YouTube Shorts has taken the creator world by storm, racking up an astonishing 5 trillion views since its launch in 2020. Just like TikTok, the neverending feed of bitesize content on YouTube Shorts is eating up everyone’s free time. And with its increasing popularity, knowing how to upload YouTube Shorts can make a huge difference to your channel.
Does that mean it’s time to forget about 5 or 10 minute uploads? Not necessarily, but short videos have helped to launch a new generation of creators into the YouTube stratosphere too, with the likes of Jake Fellman and Kallmekris seeing astronomical growth in a short space of time.
With 50 billion views on YouTube Shorts every single day, it looks like it’s only going to get bigger and better. So embrace the trend and learn everything from how to make YouTube Shorts, to uploading and monetizing your short-form clips.
- What are YouTube Shorts?
- How long are YouTube Shorts?
- Can you monetize YouTube Shorts?
- What makes YouTube Shorts different?
- Why you should be making YouTube Shorts
- How to upload YouTube Shorts on mobile
- How to upload YouTube Shorts on desktop
- How to make YouTube Shorts
- Use YouTube Shorts to grow your channel
- YouTube Shorts: Your FAQs answered
- Take your YouTube channel to the next level
What are YouTube Shorts?
As the name suggests, Shorts is YouTube’s platform for short form videos. You can head to either the Shorts Shelf or the Shorts Tab on YouTube to discover a seemingly limitless stream of vertical videos, purposefully designed to keep viewers scrolling from video to video.
YouTube Shorts was originally introduced to encourage content creation on the go by allowing YouTubers to capture, edit and share videos straight from their phone. YouTube has since made Shorts available on desktop as well, so you can upload polished edits alongside more candid clips.
One thing to remember, YouTube Shorts is all about grabbing people’s attention quickly before they move onto the next video, so fast hooks and entertaining content are more important than ever before. Remember, you have less time to convince viewers to keep watching, so get straight to the point!
How long are YouTube Shorts?
Videos on YouTube Shorts can be anywhere up to 60 seconds. The default length is 15 seconds but you can upload clips even shorter than that. The whole point is that YouTube Shorts allows creators to share snappy videos!
Can you monetize YouTube Shorts?
Creators can choose to earn money from the ads shown alongside their Shorts, provided they’re part of the YouTube Partner Program and have selected Shorts monetization through the Earn tab in YouTube Studio.
How much you earn depends on how many views your Shorts content gets each month. To put it simply, you’ll receive a portion of YouTube's ad revenue from Shorts. This is divided among all the creators who have turned on monetization along with YouTube’s music partners too.
You can find out exactly how YouTube Shorts monetization works, but the main thing to remember is that the more views you rack up, the more you’re going to earn!
How are YouTube Shorts different?
Shorts is YouTube’s answer to the growing demand for super short content you can easily watch on your phone. It works in a similar way to TikTok or Instagram Reels, giving people an endless stream of snackable videos to swipe through.
They show up in either the Shorts Shelf or the Shorts Tab on YouTube and offer a different viewing experience to the typical video on demand (VOD) content, with a bigger emphasis on getting viewers to engage with the video or subscribe to your channel.
Given Shorts are shorter (duh!), there’s less time to grab your audience’s attention - so cut to the chase! You want to hook people in the first few seconds and give them a compelling reason to watch the whole clip.
Compared to normal YouTube videos where your goal is to keep people’s attention for entire videos - like Good Good with their 3-hour golf marathons - the approach to YouTube Shorts is completely different. It’s all about producing short, entertaining content that gets big views and tons of likes.
Why should you make YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts have opened up new ways to get creative, and it couldn’t be easier to get started. But if you’re still not sold, here’s some reasons why giving YouTube Shorts a go might just help your channel explode.
Reach a new audience: YouTube Shorts have a dedicated section on the YouTube app's homepage, making it easier for people to discover your content. By creating Shorts, you can open up a wider audience and attract new subscribers to your channel.
Boost your engagement: More people are going to watch short-form clips all the way through. And if they like what they see, they’re more likely to hit the like button or drop a comment too. Why wouldn’t you want to tap into the higher engagement on YouTube Shorts!
Give content the chance to trend: YouTube rewards clips that quickly rack up views, likes, and comments with a spot on the dedicated Shorts tab. If your video bags a place on there, it’ll expose your content to an even larger audience.
Showcase your creativity: Making YouTube Shorts is completely different to putting together a long-form video with loads of options for creating content on the go. Experiment with different styles, effects, and storytelling techniques, all made possible through an app on your phone.
How to upload YouTube Shorts
So, you’re ready to take the plunge! Getting started couldn’t be simpler, whether you’re uploading from your desktop or straight from your phone. Follow our step-by-step guides below to take that first step on your YouTube Shorts journey.
📱 YouTube Shorts on mobile: Step-by-step
- Sign in to your account through the YouTube app
- Click the + button and select Create a Short
- For a video longer than 15 seconds, click the 15s button in the top right to toggle to 60s
- Record video by either holding the record button, or tapping it to start recording and again to stop
- Tap the tick button to preview and enhance your video
- Once you’re happy with your edits, tap Next to add a title and choose the settings for your Short
- Tap Select audience to choose whether the video is made for kids or not
- Now you can go ahead and tap Upload Short to share your video!
💻 YouTube Shorts on desktop: Step-by-step
- Sign in to the YouTube Studio
- Click the Create button in the top right and select Upload videos
- Select a video file with either a vertical or square aspect ratio that is up to 60 seconds in length
- Fill out the details and publish as you would a regular video
Get the most out of YouTube Shorts
Short form creators are using Shorts to fast track their subscriber count into the millions - British magician Dan Rhodes has gone from just 18k subscribers to more than 16 million in just over a year! Clearly YouTube Shorts is a great way to give your channel a shot in the arm.
