YouTube Shorts Monetization: How To Start Earning (Even Without 1,000 Subscribers)

If you’re a creator, you’ve heard about YouTube Shorts, mainly if you specialize in short-form videos. These short-form, vertical videos can last up to 60 seconds. They are also basically YouTube’s attempt to take on TikTok.

Every day, YouTube Shorts receive billions of views. Many creators are naturally curious about how to make money off of them. As it happens, there are other approaches to take.

Continue reading as we explore the various methods for making money off YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Partner Program eligibility

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) has recently expanded its eligibility requirements, offering two paths for creators to join: the traditional long-form video track and the new Shorts track. Here’s a breakdown of the current eligibility criteria:

Traditional Long-Form Videos:

  • Reach either of the following thresholds:
  • One thousand subscribers and 4,000 hours of authorized public viewing last year.
  • In the past 90 days, there have been 1,000 subscribers and 10 million valid public Shorts views.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a resident of a nation or area where YPP is offered.
  • Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
  • Enable 2-Step Verification for your Google Account.
  • Have access to advanced features on YouTube.
  • Have an active AdSense account linked to your channel (create one in YouTube Studio if you don’t).

Shorts Track:

  • Reach either of the following thresholds:
  • Five hundred subscribers, three valid public uploads in the last 90 days, and 3,000 proper public watch hours in the previous 12 months.
  • Five hundred subscribers, three valid public uploads in the last 90 days, and 3 million proper general Shorts views in the previous 90 days.
  • Additional Eligibility Requirements:
  • It is the same as the Traditional Long-Form video track.

Important points to remember:

  • Watch hours gained from Shorts in the Shorts Feed don’t count towards the long-form video track threshold.
  • Meeting the thresholds doesn’t guarantee automatic access to YPP. Your channel will undergo a review process.
  • You can sign up for notifications in YouTube Studio to be alerted when you’re eligible to apply.

Here are some helpful resources for further information:

8 ways to monetize YouTube Shorts

Here are some of the finest ways to monetize YouTube Shorts, ranging from in-app solutions to off-platform cash streams.

1 Shorts ad revenue-sharing

I see you’re interested in maximizing Shorts ad revenue-sharing. To help you further, I need more information. What specifically about maximizing this income stream would you like to know? For example, are you looking for:

  • Tips on creating Shorts that attract more viewers and ad clicks?
  • What are the strategies for optimizing your content for the Shorts ad pool?
  • Insights into how revenue is distributed within the Shorts fund?
  • Information on other potential monetization options besides Shorts ad revenue-sharing

2. YouTube fan funding

Types of YouTube Fan Funding:

  • Channel Memberships: Offer recurring monthly memberships with exclusive perks like exclusive content, early access, live streams, badges, and emojis.
  • Super Chat & Stickers: During live streams, viewers can pay to highlight their messages and animated images in the chat, making them stand out and grab your attention.
  • Super Thanks: Viewers can send one-time animated thank-you notes with custom messages to express their appreciation directly.

Benefits of YouTube Fan Funding:

  • Consistent income: Channel memberships provide predictable monthly revenue, unlike ad revenue, which can fluctuate.
  • Deeper audience engagement: Exclusive content and perks foster a closer connection with your most dedicated fans.
  • Direct financial support: Super Chat/Stickers and Super Thanks offer your viewers instant ways to show appreciation, benefiting you directly.
  • Community building: Fan Funding incentivizes audience interaction and loyalty, helping you build a stronger community around your content.

Tips for Maximizing YouTube Fan Funding:

  • Create compelling member incentives: Offer exclusive content, live streams, and perks that your audience truly values.
  • Promote your Fan Funding options regularly: Highlight the benefits of memberships, Super Chat, and Super Thanks in your videos and descriptions.
  • Engage with your members: Respond to their comments, hold exclusive live streams, and show them you appreciate their support.
  • Experiment with different offerings: Find a combination of perks and pricing that resonates best with your audience.

3 YouTube Shopping

How it works:

  • Set up your Shop: Integrate your online store or partner with supported brands to showcase a diverse range of products.
  • Feature products in your Shorts: Use product tags, cards, and overlays to highlight the items your viewers see seamlessly.
  • Shoppable links in description and comments: Make purchase a click away by adding links to specific products featured in your Shorts.
  • Live Shopping streams: Take things to the next level with interactive live streams where you can demonstrate products, answer questions, and offer exclusive deals.

Benefits of YouTube Shopping:

  • Monetize viewer interest: Capitalize on the immediate desire to buy sparked by your engaging Shorts.
  • Simplify the buying journey: Bridge the gap between discovery and purchase within the YouTube platform.
  • Boost engagement and reach: Product tags and interactive elements can pique viewers’ curiosity and keep them hooked.
  • Access a wider audience: Partner with other creators and brands to reach new potential customers.

