With short-form video content gaining popularity on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, YouTube decided to introduce YouTube Shorts in 2020. Shorts enable creators to engage with a wider audience with 60-second-long videos.

Users watch one billion hours of video content every day, so there’s a good reason why creators would leverage this, through Shorts, to gain exposure and attract viewers from around the globe. After all, short-form videos can capture and maintain viewers' attention with little effort. 

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

YouTube Shorts offers creators a platform to deliver entertaining and informative content that connects with audiences in seconds. Because it’s easy to make shorts on the platform, YouTube is now the most popular video-sharing platform, with over 2.7 billion active monthly users as of 2024, compared to TikTok's 1 Billion active monthly users.

In this guide, I'm going to demonstrate step-by-step how you can create YouTube Shorts, track their performance, and monetize them.

TL;DR: A Quick Overview of How to Create YouTube Shorts

  1. Directly record a YouTube Shorts video
    • Open the YouTube app on your mobile device.
    • Tap the “+” icon at the bottom center of the screen to open the camera.
    • Record your Shorts video clip.
    • Use the in-app creation tool to refine your Shorts video.
    • Add a title, description, and hashtags, and publish your Shorts video on YouTube. 
  2. Use in-app editing tools to create YouTube Shorts
    • Use available editing tools to trim or cut an existing YouTube video to the desired length.
  3. Upload pre-made videos as YouTube Shorts.
    • Short videos on your phone’s camera or other camera equipment in the 9:16 aspect ratio.
    • Combine multiple clips using video editing software like invideo or WeVideo.
    • Upload Shorts to publish once you’re satisfied with your edited footage.

We’ll discuss these in detail in the sections below. So, keep reading!

Two Major Types of YouTube Shorts You Can Create for Your Channel

There are two major types of YouTube Shorts:

Face YouTube Shorts: Where you show your real face in the Shorts videos

Faceless YouTube Shorts: Where you use graphics, images, or animated clips with or without a voiceover but don’t show your face

The type of Shorts you choose to create depends on your target audience’s preferences, content niche, brand identity, and personal preferences. Let's briefly look at the pros and cons of creating face and faceless YouTube Shorts for your channel.

Pros of Face and Faceless YouTube Shorts

Face YouTube Shorts
  • Featuring a face in the video creates a human connection, making it easier for viewers to relate to your content.
  • Seeing a face associated with your brand or influencer helps reinforce your identity and establish a personal connection with your audience.
  • Faces allow you to show your personality and expressions, which are engaging and memorable for viewers.
  • Seeing a person's face helps establish credibility and authority, especially in thought leadership and opinion sharing.
Faceless YouTube Shorts
  • Faceless Shorts appeals to a wider audience since it focuses solely on the content itself rather than the individual presenting it.
  • Faceless content allows you to maintain anonymity, which is beneficial if you prefer to keep your personal identity separate from your online brand.
  • Faceless content is more versatile in niches where visuals are not centered around personal expression.
  • Faceless content is easier to create. You can have your team of designers and editors work on it without your major intervention.
  • It is also great for camera-shy people.

Cons of Face and Faceless YouTube Shorts

Face YouTube Shorts
  • Creators may be hesitant to show their faces on public platforms due to privacy concerns.
  • Receiving criticism and negative comments while showing your face may be discouraging.
  • Face-centric content sometimes emphasizes appearance, overshadowing the message or content.
  • Face-centric content may be less impactful in certain niches where visuals are not that relevant or where anonymity is preferred.
Faceless YouTube Shorts
  • Without a face to connect with, viewers may find it harder to form a personal connection with the channel.
  • The absence of a face makes it more challenging for a brand or influencer to establish a recognizable identity and differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Faceless content may struggle to convey emotions or personality as effectively as do videos featuring faces.
  • Building trust and credibility can be more challenging without a face to associate with the content, especially in industries where personal connections are valued.

Getting Started with Creating YouTube Shorts

Before creating YouTube Shorts, you must understand YouTube's guidelines and policies to ensure compliance. This includes familiarizing yourself with YouTube's terms of service and copyright policies related to Shorts content.

You also need to clearly understand your target audience and the type of content that resonates with them.

YouTube Rules and Limitations

YouTube Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long. This may be one video or a combination of 15-second video clips.

Shorts must be in a vertical orientation with a 9:16 aspect ratio. YouTube recommends a resolution of 1920 px X 1080 px.

You are allowed to use audio from the YouTube library or other videos for up to 60 seconds.

Timeline for Creating YouTube Shorts 

The time you take to create a YouTube short can vary depending on factors like the complexity of the content, the equipment you’re using and also your level of experience. 