We’ve been studying the secrets to Shorts superstardom and have picked out the top tactics you can copy to produce viral videos and get your channel noticed!
👋 Get straight to the point: You want to grab people’s attention right away and stop them scrolling past your content, so make sure your videos pack a punch in the opening seconds if you want viewers to watch all the way through.
🤳 Upload 9:16 vertical videos: You can post square videos to YouTube Shorts but they’ll appear with ugly black bars above and below your content. Make the most of people watching Shorts on their phone by sticking with vertical videos!
📌 Add pinned comments: Video descriptions are hidden in the options menu in YouTube Shorts (the three dots in the bottom right corner!) - give your audience more to discover by adding a link to your channel as a pinned comment.
🤩 Consider a thumbnail: Your YouTube Shorts will still appear with the rest of your videos, so keep your channel looking clean and entice your viewers to watch by adding a simple, enticing thumbnail.
🔁 Loop your video: One clever way to keep viewers watching is to take advantage of the fact that YouTube Shorts videos automatically loop. You can find inventive ways of making your videos go back to the beginning from the end to keep your audience hooked!
🔗 Link to more of your content: In September 2023 YouTube made it possible to link your Shorts directly to other videos, including other Shorts or even a live stream. Once you’ve uploaded a Short, open YouTube Studio on desktop and head to the Details section of your video. Click the Edit icon in Related Video to select content from your channel.
🎬 Raw edits or polished productions? The beauty of YouTube Shorts is that creators can go down either route! There’s a place for quickly filmed hot takes, highly polished productions, and everything in between.
🎧 Choose your music wisely! With its shorter format, it's more important than ever to find the perfect clip of a song to make your video pop. Don’t be shy about heading straight for a big chorus or an epic drop, and you can always check out Uppbeat's awesome catalog of copyright-free bangers too.
Use YouTube Shorts to grow your channel
With over 50 billion daily views on YouTube Shorts alone, you may just have found the perfect way to introduce your videos to a new, bigger audience and help your channel grow.
Shorts is like a cheat code for improving your channel’s performance on YouTube. It’s super effective at getting more views, likes and subscribers for your channel. Remember, good engagement keeps the YouTube algorithm very happy!
You can get closer to your audience than ever before and even involve them in the creative process. Food blogger Lisa Nguyen asks her fans for recommendations on where she could eat next, giving her loads of great suggestions for new videos.
And don’t forget to use Shorts as an opportunity to promote your existing videos too! You can share the snappiest snippets from your regular videos to reach new audiences and direct them back to your channel.
YouTube Shorts: Your FAQs answered!
How can I watch YouTube Shorts?
Watch YouTube Shorts by tapping the Shorts icon on the homepage of the YouTube app. Or if you want to watch Shorts on desktop, scroll down the homepage until you see the Shorts shelf. Once you’re in, you can swipe from video to video!
How do I make a YouTube Short?
You can record and edit a Short directly from your phone in the app. Simply tap on the + sign, choose Create a Short, and follow the steps. But, if you want to post a Short on desktop, you’ll need to record and edit your clip before you upload.
How do you upload YouTube Shorts?
Uploading a YouTube Short is easy. Just open the YouTube app, tap on the + sign, choose 'Create a Short', and follow the instructions provided. This allows you to upload a Short directly from your mobile device.
Can anyone upload a YouTube Short?
Yes, as long as you have a YouTube account. You don't need to have a certain number of subscribers or views to be able to create Shorts.
Can a YouTube Short be over a minute?
No, YouTube Shorts must be 60 seconds or less. Anything you post that’s over a minute will be uploaded as a regular YouTube video instead.
What is the shortest a YouTube Short can be?
YouTube hasn’t shared an official minimum length, but you can upload a Short that’s just a couple of seconds long. But seeing as there isn’t much you can do in this time, we’d suggest a minimum of five seconds.
Do YouTube Shorts make money?
Creators can choose to earn money from the ads shown alongside their Shorts, as long as they’re in the YouTube Partner Program. If you want to earn from your Shorts, discover how YouTube Shorts monetization works.
What are the requirements for YouTube Shorts?
Your video needs to be 60 seconds or less, shot in vertical format. You should also consider including #Shorts in the title or description.
How many followers do you need for YouTube Shorts?
There is no minimum number of followers that you need to start uploading YouTube Shorts.
Can you only upload a YouTube short from your phone?
No, you can also upload YouTube Shorts from your computer, but they must be in the vertical format and under 60 seconds to be considered Shorts.
Should you post YouTube Shorts on your main channel?
Some creators do, but others choose not to. If your Shorts align with your channel's theme, then posting on your main channel can be beneficial. If not, you might want to create a separate channel for your Shorts.
Do you need to include #Shorts in the title or description?
YouTube recommends that you do include #Shorts in either the title or description. But there are plenty of Shorts that don’t use #Shorts, so whether it makes a difference is up for debate!
Embrace YouTube Shorts and watch your channel grow!
YouTube Shorts has exploded in popularity, offering you the chance to claim a slice of the 50 billion daily views. Now that you know how Shorts work, and how easy it is to get started, there’s nothing stopping you from embracing short-form content.
It’s as simple as opening up the YouTube app on your phone, creating bite-size snippets of snackable content, and watching the views rack up. And by posting Shorts, you’ll open up your YouTube channel to completely new audiences and boost your subscriber count at the same time.
So what are you waiting for? Shorts can power your growth on YouTube, no matter if you decide to post cut-downs of your long-form content or create totally new videos. And if you’re looking for other ways to take your channel to the next level you can check out our guides on how to get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and how to get more views too.