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Ever scrolled through YouTube, looking for a cooking video, only to be snagged by a 60-second video that’s pure gold?

Just yesterday, I was looking at a YouTube Short of some genius product finds. Before I knew it, I found myself adding some of those products to my digital cart. 

That’s the power of YouTube Shorts–tapping into our now shorter attention spans, delivering instant gratification, and helping a creator make a sale in the process.

With our brains craving quick, engaging content, it’s no wonder Shorts are exploding. You can wrap stories, promotions, and tutorials in a format that caters to our need for speed.

Brands and creators alike are now using YouTube Shorts to hook viewers from the get-go. Why spend hours crafting a long video when you can capture hearts (and wallets) in less than a minute, right? 

Whether you’re a YouTube veteran or a newbie, Shorts can be a fun way to increase engagement, experiment with different content formats, and even make some money. If you’re looking to learn how to create YouTube shorts, then this is your guide. We’ll cover everything, from creation to monetization.

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are user-generated, short-form videos that bank on people’s craving for quick engagement. Google first thought of YouTube’s new feature back in 2019 in response to TikTok’s rising popularity.

However, it wasn’t until September 2020 that YouTube Shorts was released following India’s banning of TikTok.

YouTube Shorts was then released in the USA in March 2021 and globally in July 2021, hitting 30 billion views per day in 2022. Just one year after its release.

YouTube

How to create YouTube Shorts

You can create YouTube shorts in two ways. The first is by creating a short video from scratch on the YouTube app. The second way is by uploading an existing video. The second method is great if you already have lots of content to repurpose from Instagram reels, TikTok, or even long-form YouTube videos.

Creating YouTube Shorts from scratch

Step 1: Download or update to the latest YouTube app

Go to your app store and look for the official YouTube app. If you already have the app on your phone, make sure to update it to the latest version. Then, simply login to your account.

Step 2: Record your first YouTube short

Find the “Create” button or the “+” icon at the bottom center of the app. 

Then, slide the selection to ”Short.” From here, you probably know how it goes. Tap (not hold) the red record button to start recording. You can tap the button again to pause the recording if you want to record multiple clips. 

The app is set to record shorts with a max duration of 15 seconds. You can change the duration to 60 seconds by tapping the “15s” icon at the top right.

Step 3: Explore the YouTube Shorts toolbar

While recording your short, you’ll notice a number of tools above and on the right side of your screen. These tools can help you fine-tune your YouTube short:

  • Add sound – Add music or “sounds” to your video. This is a great way to jump on trends and viral challenges.
  • Flip – This is your go-to when you want to switch between showing off your gorgeous face and giving a sneak peek of what’s happening around you.
  • Timer – Setting up a tripod and running back and forth to start recording? Yeah, no thanks. The timer lets you get into position before the camera starts rolling.
  • Speed – This tool can help you turn a mundane walk into a dramatic slow-motion scene or shorten portions of a cooking tutorial. Your options are 0.3x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x.
  • Effects – This is where the real fun begins. Mirror images, motion trails, and fisheye lenses can help you inject some creativity into your videos.
  • Green screen – The green screen tool can help you mask your actual backdrop and transport you to another location. With a green screen and a creative backdrop, the possibilities are endless.
  • Filters – Warm and cozy or cool and mysterious? Filters let you set the tone for your video. Pro tip: don’t overdo it. A subtle filter can enhance your video, but too much can make it look artificial.
  • Retouch – Bad hair day? No makeup? This tool can enhance your appearance with subtle touch-ups, helping you boost your confidence on camera.
  • Lighting – Good lighting can make or break your video. If you’re shooting in low light, try bumping up the brightness. You can also make your video a little darker to match the vibe of your content.
  • Flash – No need to explain what this tool does. Turn the flash on or off while you’re recording.

Step 4: Edit your YouTube short

When you’re done recording, click the check mark button. This will take you to the editing screen. On this screen, you can trim your videos and add text, voiceovers, and questions. You can also add sound and filters in this section. 

Another feature is the timeline editing. Tap “Timeline” at the bottom of your screen and decide when certain elements appear in your video.

Step 5: Upload your short

Add a catchy caption or title, and decide if it’s for public viewing and if it’s kid-friendly or not. You can also add your location, select related videos, allow remixing, and add promotion labels. Once you’re done, hit “Upload Short.” 

Uploading a YouTube short on mobile

Don’t feel like recording something new? No problem! Tap the “+” sign in the YouTube app and choose “Video” or “Upload a video.” Grab any video from your phone that’s under a minute and tap “Edit into a short. ” Follow step 5 above, and hit publish.

Uploading a YouTube short on desktop

Got a video on your computer you want to turn into a YouTube short? Head on to YouTube or YouTube Studio, click “Create,” and upload your video. Just make sure it’s under a minute and either square or vertical. Then follow step 5.