For instance, a simple Short such as a dance trend can take 15- 30 minutes while a highly complex Short with animation can take 1-3 hours.

Below are the creative steps to create a Short from ideation to publishing:

  1. Content strategy: Brainstorm ideas for your Shorts content based on your niche, audience preferences, and trending topics. Conduct research to identify popular themes within your niche.
  2. Shooting: Once you've outlined your content strategy, proceed to shoot your Shorts. Depending on the type of content, you may film with a smartphone or a camera. Remember to maintain the vertical orientation.
  3. Editing: After filming, edit your footage to create a compelling Short. You can use video editing software or mobile editing apps to add effects, text overlays, music, or any other enhancements to make your Short stand out.
  4. Publication: Once you're satisfied with the final edit, upload your Shorts to YouTube. Add a relevant title, description, and hashtags to optimize your video for wider discoverability on the platform.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating YouTube Shorts

You can create YouTube Shorts using various methods and tools available within the YouTube app, as well as by using external editing software or apps.

Here's a step-by-step guide to creating YouTube Shorts using various methods.

How to Create YouTube Shorts Using the YouTube Shorts Camera 

 There are two ways of creating YouTube Shorts using the YouTube Shorts camera:

  1. Direct recording
  2. Using in-app editing tools

Create Shorts via Direct Recording 

  1. Open the YouTube app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the “+” icon at the bottom center of the screen to open the camera.
  3. Start recording your Short directly by pressing and holding the record button.
  4. Continue recording until you've captured the desired footage.
  5. Tap the checkmark icon to stop recording.
  6. Use the in-app creation tools to refine your Short as needed.
  7. Add a title, description, and hashtags, and publish your Short.

Create Shorts Using In-App Editing Tools

  1. After recording your Short using the method mentioned above, tap the edit icon (pencil icon) on the video thumbnail in the YouTube app.
  2. Use the in-app editing tools to trim or cut your video, add music, text overlays, filters, or adjust the playback speed.
  3. Preview your changes and make further adjustments if necessary.
  4. Once you're satisfied with the edits, add a title, description, and hashtags then proceed to publish your Short.

How to Create YouTube Shorts by Uploading Pre-Made Videos

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the “+” icon at the bottom center of the screen to open the camera.
  3. Tap the gallery icon on the bottom left.
  4. Choose the existing, pre-made video from your device's gallery that you want to upload as a Short.
  5. Use the editing tools available to trim or cut the video to the desired length.
  6. Apply any additional edits, such as adding music, text overlays, or filters.
  7. Upload Short to publish.
  8. Add a title, description, and hashtags then publish your Short.

How to Create YouTube Shorts by Combining Multiple Clips 

  1. Use a video editing software or app to create and merge multiple short clips that you want to combine into a Short.
  2. Arrange the clips in the desired sequence and make any necessary edits.
  3. Export the combined video from the editing software or app to your device's gallery.
  4. Follow the steps mentioned above to upload the video and publish it as a Short.

YouTube Shorts Video Ideas You Can Try

Creating engaging content for YouTube Shorts is a fun and creative process. You need to experiment with different types of content and formats to discover what resonates best with your audience.

Here are some ideas to inspire your Shorts content:

1. Tutorials

Create short instructional videos demonstrating how to do something quickly and efficiently. For example:

  • DIY projects 
  • Cooking recipes 
  • Makeup tutorials
  • Craft ideas

You can also offer quick tips or life hacks related to your niche or expertise in under 60 seconds.

Here’s an example of a quick makeup tutorial:

2. Challenges

Participate in popular challenges or start your unique challenge for viewers to try. For example, you can show your attempts at viral dance challenges or fitness challenges.

Encourage audience engagement by inviting viewers to join in and share their challenge videos using a hashtag.

3. Quick Tips and Advice

Share tips or advice on topics relevant to your target audience.

For instance, you can offer quick motivational messages, productivity hacks, or self-improvement tips. You can also share practical strategies to help viewers solve a problem or achieve a goal.

4. Trending Topics  

Stay up-to-date with trending topics, memes, or challenges and create Shorts that capitalize on current trends.

You can react or provide commentary on viral videos or memes and share your thoughts and opinions about interesting news stories or events in your niche.

5. Product Reviews

Unboxing or reviewing your favorite products, gadgets, books, or apps in quick, snappy videos is a good way to drive engagement through YouTube Shorts.

You can highlight the features, benefits, and uses of a product in under 60 seconds and offer recommendations or comparisons between different products to help viewers make informed decisions.

6. Storytelling  

Tell engaging stories that captivate viewers' attention throughout the video. You can share personal experiences or memories in a short, impactful format.

Experiment with different storytelling techniques, such as animation, stop motion, or visual storytelling.

