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How to Become a Streamer – A Comprehensive Guide

Streaming is your best bet whether you’re trying to showcase your skills, build a following, or make money from a hobby.

But before you start reeling in fans or making money, you must understand what goes into the whole process. It may seem simple but getting to the top involves many things. Equipment, content, and brand strategy must be well-developed and synced perfectly.

Find out how to become a streamer, but not just any other, the best.

Decide on Your Niche and Goals

Like any other venture, you must set specific goals and settle on a niche. It’s not the only way about it, though. You can also go at it blindly, but success won’t be as forthcoming as if you set your eyes on concrete and achievable objectives.

It’s also very simple. Decide what type of content you’d like to stream, and for the best results, go with something you’re passionate about or highly skilled at. Next, consider the audience you’re trying to attract to your stream. Are there people lining up for content similar to yours? Additionally, consider if the prospect is worth your while.

If you want to earn from streaming, evaluate whether you’ll have sufficient traffic to your stream to earn you a sizeable or acceptable amount. Alternatively, if your goal is to connect with a particular community, assess whether your stream will help you achieve the desired level of engagement.

Finally, make sure that your content is relevant and engaging. Consider creating an audience profile and understanding its needs and preferences. This will help you tailor your content to meet your viewers’ expectations and grow your following.

Get Powerful Gear

The most decisive factors to your stream’s success are showing up and delivering the best content to your audience consistently and reliably. Having the right and powerful equipment can help you deliver the best content quality, and you’ll have an easier time streaming. Fortunately, there are lots of options available that won’t break the bank.

Streaming PC

A kit goes into streaming. Your computer has to process the input data and encode it into a transmissible format, usually via streaming software, so having a reliable and robust machine is vital.

If your PC isn’t up to the task, your stream can be laggy or unresponsive. Sometimes, this can cause you to lose viewers or even damage your reputation as a professional streamer. 

Of course, you don’t have to go all-out on a streaming PC. You can opt for a mid-range gaming laptop if you want a more affordable option. However, if you want to go the extra mile and have a great streaming experience, investing in a top-of-the-line streaming PC will be worth it in the long run.

You’ll be able to provide your viewers with an enjoyable streaming experience while having an easier time with content creation.

Capture Device (if You Stream from PC or Xbox)

A capture device lets you capture your gameplay and stream it to your viewers, allowing them to watch what you’re playing in real-time. It captures your device’s audio and video feed and encodes or transforms it into a transmissible format.

The most popular capture device for streaming is the Elgato Game Capture HD. It has several features that help make streaming easier, such as the ability to adjust bitrates, resolution, and frame rate.

If you are using an Xbox, you can also use the Xbox Live App to stream directly from your console.

No matter which capture device you choose, it’s essential to ensure it’s compatible with your PC or Xbox.

Webcam and Mic

Having the right webcam and microphone setup is essential for streaming. The type of webcam and microphone you choose will depend on the type of streaming you’re doing, but in general, you want to ensure it offers a high-quality video and audio experience.

When choosing a webcam, look for adjustable focus and low-light capabilities. This will help ensure your viewers can see you clearly, even in dimly lit environments. In addition, most cameras now have built-in HD video recording capability, which is excellent for streaming.

For your microphone, look for one with a wide frequency response range and an adjustable sensitivity setting. This will help you capture clear, crisp audio even when streaming from noisy environments. It’s also important to ensure your microphone is positioned correctly, so your voice is heard clearly.

Finally, if you plan to stream with multiple people, you may want to consider investing in a professional-grade mixer. This will allow you to record or stream multiple audio sources simultaneously, giving your viewers a more immersive experience.


While you can start streaming without streaming software on platforms like Facebook or YouTube Live, streaming software offer more advanced functionalities.

There are numerous free and paid streaming software to choose from. Generally, paid streaming software offers more convenience and features for livestreaming. On the other hand, free alternatives are just as capable, but the learning curve can be pretty steep.

Web-based live streaming software is the latest entry to the market. They offer even more functionality, convenience, and better stream handling, and they don’t have to be installed on your device, which can be a major plus if you don’t have a powerful computer yet.

