How can I be a YouTube partner?

“I want to get paid for videos I upload to YouTube. I think this means I need a YouTube partner account, but I don’t understand how I can become a YouTube partner.”

YouTube outlines some minimum requirements for becoming a YouTube partner, which I’ll paraphrase here:

You need to create original videos of less than 10 minutes in length. You need to either own these videos or have express permission to use the videos and monetize all audio and video content included in those videos. You also need to update your video channel regularly, with videos that get viewed thousands of times each. I’ll break down what this means in a bit more detail.

Create original videos

This first criteria means the videos you upload need to be your own creative work. They could be instructional videos. They could be humorous videos. They can be works of fiction or news commentary videos. The key thing to remember here is you need to make the videos yourself.

You own or have express permission to use and monetize all audio and video content

The videos you create can’t include other people’s copyrighted material. You can’t upload a segment from The Daily Show to your account and expect YouTube to let you run ads on it. You also can’t use a song from your favorite band in your videos. If you interview people or have them participate in your project, it’s also a good idea to have them sign a model release form to avoid getting into trouble later. The exception to this is that you have proof in writing that you have permission to use someone else’s work.

You regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users

To become a YouTube partner, you need to establish a pattern of success. To get started you will need to upload a few videos before applying for partner status. The videos need to be viewed by other YouTube members, so that you establish that people care about watching what you create. To help make your case, be sure to embed these videos on your blog, share them on Facebook, and generally help make the people you interact with online aware of your videos. By doing some promotional leg work, you improve your chances of becoming a partner.

How many videos does it take to become a partner? YouTube won’t say for sure, but if you can get 6-10 videos, each with 5-10k video views, there’s a good chance they will accept you to the partner program. Once you’re ready to apply, follow the directions on the YouTube partner page.