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How to Make YouTube Shorts: Crafting Engaging Short-form Content

September 22nd 2023
Home > Blog > How to Make YouTube Shorts: Crafting Engaging Short-form Content

In a world dominated by short-form video platforms, YouTube has introduced an exciting feature – YouTube Shorts. These are bite-sized videos meant to captivate viewers in a matter of seconds. Let’s delve into how to make the most of this feature and create engaging content for your audience.

A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Creators

The digital realm is evolving, and short-form video content has become a pivotal part of the landscape. YouTube, a pioneer in the video-sharing realm, hasn’t been left behind. The platform introduced “YouTube Shorts,” its answer to the brief, engaging video content trend.

If you’re eager to dive into the world of YouTube Shorts, you’ve landed in the right place. Here’s a comprehensive guide on creating captivating YouTube Shorts.

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are short, engaging videos that run up to a maximum of 60 seconds. They are YouTube’s response to the rising demand for quick and engaging content, much like TikTok or Instagram’s Reels.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making YouTube Shorts

  1. Conceptualize Your Idea: Before hitting the record button, it’s vital to have a clear concept. Whether it’s a quick tip, a funny skit, or a brief tutorial, ensure your idea is solid and can be effectively communicated in under a minute.
  2. Opt for Vertical Video Format: YouTube Shorts are optimized for mobile viewing. Hence, filming in a vertical 9:16 format is crucial. Whether you’re using a smartphone or a camera, ensure you set it up vertically.
  3. Filming Your Content: Ensure you have good lighting, which can make a significant difference in video quality. Whether you’re filming indoors or outdoors, natural light often provides the best results. Use a tripod for stability, and if you’re speaking, a decent microphone can enhance audio quality.
  4. Editing Your Short: Use video editing software or apps to trim your video, add music, text, and effects. Several mobile apps, like Kinemaster or Adobe Premiere Rush, are great for editing on the go.
  5. Uploading to YouTube:
    • Sign in to the YouTube app on your mobile device.
    • Tap on the ‘+’ icon or the create button.
    • Choose ‘Upload a Short’ and select your video.
    • Fill in the video title (keep it catchy!), description, and any relevant tags to increase discoverability.
    • Before publishing, ensure you select the “Short” video format option.
  6. Engage with Your Audience: Once you’ve uploaded your Short, keep an eye on the comments section. Engaging with viewers can foster a sense of community and encourage more people to view and interact with your content.

Tips for Crafting Engaging YouTube Shorts

  • Begin with a Hook: The first few seconds are crucial. Start with something captivating to ensure viewers stick around.
  • Utilize the Built-in Editor: YouTube offers an in-app editor with a music library and speed controls. Take advantage of these tools to enhance your Shorts.
  • Stay Trend-conscious: Keep an eye on trending topics, challenges, or songs on YouTube and other platforms. Incorporating trends can boost your content’s visibility.
  • Consistency is Key: Like all YouTube content, consistency can help in building an audience. Regularly uploading Shorts can increase your chances of getting featured on the YouTube Shorts shelf, increasing visibility.
  • Cross-promote: Share your Shorts on other social media platforms and encourage viewers to visit your main YouTube channel.

How long are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are videos that are 60 seconds or less. Unlike traditional YouTube videos which can range from a few minutes to several hours, YouTube Shorts are designed to be quick and engaging.

Why should creators use YouTube Shorts?

Short-form video content is rapidly gaining traction on various platforms. People are increasingly looking for quick entertainment or information. With the YouTube app being one of the most downloaded apps worldwide, utilizing YouTube Shorts can provide creators with a massive audience right at their fingertips.

Benefits of creating YouTube Shorts

  1. Increased Visibility: Shorts appear prominently on the YouTube homepage, making them easier for new viewers to discover your content.
  2. Engagement: Short form videos often lead to higher engagement rates as viewers can consume more content in less time.
  3. Growth: Creators can tap into a new audience segment that prefers shorter content.
  4. Versatility: Existing YouTube videos can be repurposed into Shorts, maximizing content utility.

Where do Shorts live on the YouTube app?

When you open the YouTube app, you’ll find Shorts on the YouTube homepage, specifically in the Shorts shelf. This prominent positioning helps increase visibility and encourages users to watch YouTube Shorts as they browse.

How to Monetize YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts is a new feature on YouTube that allows users to create and share short videos up to 60 seconds long. Shorts have quickly become popular, with billions of views being generated every day.

If you’re a creator who wants to make money from your Shorts, there are a few things you need to do.

