8 min read

Nov 15, 2022

Short Form Video: Getting Started with YouTube Shorts

In this chapter of YouTuber University lies everything you need to know about YouTube Shorts from creating your clips to monetizing your content.

Last Updated on December 01, 2022

In the last chapter, we briefly discussed YouTube Shorts—YouTube’s new vertical video in-app experience and how it’s another opportunity for you to grow and monetize on the platform. Now, we’ll go into depth about everything you need to know about creating YouTube Shorts, from recording to making your videos go viral (potentially). The good news is if you’re familiar with popular short-form video platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels, creating YouTube Shorts won’t be difficult, and of course, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Create YouTube Shorts in App

Below is a snapshot of what recording looks like and every recording and editing feature you have at your fingertips within the YouTube app. 

  1. In the YouTube app, click the create button (the middle button of your homepage with the + sign), then select “Create a Short.”
  2. Before recording, determine approximately how long you’d like your Short video to be by clicking the “15” (this notes that the video is currently set to record up to 15 seconds). If you click this button, the recording length should change to 60 seconds, which is the maximum time allotted for YouTube Short videos. Keep in mind that if you start recording with the limit set to 15 seconds but need more time, you can’t go back after recording and will have to start over. Alternatively, you can add clips from your phone to create YouTube Shorts. 
  3. Next, add a sound to your Short that you’d like to use. Although you can add a sound after recording, if the video heavily relies on clips aligning with specific parts of the sound, it’s best to select it beforehand so the footage can flow correctly. 
  4. If you need to flip your camera, select the first icon (inverted arrows) from the top right of your screen.
  5. To adjust the speed, select the “1x” button to speed up or slow down the pace of your clips. 
  6. To add a timer with a countdown, click the alarm clock icon and set your countdown to 3-20 seconds. Remember to set an end mark for the timer by dragging the slider under the countdown. Hit start when you’re ready to record and wait for your cue. 
  7. To add a cool aesthetic to your video, click the venn diagram icon to access the YouTube Shorts filter library. Once you choose a filter, you can use the slider above it to adjust the intensity if needed. 
  8. We are sure you already look fantastic, but if you wish, you can use the “Retouch” feature (the magic wand icon) to touch up your look quickly. 
  9. Want to spice up your Short by selecting an image as your background? If so, use the “Green Screen” feature to apply any still image in your phone library as your backdrop at the click of a button.
  10. Once you have recorded or uploaded at least one clip, a ghost icon will appear on your recording screen. This icon is the Align feature which temporarily overlays your previous clip with the one you’re currently recording. This can help when you’re doing transitions requiring objects or people to appear in the same position. 
  11. We always suggest starting with good lighting, whether from natural light or lighting equipment. However, you can use the Lighting feature (the sun icon) to adjust if needed.
  12. Trimming the fat off of your clips helps to keep your Shorts…well… short. The last icon (a slider with a play button in the middle) allows trimming from the beginning or end of your clips. 

How to Add Final Touches to Your YouTube Shorts

Once you are satisfied with the clips you’ve recorded and uploaded, you can move on to adding the final touches by selecting the white check towards the bottom right side of your screen.

  1. If you want to change your audio, select “Sound” and browse the Library until you find one that tickles your fancy.
  2. To better guide your viewers on what’s appearing in the video, consider adding text by selecting “Aa.” Here, you can add captions and customize the font and color. Once you’ve inputted the text, click “Done” and repeat as much as you need to without overloading the screen with text. To edit text or set the timing in which it’ll appear in the video, click the text bubble and select either “Edit” or “Timing.” The editing window will take you back to the same screen that appeared when you initially created the text. The timing window will display a timeline of your Short and a slider for you to adjust when the text will pop up on-screen. 
  3. If you need to see an overview of your YouTube Short’s elements, select “Timeline.” 
  4. If you’re not 100% sure about the filter that you applied, you can reselect by selecting “Filters.” Peruse through until you find one that feels fitting.
  5. When you’re satisfied with these last-minute tweaks, click “Next.” Now you’re ready to upload. Keep reading to learn how.

Other Ways to Create YouTube Shorts

If editing videos on a mobile device isn’t your idea of a good time, you can create YouTube Shorts on your computer through alternative software. Here are some other options you can try:

  1. Use your favorite video editing software to create a square vertical video that is 60 seconds long or shorter. Crossclip is a great option for repurposing existing content and Oslo is free video editing software perfect for creating new videos with ease.
  2. Save the video to your computer or your phone.
  3. If uploading from a computer choose “Create” in the top right corner of YouTube and upload your video as you normally would.
  4. If uploading from your phone, continue to the next section of our guide.

Uploading Your YouTube Short

Congratulations! You’ve created your Short, and it’s time to upload it. Follow these simple instructions below to get your masterpiece out to the YouTube-verse.

