Important Info !

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YouTube is the world’s most popular video site in the world, and second most popular website only second to Google. So, anything you can do to get engagement on the platform is already a win.

But YouTube isn’t just pre-recorded content anymore. Now, you can live stream directly on YouTube, giving you a more personal connection with your audience.

Today, attention is the internet’s most valuable currency. And with the rise of AI, it’s now easier to upload content on YouTube. So, how do we stand out and get noticed by the internet? That’s simple: Live streaming.

It captures attention like nothing else–it’s authentic, engaging, and it’s happening right now. And this isn’t just all talk. According to research, over 52% of internet users worldwide are interested in live branded content.

YouTube Live is the platform’s own live streaming service, allowing you to broadcast live content to a global audience. This powerful feature lets you connect with your audience instantly, creating a hype that’s hard to replicate. 

You might be familiar with the current big names on the platform, like Ludwig or Valkyrae. But it’s not just for gaming anymore. Ever watched a product launch unfold in real time, complete with live demos and Q&A sessions?

Or maybe you’ve watched a live stream of National Geographic’s latest documentary? YouTube Live is a whole universe of possibilities, just waiting for you to explore.

If you’re aiming to be a viral YouTube Live success, this is your guide. We will cover the ins and outs of the platform, from getting started, customization, down to troubleshooting. And we’ll even throw in a guide on how to make money on YouTube.

Getting started with YouTube Live

YouTube Live is YouTube’s own live streaming feature, allowing you to interact with your audience through real-time video and chat. Unlike Twitch, YouTube Live is not focused on gaming. You can live stream any form of content, from sports, concerts, vlogs, tutorials, educational content and so much more. You aren’t also stuck in your room as you can go live from your computer or your smartphone.

Why should you stream on YouTube Live?

YouTube Live opens up a lot of opportunities to help you diversify your marketing strategy. 

  • Host Virtual Events: YouTube Live is a cost-effective way to host webinars, workshops, and product launches to a global audience.
  • Real-time interaction: Live streaming on YouTube allows you to directly communicate with your audience. You can respond to their comments, give shoutouts, and have real-time conversations. This helps build stronger connections with your viewers.
  • Boost Engagement: YouTube Live streams have higher engagement than pre-recorded videos. Viewers love the realness and the chance to chat directly.
  • Build a Community: YouTube Live can create a sense of community and belonging. Viewers feel like they’re part of something special when they can chat, ask questions, and even get shout-outs from you.
  • Instant Q&A: YouTube Live lets you answer questions and comments immediately, enhancing audience satisfaction. You can address issues, provide lessons, and answer product inquiries in a personal and immediate manner.
  • Standing out: Live streams, making up a smaller portion of this content, can help your brand stand out and appear unique. Another plus is that the YouTube algorithm actually prioritizes YouTube Live streams. So your streams can actually be the first thing to show up on your viewers’ feeds.
  • Monetization Opportunities: YouTube Live opens up additional revenue streams. You can earn from ads, Super Chats, channel memberships, and even sponsorships. To learn more about the different ways to make money on YouTube, be sure to check out our article on how to make money on YouTube.

How to go live on YouTube

Before you hit that “Go Live” button, you need to set up your channel, streaming equipment, and be eligible for live streaming on YouTube. Follow these steps to get ready to hit the airwaves:

  1. Enable live streaming on YouTube

First, you need to enable the live streaming feature on your devices. If you plan to live stream on your desktop, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Create” symbol (that’s the camera with the “+” sign)
  1. Request access to the feature. If you haven’t verified your channel, you’ll be asked to do so in this step.
  2. Wait for the live streaming feature to be enabled. This might take up to 24 hours so you might want to use this time to think up your live stream content.

If you plan to go live on mobile or a tablet, follow these steps:

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Tap the “Create” symbol (the “+” sign) at the bottom center.
  3. Tap “Go Live.”
  4. Follow step 4 above.
  5. Meet the requirements

As mentioned, you need to verify your YouTube channel. This usually involves receiving a verification code via text or phone call. Another requirement is to avoid YouTube live streaming restrictions in the past 90 days.

If you plan to live stream on mobile, you’ll need at least 50 subscribers. Also, if you have fewer than 1,000 subscribers, YouTube might limit your mobile viewers. 

  1. Start a new YouTube Live stream

Go to YouTube Studio and click on “Create” then “Go Live”

Select “Right now.” This will take you to your YouTube Live dashboard.

  1. Choose your streaming method

You have two options on the desktop:

  • Webcam: The simplest way to go live, perfect for beginners.
  • Encoder or third-party software: For more advanced setups with multiple cameras, screen sharing, and professional audio.
  1. Set up your YouTube Live dashboard

Here, you can customize your stream settings, including title, description, visibility settings (public, unlisted, or private), and monetization options. We’ll get more into this later.

