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YouTube Shorts Monetization: The Essential Guide for 2023

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As a veteran social media marketing expert with over a decade of experience, I‘ve helped countless creators capitalize on emerging platforms – from monetizing Facebook video to building empires on YouTube.

And over the past two years, YouTube Shorts has rapidly emerged as the next hot opportunity for digital monetization.

In fact, YouTube is reporting a jaw-dropping 30 billion Shorts views per day as of March 2022.

For creators and influencers, Shorts introduces a brand new channel to engage mobile-first audiences and activate multiple income streams.

But how much money can you actually make? And what does the monetization process look like in 2023?

I‘ll answer this and more in-depth as we dive into everything from partner program eligibility to unlocking five-figure brand sponsorships.

Let‘s get started.

How YouTube Shorts Monetization Works

YouTube Shorts enable creators to produce engaging "short-form" videos under 60 seconds long, optimized for mobile consumption.

Think quick tutorials, challenges, comedy skits, reactions, and vlogs supercharged with slick editing effects thanks to built-in YouTube creative tools.

As your Shorts start gaining traction and views begin pouring in, you can turn on monetization once your channel qualifies for the YouTube Partner Program (more details below).

So what happens when Shorts monetization gets switched on? Here‘s the gist:

  • YouTube will display text, display, and/or video ads on your Shorts
  • You‘ll earn 55% of the ad revenue generated from these ads
  • Top creators typically earn a $3 – $8 RPM (per 1000 views)
  • Quarterly bonus programs offer incentives for hitting certain view thresholds

For context, average YouTube CPM rates have increased by over 50% year-over-year – signaling major profit potential from Shorts moving forward.

Now let‘s break down exactly how to access this integrated monetization.

Activating YouTube Shorts Monetization

Wondering how to flip the switch for earning money directly from YouTube?

Here‘s the step-by-step process I guide all my creator clients through:

  1. Head to YouTube Studio on desktop
  2. Navigate to "Monetization" in the left menu
  3. Click "Apply" to join the YouTube Partner Program
  4. Review and accept YouTube‘s advertising terms
  5. Patiently await approval! (typically takes under a month)

Once you get the green light email that your channel has been accepted into the partner program, newly uploaded Shorts will begin monetizing via ads immediately.

Congrats, you‘re now officially making money directly from YouTube!

But in order to access this integration in the first place, your channel will need to meet the eligibility requirements.

Let‘s go over what it takes to unlock those coveted Shorts ad dollars.

YouTube Shorts Monetization Requirements

In the past, to earn money on YouTube, you needed:

  • 1,000 subscribers
  • 4,000 public watch hours

However, YouTube recently announced a separate Shorts monetization path tailored specifically for short-form creators.

The platform now offers two options to gain entry into the YouTube Partner Program:

Path 1: Long-form Videos

This route stays the same:

  • 1,000 Subscribers
  • 4,000 Valid Public Watch Hours

So if you have over 4,000 hours of viewing time from subscribers on standard videos 10+ minutes long, you‘re already set!

Path 2: Short-form Videos

The new criteria optimized for short-form creators is:

  • 1,000 Subscribers
  • 10 Million Shorts Views in the last 90 days

Essentially if you can consistently pump out viral Shorts resulting in over 10 million impressions in under 3 months – you‘ll unlock monetization automatically.

For context, top creators can earn $3 to $8+ per 1,000 views once monetized.

So 10 million views pays between $30,000 and $80,000! Not a bad incentive to perfect your craft.

Beyond baseline requirements, your account must adhere to all YouTube community guidelines and policies.

That includes avoiding copyright strikes, complying with advertiser guidelines, and generally keeping your content brand-safe.

With billions of existing viewers, YouTube remains one of the most lucrative platforms once you unlock partner perks.

But even if you don‘t meet the criteria quite yet, tons of money-making avenues exist to tap into immediately…

How to Earn Money From YouTube Shorts Without Monetization

Let‘s say you only have 500 subscribers and a few Shorts crossing 100K+ views.

How can you start profiting from Shorts right now before hitting YouTube‘s monetization requirements?

As part of my social media marketing system, I train creators to activate income streams from day one.

YouTube ad revenue, though lucrative long-term, simply won‘t pay the bills or necessarily justify production costs when first getting started.

Instead, I recommend new Shorts creators focus on these money-makers demanding far less overhead:

1. Sponsored Branded Content

Created in partnership with advertisers, sponsored content blends promotional messaging with your original entertainment.

From highlighting products in vlogs to creatively showcasing services through challenges – the options are endless.

Sponsored Shorts typically pay between $100 to $500+ per video depending on your niche and viewership metrics. For some context:

  • Nano influencers charge around $100
  • Micro influencers earn ~$250
  • Macro influencers net $500+

And with Shorts prioritizing mobile users, the format allows for seamless targeting of valuable Gen Z and Millennial niches.

What‘s more, YouTube Shorts have 4X higher conversion rates for driving traffic to websites compared to their TikTok counterparts according to internal Google data.

Meaning creators have incredible power to direct audiences to advertised products in the description or comments. You have immense influence over purchasing decisions.

Brand deals, when structured correctly, symbiotically benefit creator, viewer, and sponsor alike – so don‘t shy away from accepting lucrative offers!

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate programs provide creators a sales commission for promoting select products.