  1. Caption your Short. Make sure to be descriptive but straight to the point. Also, use keywords that relate to the context of your video, as YouTube Shorts are searchable on the platform (as we mentioned before). 
  2. Select the correct visibility for your Short. Like standard YouTube videos, you have the option of making your Shorts public, unlisted or private—choose accordingly. Additionally, you can choose to schedule your Short if you’re not ready for it to go live at that moment.
  3. Select your audience by noting if your Short is made for kids and if there are any age restrictions for the content. 
  4. Lastly, choose how you want YouTube to filter comments. You have the option to allow all comments, hold inappropriate comments for review, hold all comments for review or disable comments entirely—the choice is yours.
  5. Once you’ve filled out all fields, you can select upload to either post your Short in real-time or schedule.

Pro-Tip: Though YouTube Shorts has its in-app area, it also appears in search results. To better optimize your Shorts, add a description as you would a standard YouTube video. At the time of writing this chapter, YouTube only allows you to add a description to Shorts from your YouTube Creator Studio dashboard and your Library on the YouTube app (under “Manage Videos”). To learn more about the best practices for creating a YouTube description box, you can head back to that YouTuber University chapter.

Recap: How to Monetize YouTube Shorts

As mentioned previously, Shorts creators will become eligible for the YouTube Partner Program beginning in early 2023 for accounts with 1,000 or more subscribers and 10M+ Shorts views in the last 90 days. Once YPP is open to Shorts creators, the YouTube Shorts Fund will be shut down.

Until this update is live, YouTube Shorts can not be monetized through ads, nor do they give you access to monetization features available through the YouTube Partner Program. However, the YouTube Shorts Fund makes it simple for eligible creators to receive bonuses for their contributions to this new video viewing experience. Below are the eligibility requirements:

  • Channels must upload at least one eligible original YouTube Short within 180 days.
  • Channels must abide by official YouTube Community Guidelines, copyright rules, and monetization policies.
  • Channels must upload original YouTube Short content. Repurposed videos, non-original content, or videos containing watermarks from other social media platforms will not be eligible.
  • Creators must be 13 years or older in the United States or the age of majority in their location.
  • For creators 13–18 years old, a parent or guardian must accept terms and set up an AdSense account for processing payments.
  • Creators must be in one of the qualifying monetizable regions.

You must claim your Shorts bonus by the 25th of every month, or it will expire. You can expect to receive the funds between the 21st and 26th of the following month after claiming your bonus via the form of payment linked to your AdSense account.

In addition to the YouTube Shorts Fund, you can monetize your Shorts by collaborating with brands for sponsored posts. Don’t be afraid to pitch brands you know and love for sponsored opportunities so long as you can show and tell them why you’re the perfect creator to work with. FYI, you can do this at any size. 

Quick Tips for Getting Views and Engagement on Your YouTube Shorts

Learning how to create YouTube Shorts is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to know how to increase your engagement, get more views and potentially go viral. Below are some of our tips for getting the most in the long run out of your YouTube Shorts.

Repurpose Content from Other Platforms

If you’re already creating vertical video content on platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok, work smarter, not harder, by repurposing that content and using it for Shorts. Our word of advice is to remove any watermarks using a site such as SnapTik or SnapInsta so YouTube won’t hesitate to push your content. 

You can also easily create Shorts from your existing YouTube videos by using Crossclip to arrange the important elements of your video in vertical format. Just paste your YouTube video link into Crossclip, edit and export, then follow the uploading steps mentioned earlier. While repurposing content may not count towards receiving a Shorts bonus, it can help you get a feel for posting and using the platform.

Optimize Your Short for Search

In addition to creating a description box for your YouTube Shorts, you should appropriately title your Shorts so viewers (and YouTube) can better understand the content of your video. Additionally, add captions using keywords that match your content. 

Use the Hashtag #Shorts

When YouTube first launched Shorts, it was advised that creators use the hashtag #shorts to ensure the platform pushes the content to the right people in the right places. While some experts say it’s no longer necessary now, it doesn’t hurt to continue doing so for visibility. 

Make Your Shorts Straight to the Point

If there’s one thing to remember when creating short-form videos, it’s to “trim the fat.” You want to captivate viewers within the first 3 seconds and hold their attention throughout your video. Only keep what’s absolutely necessary for your point to get across and encourage your audience to engage. 

Post Consistently  

Creating short-form content means you don’t have to spend obscene amounts of time editing footage; however, you do have to post consistently for YouTube (or any other platform) to push your content continually. As with creating long-form YouTube videos, posting consistently will help you get more engagement, views, and subscribers over time. Find a posting schedule that works for you.

In the next chapter of YouTuber University, we’ll share some tools and resources you can use to make your journey onto the platform a bit smoother.


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