6 Things to Do Before Your First YouTube Live Stream

If you're ready to start live streaming on YouTube, keep these factors in mind for a better chance at success!

The popularity of live streaming has taken the online media world by storm in the last few years. According to research by Statista, over 7.2 billion hours of live content were consumed in the last quarter of 2022! If you’ve ever felt the desire to stream your content live, now is the time.

When it comes to live streaming, there’s always more than what meets the eye. It’s never as easy as switching on the camera and hoping to strike gold. But, with the right mindset and preparation, you just might! Here are 6 things to remember before hitting the “Go Live” button:

1. Plan Your Content in Advance

What do talk show hosts and good YouTube live streamers have in common?

We won't keep you in suspense:

They can pass off their whole show as improvisation.

They make it look easy, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

One of the most important things to remember when preparing for a live stream is to plan your content in advance. You don't want to find yourself struggling to come up with things to talk about during the stream. Instead, create a rough outline of the topics you'll be covering and prepare some notes to keep you on track. This will ensure that your stream stays focused and engaging.

2. Test Your Equipment and Internet Connection

Having a bad internet connection is probably the most frustrating thing for a streamer, followed closely by poor equipment.

Before going live, test your equipment and internet connection to ensure that everything is working correctly. Make sure your camera, microphone, and lighting are set up correctly and that your internet speed is fast enough to handle live streaming at your desired quality. Also, make sure your Live Control Room is set up properly. Here’s a video by YouTube Creators telling you how:

3. Promote Your Live Stream

This might be controversial for some, but in this day and age, you simply have to promote your content. It could be as simple as scheduling your stream for a later time to hype up your audience.

You may also consider promoting on your social media channels, website, and email lists. Create a promotional video or image to share on your social media channels, and encourage your followers to set a reminder for the live stream. Consider collaborating with other creators to cross-promote your stream and reach a wider audience.

Read more: The Top 5 YouTube Collaboration Ideas to Try Right Now

4. Choose Your Title and Thumbnail Wisely

Like all other content on YouTube, your streams need a creative title and eye-catching thumbnail. This can be a make-or-break factor for the success of your streams, as many people notice the thumbnail and title first.

Your content type plays a massive role in building the right thumbnail style. So before you open up Photoshop or Canva, think deeply about the videos you’re creating on YouTube. Think about creating winning thumbnails that your audience would love!

Also, the quality of your titles may determine whether someone clicks on your live stream or scrolls right past it. Your titles should be the best blend of creativity and SEO, and the vidIQ keyword research tool can help you with that!

Read more: 9 Ways to Write Exciting YouTube Titles for Your Videos

5. Have a Backup Plan

In the live streaming space, having a backup for your backup plan is a smart idea! No matter how well you plan, things can and will go wrong during a live stream.

Technical difficulties, unexpected interruptions, and other issues are extremely hurtful to your practice as a responsible live streamer. Always have a backup plan in place, such as pre-recorded content or a backup internet connection. This will ensure that you can quickly switch to an alternative option if something goes wrong.

6. Commit to a Schedule

OK, so you’ve followed every piece of advice here, but let's say your first stream didn’t get you any views. Believe it or not, every live stream creator has been there!

They say good things take time, so you need to be prepared when the opportunity comes. Committing to a schedule means you’ll do the work regardless of the view count. So, make a plan and execute. If you’re looking to build up a following, try to go live at a regular, consistent time. The views will follow soon.

Live streaming is set to become a $247 billion industry by 2027. And YouTube being the main competitor to Twitch signifies the potential for growth and opportunity.

Following these steps will get you started with live streaming on YouTube. If you want to take your game to the next level, check out these tools that’ll make your livestreams even better!