How To Make Money With YouTube Shorts in Four Simple Steps

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Sara Friedman
Sara Friedman

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Short-form video is on fire right now. From TikTok to Instagram Reels to YouTube Shorts, everyone is trying their hand at mastering split-second content.

YouTube Shorts

When done right, those little videos can pack a big punch and, more importantly, make creators some real money.

Creators like Jade Beason are paving the way to success on YouTube with short- and long-form videos alike. Beason is one of many amazing creators in the HubSpot YouTube Network, the video destination for business builders.

Check out her video for a detailed step-by-step guide on how you can make money with YouTube Shorts today — and also look over the key takeaways below:

1. Choose Your Content Strategy

Before we dive into how to monetize your shorts, you’ll need to first choose a content strategy for the videos themselves. 

There are three main strategies to choose from:

Repurposing viral content 

The lowest-lift content strategy is to repurpose other creators’ content from platforms like TikTok or Instagram. While many YouTubers do build their channels this way, use this strategy cautiously if your ultimate goal is to build a personal brand. 

Repurposing your existing content 

For a more original tactic that still will save you time, you can repurpose your own content from other platforms. If you regularly post videos to TikTok or Instagram, you can recycle that content as shorts on your YouTube channel. 

Tip: Make sure your repurposed content doesn’t have watermarks on it from other social platforms. You can use an app like SnapTik to remove watermarks. 

Creating new content 

The highest-effort — but possibly highest-reward — content strategy is to create YouTube-native content from scratch. 

This will of course take more time than repurposing existing videos, but it will also increase the odds that the content performs well since it will be specifically designed for YouTube. 

Regardless of which strategy you choose, monitor your channel’s analytics carefully to understand which type of content is performing well, and which is not. 


2. Join the YouTube Shorts Partner Program

Once you’ve created your channel and established which content strategy is right for you, you can start exploring monetization options. 

The YouTube Shorts Partner Program is a good option for any creator who meets the eligibility requirements of 1k subscribers and either 4k watch hours OR 10m views from the last 90 days.

Since brands pay YouTube to advertise in the space between shorts — the ads that play as a user scrolls through shorts — the platform makes money directly from those advertisements. 

The Shorts Program pools all of that revenue and then divides among all its Partner Program members each month, allocating money based on the percentage of views each creator received. Creators then take home 45% of their allocated amount — YouTube takes 55%. 

(If the total monthly ad revenue was $1k, and you earned 10% of all views in a given month, you would be allocated $100 and take home a total of $45.) 

Joining the program is a good idea for any creator as there’s no downside: It doesn’t impact your performance or the audience experience — it just opens a new door for monetization. 

3. Establish Brand Partnerships

When most creators think of making money on YouTube, they’re thinking about brand partnerships, also known as sponsorships. 

This is when a brand pays creators for them to mention their product or service in their video content. Where things get tricky: Shorts are only 60 seconds long, and fitting sponsored-brand content can be challenging, especially when trying to make it natural. 

Creators should aim at making these placements feel as organic as possible, as engaging your audience is always the No. 1 priority. It can help to look for brands who work with other short-form content creators because they’ll likely understand the challenges and restrictions more.

A way to make more money: Bundle your Short with another deliverable to make sure you earn a decent income from your partnership.

For example, you could offer YouTube community posts (which are essentially Facebook posts on YouTube) as another type of post to get more from a partnership once it’s in motion.

4. Use Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a brand, product, or service in your videos and earn a commission on those sales.

For example, if you film every YouTube Short from a desk chair, and then link that desk chair on your channel, each time a viewer clicks on that link and buys the chair, you get a commission. 

This is a great tactic for creators who are just starting out with short-form video as you don’t need any subscribers to use affiliate links — or to make money from them.

It’s also a win-win-win: The brand you’ve partnered with sells a product, you make a commission, and your viewer gets both a product recommendation, and, hopefully, a new item they’re happy with. 

Whichever strategy you choose (or you can use them all) to make money from Shorts, it always comes back to the content. Focus on making content your viewers will want to watch, and the rest will fall into place. 

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