Free Support -> Paid Support
These are a few instances where free support can turn into paid support, such that it doesn’t cost you any money but does end up giving the creator money directly.
Turning Off Adblock
It’s well known now that on YouTube in particular advertising revenue is the main way creators get paid for their videos, and while advertisers and the money they bring may come and go, there are always things you can do to help your favourite creators maximise their income from ads (despite it being a tiny amount per person, it all “adds” up).
Skipping Ads - Even skipping an ad after 5 seconds can help, because it shows people are at least watching. If platforms & advertisers notice that people are seeing ads more on a certain channel, there’s a larger chance better ads will be sent there even if they’re not being necessarily being engaged with all the time.
Watching Ads - The longer you watch an ad for the better. Some advertisers pay only when an ad is clicked (more below) but others can have payments for impressions. Therefore if you simply leave an ad playing it can help generate a tiny bit of revenue.
Clicking Ads - Advertisers ultimately pay YouTube or websites to show their ads because they want people to click them and find out more about the product. Most ads on the internet work in such a way that companies only pay for ads when they’re successful, meaning when they’ve been clicked. If you click an ad every so often on a video of website you will have indirectly given the creator money via the advertiser.
We will talk more about Twitch.tv paid subscriptions later, but there is actually a way to get them and all their benefits for free for a short period, or included in a package you may already be paying for. That is: Amazon Prime [UK | US | DE | CA] (or Amazon Video for areas where Prime isn't available). Since Amazon purchased Twitch they have introduced a way to get a single subscription to any Twitch channel as part of your Amazon Prime package by simply linking your Twitch account to your Amazon account. Twitch streamers get the same income from this “included” subscription as they would for a normal paid subscription.
Current Prime Members - If you already have Amazon Prime you’re recommended to link your accounts and remember to subscribe each month to your favourite creators on Twitch (it doesn’t automatically roll on until cancelled like normal subscriptions do). The reason being that it’s better to give a portion of the money you’re paying anyway to a creator you like who almost certainly needs it more than Amazon do.
Free Twitch Subscription - Amazon Prime always has a one-month free trial available, so if you’ve never used it before (even if you never intend to) you can easily sign up for Prime for free, delete your payment information straight away so you don’t get charged, and receive all Amazon Prime benefits for 30 days. This includes a single Twitch subscription and essentially means you’ve given a streamer a $2.50 donation for free (more about how much streamers make from Twitch subscriptions later).
Converting Time To Money
These things may not always be available, but a keen eye can find various offerings that essentially boil down to converting your time into money. Usually you’ll make more money per hour by actually having a job but for those who are unable or have some spare time there are certain things you can do that are relatively little effort and give some reward. One such thing is “Bits for Ads” on Twitch where Twitch give you “Bits” to donate to streamers (more about those later) for simply watching ads. If you run these in the background you don’t even have to watch them, and you’re essentially making money to donate to your favourite creators with very little effort required. Keep an eye out for things like this, sometimes in the form of surveys too, but remember not to put too much effort into it. Don’t work for peanuts.