  1. Join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP is a program that allows eligible creators to earn money from their videos through advertising. To join the YPP, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours on your channel.
  2. Create Shorts that are eligible for monetization. Not all Shorts are eligible for monetization. To be eligible, your Shorts must meet certain criteria, such as being at least 10 seconds long and not violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
  3. Turn on monetization for your Shorts. Once you’ve joined the YPP and your Shorts are eligible for monetization, you need to turn on monetization for your Shorts. To do this, go to your YouTube Studio and click on the “Monetization” tab. Then, select “Shorts” and toggle the switch to “On.”

Once you’ve turned on monetization for your Shorts, you’ll start earning money from ads that run on your videos. The amount of money you earn will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of views your videos get and the type of ads that run on your videos.

Here are a few tips for creating Shorts that are more likely to be monetized:

  • Make sure your Shorts are high-quality and engaging.
  • Target your Shorts to a specific audience.
  • Use relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions.
  • Promote your Shorts on social media and other platforms.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of earning money from your YouTube Shorts.

Additional Tips for Monetizing YouTube Shorts

  • Collaborate with other creators. Collaborating with other creators is a great way to reach a wider audience and get more views for your Shorts. When you collaborate with another creator, you can cross-promote each other’s Shorts and create content that is more likely to be monetized.
  • Run contests and giveaways. Running contests and giveaways is a great way to engage your audience and get them excited about your Shorts. When you run a contest or giveaway, you can ask participants to like, comment, and share your Shorts in order to enter. This can help you to increase your views and earn more money from your Shorts.
  • Promote your Shorts on other platforms. Don’t just rely on YouTube to promote your Shorts. You can also promote your Shorts on other platforms, such as social media and your website. This can help you to reach a wider audience and get more views for your Shorts.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of earning money from your YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Shorts brand examples that work

Big brands have started leveraging YouTube Shorts for marketing:

  1. Nike: A recent YouTube Short showcased a quick tutorial on tying shoelaces using their latest sneakers.
  2. Coca-Cola: Their Shorts highlight fun moments with their beverage, like beach outings and parties.

5 Tips for making great YouTube Shorts

  1. Vertical Format: Always use the vertical video format, as Shorts are designed primarily for mobile viewers.
  2. Strong Start: Begin with a captivating scene to immediately grab attention.
  3. Clear Message: Ensure your message is clear and concise.
  4. Engaging Audio: Utilize catchy music or interesting sound effects.
  5. Call to Action: Encourage viewers to like, share, or subscribe to your YouTube channel.

YouTube Shorts features to increase your reach

  • Use Hashtags: Similar to other short form video platforms, using trending and relevant hashtags can boost discoverability.
  • Engage with Audience: Reply to comments and create Shorts in response to popular user requests or queries.

Leverage popular trends to increase engagement

Staying updated with current trends can significantly boost engagement. Whether it’s a trending song, dance move, or meme, incorporating these into your Shorts can attract a wider audience.

Easy YouTube Shorts video ideas?

  1. Quick tutorials or how-to guides.
  2. Short comedic skits.
  3. Behind-the-scenes glimpses.
  4. Trending challenges or dances.
  5. Quick product reviews or unboxings.

Can a YouTube Short be over a minute?

No, YouTube Shorts are designed to be 60 seconds or less. Any video longer than this will not be categorized as a Short.

How to make YouTube Shorts in the YouTube app?

  1. Open the YouTube mobile app.
  2. Tap the ‘+’ or camera icon.
  3. Select ‘Short’ to record a new video or choose an existing one from your gallery.
  4. Use the in-app editing tools to trim, adjust speed, and add music if desired.
  5. Publish as a “Short.”

How do you upload YouTube Shorts?
You can upload YouTube Shorts directly through the YouTube app by selecting the ‘Short’ option when you tap the ‘+’ or camera icon. Ensure the video is in the appropriate vertical format and under 60 seconds.

Do YouTube Shorts make money?
Direct monetization for YouTube Shorts through the YouTube Partner Program isn’t available as of 2021. However, they can indirectly contribute to channel growth. Viewers might explore your channel further, watching longer, monetizable videos.

How to create YouTube Shorts with Clipchamp?

  1. Open Clipchamp and select the 9:16 aspect ratio.
  2. Import your video clips.
  3. Edit and trim your video to ensure it’s under 60 seconds.
  4. Add music, transitions, or text as desired.
  5. Export the video in the highest quality.
  6. Upload the exported video as a YouTube Short.

Tease your audience? Why is this important?
Teasing your audience with snippets or previews can build anticipation and excitement for your upcoming content. This strategy can lead to higher engagement and can encourage viewers to keep coming back for more.

