what you sound like. Do you sound bored or unconfident? Consider how your tone, pronunciation, and style makes you feel, and how others would feel hearing it. Think about the gaming industry from more than just a gamer's perspective and have opinions on things. What are the current trends in gaming? Are microtransactions bad? Do violent video games make people violent? Is 60 frames per second really necessary?

Being informed and knowledgeable about the industry will help you keep up with others and actually knowing what you’re talking about will give you credibility when it comes to writing an article, making a video, or speaking to an audience. When it comes to speaking into a microphone or in front of a camera, try being a slightly exaggerated version of yourself. You don’t want to be fake but having a ‘presenter voice’ or a persona that you put on will help keep you ‘in character’ when presenting things. You’re not acting as someone else, just the best possible version of yourself. Your ‘epic self’, if you will.

Building an Audience

Whether you’re trying to be a YouTuber making videos, writing articles, or actually making a game, you’re going to need people to see what you’re doing. Cultivating an audience can be a lengthy and tricky process but if you make things that people want to see, then it’s all about being ‘discoverable’ and interacting with your community to make things a bit more personal and keep them coming back.

It might be common sense to bandwagon onto whatever is the biggest trend is right now. PUBG and Fortnite are massively popular, so if you make PUBG or Fortnite content tons of people will see it right? Not necessarily, because thousands of people are making PUBG and Fortnite content, why would anyone want to see your stuff? That’s if they can find it in the sea of content already out there. You might have better results picking something that you’re really passionate about and something a little more niche. Something more specific that you really care about. An old game like Caesar III or a new game that isn’t so popular can allow you to be the best there is for something smaller and that can be the basis of your new audience. If your passion is part of the big trends, you'll have to make sure you provide something unique that the audience can't get elsewhere. Then, once you have a small following, you can start branching out to do other things.

The biggest lesson here is to realise that this is the age of the Internet. Don’t limit your geography to just where you live. People from all over the world can be your audience. You can be in Malaysia but your biggest audience is from the United States. A big thing is language though. If you’re speaking English, that opens up a large global audience, but if you speak Malay in your content then you’re limited to places that speak Malay. Equally viable I’d say but it should be a conscious choice you make after thinking about it.

Gear Up!

Depending what you want to do, you might need to get some things. For example, if you want to make videos on YouTube or stream on Twitch, here is the software and hardware I would recommend:

Those are the basics and that microphone is really a good one to have that’s super easy to use. Good for even if you just want to sound good in a conference call. Sure, there’s a lot more than that like setting up a green screen but let’s stick to the basics first.

You’d also want to do your research on the competition and find your inspirations. Expand your list of YouTube subscriptions, tune in to live Twitch streams, and follow gaming outlets on Twitter. If you’re going to be making stuff, you should know what other people are making. This will ensure you’re not releasing the exact same thing everyone else is, allowing you to find a niche and style unique to you.


I can hear the screams of parents, friends, and colleagues asking already. It’s the big difference, isn’t it? If you make money doing something, you’re a professional. If you don’t make money, it’s deemed a ‘complete waste of time’. No one ever thinks about the time between those two points. Being honest, you’re not going to be raking in the big bucks within a year or two unless you get a lucky break. It takes time to build your talents, establish yourself, make connections, and build your brand. Personally, I didn’t make any money at all until after 2-3 years and it didn’t match a ‘proper’ salary until after 5-6 years. This is why you’ll see so many people drop everything they’re doing to pursue their dreams, not make enough money in a year or two to survive, then give up and say it’s impossible.

The trick is to NOT quit your day job just yet. Build your dream career on the back of a stable salary until your dream career is at least paying the bills. This could feel like you’re working two jobs at the same time as you’ll be coming home from work, eating dinner, then needing to spend at least a couple hours working on your passion. Keep working hard, improving your skills, and being active in the industry and try to make money from what you’re doing. The most important thing is to not limit yourself to just one source of income. Here’s a quick list of sources that many creators in the gaming industry have at their disposal:

Spend time learning about each different way to make money and give each a shot. Use every avenue available and it might just scrape enough together.

What If I Still Fail?

The biggest fear is what if you spend all this time, effort, and money, and it doesn’t work out? Like I said at the start, it’s possible to come out a winner regardless of your success. You didn’t quit your day job, so you haven’t ruined your existing opportunities, and now you have a big project that you can talk about to people and employers. You started a brand, created content, practised SEO, and explored monetisation options. Sounds very entrepreneurial, doesn’t it?

Overall, think of the whole thing as a professional project that you’re going into to learn as much as possible where you can take away transferable skills. Your business presentations are going to look and sound so much better. Your efforts to improve your charisma will help you in any job and in life. Running a YouTube channel will improve your multimedia skills. If you’ve practiced your voice enough, you can even try out for voice acting for ads. Learning about the creation process, marketing, audience retention, and different sources of income could impress your boss in meetings. Your body of work can all be added to your resume too. Videos you’re proud of, articles that you’ve written, events you’ve organised, and merchandise that you’ve designed can all be a part of your professional package and be used as proof of your talents. Going in with this mentality will ensure that you will take away something useful and positive no matter what.

The only thing you need to do now is to get started, so it’s all up to you. Good luck!

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram