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How to Make YouTube Shorts: 101 Guide to Becoming an Expert

Create YouTube Shorts like a pro with our ultimate guide. Learn how to make YouTube Shorts and become an expert with 10 easy steps!
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Last Updated:
August 13, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

YouTube Shorts has been aggressively trying to promote Shorts in their bid to compete with TikTok. In fact, it recently logged 2 million monthly viewers, surpassing that of Instagram and Reels. This means that YouTube is well on its way to dominating the short-form content market. 

So if you’ve been considering getting into Shorts, now is a good time. And as the feature becomes increasingly popular, more advertisers will flock to the service, meaning more revenue for Shorts creators down the line. 

We want you to succeed in your YouTube Shorts journey, so we’ve written this 101 guide to YouTube Shorts. In this article, you'll learn the benefits of Shorts, how to make one, how the revenue model works, and more. 

By the end of reading the guide, you’ll have everything you need to know to create your first Short. So let’s get into it.  

What are YouTube Shorts? 

YouTube Shorts is Youtube's version of TikTok and Instagram reels. YouTube released Shorts in 2021 in response to the skyrocketing popularity of the latter two platforms. Short are vertical, short-form videos with a maximum length of 60 minutes, an aspect ratio of 9:16, and a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. 

Since its release, Shorts has had billions of views, with millions of creators using the feature. In fact, some creators now publish more Short videos than long-form videos.  

Why should you start creating YouTube shorts? : 6 Benefits

#1 Not everyone likes long-form content

Not everyone likes long-form content. 66% of consumers found short-form videos to be more engaging. They also found them 2.5 times more interesting than long-form videos. 

#2 Take advantage of YouTube’s audience

YouTube has a staggering 2.6 billion monthly active users, which is quite a large viewer base. With that many people, you can be sure there are folks out there who’ll resonate with the content you plan to put out. 

The algorithm is also likely to push your Shorts to more viewers, as YouTube has also been aggressively promoting Shorts to beat TikTok. That’s why now is a great time to get into Shorts and grow your audience.  

#3 Draws subscribers in quicker

In the past, viewers had to watch minutes upon minutes of video content to figure out if a content creator was worth watching or not. 

Shorts has changed the game; a single Short can convey an entire joke or a piece of information in seconds. Viewers can quickly decide whether they like a channel's content – which, if they do – leads to faster subscriber growth.

#4 Doesn’t take much time

72% of YouTube Shorts are between 16 and 60 seconds. This makes making a Short much simpler and faster than making a long-form video. 

But even if you’re a long-form content creator, you still can make Shorts in no time. All you have to do is clip the most interesting bit of your video and upload it as a Short. This way, you don’t have to create one from scratch. And tools like Riverside’s Magic Clips make this process so much easier. 

#5 Can act as a promotional gateway into long-form content

Shorts can be used as promotional material for your longer videos, giving viewers a taste of your content and encouraging them to watch your full-length videos. 

How to Make a YouTube Short: Step-by-Step

Before starting: YouTube Short Requirements

Here are some basic requirements to keep in mind before starting on your Shorts journey. 

  • Video length: Shorts videos must be 60 seconds or less in length
  • Orientation and aspect ratio: Make sure your video is in a vertical orientation with a 9:16 aspect ratio and 1920 by 1080p resolution. YouTube Shorts can also be square with a 1:1 aspect ratio and 1080 by 1080p resolution. 
  • Age requirement: Creators must be at least 13 years old to post a video. But there’s a caveat; if you’re 13 to 19 years old, you need parental or guardian consent to set up an AdSense account. 

How to Make a YouTube Short: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Come up with an idea for your Short

Decide what you want your channel to be about. Choose your niche and figure out your audience demographics along with their interests. 

Here’s a quick bullet-point guide to this:

  • Evaluate your interests and expertise
  • Determine your goals for the channel, whether that be building a community, sharing your expertise, or monetizing your content. 
  • Choose a sub-niche (a niche within a niche). For instance, if you’re creating a travel channel, make videos about budget travel rather than generic travel content. Although you might attract a smaller audience in this process, they'll be more dedicated and engaged.

Later, you can make broader travel videos when you've grown your audience.

  • Think of your target audience. By determining their demographics, interests, and preferences, you can create content that resonates with them.  
  • Choose a niche that excites you and can hold your long-term interest. 

After figuring out your niche, you can start on your first Short. We explore Short ideas in detail further below. 