Other Accs

Beyond the basic gear, there are a few other costs you may want to consider when budgeting for streaming. For instance, you may want to invest in a green screen, backdrop or background lights to make your stream more aesthetically pleasing.

These could cost anywhere from $30-$200, depending on what type of product you choose.

Start to Stream on Different Platforms

With your content, strategy and equipment in place, you’re ready to stream. But where do you stream to? The best answer lies with your audience’s demographic data. Think about where they’re most likely to hang around on the internet.

Ideally, it would be best to stream on several platforms to maximize your efforts and amplify your reach. It also protects you in the sense that you won’t be limited to a single platform which could be disastrous in case you’re banned or your access to a platform is limited.

These are the most flocked streaming platforms today, and best of all free to stream on:


Twitch is the most popular streaming platform due to its massive user base and easy-to-use interface. It’s free to join, and streamers can start broadcasting live immediately after signing up.

Here’s how to stream on Twitch:

  • First, visit the official Twitch site and sign up for an account. Twitch recommends verifying your account with your phone number and adding your email account later.
  • Design and upload your profile avatar and Twitch banner, but you can still skip this and do it later. Remember to maintain consistency with your brand graphics.
  • Next, download an appropriate streaming software and connect it to your Twitch account. You can also use streaming software which is web-based and quite straightforward compared to the rest.
  • Once you’ve connected your Twitch account to the streaming software, launch the game or begin recording the live video. Presumably, the streaming software should be already running in the background.
  • Copy the stream link (on it’s very easy to find), invite friends and make the most out of your first stream.


  • The best thing about Twitch is it has an array of features such as chat moderation, subscriber benefits, custom emotes, and more.
  • It’s free to use and is the most preferred streaming platform by viewers.


  • Twitch takes a huge share of streamers’ earnings, which worsens as you earn more. Top Twitch streamers will soon have to share their earnings 50/50 with Twitch once they cross the $1,000,000 threshold.
  • Stiff competition and beginners may take a while to hack it.


YouTube Live is another popular streaming platform that allows users to broadcast live videos and manage their streams through their YouTube accounts.

Here’s how to stream on YouTube:

  • Launch YouTube on your browser, sign up, or sign in to your Google account.
  • Click on your account profile icon and select “Create a channel.” Choose an appropriate name for your channel, verify it and add a channel banner that resonates with your brand.

  • You’ll automatically be redirected to YouTube studio. Hit the “Create” button at the top, then select “Go live.”
  • To ensure brand consistency, consider using similar graphics and font styles. YouTubevideo templates can help you nail this with ease.

  • Next, verify your phone number and depending on your region, you may have to request your first livestream and wait for 24 hours to begin your first broadcast.
  • When all is set, share the livestream link via other platforms and make the most of it.


  • It offers a wide range of features, including paid subscriptions, scheduled streaming, and custom thumbnails.
  • Easy to start streaming and grow your following with search engine optimization (SEO).
  • One of the best search functionalities


  • Limited access in some countries or institutions
  • Creators have virtually zero control over their content with regard to ranking and how it can be used for advertisements.


A while back, the social media giant introduced Facebook Live, a free streaming service that lets users stream live video from their Facebook profiles or Pages.

Here’s how to stream on Facebook

  • Sign up or sign in to your Facebook account and navigate to your profile section. If you want to livestream in a group, navigate to the group.
  • Click on “Live video” and begin your first livestream.

facebook live video


  • It’s easy to use and offers features like custom reactions and sponsored streams.
  • Free to stream and has the largest and most diverse audience


  • Doesn’t offer many features for streamers looking to make money from their broadcasts.

Work on Your Image and Grow Your Audience

One of the wisest things you can do, even before you broadcast your first stream, is to think of your stream as a brand. As much as the focus should be on creating unique and engaging content, it should also be a close reflection of your target audience.

This can be tough to figure out when starting out, but it’s also an opportunity to try out many content variations and determine what your audience loves via analytics. That aside, use consistent graphics, fonts, and colors when creating your branding assets, such as logos, streaming platform banners, and website graphics.

Also, think about using consistent phrases or sayings that your viewers will come to recognize you for.

When it comes to how you present yourself on stream, make sure that your attitude is positive and inviting. You want to draw viewers into your streams and make them feel welcome. Be entertaining and engaging while also maintaining professionalism.