Technical specifications for YouTube shorts

Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes a YouTube Short… Well, short!

YouTube shorts length

So, just how short is short? Officially, your video can be anywhere from 15 seconds to a whole minute long. Up to 70% of YouTube shorts exceed 15 seconds, but only a few hit the 60-second mark. Try to keep your video somewhere in the middle to keep your viewers’ attention. According to a study by Paddy Galloway, longer YouTube Shorts seem to do better. Ironic, right?

@PaddyG96 (Twitter)

Of course, this will depend on your brand, content, and whether it’s part of a series or not.

YouTube shorts dimensions and aspect ratio

Now, for the shape of things. YouTube will consider vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio as a Short. Think of holding your phone upright—that’s what you’re aiming for. As for dimensions, 1080 x 1920 pixels is the gold standard. That’ll make your video look crisp and clear on all those smartphone screens out there.

But hey, rules are meant to be bent a little, right? You can upload a horizontal or square video, but YouTube will automatically crop it to fit the 9:16 ratio. This will show up as black bars at the top and bottom of your videos. So, if you want to make sure your masterpiece looks exactly as you intended, stick to the vertical format. You can also crop and zoom in on a horizontal video to focus on the essential part.

YouTube shorts best practices for small businesses and creators

Let’s dive into some practices that will make your Shorts more impactful:

  1. Be consistent: Regularly post shorts to show that your content is fresh and engaging. Aim for a posting schedule you can realistically maintain, whether that’s daily, a few times a week, or weekly.
  2. Hook Them Early: The first few seconds of your Short are crucial. Start with a captivating visual, a surprising fact, or an intriguing question to stop scrollers in their tracks.
  3. Write Compelling Captions: Your caption acts as a preview for your Short. Use it to tease the content, create a sense of urgency, or ask a question that plays with your viewers’ curiosity.
  4. Stay True to Your Brand: While having fun with Shorts is important, ensure your content aligns with your brand’s voice, messaging, and values.
  5. Behind the Scenes Magic: Offer glimpses into your creative process, workspace, or team interactions. These authentic moments humanize your brand and create a deeper connection with viewers.
  6. The Art of the Loop: Design your Shorts to loop seamlessly. The beginning and end should flow naturally together, encouraging repeat views.
  7. Clear Calls to Action: Don’t forget to guide viewers on what to do next. Encourage them to like, comment, subscribe, or visit your website.
  8. Experiment and Analyze: Try different formats, styles, and lengths to see what works best. Use YouTube Analytics to track views, watch time, and audience engagement to refine your strategy.

Optimizing your YouTube shorts

Getting your YouTube shorts right can seriously boost your channel. Here’s how to make the most of those 15-60 seconds:

The best time to post YouTube shorts

There’s really no magical hour that works for everyone. So, the best way to find out when to post is by analyzing your audience. You can do this through YouTube’s built-in analytics. However, there are general guidelines.

Most research points to posting on weekends, but we shouldn’t discount weekdays, too. As for the exact time, there are usually “peak times.” Think afternoons and evenings when people are relaxing or commuting. According to SocialPilot, the best time to post on YouTube is 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends. 

SocialPilot

If you have an international audience, factor in different time zones. And if there’s a big event happening, post related shorts to jump in on the hype.

How does the YouTube shorts algorithm work?

The algorithm for YouTube shorts works very differently from the algorithm for long-form videos. Unlike the latter, the Shorts algorithm suggests videos continuously. All you have to do is swipe up to see the next short and let the algorithm decide what to show you.

So, how does the YouTube Shorts algorithm work? Well, it’s pretty simple. If your viewers watch your Shorts all the way through, the algorithm will show your videos to even more people. But if they swipe away quickly, the algorithm will take note of that, too. This is your “Viewed vs. Swiped Away (VVSA)” metric. According to Paddy Galloway, Shorts that had a VVSA of 70 to 90% usually performed better.

@PaddyG96 (Twitter)

The algorithm also pays attention to your viewers’ interests based on what they normally watch. If a viewer is already subscribed to your channel, it’s a strong signal that your Shorts are relevant to them.

And if they engage with certain Shorts by liking, commenting, or sharing, you bet they’ll see similar ones. 

So, to get your Shorts seen, focus on captivating viewers from the start so they watch until the end. You should also research your competition and imitate what’s working. You should also use trending sounds or participate in trendy challenges. Most importantly, consistently post high-quality content that aligns with what your audience enjoys watching. 

YouTube shorts thumbnails and tags

On YouTube Shorts, people will judge your short by its thumbnail. Your thumbnail is the first impression that stops someone from scrolling and clicking on your video. If it’s not eye-catching, you’re missing out on potential views. To select the part of the video you want to be a thumbnail, tap the pencil icon.