Step 2: Planning and preparation

Once you’ve decided on the type of video you want to make, work on your script. To sound more natural and authentic, use a loose bullet-pointed script rather than a detailed one.

Also, the script should match your inner voice and personality. Sure, you can draw inspiration from other YouTubers, but avoid copying them. 

If you’ve already uploaded a YouTube video in the past, making your first short is so much easier – you just have to clip portions of your original video to make a Short. 

Alternatively, if you’re using Riverside, you can create one long recording and repurpose it into clips at the tap of a button. Riverside’s Magic Clips uses AI to find the most shareable moments from any recording and turn them into social clips. This saves you from a lot of manual editing.  

Step 3: Write a captivating hook

Shorts are aplenty in the YouTube sea, so you must hook your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. 

Here are some starting sentences you can use for inspiration (or you could just copy them blatantly!)

  • I promise you’ve never seen anything like this before!
  • You need this product in your life!
  • Here’s a simple hack to help you do ‘X’
  • Why does no one talk about this?
  • Are you tired of ‘X’? Try this instead!
  • This one simple mistake could be costing you ‘X’
  • 3 things you could do right now to improve ‘X’
  • Do you have problems with ‘X’? Well, I just found the perfect solution!

Step 4: Choose a location for filming

Consider whether your script calls for a home setting or another location when choosing a filming location. 

If filming elsewhere, scout the site a few days prior and take test shots to preview the outcome. Avoid overly noisy environments; if unavoidable, invest in a quality microphone. Also, locations like a mall or restaurant may require special permissions, so don’t forget to get those. 

Step 5: Set up your shooting environment 

Make sure your lighting is adequate, whether you’re filming at home or outside.

If you’re filming at home, you can’t rely on the commonly used overhead lights, as these can create harsh and unwanted shadows. To get adequate lighting, use a well-lit window or set up LED lights (like ring lights). And if you have a budget, consider getting a three-point lighting system

If you’re filming outdoors, you can work in natural light. Just avoid filming in areas where there are excessive shadows, like wooded areas with lots of branches. If needed, you can use LED lights too. 

Step 6: Shoot your shot

It's time to record! 

Film yourself from different positions and angles to make your videos more dynamic and engaging. Get creative with camera placement – use different locations and different heights to see what works. 

You can also use filters and other visual effects on Shorts, so toy around with these as well. 

Step 7: Editing your video

Once you’re done recording the video, use YouTube’s inbuilt editor to edit it. You can also use an external YouTube editor to spice up your video and then upload them to YouTube Shorts. Other things you can do to enhance your video: 

  • Filters
  • Stickers
  • Text, with different font styles
  • Transitions
  • Background music
  • Speed changes
  • Voice modulation
  • Subtitles 

Tip! If you’re recording on Riverside, you can get highly accurate Ai transcriptions automatically after recording. These transcriptions are available in over 100 languages, and you can either download them as SRT files or burn them directly into your video.

Step 8: Upload the video

Before uploading the video, add a catchy title and thumbnail that’ll make the audience want to click on it. Also, use tags, as these can boost search engine discoverability. 

Step 9: Promote your video

So now you’ve uploaded your first Short. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee that YouTube’s algorithm will push it and other people will watch it. In fact, millions of people upload YouTube Shorts daily, but many don’t get views. So to improve your chances, you'll need to put extra effort.

YouTube pushes videos that get initial views faster than those that do not. So by sharing your video with friends and family, you can get a small boost in the algorithm. Also encourage them to share it with their own networks. Additionally, take advantage of the social media platforms you're active on to promote your video further.

Engaging with your viewers in the comments section is another effective way to boost your video's discoverability. 

Step 10: Analyze YouTube performance

Don't analyze your content at the beginning. It takes time and patience to see results. As time goes by and you've got a bunch of Shorts under your belt, you can start looking at the analytics to see which ones are hitting the mark and which ones aren't.

If some of your Shorts are doing well, that's a pretty good indicator that your audience is into that kind of content. Keep making more of those, and YouTube might just reward you with even more views.

Also, spend time analyzing competitor videos. See what makes them popular. Doing this can help you navigate your own Shorts uploading strategy. 

Riverside: The best way to seamlessly create YouTube shorts

Making YouTube Shorts on Riverside

If you're a YouTuber who records long-form videos and wants an easy way to transform them into Shorts, Riverside might be just what you need. This user-friendly tool simplifies the process of recording videos and crafting Shorts from your existing content.