7. Comedy 

Funny videos are popular on Shorts and are a good way to increase viewership. Create short comedy sketches, skits, or parodies that entertain and make viewers laugh.

You can also perform quick magic tricks or stunts that leave viewers amazed and entertained.

8. Behind-the-Scenes Videos

Sharing behind the scenes is a creative way of making use of edited-out long-form content.

Take viewers behind the scenes of your creative process, like filming, editing, or brainstorming new ideas. You can provide sneak peeks or previews of upcoming projects and products and share bloopers.

Stay creative and consistent, and upload relatable content that resonates with your audience to grow your visibility on YouTube.

How to Measure the Success of Your YouTube Shorts

YouTube provides analytics for Shorts, allowing you to track the performance of your short-form video content.

Some key metrics to watch include:

  • the total number of views your Shorts received
  • the total amount of time viewers spent watching your Shorts
  • metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and subscriber growth related to your Shorts
  • the percentage of viewers who watch your Shorts from start to finish, indicating how engaging your content is
  • where viewers are discovering your Shorts, whether it's through YouTube's app or external sources
  • demographics like the age, gender, location, and interests of your Shorts' audience

Tips to Refine Your YouTube Shorts Strategy for Success

Here are some tips to refine your content strategy and improve future YouTube Shorts using the data tracked in the above section:

  • Analyze which Shorts are performing best in terms of views, watch time, and engagement, and identify common themes or topics that resonate with your audience.
  • Use audience retention metrics to understand at what point viewers are dropping off in your Shorts. Adjust your content strategy accordingly to keep viewers engaged throughout the video.
  • Test out different content formats, styles, and lengths to see what performs best with your audience. Use analytics to measure the impact of these experiments and iterate on your content strategy.
  • Pay attention to the click-through rate (CTR) of your Shorts by analyzing the performance of titles, thumbnails, and descriptions. Experiment with different combinations to attract more viewers to your content.
  • Monitor comments, likes, and shares on your Shorts to gauge audience feedback and sentiment. Respond to comments to build a loyal audience.
  • Continuously monitor analytics data and make adjustments to your content strategy based on insights gained.

The Best Ways to Monetize Your YouTube Shorts

There are various monetization options available for YouTube Shorts creators. Each option offers you the opportunity to generate revenue from your creativity in making short-form video content while growing your channels.

Here are a few monetization options for YouTube Shorts:

  • YouTube Partner Program (YPP): You can monetize Shorts through ads displayed before, during, or after your videos. To be eligible for the YPP you must have 3000 watch hours in the past year and at least 500 subscribers.
  • YouTube Shorts ad revenue sharing program: YouTube has a fund to reward creators for their engaging short-form videos. Creators can earn a share of the fund based on the performance and engagement of their Shorts.
  • Channel memberships: Creators with eligible channels can offer channel memberships, allowing viewers to subscribe for exclusive access to members-only content.
  • Merchandise: Creators can sell their branded merchandise directly on their YouTube channel, including Shorts.
  • Super Chat and Super Stickers: Viewers can purchase Super Chats and Super Stickers during live streams and Premieres, providing creators with an additional source of revenue.
  • Affiliate marketing: Creators can include affiliate links in their Shorts descriptions to promote products or services and earn a commission for purchases made through those links.

Start Creating YouTube Shorts Today to Boost Visibility and Engagement

YouTube Shorts offer an opportunity for you to make your content easier to discover and to expand your audience through short-form video content.

With its massive reach and prominent visibility, Shorts offers you a powerful platform to showcase your creativity, build an audience, and monetize your content.

If you're a business looking to connect with customers or an aspiring influencer seeking to grow your online presence, YouTube Shorts provide an avenue to share your message and connect with viewers.

Take advantage of the platform's features by experimenting with different content formats and analyzing performance metrics to optimize your content and succeed in short-form video content creation.


1. How long can YouTube Shorts be?

YouTube Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long.

2. What types of content perform well as YouTube Shorts?

Content that performs well as YouTube Shorts includes:
– Tutorials
– Dance challenges
– Makeup tutorials
– Behind-the-scenes bloopers
– Motivation tips
– Comedy sketches
– Product reviews
– Trending topics

3. Can I use copyrighted music in my YouTube Shorts?

YouTube provides a library of music tracks and sound effects that creators can use in their Shorts without worrying about copyright issues.

Additionally, you can use music with the Creative Commons license or obtain proper licensing for copyrighted music.

4. Does YouTube allow you to edit Shorts after publishing them?

Yes. You can edit your YouTube Shorts after publishing them. You can go to YouTube Studio, access the desired Shorts, and make changes like trimming the video clip or revising its metadata.

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