Back when I was a kid, there was this epic movie called Wayne’s World. The movie focused on these guys who had a television station in their basement. Like most filmmakers, I thought the idea of having my own television station was amazing! But at that time, VHS was all the rage, which says a little about the technological shortcomings of the time.
But thanks to YouTube, you can now create your own television station. And as a result, you can make money with your short films. How? How about you take your short and put it on YouTube!
How to make money on YouTube
Getting started is easier than you think. Here are five tips to outline the process.
1. Join YouTube: As a filmmaker, I assume you already have a YouTube account. If you do not, what the heck are you waiting for? All filmmakers need a YouTube account. You can sign up for one by going here.
2. Sign Up For YouTube Partner Program: Once you have your YouTube profile, your next step is to apply for the YouTube partner program. With the program, your goal is to build an audience and make money. Membership to this service is free.
3. Post Videos To Your Filmmaking Website: I am always amazed by filmmakers who do not have a website. To get a website, you need two things – a domain name and hosting. To use a real estate analogy, your hosting is your plot of land and your domain name is your address. When ready, start posting your YouTube videos right on your website.
4. Get An Adsense Accout: In addition to the the partner program, your next goal is to sign up for a Google Adsense. Adsense allows you to place advertisements on your website. When someone clicks these ads, you get paid.
5. Drive Traffic To Your Website: In the Indie Producer’s Guide to Distribution, I talk a lot about the many ways to drive traffic to your site. In short, there are both online and offline tactics. Some are free. Some are not. My suggestion is to employ as many free tactics as you can. Examples of this would be writing relative and useful blog articles and including a title card at the end of each video with a back link to your website.
While there are no guarantees in the movie business, one thing is for sure. If your short movies are collecting dust in your closet, they will never make money. Upload those suckas to YouTube and then make more and more movies!