Schedule your YouTube Live streams

You can also schedule your Youtube Live streams at a later date. Scheduling your stream isn’t just about being organized (although that’s a bonus). It’s about giving your viewers a heads-up so they can clear their schedules, grab some snacks, and be ready to stay up with you for hours on end.

Plus, with a scheduled stream, you get a fancy landing page where fans can set reminders and chat with each other before you go live.

How to schedule your YouTube Live

  1. Go to YouTube Studio and click on “Create” then “Go Live.” Select “Later date.”
  1. Set the date and time, you know, the when of your stream.
  2. Fill in the other deets – title, description and thumbnail.

Setting up your YouTube Live stream

You’re so close to going live on YouTube, you can practically hear the applause! But wait, there’s one more thing: you need to make your stream stand out!

  1. Customize your Stream

First things first, you need to grab people’s attention. Here’s how:

The perfect title

A killer title is the bait that hooks viewers into your live stream. Write a title that’s not just accurate but also intriguing. You should also think of the title as a space to do SEO. So add relevant keywords to make your streams show up in search. You should also hint at the type of content your viewers should expect from your streams. So, ditch the boring stuff and go for a title that screams “click me!” Maybe something like “Can You Survive 24 Hours in a Haunted House?”

An optimized description

Then, write a short description that tells them what your stream is all about. Share the details in your description – who you are, what you’ll be doing, and why they should tune in. Don’t forget to add some relevant tags, too, so they can easily find your stream in searches. Here’s a good example from Cristine of Simplynailogical streaming a product launch:

Eye-catching thumbnails

Thumbnails are usually the deciding factor whether a user tunes in or not. So make those thumbnails pop! Use a bright, eye-catching image that reflects the vibe of your live stream. Here’s the thumbnail from Cristine’s stream (yes, I’m a big fan of hers).

Call to Action

And finally, tell your viewers what you want them to do! Do you have a website you want them to check out? A social media challenge you want them to join? Tell them! Don’t be shy – a little nudge can go a long way. Here’s more of Cristine’s stream description: 

It’s filled with CTAs to Cristine’s nail polish line.

Technical settings

Now for the techy part. In the settings, you can choose the latency mode. Decide whether you want low latency (faster interaction with chat) or normal latency (higher quality video).

Audience moderation

You can decide to turn on live chat and let your viewers replay the chat. If you do turn it on, make sure to keep an eye on the chat and answer any questions they have. You can even decide who gets to chime in. Open it up to everyone, or make it exclusive to your subscribers. 

And to keep things from getting too chaotic, you can set a cool-down period between messages.

If your chat is getting busy, assign moderators to help filter spam and keep the conversation positive. Select “Community settings.”

You can also use live redirects to let other streamers send their viewers your way.

Oh, and one more thing: you can block certain words or links to keep things clean and spam-free. It’s your stream, so you make the rules!

Chat polls

You can also create polls to get viewers involved and interact with your stream. This keeps things lively and fun! 

To create a poll, start a live broadcast and click the “Create poll” icon in the chat box.


Then ask your question, add poll options and click “Ask your community.”



Next, decide who’s your audience? Is this a cozy gathering for a select few, or are you broadcasting to the world? You can also choose to unlist your stream. When you do this, your stream won’t show up on your channel, and only those with the link can watch it.

Best practices for YouTube Live streams

Alright, you’re about to hit that “Go Live” button and share yourself with the world! But hold on a sec. Let’s make sure your stream is worth staying up until 3 AM for. Here are some tips to help make your YouTube Live streams as successful as possible.

Check your connection

Before you hit “Go Live,” make sure your internet connection is up for the task. Imagine you’re just getting to the good part, and bam! Your stream buffers and freezes. Awkward, right? So, before you start, run a quick speed test.

Test your gear

Next, do a quick equipment check. Test your webcam, microphone, and anything else you’re using. I can’t count how many times I’ve witnessed streamers who’ve gone a good 15 minutes into the stream to realize they were muted. But don’t worry, even the pros do this sometimes!

Promote your stream

Now, let’s get some hype going! Schedule a premiere to build excitement, create a short and snappy trailer to tease what’s coming, and share the link across your social media channels.

You can even share a funny behind-the-scenes photo or a blooper from your prep.

Prepare a script

This is optional but if you’re feeling a little nervous, having some notes or a basic script can be a lifesaver. While having a script is great, don’t be afraid to be authentic and in the moment on stream. A little spontaneity can make your stream feel more natural.

Engage with your viewers

Live streams are all about interaction! Respond to comments and questions in real-time and give shoutouts. Remember, it’s a two-way street—the more you interact, the more fun everyone has!