You can start off by capturing up to 4K video recordings which perfect for producing top-notch content. Then use our Magic Clips tool that works with Ai to repurpose your long-form recording into Shorts. All you need to do is click the Magic button and Ai will identify key moments in your recording, turning them into shareable clips. 

If you want to edit your long-form video as well, or want to adjust your clips Riverside has a seamless text-based editor. It works with Ai transcriptions, where any text you remoe in your transcript, deletes the matching video and audio in your recording. You can also download these transcriptions as SRT or TXT files, or you can burn them into your video for quick captions.

How to create YouTube shorts with Riverside

Step 1: Go to the Riverside dashboard and click on Create new. Then enter your Studio name, and click Enter studio. 

Step 2: On the next screen, click Join Studio

Step 3: Invite guests and start recording. When you’re done select ‘View recordings’

You can also select a previous recording from your dashboard. Simply hover over the studio your previous recording is in, and then select this same button. 

Step 4: Select the recording take you want to create Shorts from, then click ‘Generate clips’ under the clips tab. (It’s hard to miss). Let Ai brew it’s magic, and generate your YouTube shorts.

Magic Clips tool to create YouTube Shorts with AI on Riverside

Step 5:  Once your clips are ready, you can hover over them and click ‘Edit’ to preview and adjust them as you see fit. 

You can also select ‘Go to editor’ to adjust your long-form video or create your own clips from scratch. 

In the editor you can:

  • Edit your recording by editing your video transcript. Select text and click ‘remove’ to trim your video.
  • Burn captions into your video and style them as you wish
  • Remove unwanted silences at the click of a button
  • Customize and adjust your layout and background.

Step 6: End off by polishing your video. You can use our Magic Tools to remove unwanted silences automatically, and you can also remove background noise. Visually, you can adjust your clip layout and even add your own custom background and logo. 

Step 7: Export your video clip and upload the completed video to Shorts, add filters and other effects, and post the video. 

How to Monetize your YouTube Shorts

To monetize YouTube Shorts, you need to be enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), but it has some eligibility requirements, which are: 

  • Gain 1,000 subscribers and 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days, OR
  • Gain 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours for your long-form videos

Meeting either of these two requirements gives you the opportunity to earn through Shorts. 

There are some other considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Follow YouTube's Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines
  • Don’t use unedited clips from movies and TV shows that you don't have rights to.
  • Do not upload other creators' content without transforming it or adding a new perspective
  • Don't pay for fake automated views

Every month, YouTube collects all the money it gets from Shorts ads and pays them to content creators, depending on their number of views. 

Unfortunately, that still doesn’t mean your payout will be a lot, as YouTube doesn’t pay much for Shorts. Some creators reported getting around $0.04 RPM, whereas others say they’ve received $0.07. In fact, in the latter case, even though the creator’s Short generated 6.1 million views, they only earned $446.02. 

This means you need to have millions upon millions of views to make decent money. If you grow your channel enough and consistently make Shorts with a large number of views, then Shorts can be monetizable. 

Another way to earn from Shorts is through brand partnerships. If you can secure a partnership with a company that operates in the niche that you’ve selected, then it’s a great way to earn extra cash. 

8 YouTube Short ideas to try with examples

Product Reviews: 

Share your thoughts on products relevant to your niche. Be honest in your reviews, as it will help the audience build trust in your brand quickly. 

Example: Apple AirPods Pro 2 

Funny shorts: 

Humorous Shorts are popular genre and get a high number of views. These videos can involve anything from skits, stand-up comedy, memes, or comedic commentary on current trends or events. 

Example: Short by the YouTuber Daniel LaBelle


Entertainment Shorts are a rather broad category of videos. They can include pranks, pet videos, celebrity interviews, short skits, and more. While entertainment is their main function, these videos can be informative as well. 

Example: Funny prank by Impractical Jokers


Tutorial Shorts provide quick and concise information, tips, or instructions on various topics, making them an effective way to engage and educate viewers in a short amount of time. These include DIY projects, tech repair, life hacks, product tutorials, and skill demonstrations. 

Example: DIY cleaning a PS5

Motivational Videos: 

Motivational YouTube Shorts are brief, inspiring videos that aim to uplift, encourage, and motivate viewers. They typically feature powerful messages, quotes, or speeches, often accompanied by engaging visuals or music. These shorts provide a quick dose of inspiration and can be easily consumed due to their short duration, but they're also usually informative.

