How to Make YouTube Shorts: Upload Methods & Viral Examples

Mar 18, 2024 8:30:00 AM

It seems like short-form video content is everywhere.

And taking the spotlight, among other contenders, is YouTube Shorts. 

In just a few years, it has emerged as a powerful platform for creators looking to share their stories, talents, and insights. 

So if you're wondering how to make YouTube Shorts that captivate and engage, you've come to the right place. 

In this guide, we will understand YouTube’s spin on short videos and see why they're worth your time. 

Going into the nitty-gritty of creating and uploading your own Shorts, whether you're on a desktop or mobile device. 

Alongside, we'll delve into best practices to ensure your videos stand out, with exceptional examples to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. What are YouTube Shorts?
  2. Why Use YouTube Shorts?
    1. Increased Visibility
    2. Engagement with Mobile Users
    3. Creative Expression
    4. Trend Participation
    5. Content Variety
    6. Monetization Opportunities
  3. How To Make YouTube Shorts?
    1. How to Upload YouTube Shorts on Desktop
      1. Step 1: Click on The "Create" Button
      2. Step 2: Select Your Short
      3. Step 3: Enter Video Details
      4. Step 4: Set Visibility and Publish
    2. How to Upload YouTube Shorts on Mobile
      1. Step 1: Tap on The Create Button
      2. Step 2: Select Your Video
      3. Step 3: Enter Video Caption
      4. Step 4: Add Other Details and Publish
  4. YouTube Shorts Best Practices
    1. Optimizing for Mobile Viewing
    2. Keep It Concise and Engaging
    3. Leverage Trending Music and Sounds
    4. Use Effective Titles and Hashtags
    5. Engage With Your Audience
    6. Experiment with Content Types
    7. Analyze Your Performance
    8. Consistency is Key
    9. Collaborate With Other Creators
    10. Follow YouTube's Guidelines
  5. 10 Best YouTube Shorts Examples
    1. Kyle Nutt
    2. Frame Order
    3. Peter McKinnon
    4. TheOdd1sOut
    5. Dude Dans
    6. Mini Katana
    7. NileRed
    8. MrBeast
    9. Pixar
    10. Zack D. Films
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How Long are YouTube Shorts?
    2. How to Monetize YouTube Shorts?

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are a feature on YouTube to create and share short-form videos, typically lasting up to 60 seconds. 

youtube shorts layout

Designed to be quick and engaging, these videos offer a format that mostly caters to mobile users looking for instant entertainment or information. 

YouTube Shorts follow a vertical orientation of 1080x1920, which is ideal for smartphone screens. 

With latest YouTube Statistics suggesting more than 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube Shorts have become a popular way for creators to express themselves, share stories, and connect with audiences in a concise format.

Why Use YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts offer several benefits for creators and businesses looking to engage with their audience effectively. 

Here are some key reasons to use YouTube Shorts:

1. Increased Visibility

Shorts are prominently featured on YouTube, giving creators a chance to reach a wider audience. 

In recent years, YouTube’s algorithm has started promoting Shorts more aggressively alongside traditional long-form videos. 

So creators using YouTube Shorts in conjunction with their long-format videos are in a better position in helping new viewers discover their content.

2. Engagement with Mobile Users

With their vertical format, Shorts are optimized for mobile viewing, catering to the vast majority of users who access YouTube on their smartphones. 

A YouTube survey from Wyzowl suggests that mobile users make up more than 89.5% of worldwide YouTube visits.

Translation: YouTube Shorts have the potential to reach a vast audience and significantly enhance your user engagement.

3. Creative Expression

Before YouTube Shorts, there was a time when knowing how to make a YouTube video was all that you needed to express yourself creatively.

With YouTube Shorts coming into the picture, you have more tools at your disposal.

YouTube Shorts provide creators with a platform to experiment with content ideas in a less time-consuming format. 

The native editing tools and features like music integration have made it easy to make high-quality short videos right from your smartphone.

4. Trend Participation

We live in an era of memes and trends.

And YouTube Shorts is at the forefront of it.

YouTube Shorts make it easy to participate in viral trends and be a part of current meme culture. 

It gives creators an avenue to engage with what’s taking off in popular culture. 

Which increases the likelihood of their content being featured and seen by a broader audience.

5. Content Variety

While the concept of short-form videos isn’t new, its implementation in the form of YouTube Shorts is.

Which makes it a great medium to introduce something new to tried and tested content.

In other words, adding Shorts to your roster of content can diversify your channel and attract viewers of varied content preferences. 