Stay safe online

Remember, you’re inviting the world into your space. While it’s great to connect with your audience, don’t share anything too personal. Take advantage of YouTube’s safety features to create a positive and welcoming environment for everyone.

Invest in quality equipment

A high-quality camera, microphone, and lighting setup can improve your stream’s production value. Your viewers will appreciate the clear visuals and crisp audio.

Monitor and adjust

Keep an eye on your stream’s performance during the broadcast. The YouTube Live dashboard lets you monitor your stream in real time, whether you’re on your phone, tablet, or computer. This means you can catch any problems quickly and keep your viewers engaged.

Here’s what you can track:

  • Stream health: Think of this as a warning light. It’ll tell you if your stream has a problem, like a bad connection, so you can fix it before everyone starts tuning out.
  • Real-time analytics: While you’re live, you can see how long you’ve been streaming, how many people are watching, and even how many likes you’re getting. If you’re on a computer, you’ll get even more info, like chat activity and average watch time.
  • Post-stream analytics: After you wrap up, you’ll see the total views, average watch time, when you had the most viewers, and how many new subscribers you snagged.

But wait, there’s more! You can head over to YouTube Analytics to see who’s watching, where they’re from, how long they stick around, and much more. 

Monetizing your YouTube Live streams

YouTube Live isn’t just fun—it can also help you make some money. Here are a few ways you can cash in on your streams:

YouTube ads

YouTube ads are an easy way to make some extra cash, especially if you’ve got a large, active audience tuning in. Once you’re in the YouTube Partner Program, you can start running ads during your live streams and earn a cut of the revenue. You can choose different ad formats (pre-roll, mid-roll, image ads, etc.) just make sure they don’t ruin your viewers’ experience.


You can learn more about YouTube ads in our comprehensive guide on Mastering YouTube Ads.

Super chats and super stickers

Your viewers can also buy super chats or super stickers during your stream. Think of it as a tip jar that can talk back. Super chats are paid messages that are highlighted or pinned in the chat. Meanwhile, Super Stickers are special, purchasable stickers viewers can use to express themselves with animated images in the chat.


You can encourage super chats and super stickers by giving shoutouts to those who buy them and responding to their messages. These are fun ways for your viewers to support you and throw you money—without the actual money-throwing, of course.

Channel memberships

Another way to monetize your YouTube Live is by offering channel membership. For a monthly fee, your viewers can enjoy exclusive perks like badges, custom emojis, and members-only live chats. You can even make certain streams members-only.

Level up your live streams with advanced YouTube Live features

Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to take your YouTube Live streams to the next level. These features can help transform your streams from amateur to pro.

Note: Before going live with a complex setup, test everything thoroughly to avoid any hiccups during your stream.

Multi-camera setups

First up, we’ve got multi-camera setups. This is where things get really exciting. With the dashboard, you can connect multiple cameras to your stream, giving you different angles and perspectives. You can switch between cameras seamlessly, making your stream more dynamic.

Pro streaming tools

If you want to take things even further, you can use external streaming software like OBS or Streamlabs. These tools give you even more control over your stream, allowing you to add overlays, graphics, and other professional touches. You can customize your stream to match your brand, making it truly unique.

Overlays and graphics 

Overlays and graphics add a polished, professional look to your streams, making them more interesting. You can use overlays to display your social media handles or stream titles. You can even add overlays and graphics for special events or sponsorships.

Using AI for YouTube Live

There isn’t one AI tool specifically made for YouTube Live (yet!). However, you can use the countless AI tools available. AI-powered analytics can measure viewer engagement, giving you real-time insights into what’s working and what might need a little tweaking. 

You can also use AI to recommend and research content ideas to help keep your viewers hooked for longer than a cat watching a laser pointer. That’s a reference to YouTube’s old days, by the way. Automated captioning and translation can help your stream reach an international audience. There might even be an AI for chat moderation in the works, so let’s wait and see how that goes.

Now, before you hand over the reins completely, remember that AI is a too. Don’t let it steal the show. Remember, your viewers are there for you, not a robot overlord (unless that’s your niche, then carry on!).

How to download YouTube Live streams

Want to keep a copy of your YouTube Live stream for later use or repurpose it into other content? Here’s how to download your live streams:

  1. Once your YouTube Live stream is over, head over to YouTube Studio (
  2. Make sure you’re logged into the correct channel.
  3. Click on “Content” on the right side of the page.
  4. Select the “Live” tab.
  5. You’ll see a list of your past live streams.
  6. Hover over the one you want to download and click the three dots.
  7. Choose “Download” from the options.

Just a heads up:  YouTube only keeps archives of streams under 12 hours long.