Naturally, if you do all this, create a distinctive brand and deliver exceptional content, your audience should grow gradually and quickly. However, if you’re on a shorter timeline, you can use paid ads to put your channel out there.

Most social media platforms and search engines offer paid ads, which can be quite affordable if you research ad optimization or hire an expert. However, aim to leverage organic traffic. One way to do this is to collaborate with other streamers to help each other grow.

These collaborations can involve anything from playing games together to hosting giveaways or tournaments.

Not only will these collaborations give you more exposure, but they can be a great way to make friends in the streaming community.

At the end of the day, the quality of your streams will determine how much you can grow your audience. Paid ads will never be the answer, especially if the content is crap, so prioritize creating and delivering the best possible on all your streams.

Monetize Your Content

Even if you’re only trying to build an audience, an opportunity to monetize your content can’t be too bad. Besides, considering the initial outlay that’ll set you back as you start streaming, something has to give.

To this end, there are various ways you can monetize your content, from paid subscriptions to sponsorships and donations. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the options:

Subscriptions: Some platforms, such as Twitch, allow viewers to subscribe to streamers they enjoy watching. This means they pay a monthly fee to support their favorite streamers and get exclusive benefits such as access to emotes, ad-free viewing, and more.

Sponsorships: This could involve mentioning the brand or product during streams, displaying it prominently in their chat rooms or profiles, or even integrating it into their content.

Donations: Another popular way of monetizing content is through donations from fans. Streamers may have donation links on their profile pages or use platforms like Patreon to receive donations from viewers.

Ad Revenue: Some platforms, such as YouTube, allow streamers to make money from ads that appear during their streams. The amount you earn will depend on how many people view the ads and how much the advertiser pays.

Affiliate Links: Affiliate links are another great way to monetize your content. As a streamer, you can create links to products or services you promote and earn a commission when someone clicks the link and makes a purchase.

In-Game Purchases: If you’re streaming games, you can offer virtual items and services like boosts, currency, and skins to viewers who want to enhance their gaming experience. This is a great way to make additional income while providing value to your audience.


How much does it cost to become a streamer?

It depends on what you’re comfortable with or your preferred success timelines.  Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line gear and software, but it’s not necessary to get started. It’s possible to start streaming with very minimal equipment and costs.

All you need is a decent computer or, in some cases, a powerful smartphone with an internet connection, and you’re good to go. You’ll also need a microphone and webcam to interact with your viewers.

Several quality webcams and headsets go for less than $50. Additionally, you may need to purchase premium streaming software such as XSplit. You can still use free alternatives like Streamlabs or OBS, which are just as powerful as their paid counterparts, but you’ll have to get more hands-on.

You should also be prepared to invest in marketing campaigns to help promote your stream. This could include advertisements on social media, Google Ads, or even sponsoring a giveaway.

Can you make a living with live streaming?

Streaming pays fairly well if the data on how many top streamers earn from Twitch are anything to go by. “Top” is the keyword here. If you put in the work and provide what your audience needs, it should be more than enough to live on.

Is it a long-lasting career?

According to market projections, video streaming is expected to grow by around 11 percent between 2022 and 2027. Given the gloomy economic outlook, it’s one of the best industries to work in.

Another way to look at it is that you can earn a huge sum in less time than in other industries.

How much do top streamers earn?

Top streamers earn between $3,000 to $5,000 monthly on average. However, the most successful can peak at $9,600,000 annually.

Still, this data is inconclusive and is based on a leak that exposed earnings from the Amazon-owned, Twitch. There’s definitely a huge amount that’s undisclosed, like deals to stream exclusively on the platform, among other earnings.

Final Thoughts

Streaming is and will remain lucrative in the foreseeable future. Still, it can be quite competitive, and if you go at it without the right approach, you can get frustrated easily.

You’ve now figured out the first part – how to become a streamer. All that’s left is taking action. Start with whatever you have, and build gradually. Whether it’s a basic PC or Mac, start streaming. There is still a great deal you can do to control the success of your stream by producing the highest quality streams possible and connecting with your audience.

Don’t forget to experiment, analyze results and upgrade to better software or equipment if necessary.

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