Best Ways to Get Started Live Streaming

  • Time to read: 15 min.

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So you want to get started live streaming? Great idea! It’s a great side hustle for making money and can be done from anywhere.

You may not think it’s possible, but even if you have zero experience or knowledge, it is still very doable and 100% worth the effort. The best part: there are no limits on what you can make doing this. The sky is the limit with this gig because of how many ways people earn revenue from their streams.

Whether it be through subscriptions, donations, sponsorships, or merchandising; There are plenty of opportunities out there for anyone who wants to take advantage of them. This ultimate guide will show you everything that’s needed to get started live streaming, where to get started, and how to make $1,000 a month from live streaming.

how to get started live streaming

What is Livestreaming?

Livestreaming is the act of broadcasting your life to anyone who wants to watch it online. Once you have an account, you can connect with other people on Twitch or YouTube Live and start streaming wherever you are. Watching live streams has become a very popular activity for many people because it allows them to experience things they ordinarily would not be able-bodied to do.

Additionally, many gamers are now earning salaries through streaming their gameplay. While these are the more common types of live streams, some artists broadcast drawing sessions, AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”), gaming podcasts, Q&As with special guests, vlogs (video blogs), church services, and sermons for churches and ministries.

types of live streaming

Types of Live Streams

There are several types of live streams you can broadcast. The most common are game-play, vlogs, and church/ministry services.

Game Play Livestreams

Game-play live streams are by far the most popular type of live stream at the moment. This is where people use their webcam to show themselves playing video games (usually on PC or console). Viewers watch this type of stream for several reasons:

First, viewers like watching other people play video games because it’s entertaining in its own right. Second, viewers sometimes help the gamer with tips and tricks while they go along which makes things more interesting for everyone involved.

Also, similar to watching traditional sports on TV; this type of live TV offers a sense of community when gamers from around the world gather to cheer on their favorite player. This sense of community is where much of the revenue generated from live streaming comes from, in the form of donations and subscriptions (which we’ll go into later).

Vlogs or “Life Streams”

Vlogging can be considered a type of “life stream” because it consists mainly of talking about the day-to-day activities someone may have experienced. Vlogs are essentially live-streamed blogs that let viewers see what happens in your day-to-day life; this includes anything you deem worthy to present to others.

They don’t even need to be about something important either; they can be just for fun too! As long as you think other people will find it interesting, then you’re good to go.

Church and Ministry Services

Live-streaming church services and ministry events is becoming more popular these days because it gives people across the world access to such events.

By streaming these types of events, churches and ministries can reach out to a larger audience without having their congregants leave their hometowns for them. It also allows more people to participate in the event if they cannot be present due to work or travel conflicts.

get started live streaming in 2022

Why You Should Start Live Streaming

Live streaming has become exponentially popular over the past couple of years. With the launch of Twitch in 2007, live streaming was essentially created into something that could be monetized. One of the main reasons to get start streaming is that it’s much easier than you think.

One thing I would like to mention before we begin this guide is how important it is to plan when starting your stream, whether it be for fun or trying to generate revenue.

If you take one thing away from this guide, please let it be proper planning so you can maximize your results and avoid common pitfalls that happen with many who want to get started. This will save tons of frustration in the future and ensure your efforts don’t go to waste.

Get started live streaming.

Plan to Get Started Live Streaming

Getting started with streaming platforms is easier than you think and can be done from anywhere.

It doesn’t take much effort to plan out your stream, but it is extremely important if you want to maximize results and avoid common pitfalls that happen with many.

Here are the four main steps I suggest taking when planning your first few streams:

Figure Out What You Want From Streaming (How Much Money, How Much Time)

I cannot stress how important this step is for you to have a successful stream going forward. First things first, what do you hope to gain from live streaming? Do you want to make a part-time job of it or try it full time, but still go to school/working a day job on the side? Or do you just want some extra spending money by streaming only on the weekends.

Whatever your reason is for getting started live streaming, having a goal will help you get there faster. It’s much easier said than done though because setting this goal can be subjective at first; that’s why I suggest making a profit goal rather than saying “I hope to make enough money from this stream to quit my current job.”

You don’t know how much money you need yet to quit your job so it would be better if you made a different goal, such as making $50 to $100 in a stream. That way you have a measurable goal and can work your way up from there when starting.

How Long Are You Going To Stream?

This is one question I cringe at because it’s extremely subjective when coming up with a proper answer for someone who wants to live stream for the first time. After all, many factors affect how long you should be streaming when getting started.

Factors such as what time of the day do you plan on streaming, how often will you be streaming, and how much will it cost to build/acquire everything required to make your streams top quality (if anything at all)? Here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself when looking at the length of your streams:

  • How much money do you want to make in a stream?
  • What time of day are you going to be live-streaming?
  • How many days per week will you live stream?
  • Do I need any equipment for my stream and if so, how much does it cost?

All these influence how long your stream can go on when getting started. The only proper answer I can give from this standpoint is that when starting, try not to live-stream for more than 1 or 2 hours maximum when getting started. It’s best to start small, especially when doing something new such as live streaming. Once you know how much time you have, then you can work your way up to longer streams when getting started.

