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What a fascinating time to be alive for content creators. I’m not being facetious — we live in the golden age of YouTube where it’s never been easier to start a channel (and you’ve never had as much advice on how to build a YouTube channel).

There are also so many avenues available for video makers who are open to new styles and opportunities. From TikTok to Instagram, there are plenty of ways to make money by reaching audiences with short-form video content.

And there are even more on the way as YouTube recently rolled out their new YouTube Shorts program. These short-form videos are similar to other short-form video apps like TikTok or Instagram Reels in style and format.

But are they going to be as valuable and monetizable? Let’s explore everything we currently know about how to make (and monetize) YouTube Shorts.

 

What are YouTube Shorts?

So, the big question for all you aspiring content creators out there is simply what are YouTube Shorts and how do they work? 

Recently released by the popular social video sharing social media platform, YouTube Shorts is a new venture that allows users to better connect directly with their audience by just using a smartphone and their “Shorts camera” in the YouTube app.

 

 

This means you can create short-form videos directly in the YouTube app (a la TikTok or Instagram) that are up to 60 seconds long with the built-in multi-segment camera and editing software.

It’s actually pretty simple to use. Here’s how you get started…

Using the YouTube app

Now let's go over how to make a YouTube short video. The first step is simply to download and open the YouTube mobile app on your smartphone. From there you’ll want to click on the “Create a Short” button and begin the process by hitting the record button.

 

 

Currently, YouTube Shorts are set to default as 15-second clips, but you can make them as long as 60 seconds. The functionality is similar to TikTok or Instagram Reels in how you can choose audio and add music from the YouTube library (or perhaps even upload your own music one day) and then just tap the record button to add your own video. (You can also hold the record button to start recording.)

From there you can either keep your take or tap the record button again to re-do the video. Once you’re happy with your clip you can save it  as a draft or click “Done” to preview and enhance your video.

Of course there are lots of options for different effects and other flourishes which you can add in the YouTube video editor, but if you’re familiar with any other short-form apps and working with vertical videos and short videos then they’ll pretty much be the same.

Once finished you can pick your cover image, add a title (max 100 characters), create your video description, and choose your video settings and privacy. (The default video privacy setting for creators aged 13–17 is private; if you're 18 or older, your default video privacy setting is set to public.)

Click the upload button at the end and viola — you’ve figured out how to make a YouTube short video using the YouTube app!

Tips for the YouTube Shorts recording page

 

 

Now, a lot of more advanced short form content creators are going to immediately look for the best tools and tricks to give YouTube Shorts videos the best shine. And while YouTube would love for you to use their YouTube Shorts recording page, you can also upload YouTube Shorts without using YouTube’s short-video creation tools.

Here are the steps to follow for uploading YouTube Shorts and other videos:

  1. Tap CREATE and choose to UPLOAD A VIDEO.
  2. Select a video with a square or vertical aspect ratio.
  3. Tap the NEXT button to go to the editor screen.
  4. Tap the NEXT button to add details like a title and privacy settings.
  5. Choose if your video is for kids or not.
  6. Tap UPLOAD to publish your YouTube Shorts video.

Those are the basic steps, but keep in mind that the ideal format for your YouTube videos will be vertical videos and tailored to best be viewed by users on their smartphones. If you can try to create brief videos and under 60 seconds or else the YouTube app will only upload not the whole video.

Tips to monetize YouTube Shorts

 

 

Let’s move on to the important stuff now — money! 

So, unfortunately it looks like as of launch the YouTube Shorts app currently does not share revenue from advertisements played in the Shorts player as of right now.

However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t money to be made on YouTube Shorts now or in the future. In the meantime YouTube has launched a YouTube Shorts Fund with $100 million set aside to fund creators who can help YouTube build this short-form video platform.

The catch is that this fund is invite only, so you’ll have to create a channel and grow an audience and hope that YouTube reaches out to you. Here are the only notes YouTube has offered on YouTube Shorts' eligibility:

  • Channels need to have uploaded at least one eligible Short in the last 180 days.
  • Channels need to abide by YouTube’s Community Guidelines, copyright rules, and monetization policies.
  • Channels uploading videos with watermarks or logos from third-party social media platforms, non-original videos (ex. unedited clips from movies or TV shows), or videos reuploaded from other creator’s channels will not be eligible.
  • Creators must be 13 or older in the United States, or the age of majority in their country/region.
  • Creators 13–18 years old must have a parent or guardian accept terms and set up an AdSense account for payment when one isn’t already linked to their channel.

That’s just right now though, because I’d expect YouTube will expand its revenue sharing for this new format in the future. You can also use YouTube Shorts as a way to build up your audience on your main channels — whether that be your regular YouTube channel, an Instagram page, or your TikTok account.

Plus, be sure to read up on how to monetize your regular YouTube channel with this complete guide.

How to make the YouTube homepage

 

 

Finally, if you can make a YouTube Shorts video that finds its way to the YouTube homepage it can truly go viral. This is no different from the all-powerful TikTok For You Page (FYP) or the homepage for Instagram Reels.

However, also similar to all these other apps, there is no sure-fire method for reaching the homepage. (Or else, you know, everyone would do it.) Yet, there are still plenty of guides, tricks, and advice you can follow that might help your YouTube Shorts videos find this elusive spotlight. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you follow all the rules and are in good standing with YouTube.
  • Understand what the YouTube algorithm is and how it works.
  • Start your videos off with a bang.
  • Try working with popular songs and audio selections in the YouTube Audio Library.
  • Keep up with the trends, but try to have something unique to add.
  • Be authentic to your audience and yourself.

Truth be told, this process of creating YouTube Shorts and hoping that they make the homepage is pretty similar to how you might work with a regular YouTube video. Hopefully though, if you follow these tips and tricks you’ll be able to make genuine content which can engage and build an audience on the new and exciting YouTube Shorts platform.

Further reading

If you’d like to check out some other helpful resources for creating short-form video content, shooting YouTube videos, growing your YouTube channel, and other filmmaking advice, read up on these additional articles from the Soundstripe blog:

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