How to Make Money with YouTube Shorts

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Carla Marshall
March 23, 2022
How to Make Money with YouTube Shorts
How to Make Money with YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts has been a massive win for not only YouTube but for its creators. The feature has generated more than 5 trillion views on the platform, and YouTube is fully invested in its future.

Shorts have been a rich source of extra views and engagement for many creators. But there’s been some confusion over how to make revenue from them. 

There are many ways to make money via Shorts, like brand deals. But the two easiest ways are via the YouTube Partner Program and YouTube’s own Shorts Fund. Let’s take a look at Ad revenue first.

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YouTube Shorts and Google Adsense Revenue

If you are a part of the YouTube Partner Program and your channel is monetized, there is a way to earn an income from your Shorts content on top of any bonus payouts (more on that later). But first, it’s important to note that there are two different kinds of YouTube Shorts:

  • Those created using the Shorts camera, which is limited to 15 seconds, but available to creators in over 100 countries;
  • Any vertical video up to 60 seconds long that uses the hashtag #Shorts in the title or description.

If a video is created as a 15-second YouTube Short, it doesn’t earn Adsense revenue. However, because regular YouTube videos can run ads, the longer-length Shorts (identified by the hashtag #Shorts) do have the potential to generate ad share revenue.

As for in-stream video ads, YouTube confirms that they may be less likely to be served on very short videos. Less disruption from these types of ads should better improve overall viewer engagement and audience retention rates. 

YouTube Shorts $100M Fund: Get Paid to be Creative

But what about if you haven’t yet qualified for monetization? Or you’ve been uploading using the Shorts camera, which is limited to just 15 seconds? YouTube gives you another way to benefit financially too! 

In May 2021, the platform rolled out a $100 Million Fund for Shorts creators. It has promised that, at least through 2022, it will select thousands of eligible creators a month to apply for payment from the Fund. Even if those creators aren’t currently part of the YPP.

If a creator meets the criteria set by YouTube and is selected to receive a payment, they can expect to make anywhere between $100 to $10,000 a month from the Fund. This is fantastic news for those killing it with very short-form content. 

Many creators have been publishing successful Shorts content for a while now and are very well-positioned to benefit from this monetization opportunity. YouTube has put some steps in place for creators to be able to qualify.

Are You Eligible for a Shorts Fund Pay-out?

The basics are that eligibility for a Shorts bonus will be based on your channel’s Shorts performance in the previous month. You’ll also need to:

  • Be located in an eligible country (check the details from YouTube here)
  • Be at least 13 years old in the US, or at the age of majority where the fund is active.
  • Follow YouTube’s Community guidelines and Monetization policies – in other words, your account must be in good standing. 
  • Have uploaded an original Short in the last 180 days.
  • Accept the terms of the program and link to an active Google AdSense account to receive the bonus payments from the Fund.

If you tick off all of the above boxes, you’ll need to do just one more thing. It’s the most important one. YouTube will only reward the best of the best, based on viewership and engagement from the previous month. 

All of a creator’s YouTube Shorts videos will count toward their Shorts performance each month they receive views on them (not just the month they were uploaded). The payment amounts will be adjusted based on a channel’s total Shorts performance and their audience’s location. 

The level of performance needed to qualify for a bonus payment may differ between creators (based on their location, for example) and may change from month to month. 

So, if you had a viral hit on your hands last month, you may be in luck. And if not, you get to try again this month. 

YouTube Shorts Fund Content Tip

YouTube is very strict about who it sends invitations to – it’s only creators who have uploaded original content. Avoid publishing content that is re-uploaded from third-party social platforms (i.e., TikTok, Reels, etc.), especially if it is watermarked.

Start Making Money from YouTube Shorts

As long as you’re publishing engaging, entertaining, and original Shorts content, not only can you benefit from bonus payouts from the Shorts Fund, but you’ll position yourself to earn the most money with or without support from advertisers and brands on all your content.

With YouTube rolling out so many monetization opportunities, creators can’t afford to avoid Shorts. You shouldn’t either!

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