Should you post YouTube Shorts on your main channel?
This is subjective and depends on your content strategy. Some creators prefer to keep their main channels for longer videos and create separate channels for Shorts. However, uploading Shorts on your main channel can help in driving more traffic and introducing your channel to a wider audience. Evaluate your content goals and audience preferences before deciding.

YouTube Shorts on desktop: Step-by-step

1. Prepare Your Video:
Before you even think of uploading, ensure your video is 60 seconds or less and ideally in the vertical 9:16 format.

2. Go to YouTube:
Open your preferred browser and navigate to the YouTube website.

3. Sign in:
Click on the top-right profile icon and log into your account.

4. Upload:
Click the camera icon with a ‘+’ sign (located near the profile picture) and select ‘Upload Video’.

5. Select your Short:
Choose the video you wish to upload as a Short from your computer.

6. Fill in Details:
Even if it’s a Short, it’s essential to provide an appropriate title, description, and tags. More on this later.

7. Advanced settings:
While Shorts are primarily for mobile, ensure it’s labeled appropriately. Check settings for audience (kids vs. general), and any other necessary configurations.

8. Publish:
Once everything looks good, hit ‘Publish’.

Utilize hashtags to reach a wider audience

Hashtags aren’t just for platforms like Twitter and Instagram. By including relevant and trending hashtags in your YouTube Short’s description, you increase its discoverability. Viewers searching for specific content might come across your Short due to the added hashtags.

How to make a YouTube Short from existing YouTube videos

1. Choose Your Video:
Identify a longer video from your channel you’d like to transform into a Short.

2. Clip the Highlight:
Using video editing software, extract a captivating segment that’s less than 60 seconds long.

3. Optimize Format:
Convert the clip into a 9:16 vertical format. If the clip doesn’t fit, consider zooming in or cropping.

4. Enhance:
Make any necessary enhancements – add text overlays, catchy music, or filters.

5. Upload:
Once ready, upload it as a YouTube Short, following the steps mentioned above.

YouTube Short descriptions and tagging features

Your YouTube Short’s description and tags are crucial for discoverability:

  • Description: This brief text should succinctly convey what your Short is about. Include relevant keywords and hashtags to boost searchability.
  • Tags: Use specific tags related to your Short. This will help YouTube’s algorithm understand your video’s content and show it to relevant audiences.

7 ways to use YouTube Shorts

  1. Tutorials: Even in under a minute, you can teach something useful. Think makeup tricks, tech hacks, or cooking tips.
  2. Behind-the-scenes: Give your viewers a glimpse of what goes on behind your main content—whether it’s bloopers, set preparations, or candid moments.
  3. Product Showcases: If you’re promoting a product, a Short can effectively highlight its key features or benefits.
  4. Engage with Fans: Respond to fan comments or questions in a fun, short video format.
  5. Share Personal Moments: Got something personal to share or a life update? Shorts can be an intimate way to connect with viewers.
  6. Preview Upcoming Content: Create anticipation for your longer videos by teasing snippets as Shorts.
  7. Participate in Trends: Whether it’s a trending song, challenge, or meme, hopping on the trend train can pull in new viewers.

By exploring these techniques and ensuring consistent quality and engagement, you can harness the full potential of YouTube Shorts. It’s a platform feature that’s still young, and early adopters have the advantage of shaping its trajectory. Happy filming!

How To Make YouTube Shorts FAQs

What are the requirements for YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts should be 60 seconds or less, preferably in a vertical 9:16 format. The content should adhere to YouTube’s community guidelines and terms of service.

How can I watch YouTube Shorts?
You can watch YouTube Shorts on the Shorts shelf on the YouTube mobile app’s homepage. Alternatively, you can also find them on some channel pages or through YouTube search.

Use eye-catching visuals and music to enhance your video’s impact. Is this a recommendation?
Yes, using vibrant visuals and catchy music can make your YouTube Short more engaging and shareable. This can lead to higher visibility and more interactions with viewers.


Crafting captivating short-form content for YouTube Shorts requires more than just a camera and an idea. As we’ve journeyed through the intricacies of YouTube Shorts, it’s evident that understanding your audience, leveraging the platform’s unique features, and consistently innovating are pivotal.

In an era dominated by quick content consumption, the power of YouTube Shorts cannot be underestimated. The platform offers creators a unique blend of immediacy and reach, challenging them to distill their messages into potent, bite-sized youtube video clips.

But as with any creative endeavor, the key lies in authenticity and passion. Regardless of trends and algorithms, genuine, compelling storytelling will always find an audience.

So, as you embark on your YouTube Shorts adventure, remember to stay true to your voice, learn from each post, and most importantly, enjoy the exhilarating process of captivating audiences, one short at a time.

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