Example: The Fastest Way to Get Unstuck and Accomplish your Biggest Goals - Tom Bilyeu

Unboxing Videos: 

Unboxing videos focus on unboxing products or packages and providing first impressions for viewers. Products commonly unboxed include toys, electronic gadgets, cosmetics, subscription boxes, and collector’s items. 

Example: iPhone SE 2022 unboxing

Behind the Scenes:

These Shorts give a glimpse into the filming of a video by their favorite content creators. They show the making of a project, offering insights into the work that goes on behind the curtain, out of the public's view. 

Example: Behind the scenes of Marques Keith Brownlee shooting the M2 Max MacBook review

Travel Videos: 

Travel videos are a popular genre of content that showcases various aspects of traveling, such as destinations, cultures, experiences, and tips for travelers. These videos often serve as a source of inspiration, entertainment, and information for viewers, igniting their wanderlust and encouraging them to explore the world.

Example: 5 Ways Japan is Ahead of The World

Read more: 15 YouTube Short Ideas to Increase Views & Grow Your Audience

YouTube Shorts Troubleshooting: Why are my Shorts not getting views?

Before troubleshooting your Shorts, make sure you’ve uploaded Shorts videos for at least a couple of weeks. It’s unrealistic to expect a large number of views at the beginning, especially if your subscriber count is low. 

But if you still aren’t getting views after a while, then you should check out our troubleshooting guide below.  

Problem: Your content isn’t engaging

People watch YouTube Shorts for quick entertainment. So if your video doesn’t interest them in the first few seconds, they’re going to scroll to the next video. 

And if multiple viewers skip your video, then it’s a signal to YouTube that your video isn’t worth the watch. Their algorithm will then prevent your video from showing up on more feeds. 

Solution: The first 3-5 seconds of the video must be super engaging. This doesn’t give permission for the rest of your video to be dull – it still needs to be entertaining – it’s just that the first few seconds are crucial.

If you’re not sure how to keep the whole video engaging, start by watching Shorts with millions of views and notice how they hold your attention. Bring a learning mind into the process; the more you observe and learn, the more insights you’ll gain for your own YouTube Shorts strategy. 

Problem: Weak titles and thumbnails 

A weak title or thumbnail can make your video appear unremarkable and uninteresting, even if the content is entertaining.

Solution: Add bright colors and interesting fonts to the thumbnail and make it high resolution. YouTube recommends using a resolution of 1280x720p. 

If you’re unsure of what kind of thumbnails and titles you should add, have a peek at what your competitors are doing for inspiration. 

Problem: No community engagement

Not engaging with your community can harm the algorithmic health of your videos. 

Solution: Engage with your community: encourage people to like and subscribe; Ask questions at the end of your videos to prompt viewers to share their thoughts, opinions, or experiences in the comments section. Setting up communities where you can nurture your audience can also be a good way to build a loyal following. 

Problem: Lack of promotion

Growing a YouTube channel is hard. And if you’re not promoting your video on social media channels, you’re losing out on an opportunity to gain more followers. 

Solution: Share your Shorts on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Collaborate with other YouTubers in your niche and cross-promote each other’s channels. If you have an email list, promote your videos to your subscribers. 

There may be subreddits or Facebook groups where people from your niche hang out; share your video with these communities. 

And lastly, if you have a blog, you can embed your Shorts in them to drive traffic from your website to your YouTube channel. 

Problem: Not creating enough content

If you’re not creating enough content, whether that be regular YouTube videos or Shorts, then YouTube might shy away from proactively promoting it. 

Solution: To improve your YouTube Shorts performance, establish a consistent schedule and upload new content every week. While there isn't a specific number of Shorts required to appease the algorithm, you may want to try experimenting with the frequency of uploads. 

See if increasing your video output leads to better results, but don’t sacrifice quantity for quality. 

FAQs on How to Make YouTube Shorts

How much YouTube Shorts pay for 1,000 views?

YouTube Shorts pays anywhere between 0.04 to0.07$ per 1000 views. The amount paid depends on various factors, like the content of the video or country of origin of your audience. 

Can I make Shorts from my own YouTube video?

Yes, you can make Shorts from your own YouTube video by using the YouTube app. 

However, if you want a better app to clip out Shorts from videos, consider getting Riverside. It records in 4K, making it perfect for long-form videos, and its simple-to-use text-based video editor will have you editing Shorts in no time.

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