Tips for maximizing YouTube Shopping with your Shorts:

  • Authentically integrate products: Showcase them naturally within your Shorts’ narrative, avoiding forced or intrusive placements.
  • Highlight product benefits: Focus on how the products solve problems or enhance viewers’ lives, not just their features.
  • Use engaging visuals and calls to action: Make product tags and links visually appealing and encourage viewers to tap and shop.
  • Track and analyze your performance: Use YouTube analytics to understand which products resonate most with your audience and optimize your approach.

4 YouTube Premium

  • Increased visibility: Premium members often watch more curated content and explore recommendations beyond mainstream trends. This can put your Shorts in front of a more engaged audience who might be more likely to subscribe, engage with fan funding options, or click on ads in your non-premium content.
  • Enhanced engagement: Some Premium features, like background playback and ad-free viewing, can create a more seamless and enjoyable experience for viewers watching your Shorts, potentially leading to higher watch times and completion rates. This can positively impact your channel’s overall performance and eligibility for other monetization programs.
  • Data insights: YouTube Premium provides creators with additional data points, like watch time specifically from Premium viewers, which can help you better understand your audience and tailor your content to their preferences. This can benefit your entire content strategy, including your Shorts, leading to more effective monetization tactics.
  • Community building: Fostering a loyal community around your channel, regardless of whether they’re Premium members, is crucial for long-term success. If some dedicated fans subscribe to Premium, it shows their willingness to invest in your work. It could encourage others to do the same through other means, contributing to your overall monetization efforts.
  • Remember, YouTube Premium is just one piece of the puzzle. By combining it with other monetization strategies like Short ad revenue sharing, Fan Funding, and Shopping, you can create a multi-faceted approach that caters to different audience segments and maximizes your earning potential.

5 Sell digital products

Types of digital products to sell:

  • E-books, guides, or templates: Offer comprehensive resources related to your Shorts’ niche, solving problems or providing valuable insights viewers crave.
  • Online courses or workshops: Deliver in-depth learning experiences through video tutorials, assignments, and live Q&A sessions, catering to those seeking more profound knowledge.
  • Printable resources: Sell worksheets, planners, or checklists that compliment your Shorts’ content, making it actionable and tangible for viewers.
  • Music, graphics, or animations: If your Shorts involve creative elements like music or illustrations, offer them as downloadable assets for viewers to use in their projects.
  • Memberships or communities: Create exclusive gated content, early access to new Shorts, or interactive forums for devoted fans willing to pay for a closer connection.

Promoting your digital products:

  • Include clear calls to action: In your Shorts and descriptions, direct viewers to your website or landing page where they can purchase your products.
  • Offer enticing bonuses: Provide exclusive content, discounts, or early bird access to incentivize immediate purchase.
  • Leverage social media: Promote your digital products across other platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to reach a wider audience.
  • Collaborate with other creators: Partner with complementary channels for cross-promotion and expand your reach.
  • Utilize YouTube features:
  • Add product links in your Shorts’ descriptions.
  • Include cards and overlays.
  • Consider running dedicated Shopping ads.

Tips for success:

  • Focus on quality and value: Ensure your digital products are well-designed and informative and solve a specific problem for your audience.
  • Price strategically: Offer different tiers or bundles to cater to diverse budgets and interests.
  • Build trust and authority: Position yourself as an expert in your niche through your Shorts and additional content.
  • Deliver top-notch customer support: Respond quickly to questions and take care of any problems that arise.

6 Join affiliate programs

Finding the right affiliate programs:

  • Focus on products relevant to your niche: Choose products your audience is genuinely interested in and that align with the content you create in your Shorts.
  • Research program terms and commissions: Compare different programs to find ones with competitive commission rates, precise tracking methods, and reliable payouts.
  • Prioritize trustworthy brands: Partner with reputable companies that offer high-quality products and positive customer experiences.

Promoting affiliate links:

  • Integrate organically: Don’t force product mentions or make your Shorts feel like commercials. Instead, showcase the products’ benefits naturally within your content.
  • Transparency is critical: Disclose that you’re using affiliate links to maintain trust with your viewers.
  • Use effective calls to action: Encourage viewers to click on your links by highlighting special offers, limited discounts, or personal recommendations.
  • Consider different platforms:
  • Add affiliate links in your Shorts’ descriptions.
  • Use cards and overlays.
  • Promote them on your other social media channels.

Tips for success:

  • Build authority and trust: Focus on delivering valuable content and establishing yourself as a knowledgeable source in your niche.
  • Track your results: Use affiliate program analytics and YouTube Studio data to see which products and calls to action perform best.
  • Diversify your income: Combine affiliate marketing with other monetization strategies for a more stable and well-rounded income stream.
  • Stay compliant with FTC regulations: Disclose your affiliate relationships and ensure your promotions are truthful and accurate.
  • Remember, affiliate marketing requires upfront effort and patience. Please choose the right programs, promote them strategically, and focus on building genuine connections with your audience. By doing so, you can earn commissions while offering valuable recommendations to your viewers, creating a win-win situation for everyone.