Helping you retain existing subscribers while gaining new ones.

6. Monetization Opportunities

With the announcement of the YouTube Shorts Fund in August of 2021, you now have the means to monetize your short videos as well.

And with several updates to YouTube’s monetization policies, the scope of monetization opportunities has widened significantly.

We cover methods for YouTube Shorts monetization later in this blog.

How to Make YouTube Shorts?

Making a YouTube short is as simple as pulling out your phone and hitting the record button.

You can also make it using video editing software on your computer too.

The video simply needs to be in a vertical aspect ratio and under 60-seconds long.

Once your Shorts video is ready, it’s time to upload it.

And here you have options to upload it using your desktop or straight from your phone too.

Let’s explore the steps for each case in a bit more detail:

1. How to Upload YouTube Shorts on Desktop

Step 1: Click on the Create Button

Look for the “Create” button, usually found at the top right corner of the screen, and click on "Upload Videos” to start with the Shorts uploading process

youtube shorts uploading on desktop

Step 2: Select Your Short

Click on "Select Files" and choose the Short video file you wish to upload from your computer.

youtube shorts file selection

Step 3: Enter Video Details

Fill in the title, description, and tags for your Short.

Make sure to include "#Shorts" in the title or description to help YouTube categorize it correctly.

youtube shorts video detail

Step 4: Set Visibility and Publish

Decide who can see your Short by selecting the appropriate visibility setting (Public, Private, or Unlisted). 

Once decided, click on “Publish” to upload your Short to YouTube. 

Once uploaded, it will be available on the Shorts shelf and your channel.

youtube shorts visibility and publishing option

2. How to Upload YouTube Shorts on Mobile

Step 1: Tap on The Create Button

Open the YouTube app on your smartphone and click on the "+" icon at the bottom

youtube mobile app menu footer

After that, you’ll be directed to the following menu from which you have to select "Create a Short."

youtube app content upload menu

Step 2: Select Your Video

Tap the gallery icon at the bottom left of your screen to select your existing video that you want to upload as a YouTube Short.

selecting video to upload as youtube shorts

If your video needs edits, the upload interface provides a host of basic editing features like adding texts, filters and transitions.

But if your video is already edited using an external video editing app, we can safely move on to the next step.

Step 3: Enter Video Caption

Fill out the title for your Short. Include "#Shorts" in the description to improve its visibility.

youtube shorts title

Step 4: Add Other Details and Publish

Scroll down a bit on the upload page and select other details like visibility of your YouTube Shorts (Public, Private, or Unlisted), Shorts remixing, etc. 

Once your desired settings are enabled, tap "Upload Short" to publish it on YouTube.

youtube shorts publishing option

YouTube Shorts Best Practices

Creating successful YouTube Shorts involves understanding and applying certain best practices that can make your content stand out and resonate with your audience. 

Here are some key tips and techniques to help you maximize the potential of your Shorts:

1. Optimize for Mobile Viewing

Given that YouTube Shorts are primarily consumed on mobile devices, ensure your content is visually appealing on smaller screens. 

Use high-resolution video and consider the vertical format during shooting to make the most of the screen space.

Make sure the overlay elements in your video and the overlay elements in a YouTube short don’t overlap or obstruct each other. 

2. Keep It Concise and Engaging

With a 60-second limit, your Shorts need to capture attention quickly. 

It’s most advisable to stick to a 15-second or maximum 30-second duration for your YouTube Shorts.

This ensures people watch a majority of your short video, letting the Shorts algorithm push it to more viewers.

Start with a hook within the first few seconds to grab attention. 

If your video has a voiceover, use captions that are synchronized with the audio.

These steps significantly increase viewer engagement and retention on your YouTube Shorts.

3. Leverage Trending Music and Sounds

Utilize YouTube’s library of trending music and sound effects to make your Shorts more engaging.

Syncing your content with popular audio can increase its discoverability and appeal and also make it relevant.

4. Use Effective Titles and Hashtags

Since we’re on the subject of discoverability, how you craft your YouTube titles also play a huge role in getting your Shorts discovered.

Use clear and descriptive titles, keeping your main target keyword at the beginning or as the initial few words of your title.

This is not only a good practice in terms of grabbing attention but also from an SEO perspective as well.

Lastly, use relevant hashtags to improve your Shorts' visibility in search results and on the Shorts shelf.

Make sure to include, “#shorts” in the title of your YouTube Shorts everytime you upload one, followed by hashtags relevant to what your video is about.

Use 3-5 hashtags at most so as to not confuse YouTube’s algorithm and send your search intent on a tailspin.

