Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
YouTube Shorts Monetization: How to Profit from Short Videos
Making money with YouTube Shorts is a tricky task. They’re nothing like your typical long-form video, which requires four steps to monetize:
- Join the YouTube Partner Program.
- Post lengthy videos.
- Turn on monetization for the videos.
- Collect advertising revenue.
On the flip side, YouTube Shorts – which are vertical videos of 60 seconds or less – don't have a formal monetization program. Currently, you can't put ads on a YouTube short and collect money as people view your content.
Which begs the question: How does one make money as a shorts creator?
It's all coming together slowly, but there are a few ways to profit from YouTube Shorts. Let's dive in.
1. YouTube Shorts Fund
If you want to make money from YouTube Shorts, one way to do that is through the $100 million Shorts Fund. This is something YouTube announced in 2021, and the platform has promised to reward creators with a monthly “bonus” that comes directly from this money pot. The bonuses range from $100 to $10,000, but the exact amount depends on your Shorts performance in the previous month.
Think you’re eligible for a bonus? Here are the requirements for monetizing YouTube Shorts:
- Post an original YouTube Short every 180 days (not a TikTok video, for instance).
- Be at least 13 years old or the age of maturity in your country.
- Follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and monetization policies.
- Live in an eligible country.
Once you meet those requirements, you’re in the running to receive a Shorts bonus. If you're selected, YouTube will contact you within the first week of the month, and you'll have until the 25 of that same month to claim your bonus. Check out this YouTube creators page to learn more.
So far, it takes a lot of video views to get a bonus. You have to go viral and then some to earn hundreds of dollars, which is slightly disheartening. That's why Rob Wilson, our YouTuber-in-residence at vidIQ, is making this uncomfortable face:
Still, it’s better than receiving nothing at all.
Here’s what some creators earned last year from the Shorts Fund:
- TN Craft: $200 for 7 million Shorts views
- King Probherbs: $300 for 5 million Shorts views
- GEVids: $2,300 for 130 million Shorts views
But the good news is that YouTube is giving a Shorts bonus to more creators. A larger number of people will receive payouts under $100 and over the $10,000 maximum. So that's something to look forward to if you're all-in on creating Shorts.
2. Brand Deals and Sponsorships
OK, so getting a YouTube Shorts bonus isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Thousands of creators compete for the monthly reward, and most of them have Shorts with millions of views.
But guess what? You don’t have to join that competitive race. There are other ways to monetize YouTube Shorts, and one of those golden opportunities is through brand sponsorships.
When a brand sponsors you, they’re paying you to advertise a product or service in one of your videos. That could be a new line of laptops, the latest leggings from Lululemon, or even a squeegee that removes pet hair from dirty carpet.
Here’s an example of a sponsored YouTube Short. In this video, actress Eliana Ghen advertises Vita, a mobile video editing app.
If you’re looking at this video and thinking, Hey, I could do that, you’re 100% correct.
- You don’t need millions of views and subscribers to get a brand deal – just the right audience and a strong YouTube resume.
- 51% of marketers said they plan to invest in short-form content more than they did in 2021.
- Brands are excited to partner with short-form creators.
As for that last detail, don’t just take our word for it. Sponsorship coach Justin Moore echoes the same sentiment.
“At the end of the day, most brands don’t want to partner with you and feel like the only thing you’re good at is long-form video,” Moore says. “They want to feel that you may have some flexibility to create different types of content.”
Ready to get your first brand deal? Read this post to avoid the common mistakes YouTubers make while pitching brands.
3. YouTube Advertising Revenue
“Can you monetize YouTube Shorts with video ads?” That’s a question many creators ask when they're ready to make money, but the answer is complicated.
From what we’ve seen, where a viewer watches your Shorts makes all the difference.
If they’re watching from the Shorts player in the YouTube app, you won’t earn any money because that feature doesn’t support advertisements just yet.
Here's what the Shorts shelf looks like in the YouTube app. Clicking on any video takes you to the Shorts player, which produces no revenue.
The good news is that YouTube is testing ads in the Shorts player, so monetization could be on the way.
Until then, the only way to earn ad revenue is when viewers watch your Shorts on a regular watch page, not the Shorts player. Regular pages do serve ads, so you'll make money there if you’re in the YouTube Partner Program.
The only catch? It's not a life-changing amount.
Dan C., senior executive producer at vidIQ, tested this theory himself. After posting a viral Minecraft Short, he noticed that people were watching in two places: the Shorts player and the regular watch page.
However, he only made money from views on the watch page, and that amounts to a paltry $92.73. And just look at how many views he got!
So, yes – you can make some money with YouTube Shorts if viewers watch them in ad-supported areas. Besides that, getting a Shorts bonus or a brand sponsorship are other ways to get paid.
Of course, you need a growing channel to make money with YouTube Shorts. And that's not always easy when viewers are constantly swiping, never slowing down to explore your other content.
The solution? Start a YouTube Shorts channel, and use these 7 tips to grow it as big as you can.