Third-party options:

If the built-in download option is unavailable or doesn’t meet your needs, you can use third-party software to download your streams. Here are a few popular options:

  • StreamYard: If you use StreamYard for your live streams, their paid plans allow you to download your recordings directly from their platform.
  • VLC Media Player: This free and open-source media player can download live streams. You’ll just need to copy the stream’s URL and paste it into VLC.
  • This platform allows you to multi-stream to various platforms and also provides tools for downloading your live streams for later use.

Common challenges and solutions

Even with the best preparation, you might encounter some hiccups during your YouTube Live streams. Here are some common challenges and how to overcome them:

Connection problems

As we said earlier, losing your internet can be your worst nightmare if you’re streaming on YouTube. It can interrupt your viewers, or worse, stop you from streaming completely. To avoid this live stream buzzkill, make sure you have stable internet with enough upload speed to support your stream. If your Wi-Fi is being a diva, try a wired connection or lower your stream quality. Sometimes, a simple router reset can work wonders, too. And remember, a quick “Sorry folks, my internet’s going crazy!” goes a long way.

Audio/video sync issues

We’ve all seen those hilarious videos where someone’s voice is 5 seconds behind their mouth. It’s funny to watch, but not so much when you’re experiencing it. This usually happens due to lagging video or audio processing. Double-check your encoder settings to ensure your audio and video sources are synced up. Most encoders also have an audio delay setting you can tweak. 

Viewer engagement challenges

Another nightmare: hearing the sound of crickets when streaming. But don’t worry if your live stream views are looking a little sad at first. No one becomes a superstar overnight. To help gain more views, promote your stream in advance and interact with your viewers during the broadcast. You can also throw a few giveaways or Q&A sessions to spice things up. Also, don’t be afraid to moderate your chat to keep things positive and spam-free.

Ethical considerations for buying YouTube metrics

There’s no doubt that you’ve come across services offering to boost your metrics. Through these platforms, you can buy subscribers, views, likes, comments, channels, or even watching hours. For a beginner, this can be a quick and easy way to kickstart your channel and attract organic viewers and subscribers.

But you need to look at the bigger picture and consider the ethical implications. While buying metrics can create a temporary illusion of success, it’s not a sustainable, long-term strategy. 

Instead, focus on building a genuine audience once you have things running. Invest your energy in creating top-notch content, optimizing your videos, and genuinely engaging with your audience. Trust us, it’s way more rewarding in the long run.

Final Thoughts

YouTube Live is a great way to engage with your audience personally and offers immense potential for businesses, content creators, and influencers. It is your chance to connect with your audience on a whole new level, build a thriving community, and maybe even make a few bucks while you’re at it.

Remember, the power to be more authentic is what sets YouTube Live apart from the rest of the platform. So get out there and show the world what you’ve got!

P.S. If you ever go viral, don’t forget who gave you this awesome advice!

Ready to master YouTube Live? Subscribe to our channel for more tips, tricks, and tutorials on YouTube and other digital platforms. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and receive Jeff’s Jabs via email!

Additional Resources

To help you further with YouTube Live, here are some valuable resources and beginner-friendly equipment:

  • YouTube Creators Channel: They have comprehensive playlists on live streaming, covering everything from the basics to advanced techniques.
  • Streaming Software:
    • OBS Studio (free and open-source)
    • Streamlabs OBS (beginner-friendly with built-in features)
  • Cameras:
    • Your smartphone
    • For an entry-level camera, you can try Panasonic HC-VX981K
  • Microphones:
    • The built-in microphone on your phone or computer
    • A popular USB mic like Blue Yeti


How do you get YouTube Live? 

Easy peasy! On your computer or phone, head to YouTube and hit the “Create” button (it’s a plus sign or video camera icon). Choose “Go live” and follow the prompts.

Is it free to YouTube Live? 

Yep, it’s totally free to live stream on YouTube!

What are the requirements for YouTube Live? 

You need a verified YouTube channel (that’s just confirming your phone number) and no live stream restrictions in the past 90 days.

How many YouTube followers do you need to live stream? 

You don’t need any followers to live stream on YouTube on your desktop. Anyone with a verified channel can go live! However, you will need to have at least 50 subscribers to live stream on the YouTube mobile app.

Can I monetize YouTube Live? 

Yep, but you need to meet YouTube’s Partner Program requirements. That usually means 1,000 subscribers and a certain number of watch hours.

How do I enable chat on YouTube Live? 

When you start your live stream, chat should be on by default. You can also manage it in the “Stream settings” before you go live.

How do I get YouTube chat to show on my stream? 

If you’re using streaming software, you’ll need to add a chat overlay to your stream setup. If you’re going live directly on YouTube, chat should appear on the side of your video.

How do I reply to someone on YouTube Live chat? 

You can simply answer on-stream or just type your response in the chat box and hit enter! You can also pin a message to the top so everyone sees it.

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