5. Engage with Your Audience

Just uploading a YouTube Short and calling it a day won’t cut it. 

You have to make viewers want to interact with your Shorts.

Encourage viewers to like, share, and comment on your Shorts. 

Engagement not only fosters a community around your channel but also signals to YouTube that your content is valuable, potentially increasing its reach.

6. Experiment with Content Types

Content creation is dynamic. What works today might not work tomorrow.

And YouTube Shorts aren’t immune to this. 

Which is why it’s important to spice things up from time to time.

Don’t be afraid to try different types of content within the Shorts format, whether it’s behind-the-scenes looks, tips and tricks, or quick stories. 

Diversity in content can help you understand what resonates most with your audience and double down on it.

7. Analyze Your Performance

Keep an eye on the performance of your Shorts through YouTube Analytics. 

The main metric you must watch out for is the “average percentage viewed”.

This metric is somewhat similar to watchtime we see on long-format YouTube videos.

But instead of showing the duration of video watched, it shows a percentage.

And the higher the percentage, the higher the chances of your YouTube Short reaching more views and potential subscribers.

So based on this metric, see which YouTube Shorts gained more traction and tweak your content strategy accordingly.

8. Consistency is Key

You’ve heard this a million times. But I can’t stress this enough. Consistency is key!

Posting regularly is your gateway to maintaining visibility and audience engagement.

To make your job easy, try making a content schedule for your YouTube Shorts.

Be clear about which YouTube Short goes on which day.

Make sure to let your audience know your upload schedule as well.

This not only keeps you accountable but also increases anticipation among your loyal viewers.

9. Collaborate With Other Creators

Collaborating with other creators can introduce your content to new audiences and add variety to your Shorts. 

It’s a great way to establish a win-win situation where collaborators can leverage cross-promotion and boost channel growth on all sides.

10. Follow YouTube’s Guidelines

Lastly, make sure your Shorts comply with YouTube’s community guidelines to avoid any restrictions or penalties in the form of demonization and guidelines strike. 

Adhering to the platform’s rules ensures your content remains accessible to a wide audience.

10 Best YouTube Shorts Examples

1. Kyle Nutt


Not all brand collaborations need to be rigid. 

Adding your own personal twist makes your content better appeal to your audience.

How do you do that using YouTube Shorts?

Let Kyle Nutt show you in this Shorts video.

By turning a demonstration of the OnePlus 9 Pro’s camera into a photography challenge, he gives a unique and impactful touch to his branded video.

And if you have to go with the 240M people who watched this YouTube Short, it’s safe to say that it worked.

2. Frame Order


Let’s admit it: We all have wished to go back in time at some point or another.

The desire to change the outcome of something before it even happens is quite fascinating.

Maybe it was this fascination that inspired Frame Order to make this YouTube Short.

It uses animation to paint a beautiful story that tells a lot of things in such a short time.

Building upon the human fascination of a scenario where we make a time machine to go back in time and right a wrong for a good reason.

And it’s this premise that makes the YouTube Short worth watching.

3. Peter McKinnon


Imagine you have 60 seconds to spend with a filmmaker.

I bet your perspective on seeing things will change to the point of no return.

Case in point: Peter McKinnon.

In this YouTube Short, he gives you a mini-tutorial of a vintage spy camera from 1956. 

Peter’s cinematography coupled with his voiceover steals the show here.

One look at this presentation and it will make this relic from the past feel straight out of a James Bond movie.

4. TheOdd1sOut


We all have found ourselves mindlessly scrolling on our phones and losing track of time.

And before we know it, we have wasted 2 hours doom-scrolling the latest short-form videos with no end in sight.

Ever wonder what’s at the end of the Instragram Reels page or the YouTube Shorts Shelf?

TheOdd1sOut had the same curiosity and decided to address it with this animated YouTube Shorts.

It uses character animation to tell the hilarious tale of how the protagonist managed to reach the end of the TikTok’s For You Page.

The character interactions make this short funny and relatable.

Capturing the experience of using a short-form video platform like TikTok. 

But most importantly, the video conveys an important message on social media usage, using visual storytelling to drive the point home.

5. Dude Dans


Go back to the days when you first used crayons and learned how to draw.

Among the whole roster of crayons of different colors, the white crayon always felt out of place.

You always wondered why it was added with the other crayons in the first place.

But Dude Dans decided to ask a different question with this YouTube Short.

He uses animation to show the white crayon’s perspective on how it feels to be looked over.