But wait, there’s more! Tags tell YouTube what your video is about. When you use the right tags, your Shorts get recommended to people who are actually interested in your content. But how do you know what tags to use? That’s where tag extractors come in. These are online tools that analyze your competitors’ channels and give you the best tags to use.

Engagement and Interaction

Now, let’s talk about what really gets those views on YouTube Shorts. Let’s take a look at two of the most viewed shorts on YouTube:

  1. Real life transforming Cinderella dress! 👗😲 (1.6 billion views!)
  1. If Cleaning Was a Timed Sport. Part 2 (1.5 billion views!)

Notice anything? They both use humor! The first uses a funny, somewhat corny skit, while the second adds a comedic spin to a very relatable situation. So, based on what’s trending, humor is king! Think quick-witted skits, unexpected twists, pranks (the harmless kind, of course), and funny takes on everyday situations. Basically, if it makes you chuckle in under 60 seconds, it’s probably YouTube Shorts material. Animals, being their adorable, quirky selves, also tend to rake in the views. 

So, are informative shorts a no-go? Of course not! Some of the most viral hits are those that teach us something new, spark an ‘aha!’ moment, or solve a problem we didn’t know we had. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing knowledge in a fun, bite-sized way – your audience might just thank you for it!

Quick Tip: Keep an eye on what’s trending on the Shorts tab and try to put your own spin on popular sounds and challenges.

Disabling, Turning off, or blocking YouTube shorts

Now, we know not everyone is a shorts enthusiast. If those bite-sized videos are cluttering up your feed, don’t worry, you’ve got options. While you can’t disable YouTube Shorts completely, you can train your algorithm to show you less of them. Simply tap the “…” button and then “Not Interested” on shorts that don’t appeal to you. Over time, YouTube will catch on.

If you’re not keen on making Shorts yourself, you can choose not to create them. Your longer-form videos won’t be affected.

How to save and download YouTube shorts

So, you found a YouTube shorts video that’s just too good not to keep? Here are a few ways to save the moment:

  • YouTube Premium: If you’re a Premium subscriber, you’re in luck! You can directly download Shorts within the YouTube app for offline viewing. Simply go to your watch history, find the short, and tap the three vertical dots. Then tap “download video.”
  • “Save to Playlist” or “Save to Watch Later”: While not technically downloading, these options let you easily find the shorts you love later on.
  • Third-party apps and websites: There are plenty of apps and websites out there claiming to download YouTube videos. Use these with caution, as they might not always be legit or safe.

If you want to snag a catchy tune from a certain short, you can download the entire video (with the audio) and then use a separate app to extract the audio track. There are also online tools that can extract audio from YouTube shorts. Again, tread carefully.

Important Note: Downloading and using copyrighted material (like music or someone else’s original video) without permission is a big no-no. Stick to downloading your own YouTube Shorts or those explicitly marked as free to use.

Monetizing YouTube shorts

Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to turn your YouTube shorts into cold, hard cash.

Do YouTube Shorts make money?

Of course! The Shorts format might be short on time, it’s not short on money-making potential. YouTube Shorts monetization, however, works differently from regular monetization. First, YouTube pools all the money earned from YouTube ads shown between Shorts videos each month. This money is used to reward creators and pay for music licensing.

Google

The total ad revenue is divided into the Creator Pool based on views and music use. If a Short has no music, all its revenue goes to the Creator Pool. If a Short has music, the revenue is split between the Creator Pool and music licensing costs. 

The money in the Creator Pool is then divided between creators based on their share of total views. If your Shorts get 5% of all views, you get 5% of the money. From this 5%, you get 45% of the money. 

YouTube Shorts monetization example

Sounds complicated? Here’s an example to make it clearer:

Imagine a country that has 200 million total Shorts views. These views generate $200,000. 

  • 30% of the Shorts use one music track.
  • $30,000 goes to the Creator Pool.
  • $30,000 goes to music licensing costs.

The remaining 70% of Shorts don’t use music, so the entire $140,000 from these views goes into the Creator Pool. The total Creator Pool is now $170,000. Your Short gets 2 million views, which is 1% of the total 200 million views. So, you get 1% of the $170,000, which is $1,700. From this, you keep 45% of this amount, so you earn $765.

Google

How much does YouTube Shorts pay? 

There’s no fixed amount you’ll earn per Shorts video. However, according to Business Insider, shorts earn much less money–$0.04 to $0.06 per 1,000 views. In comparison, long-form videos earn $1.61 to $29.30 per 1,000 views.

Mastering YouTube Ads and YouTube Shorts

As we said earlier, you can’t place YouTube ads directly on your shorts. Instead, they appear in between shorts videos. To be able to monetize your YouTube Shorts, you have to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP):

  • Subscribers and Views: You need 1,000 subscribers and 10 million views on your Shorts in the last 90 days. Or, 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on long videos.
  • Original Content: Your content must follow YouTube’s originality rules. It should be your own work, not copied from others. Adding a unique twist to existing content is okay.