Figure Out Your Game Plan

When it comes to live streaming, there are tons of different genres that you can get into. Each genre has its unique style and fans that expect certain things from their streamers. So if you want to get started in a specific game genre, I recommend looking at what is currently being played by the most popular streamers/YouTubers in your chosen game type.

From there, try playing said games for yourself so you can see what goes on during these sessions with popular gamers who play them (this will help immensely when planning).

What Cost Will You Have For Planning/Other Expenses?

Nothing in life is free, including when you live stream. When planning how to live stream when you’re broke, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel; especially if you don’t have much money to spend when getting started.

You may think that starting with little or no money will prohibit you from having a successful stream, but I can assure you that this isn’t true.

This is not an excuse for why you should not live stream when on a budget though! Streaming has tons of different ways that require almost nothing except maybe a stable internet connection and a place to sit down. All these methods also allow for high-quality streams so your audience won’t be disappointed. Here are some ways you can live stream when on a budget:

  • Use a cell phone as your main recording device to capture audio and for video capture
  • Your family and friends for an audience
  • Stream on your laptop or computer of choice.

These are just some ideas of how you can get started live streaming when on a budget.

Equipment needed to live stream.

What Equipment Do You Need to Live Stream?

The basic setup for a live stream is a computer to stream, an internet connection, and some sort of streaming software. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to live stream then you can use an old laptop or desktop that is gathering dust somewhere in your home and just plug it into an HDMI cord and record with a mobile device. This method isn’t the best quality but it will work just fine when getting started without much need for other equipment.

If you want better audio and video quality than this, such as dedicated streaming PCs or live streaming consoles like the PS4/Xbox One (which also require subscriptions), these things cost money so keep that in mind when starting if trying to get started on a budget.

Just remember though: quantity always trumps quality at first, so don’t think that you have to go out and buy the fanciest streaming equipment when getting started with your live streaming setup.

There are a ton of different alternatives if trying to seek a cheaper approach for your live streaming setup. The most important thing though is making sure your internet connection has enough bandwidth to stream at a decent quality.

Live streaming platforms such as YouTube or TwitchTV will let you know what kind of internet speed you need to run their software smoothly.

Each live streaming platform will ask for this information upon registration also. If all else fails, Google your set-up/software of choice and it should result in some sort of minimum speed requirement that is needed for your streaming services.

best streaming platform

Which Live Streaming Platform to Choose?

Choosing which live streaming platform to get started on is a HUGE decision for any new streamer. This will be the place where your audience resides, so you must find a live streaming process that fits you best and has an audience size to justify your presence on said site.

I recommend checking out these sites below and seeing what they offer as far as features go for live video. Remember, you can always stream video content on your own website or your own platform.

Twitch TV

The biggest platform to live stream. There is no doubt that if you live stream on Twitch, it will be a huge learning curve and you will have to work hard at getting an audience.

It isn’t impossible though and the exposure alone is well worth it if your goal is to make money from live streaming; which I believe should always be your goal when starting live-streaming because this is how you get better and gain exposure (which will lead to more opportunities such as collaborating with other popular gamers).


If you have a YouTube channel already, consider setting up your live stream on there. There is a huge chance that your audience is familiar with you from your other videos and will want to tune in when getting started streaming. This can be paired with any other platform you choose because this isn’t the only site where you can find an audience for your stream.

Facebook Live

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Facebook Live and how it has become another choice for people looking to live stream. I haven’t used Facebook Live yet; however, if you already use Facebook frequently and your friends and family are on there, you can engage with them by live streaming here as well.

Instagram Live

Instagram’s version of live streaming. IG Live is for those that are looking to live stream on a budget because this platform has some pretty great features such as far as not requiring any sort of special software or equipment.

As long as your phone can record video, you will be able to use a cell phone instead of a PC/console for better quality and less cost. There’s no need to do professional live streams on Instagram Live since the output resolution and production elements aren’t at a professional level.

make money live streaming

How to Make Money Live Streaming

There are multiple ways to monetize your live streaming channel. Each of these ways has both its advantages and disadvantages so you need to decide which one fits you the best.


Live streaming is a great opportunity to ask your audience for direct donations while you are live. This is probably the most difficult way to monetize your channel at first because it requires that people donate money without getting something in return.

It’s not impossible though; many broadcasters will remind their audience of this option during streams and put links to their donation page on stream (this won’t bring in much money unless you already have an audience or plan on getting one soon).


This option gives you more freedom than any other way of monetizing your stream. However, this usually won’t be enough to make a livable wage for you unless you are consistently getting high viewer counts each session.

I would advise checking out Patreon as it is one of the best ways to get started with making money from live streaming. There are hundreds of people that are willing to pay monthly or per creation on Patreon to support their favorite streamers.

Merchandise Sales

This is the easiest way to make money from your viewers and supporters in my opinion. The drawback here is that it requires a lot of work on top of streaming if you want to get started selling merchandise.

I suggest starting with Teespring since you can just upload a design and choose how many items you want to be printed. You can sell things like t-shirts, beanie hats, mugs (anything that you can print onto) and then either ship them yourself or Teespring will do it for you if it’s under the amount allowed.