Notice how animation makes the white crayon’s plight feel more human and builds an emotional bond with you almost instantly.

6. Mini Katana


Behind the scenes content makes for a hilarious viewing experience. 

It keeps people engaged and excited about what to expect from your videos.

And this YouTube Short from Mini Katana is no different.

The thing that steals the show here is how simple the video is.

It picks the best moments from one of their popular videos and shows how it was made.

The decision to go simple paid off and I’m sure the 281M people who watched this Short would say the same.

7. NileRed 


Remember the last time you went to a chemistry lab.

It’s safe to assume that you had your fair share of yawns and instances where your mind simply wandered to different things.

Only to realize that if chemistry concepts were explained a bit more simply, it would have sparked your curiosity to learn more.

Now with videos, the possibilities for simpler explanation and engaging presentations are endless.

One such example is this YouTube Short from NileRed.

It takes you on a mini-lesson on Bromine and its most important chemical properties.

Even if you aren’t from a science background, understanding the basics of Bromine as a chemical compound is now effortless. 

Thanks to the simplicity and specificity offered by this video.

8. MrBeast


If you are a frequent user of YouTube, then MrBeast is a channel that needs no introduction.

While his challenge videos are long-format, he has made a foray into short challenge videos through YouTube Shorts.

One such example being this video where he tasks someone to bring him an original baguette from Paris to win $300.

The video keeps you on the edge of your seat, curious as to what will happen next.

Spoiler alert: There’s a twist at the end of the video you’ll never see coming.

9. Pixar


Pixar is known for two things: Animation and Emotional Storytelling.

It’s one of the reasons why old classics from Pixar still resonate with fans all around the world.

So much so that dedicated fans also recreate famous animated scenes from their favorite movie in a live-action setting.

And this YouTube Short is a great example of that.

It shows the live-action recreation of a famous scene from the animated movie, Ratatouille.

But by showing the live-action version alongside the original animated scene is what truly makes this video stand out.

10. Zack D. Films


We sometimes experience things we can’t explain.

Not because they're hard to understand but because a complete explanation is hard to come by.

For Zack D. Films’ case, it was the enigma of the in-grown hair, why it happens and why it’s so painful.

So he addressed it for himself and his audience with the help of this 3D animated YouTube Shorts.

It takes you through a short progression of in-grown hair and why it is painful.

Ending with a robust solution to deal with it the correct way.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Long are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are designed with a maximum length of 60 seconds. 

This short format is optimized for mobile viewing meant to capture viewer attention quickly.

When creating Shorts, keep your content concise and to the point so as to stay within this one-minute window.

2. How to Monetize YouTube Shorts?

Monetizing YouTube Shorts is becoming increasingly possible as YouTube expands its revenue options for creators.

Here are the primary ways to monetize Shorts:

  • YouTube Shorts Fund: YouTube has introduced a Shorts Fund, a $100 million fund to reward creators for their unique and engaging Shorts. Creators can qualify for this fund by creating original content that resonates with viewers. Eligibility does not require being part of the YouTube Partner Program.

  • YouTube Partner Program: Just like long-format YouTube videos, YouTube Shorts are also eligible to generate revenue from the YouTube Partner Program. Initial eligibility includes reaching 500 subscribers and 3M public views on your YouTube Shorts. To earn further revenue from watch page ads and Shorts Feed ads, eligibility includes reaching 1000 subscribers and 10M public Shorts views.

  • Brand Partnerships and Sponsorships: Creators can also leverage their Shorts content to attract brand partnerships and sponsorships, offering another revenue stream. Engaging and high-quality Shorts can capture the attention of brands looking to promote their products or services to a wider audience.

For more details on the various ways you can monetize your YouTube Shorts, check out this video from YouTube’s official Creators channel



In our journey through the world of YouTube Shorts, we've established a fact beyond any doubt. 

Short-form videos are a powerhouse for creators seeking to engage and grow their audience and YouTube Shorts are in the middle of it all. 

From seeing some compelling reasons to embrace YouTube Shorts, to mastering the art of crafting and uploading them. 

We delved into the practical steps on how to make YouTube Shorts, leaving no stones unturned.

As you step forward, remember that the landscape of digital content is ever-evolving. 

The tips and strategies shared here are just the beginning. 

Continuously experimenting with your content, staying up-to-date with platform updates, and engaging with your audience will pave the way for your success. 

Whether you're just starting out or looking to refine your approach, the world of YouTube Shorts is ripe with possibilities. 

Let your creativity shine, and may your YouTube Shorts capture the attention and hearts of viewers around the globe.

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