8 Create UGC for brands.

  • User-generated content (UGC) has become a powerful marketing tool for brands, offering authenticity, engagement, and reach that traditional advertising often struggles to match. As a creator, you have the potential to be a valuable partner in this process by crafting compelling UGC that resonates with target audiences and drives brand awareness.

Understanding UGC:

  • Before diving in, let’s solidify your understanding of UGC. It refers to any content created by consumers or brand enthusiasts, not the brand itself. This can include:
  • Social media posts: Photos, videos, stories, and reviews are shared on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
  • Blog posts and articles: Reviews, testimonials, and experiences shared on personal blogs or online communities.
  • Vlogs and YouTube videos: Unboxing videos, tutorials, challenges, and hauls featuring the brand’s products.
  • Creative content: Drawings, paintings, music, or even memes inspired by the brand and its message.

Why Brands Love UGC:

  • There are several reasons why brands are increasingly turning to UGC for their marketing campaigns:
  • Authenticity: UGC feels real and relatable, resonating better with consumers bombarded with polished advertising.
  • Social proof: Seeing others enjoying a brand builds trust and encourages viewers to do the same.
  • Engagement: UGC sparks conversations and interactions, fostering a stronger connection between brands and audiences.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to traditional advertising, UGC can be significantly cheaper to produce and distribute.
  • Reach and virality: The potential for user-generated content to go viral and organically reach a vast audience is immense.

How You Can Create Compelling UGC:

  • Now that you understand the power of UGC let’s explore how you can craft content that brands will love:
  • Know your audience: Understand the brand’s target demographic and tailor your content to their interests and preferences.
  • Focus on quality: While UGC doesn’t need to be perfect, it should be visually appealing and well-edited to attract viewers.
  • Be creative and unique: Offer fresh perspectives and avoid simply copying what others are doing.
  • Tell a story: Connect with viewers emotionally by weaving a narrative around your experience with the brand.
  • Highlight the product’s benefits: Showcase how the product solves a problem or genuinely improves your life.
  • Use relevant hashtags: Make your content discoverable by brands and their target audience by using relevant hashtags.
  • Engage with the brand: Tag the brand, respond to their comments, and participate in their UGC campaigns.

Examples of Successful UGC:

  • Here are some inspiring examples of user-generated content that went viral and helped brands achieve their marketing goals:
  • GoPro: GoPro’s #GoProHeroAwards contest encourages users to share the most thrilling and awe-inspiring adventures they have captured with their cameras. This has resulted in a vast library of stunning visuals showcasing the GoPro’s capabilities.
  • Starbucks: Starbucks’ #RedCupSeason campaign invites customers to share photos and stories of their holiday experiences with their iconic red cups. This fosters a sense of community and excitement around the brand.
  • Nike: Nike’s #JustDoIt campaign empowers users to share their fitness journeys and athletic achievements, inspiring others to embrace an active lifestyle.
  • By following these tips and taking inspiration from successful examples, you can create a UGC that captures the attention of brands, builds your online presence, and contributes to the exciting world of influencer marketing.
  • Remember, the key to success is being authentic, creative, and passionate about the brands you collaborate with. So, start brainstorming, unleash your creativity, and prepare to make your mark on the world of UGC!

How much can you make from YouTube Shorts monetization?

Not only may YouTube Shorts increase the visibility of your material, but they can also bring in money for you. You can benefit from some of YouTube’s Partner Program’s revenue opportunities if you have 500 subscribers. However, you will need at least 1,000 members to take advantage of all the features offered by the YPP.

But keep in mind that there are other ways to monetize Shorts on YouTube besides the built-in ones. Expand your horizons and look at different revenue streams for your shorts, such as brand partnerships and digital product sales.

Ready to use YouTube Shorts to become wealthy? YouTube Shorts Monetization Guide.


Can I monetize YouTube without 1000 subscribers?

Yes, YouTube removed the 1000 subscriber requirement for monetization in 2020. You only need 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months to comply with YouTube partner policies.

How do you qualify to get paid for YouTube Shorts?

Specific monetization options for Shorts are still being developed. They may require minimum subscribers and watch time. YouTube will likely introduce a Shorts Partner Program for access.

How do I enable monetization on YouTube Shorts?

YouTube has yet to launch Shorts monetization. When introduced, there will likely be a sign-up process within YouTube Studio to apply for and enable it.

How do I monetize my Shorts?

Current options are limited but may expand to ad revenue sharing, viewer tipping/donations, branded content deals, and selling related merchandise.


Ever dream of your awesome short videos on YouTube earning you some cool cash? Well, good news! YouTube short monetization makes it possible, just like longer videos. But there’s a catch: you need to be super popular.

Think millions of views in a short time or thousands of hours watching your longer videos. It’s a big challenge, but if you keep creating unique content and growing your audience, you could be laughing all the way to the bank (well, maybe a piggy bank for now!). Remember, hard work and a sprinkle of creativity are the secret ingredients to YouTube success, so keep filming and see where your Shorts adventure takes you.

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