For example, Amazon Associates lets you earn 4-10% for products bought through your special link.

Showcasing helpful affiliate gear in your Shorts and directing buyers to your link via long-form video descriptions can net big passive profits.

In fact, many top creators earn over six figures per year solely from affiliate income alone!

So even if you have a relatively small following for now, affiliate links absolutely deserve activation day one alongside creating great Shorts.

3. Selling Digital Products

Over time, Shorts lets you showcase your skills, personality and build an emotionally-invested audience.

Convert that social currency into sales by creating original digital products aligned with your niche.

A fitness creator can sell customized workout plans. A musician can release albums. An artist can offer online courses. A chef could launch their own cookbook.

Product pricing typically ranges from $10 to $100+ depending on depth, production quality, and target customer.

But with viewers that already love and trust you, promoting digital offerings to your core fans translates to sky-high conversion rates and five-figure launches.

While influencers often obsess over monetized views, selling evergreen products directly nets WAY more income over time with the right audience nurturing strategy.

4. Crowdfunding Campaigns

Shorts allows creators to make quick connections at scale. Showcasing your passion project to millions of viewers enables rallying that tribe to fund big ideas.

All it takes is posting a compelling video detailing your concept and ambitions then driving viewers to a Kickstarter or Indiegogo page.

Top crowdfunding campaigns raise over $50 million dollars thanks to the viral power of digital creators.

So if you have an exciting concept that resonates with your niche, look no further than your own organic reach. Even if only 1% of viewers donate a few dollars, campaigns adding up thousands are totally feasible.

5. Channel Memberships

If you manage to cultivate an especially loyal viewership willing to financially support your work, channel memberships are a no brainer.

Fans agree to pay a monthly fee between $1.99 to $49.99 to access VIP perks like:

  • Custom emoji
  • Exclusive videos
  • Members-only live streams
  • Shoutouts
  • Behind-the-scenes content

In addition to diversifying income, memberships incentivize your most devoted fans to tighten their bond directly with you.

I‘ve seen creators generate tens of thousands per year solely from channel memberships by keeping fans passionately engaged.

So while AdSense monetization from YouTube Shorts remains the most scalable long-term play…

Diverse income streams outside of traditional monetized views boosts overall profitability.

Now let‘s shift gears into getting discovered by coveted brands so they actually want to run paid campaigns with you!

Finding Brand Sponsorships Opportunities for Shorts

Okay, so you‘re crushing your niche by pumping out viral Shorts. Fans love your content and brands are starting to take notice.

But beyond passive viewership metrics, how do you actually lock down profitable sponsorships?

There‘s definitely an art in pitching yourself as an influencer. But I recommend creators skip the clumsy email outreach to brands altogether.

Instead, leverage an influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer to get matched with relevant sponsor opportunities on autopilot.

Photo of YouTube Shorts Brand Collaborations on AInfluencer

For creators, it‘s 100% free to setup a profile highlighting your analytics, cost per view, demographics, and content style.

Brands browsing for influencers can instantly filter by criteria like location, niche, budget size, past campaign experience, engagement metrics and more.

It‘s like a Linkedin for pairing creators with ideal brand partnerships.

You‘ll get notified when aligned sponsor campaigns get submitted to the platform. Submit a proposal showcasing why you‘re a great fit.

From there, you can negotiate contracted deliverables, pricing, tracking links and everything to align incentives for both parties.

For YouTube Shorts creators specifically, I recommend highlighting your strong conversions driving traffic to websites – a huge selling point.

Compared to creators focused exclusively on TikTok or Instagram, YouTube boasts vastly superior functionality for watching longer videos and browsing detailed descriptions.

So flaunt how well you can direct viewers to advertised products and services vs quick entertainment alone.

Not only does Ainfluencer make campaign management easy– top creators using the platform report between 20-50% higher payouts compared to other negotiation methods.

It‘s by far the most efficient way to build a sponsor portfolio from scratch.

So if you‘re looking to monetize your Shorts through brand promotions, prioritize your presentation on Ainfluencer to unlock five-figure partnerships this year!

Okay, we‘ve covered a lot of ground on optimizing YouTube Shorts for money. Let‘s recap…

TLDR; Key Takeaways

  • AdSense monetization places ads on Shorts to earn a 55% revenue share
  • 1,000 subscribers + 10 million Shorts views last 90 days qualifies your for monetization
  • Top creators earn $3 to $8+ per 1,000 Shorts views
  • Alternate earning options like affiliate marketing often outweigh platform ad revenue
  • Ainfluencer matches creators with niche-relevant brand sponsorships

Still have questions? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

FAQs about Monetizing YouTube Shorts

How much money can I earn directly from YouTube Shorts?

Top creators can earn an RPM between $3 to $8+ per 1,000 Shorts views once monetized. So at 50 million views, that pays around $150,000 to $400,000. Most creators earn in the range of $1 to $4 RPM.

What are the requirements to monetize YouTube Shorts?

You need 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days. Your account must comply with all YouTube guidelines around copyright, community standards, etc

How long does it take to get approved for YouTube Shorts monetization?

The review process typically takes less than a month. Some creators get approved within 1-2 weeks. Ensuring your channel and content aligns with all YouTube policies expedites approval.

I hope this guide brought you immense value on strategically maximizing YouTube Shorts for money this year. Please reach out directly with any other questions in the comments below!

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