Are you thinking of becoming a YouTuber? Or maybe you already have taken the initiative to create a YouTube channel, but can’t quite figure out how to grow it. 

One of the best ways to increase your visibility on YouTube is by posting Shorts. Like TikToks and Instagram Reels, Shorts are a type of short-form content. They’re videos under 60 seconds that are fun, entertaining and easy to digest. 

Unlike long-form YouTube videos, which are mostly pushed out to your subscribers, Shorts have a much greater reach. They can help you attract new viewers and even monetize your YouTube channel

Best of all, YouTube shorts are quick and easy to create, so there’s no excuse not to give them a try. 

How to Create YouTube Shorts

You can record, edit and upload YouTube Shorts using the YouTube mobile app. You can also remix Shorts from other creators or upload ready-to-post Shorts from your computer. 

Let’s take a look at each option in more detail. 

Option 1: Create YouTube Shorts in the Mobile App

Step 1: Open the YouTube App

Tap the Plus icon at the bottom of the screen to start creating a new Short. 

Step 2: Chose a Maximum Length

By default, your Short will be a maximum of 15 seconds long. If you tap the 15s icon in the top right corner of the screen, you can change the maximum length to 60 seconds.

Step 3: Make Use of Recording Tools (Optional)

Take note of the tool menu on the right side of the screen. Click the arrow at the bottom of the menu to expand it and apply any of the following:

  • Flip: Toggle between the front and back camera.
  • Timer: Use a 3s, 10s or 20s countdown to start recording hands-free.
  • Speed: Record at 0.3x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x or 3x speed. 
  • Effects: Choose from a wide variety of video effects.
  • Green Screen: Replace your background with a photo or video from your camera roll. 
  • Filters: Color grade your video by selecting a preset filter. 
  • Retouch: Apply a skin-smoothing effect to your video. 
  • Lighting: Automatically adjust the exposure when filming in dim lighting. 
  • Flash: Turn on the flash when using the back camera. 

Step 4: Record or Upload Video Clips

Tap the big red button at the bottom of the screen to start recording. You can stop and start again, recording as many clips as will fit your selected maximum length. 

Alternatively, you can tap the Add button in the bottom left corner of the screen to upload a ready-to-post Short or a pre-recorded video clip. You can also alternate between uploading pre-recorded clips and recording them in the app. 

Step 5: Add Sound (Optional)

Choose a song or a trending sound to accompany your video. You can do this before or after recording your video clips. If you come across a sound you like while browsing other Shorts, be sure to save it so you can access it during this step. 

When you’re done recording, tap the Check mark in the bottom right corner to move on to the next step. 

Step 6: Make Edits

Use the tool menu on the right side of the screen to edit your Short. Your options are:

  • Text: Add text to your video. Choose from different fonts, colors, treatments and alignment options. Once the text has been placed, you can tap it and select Timing to adjust where in the video it will appear and how long it will stay on the screen. 
  • Trim: Adjust the duration of each of the clips that make up your video. 
  • Filters: Just like in the recording stage, you have the option to apply preset filters to color grade your video. 
  • Voiceover: Record a voiceover to accompany your video. 
  • Q&A: Add a sticker to your video with a question for your viewers. Their answers will appear as comments.

If you change your mind about adding text or a Q&A sticker, you can drag and drop it to the trash bin that appears at the bottom of the screen. 

When you’re done editing, tap Next in the bottom right corner.

Step 7: Add Details and Share

Here, you can select a thumbnail and add a caption. Be sure to include a few hashtags to help your video get discovered.

Lastly, choose your video’s visibility, audience and permissions and, when you’re ready, tap Upload Short. Your Short is now live! 

Option 2: Remix Other YouTube Shorts

Creators often use YouTube Shorts to engage with each other and build a sense of community. You can do this using the Remix feature, which allows you to incorporate other Shorts into your own. This way, you can respond, react or add on to other people’s content. 

Once you find a Short you want to Remix, tap the Remix button on the right side of the screen. 

Not all creators allow their Shorts to be remixed, but if they do, you’ll see a menu slide in from the bottom of the screen. Your options are:

  • Collab: Record your own clip to be played alongside the original video (or a section of it). You can use the Layout menu to select whether your video appears above, below, to the left or to the right of the original. 
  • Green screen: Use the original video as the background to yours. Note that you must include your face in the video for this to work. 
  • Cut this video: Record your own clips to follow the original video. 

Once you’ve recorded your portion of the video, you can follow steps 6 and 7 from Option 1 to edit and upload your remixed Short. 

Option 3: Upload a YouTube Short from Your Computer

If you prefer to edit your Shorts using computer software, you can upload them to YouTube straight from your desktop: 

  1. Head to YouTube.com.
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, click Create > Upload video, the same way you would if you were uploading a regular YouTube video. 
  3. Drag and drop your video or click Select Files. As long as you upload a vertical video that’s under 60 seconds, YouTube will recognize it as a Short. 
  4. In the Details section, fill in the required information and set the audience. What you write in the Title field will appear as the caption. As of this writing, there’s no option to customize the Short thumbnail from the desktop. 
  5. In the Video Elements section, you can link your Short with one of your previous videos. 
  6. Set your video’s Visibility and click Publish.

Stand Out With YouTube Shorts

Shorts are much more likely to go viral than long-form YouTube videos, but knowing how to create them is not enough. Learn how to make your Shorts stand out from the rest, post consistently and keep experimenting. Once you find what works for you and your audience, you’ll have a much better chance of finding success on the platform.

Written By
Sayana Lam

Sayana Lam

Sayana is a musician, writer and graphic designer based in Toronto, Canada.

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