How to Live Stream on YouTube – Complete Beginner Guide!

Live streams on YouTube are a great way to engage with your audience and build a deeper connection with them on a more personal level. If you’re new to live streaming, it may seem a little daunting to hit the ‘Go Live’ button, but don’t worry…the process is actually quite easy!

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to go live on YouTube to create your first stream. If you’re slightly more advanced, keep reading because we’ll also reveal our top 3 advanced tools that we use to take our live streams up a notch here at Primal Video.

So no matter what level you are at, get ready to impress your audience and create super polished live streams with this complete guide to live streaming on YouTube!

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

How to Live Stream on YouTube for Beginners

If you’re new to live streaming on YouTube, there are a few things you’ll need to set up before you’re ready to start your first live stream. The first step is to decide if you want to use your computer or your smartphone to go live – keeping in mind that:

  • Smartphone Users: You’ll need over 1,000 subscribers to access the YouTube Live Stream app, but there are other apps like PRISM Live Studio that you can use if you don’t meet YouTube’s requirements.
  • Mac/PC Users: There are no minimum subscriber requirements if you’re using your Mac or PC, meaning no additional apps to install. However, you’ll have limited control over features such as screen sharing, adding in titles and bringing in additional guests.

Next, you want to check that you’ve set up your YouTube channel correctly by making sure that your channel has been:

  • Verified: You can check if your channel has been verified by going to this page. If it’s not yet verified, just follow the simple steps on that page to set it up.
  • Live streaming is Enabled: Click the ‘Enable’ live streaming button on the ‘Channel Status and Features’ page within your YouTube channel dashboard.

Once you’ve decided if you’re going live on your Mac/PC or on your smartphone, follow the steps below, depending on which one you choose.

How to Live Stream on YouTube on Mac or PC

  1. Make sure you’ve got a microphone and webcam set up on your computer. For our recommended gear click here.
  2. Open up YouTube.
  3. Click on the ‘Create’ button in the top right corner of the screen and select ‘Go Live’.
  4. Select the ‘Webcam’ field in the left menu and enter a title for your video.
  5. Answer the setup questions.
  6. Pose for a thumbnail or upload your own image.
  7. Copy the video’s link and share it with people to let them know you’re going live.
  8. Click on the ‘Go Live’ button!

How to Live Stream on YouTube from a Smartphone (iPhone or Android)

  1. Open the YouTube app on your smartphone.
  2. Select on the ‘Create’ button in the top right corner of the screen and select ‘Live’.
  3. Give your video a title and answer the setup questions.
  4. Pose for a thumbnail or upload your own image.
  5. Copy the video’s link and share it with people to let them know you’re going live.
  6. Rotate your phone to landscape.
  7. Hit the ‘Go Live’ button!

Advanced YouTube Live Streaming Tools

If you want to take your live streams up a notch, we’re about to run through the 3 advanced tools that we use to create our live streams here at Primal Video. We recommend trying them out one at a time – don’t get overwhelmed by trying to implement them all at once! Start small like us and build up your skills over time. Even just one of these tools will take your live streams to a whole new level.

Tool 1: Best YouTube Live Streaming Software

Live streaming software is amazing because it gives you greater control and allows you to be more creative with your live streams. There are lots of software options out there such as: OBS, Ecamm Live, Be.Live, StreamYard, Wirecast, vMix and more so check out our full review of the best software for Mac and Windows (PC).

Live streaming software gives you the ability to add more features and functionality into your live streams, ultimately making them more engaging for your viewers to watch. You can bring in things like:

  • Multiple cameras.
  • Titles and videos onto screen.
  • Green screen backgrounds.
  • Additional people onto screen.
  • Your PowerPoint/Keynote presentation onto screen.

Our top two recommendations for live streaming software are Ecamm Live for Mac users, or StreamYard for PC users (which can also be used on Mac).

Tool 2: Create Video Animations for YouTube Live Streams

Animations are an advanced live streaming tool that will help you to add a new level of professionalism to your live streams. The quickest and easiest way to create animations is to use a service like PlaceIt or VideoHive and purchase awesome templates that you can then customize. PlaceIt in particular has a ton of impressive templates which we use to create the animations in our live streams here at Primal Video. Check out this tutorial to see how you too can easily create professional animations using PlaceIt!

Tool 3: Best Gear for Live Streaming on YouTube

There are 2 pieces of gear that will really help you to increase the quality of your live streams if you’re on your Mac or PC which are:

  • The Elgato Stream Deck (Amazon) makes it easier to control your live stream as you can switch between different camera angles or your screen share with just the touch of a button!
  • Switch your webcam for a camera (DSLR, mirrorless, point and shoot etc.) to boost the quality of your video. If your camera doesn’t have USB connection capability, you’ll need a HDMI interface unit to connect your camera to your Mac/PC. We recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4k (Amazon) for this job and you can follow the steps in this tutorial to get this set up.

Ready to get up and running with your YouTube live stream? Of course you are!

Here are a few PRO TIPS that will help you to really nail it.

Pro Tips for Live Streaming on YouTube

So now you know exactly how to live stream on YouTube, including all the basics to get started as well as the advanced techniques to take your live streams to the next level.

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you grow on YouTube? Learn the 3 most powerful tools & ranking strategies to 10X your traffic!

Grab the FREE YouTube Ranking Guide!

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GEAR WE USE

Check out all the gear we use and recommend at Primal Video!

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Related Content

How to Use a Video Camera for Live Streaming (or DSLR as a Webcam!)

Best Livestreaming Setup for Smartphones (iPhone & Android)

How to Make an Animated Video Intro for YouTube


 

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