To track your Shorts earnings and performance, use the Revenue tab in YouTube Studio Analytics. Then click the “How you make money” card to see a detailed breakdown of earnings across Shorts, video, and live content.

Remember, YouTube Shorts are just one part of the YouTube money-making puzzle. If you’re serious about turning your channel into a cash cow, explore other income streams on YouTube. Check out our guide on how to make money on YouTube for strategies to boost your earnings.

Can you make money from YouTube Shorts? 

Don’t let those numbers sway you from making money from YouTube Shorts! Here are some strategies to make more money from your YouTube Shorts:

  • Brand Deals and Sponsorships: Once you’ve built up a solid following, brands will be eager to work with you. Promote their products or services using your Shorts and get paid for it. 
  • Affiliate Marketing: Got a strong personal brand? Use it! You can add affiliate links and showcase products on your shorts. Then you can earn commissions for every sale made through your links. 
  • Selling Your Own Merchandise: Why not create Shorts to sell your own merch? Your fans will love to support you by buying stuff with your name or logo on it. Think t-shirts, mugs, stickers—the possibilities are endless.

The real key to making money with Shorts is consistency. Regularly create high-quality content that your audience will actually appreciate. As your channel grows, so will your earning potential.

Cross-promotion and growth strategies

Here are some ways you can cross-promote your YouTube Shorts on other social media and grow your channel:

  • Collaborate with Other Short Creators: Partner with other YouTubers to create collaborative Shorts and expose your content to a wider audience.
  • Optimize for Discoverability: Use relevant hashtags, keywords, and trending topics in your Shorts’ titles and descriptions.
  • Share Short Teasers on Social Media: Share snippets or teasers of your Shorts on Instagram Reels, TikTok, and other social media to drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
  • Embed Shorts in Blog Posts or Websites: Embed your Shorts within relevant articles to increase views and engagement.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments and questions on your Shorts to help you with the algorithm.

Buying YouTube metrics and its effects on YouTube Shorts

You have the option to purchase YouTube subscribers, YouTube channels, YouTube views, YouTube likes, YouTube comments, and YouTube watch hours to generate an initial buzz. This can help put your Shorts on the algorithm’s radar and even prompt more natural interactions.

But you have to note that this can be a double-edged sword with long-term consequences. Artificial engagement does not equate to authentic fans and may not be sustainable in the long run.

In fact, it can actually harm your channel. YouTube’s algorithms are designed to prioritize authentic engagement, so if they detect suspicious activity, you might get less visibility or, worse, penalties.

Final thoughts

YouTube shorts have taken YouTube by storm. These bite-sized videos, while short, give you enough legroom to experiment, entertain, and even rake in some cash. 

We’ve covered a ton of ground on YouTube Shorts. We hope that after reading our guide, you have the knowledge and confidence to get out there and start making some magic! Remember, it’s not just about the views (though we all love those). It’s about sharing your creativity and having a bit of fun in the process. Who knows? Your next YouTube short could be the one that goes viral.

FAQs

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are 15-60 second, vertical videos, designed for mobile viewing. They’re a way to share short, engaging content.

Can I make YouTube Shorts on PC?

Yes, you can create YouTube Shorts on your PC using the YouTube Studio video editor. You can also use third-party video editors and upload the finished video as a Short.

Are YouTube Shorts monetized?

Yes, YouTube Shorts can be monetized. You can earn money through ad revenue sharing and other monetization options.

How to make money on YouTube Shorts?

  • Ad revenue sharing: Eligible creators can earn money from ads shown between Shorts in the Shorts Feed.
  • Brand deals and sponsorships: Partner with brands to create sponsored Shorts or integrate products into your content.
  • Affiliate marketing: Promote products in your Shorts and earn a commission on sales.
  • Merchandise sales: Create and sell merchandise related to your Shorts content.

What are the requirements for YouTube Shorts?

  • Length: Up to 60 seconds.
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 (vertical).
  • Music: You can use licensed music from the YouTube Audio Library or original audio.
  • Originality: Avoid re-uploading content from other platforms.

Who is eligible for YouTube Shorts earnings?

Eligibility for Shorts Fund and ad revenue sharing varies by region. Generally, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Shorts Fund: Create original Shorts that follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and copyright rules.

Ad revenue sharing: Have at least 1,000 subscribers, 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days OR 4,000 valid public watch hours on long-form videos in the last 12 months, and comply with all YouTube monetization policies.

The post Why YouTube Shorts Might Be Your Channel’s Best Friend in 2024 appeared first on jeffbullas.com.

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