This website is very useful in getting started live streaming because they allow your viewers to subscribe to your channel; meaning every time you go live there will be a notification sent out letting whoever has subscribed know that your stream is starting. This is great because even small donations like $1 per month can add up quickly here if your audience agrees with what you are doing enough to support you.

YouTube Sponsorship & Monetization

The last option for getting started live streaming doesn’t have anything to do specifically with live streaming but more so YouTube video uploads instead. This is a very easy way to monetize your channel without having to make money from your live streams. All you have to be is a partner with YouTube and choose the “Monetize with ads” option under your video manager settings page.

This will show a video ad before your videos if the viewer chooses to allow it. These ads are usually short (around 15-30 seconds) depending on which one plays first. You can also enable annotations for your uploads allowing you to make extra income from viewers that don’t want to watch an ad before your content but are still willing to support you by watching an annotation ad instead of the traditional TV commercial-style ad.

how much money can you make livestreaming

How Much Money Can I Make Live Streaming?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question since everyone live streaming has a different level of skill, dedication to their audience, and willingness to work for it.

As a general number though, I would say that you can make around $1,000 a month from live streaming if you have 20-30 minutes average viewership time per session and at least 300 concurrent viewers during your broadcast.

streaming equipment that you need

What Should I Spend Money On?

Here are a few tips. The first thing that you should put money into is a better USB camera or camcorder at the very least. This may be hard to get since most mid-tier cameras will cost over $300 but this could mean the difference between 30 people watching your channel and 1,000+ viewers each session. Another important factor is having high-quality audio input so invest in a good USB microphone (make sure it can be plugged directly into your computer).

You will also need to spend money on a better PC with a good quality video camera to handle the video feed. If you are using a laptop or an older desktop then you immediately have a disadvantage against anyone that has access to anything else.

A good desktop paired with any of the above-mentioned equipment should cost around $1,000 if not less so this is an option for those wanting to get started without spending too much upfront.

video studio for streaming

What Should I NOT Spend Money On?

Do not spend money on unnecessary equipment! Having unnecessary gear means having more things to manage each session which means you are more likely to miss something important during that broadcast (like shutting off your mic by accident for example). Don’t feel pressured into buying every new gadget that hits the market (like VR headsets or motion sensors).

Do not spend money on having a professional studio to broadcast from with multiple cameras. As long as you have a quiet and clean room with good lighting then you will be perfectly fine.

A professional streaming studio can cost anywhere between $1,000-$4,000+ each month depending on the quality of equipment used. You should never have to spend that much money unless your viewership time is usually longer than 2 hours per session which isn’t true for most streamers.

live streaming subscribers

How Do You Get More Views & Subscribers?

The only way to get more views and subscribers (bring viewers) is to stream content more often. The more you can be consistent with your broadcasts, the better your chances of growing your audience and earnings up to that $1,000 a month benchmark. Post links to your upcoming sessions on all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and invite everyone you know to follow you online on those multiple channels during those times.

live streaming inspiration

Where Can I Find Inspiration?

There are many user-submitted ideas in this thread already but if you are looking for inspiration outside of Twitch then check out YouTube gaming or even LinkedIn Live. This is where you can find other live streamers that are just getting started but doing something similar to what you want to do.

Reading their thoughts and opinions on life as a full-time live streamer can give you insight into the industry before you even start it yourself, helping you get started in the streaming space.

FAQ – Get Started Live Streaming and Make Money

Where can I find out more information about starting a Twitch channel?

There are many articles online that will provide you with ideas or inspiration on how to get started audio and video live streaming. Just search for “how to make money from live streaming” or something similar and study multiple sources before getting started.

How much should I expect to earn per month if I start live streaming?

That depends on your skill level, time spent broadcasting, average viewership numbers during each session, etc. The best thing you can do is set small goals at first (ex: 1 hour per session instead of 30 minutes) and then work your way up to bigger things. Being patient is one of the most important factors in growing a successful Twitch channel so try not to compare yourself to others or you will get discouraged quickly.

How much does equipment cost?

This depends on the type of equipment but roughly expect to pay over $300 for a good HD webcam, built-in microphone, and PC since this combination can provide all necessary services needed for live streaming to get great video. Spend at least $100 more if you want high-quality audio and video for better broadcast quality (or even a green screen for live videos).

Do I need an expensive Internet connection before starting?

No, but having a reliable Internet connection with fast upload speed is very important when it comes to live streaming because viewers should never experience lag during viewing sessions (otherwise you will lose their trust quickly).

What kind of Internet connection do I need for live streaming?

Most people choose a wired Ethernet connection over WiFi to avoid latency or any other network-related issues. You can try a wireless connection if you have high upload speeds though because WiFi is an alternative option only recommended to those with fast upload speed already. It is best to go wired if possible!

How can I get started live streaming using an iPhone?

Only use your iPhone as a secondary device that also contains all necessary broadcasting equipment as a backup just in case your main PC breaks down during sessions. Do not spend money on something completely unnecessary since it provides the same service as any other device for free (ex: Xbox or PlayStation consoles).