YouTube Shorts: A Brief Guide for Beginners

YouTube Shorts is a feature through which the number one video platform wants to rival the likes of TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook stories and Instagram Reels.

YouTube rolled out Shorts globally in July 2021. To date, it has garnered over 5 trillion views, and is reported to receive over 15 billion views daily.

Also, there is a $100 million fund set up to reward the creators of original Shorts to support the community and help it grow.

In this post, we are going to give you a step-by-step breakdown of how to create YouTube Shorts along with the best practices you need to know, and examples of the best Shorts out there.

If that sounds interesting to you, keep reading!


How to create YouTube Shorts


It’s fairly easy to create a YouTube Short even if it’s your first time. Follow these simple steps and see the magic happen!


Getting started

Download and install the YouTube app and sign up.

As you navigate through the app, you will find a ‘create’ button at the bottom in the shape of a plus sign.

A pop-up menu will show different options including ‘Create a Short’ that has a camera icon next to it.

Since it will be your first time creating a Short, you will have to give permission to the app to use your camera and microphone.


Shorts screenshot B


Additionally, you can upload a video from your PC as well. You have to sign in to YouTube Studio.

Click the ‘Create’ button on the top right corner, and upload the video of up to 60 seconds in a vertical format.


Shorts screenshot C


Recording process

As you grant access, you will be redirected to Shorts recording window. You will find multiple icons on the page.

YouTube Shorts recording length starts at 15 seconds and can be done up to 60 seconds. You can tap the ‘15’ icon above record button to adjust it.

Tap the ‘speed’ button to either increase the pace or slow it down.

Tap the ‘timer’ button to give yourself extra few seconds before it starts recording without you having to press record.

Tap the ‘filter’ button to choose from different effects and add to your video.

Once you have added everything, it’s time to hit the ‘record’ button.


Get it over the finish line

After you are done recording, you can hit the checkmark at the bottom right to preview your video.

You can also hit the ‘undo’ button to delete segments of the video. Click the ‘redo’ button can bring it back if you have a change of heart.

As you make up your mind, you can add music, text and filters to your video. Click ‘next’ to add title and to select your audience.

Also add #Shorts and click ‘upload’ to post it on your channel.


Shorts screenshot D


Best practices for creating YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts is a creative way to grow your channel, and connect with your audience. Of course actually building an audience is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.

Here are some techniques that might help you in your #Shorts journey.

Also read: 10 Epic YouTube Channel Trailers to Captivate an Audience


Shoot the videos vertically

One of the most important aspects of YouTube Shorts is shooting your videos vertically. You have the option to do it in square format, but the final output won’t look as good as a portrait video.


Recommended YouTube Shorts resolution

The recommended YouTube Shorts resolution is 9:16 in vertical format. In terms of pixels, 1080×1920 is the most appropriate resolution.

Set up the length of the video

Not every video needs to 60 seconds long. You have to determine if the message in your video can be covered in 15-20 seconds.

Popular YouTube Channel Block Facts posts 27 seconds videos that rack up millions of views daily.


Add thumbnails that drive clicks

Thumbnails are equally important for Shorts just as for regular videos on YouTube. So, make sure to put in effort and time to create a clickable thumbnail.

Shorts videos also end up in the regular recommendation pages of YouTube web page. An attractive thumbnail will bring in more audience.


Produce engaging content regularly

Identify your niche and audience. You don’t have to put out random content because chances are that it won’t sit right with the viewers.

Since we’re dealing with short-form content, you need to be absolutely sure of what you are targeting. It needs to be precise and value packed.

Also, make sure to churn out videos regularly to keep your audience hooked. Consistency keeps brands top of mind.

Please read: 50 YouTube Video Ideas for Your Business [with Examples]


Boost and promote

If you’re going to do YouTube Shorts, it doesn’t simply mean that you have to post videos every now and then. You have to promote them as well.

Use YouTube Stories and cross promote on other social media to get people’s attention.

You can also use the pinned comments section on YouTube to add links of your other videos and playlists.


Examples of YouTube Shorts done right

Now let’s look at some cool YouTube Shorts. These examples might inspire you to create great content of your own.


Home Alone in a Rush – Daniel LaBelle

Daniel LaBelle gained popularity quickly through his short-form content—credit to his comedy, athleticism, and creativity. Most of his videos clock out under a minute, unless it’s a compilation.

In this video, he’s used the plot of a famous children’s movie and added his own spin on it. It’s funny, creative, and nostalgic. All done under one minute.



Impossible Balance – Xavier Mortimer

It isn’t necessary to use all of 60 seconds to get your message across. At times, a video under 20 seconds is all you need.

Like this one. It sells the audience on an animation gimmick with a bit of fun and creativity. And that explains how it gained over 500 million views.



10 Cool Room Ideas – Mavie Noelle

You could also try creating short how-to videos by haring cool hacks and information regarding lifestyle, food, science, technology, games or sports.

In this video, the creator has shown off cool stuff that you can add in your room to uplift ambiance and aesthetics.



How much does this vending machine make – Investment Joy

You can also create content around uncharted territories or things you wonder about but have never seen content related to it.

In this video, for example, the creator uses fast edits to show off how much a normal vending machine makes in a day.



Turning Statues Into Food!! (Delicious) – Brandon B

Are you a VFX and CGI expert? Then similar to how this creator has done, you can show off your skills in a fun way.



Final thoughts

YouTube has been around since 2005 and despite what many people predicted, the platform is still going strong.

As new features, ideas and technologies arrive, you should also make the most of it.

YouTube Shorts is a great way to quickly connect with your audience as you no longer need to put in hours in filming, which is often the case when it comes to long-form content.

All you need to do is, think of an idea, be candid, take out your smartphone, hit record, and post publish.

We hope this post helps you on your YouTube Shorts journey.

Posted by Adil Ashraf

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