How to Make a YouTube Short - Your 101 Guide to YouTube's Hottest Feature

how to make a youtube short

Knowing how to make a YouTube Short should be part of every serious creator’s repertoire in 2023.  

After all, Shorts is one of YouTube’s hottest features in 2023. And one of the most potentially profitable for creators

If you’ve used the YouTube app over the past few months, you’re bound to have seen them pop up in your recommendations.  

youtube shorts in the app
The YouTube app's "Shorts" button takes you to a view of suggested short clips.

In a nutshell, Shorts is the platform’s answer to TikTok and Reels. You can make short 15-60 second video clips directly in YouTube’s mobile app. Then, you can add music, text, and other effects – and publish them straight to the platform. 

YouTube developed this feature back in 2020 and rolled it out globally in mid-2021. It took off quickly, and today, there are 70 billion Shorts views daily.

Plus, YouTube offered additional incentives to get creators on board with Shorts. Throughout 2022, YouTube’s Shorts Fund distributed $100 million to creators. If you had an AdSense account and post original Shorts, you were eligible for juicy bonus payments.

Since February 2023, Shorts creators also get a share of ad revenue.

So are Shorts worth a shot? Absolutely!

But how do you actually make a Short?

Here’s your step-by-step guide.

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Open the Shorts Feature in the YouTube App

Shorts id designed to work through YouTube’s mobile app. In both the Android and iOS version, you can find the Shorts tab between the “home” and “+” icon at the bottom of your screen. 

Here, you can browse Shorts to get a better feeling of how they work and what formats creators usually use

To create your own Short, just click on the + icon and select the option “Create a Short.

how to make a youtube short
Just hit the "Plus" button in the center bottom and get started!
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Film Your Footage or Add It

Next, you need to add some footage! You can shoot directly in the app, but you can also upload it from your phone’s gallery. That’s useful if you want to include pre-edited channel branding, like a super-short intro.

If you use existing footage, it should be in portrait mode. You can use landscape footage – but if you do, it will be downscaled.

how to film youtube shorts
Shoot in portrait mode. Note the many extra tools!

Individual clips that you film in the app are 15 seconds max by default, but you can edit up to 4 of those clips together. That means your Short has a 60 seconds time limit overall. You can also film those 60 seconds in one go, if you tap the “15” above the recording button.

how to make a youtube short
The Shorts editor offers lots of useful features - a ton of filters included.

If you film directly in the app, you have a wide range of additional features you can use. You can set a timer, speed up your clip or slow it down, retouch, use various filters, adjust lighting, and even remove the background. To flip to the front camera, just tap your screen twice. 

youtube shorts greenscreen
You can use the greenscreen feature to replace a solid background.

Plus, you can add music for free, using YouTube’s huge gallery. To do that, tap a “add a sound” option at the top of the screen!

adding music to youtube shorts
Add music and sounds from YouTube's gallery. You can also sample other videos!
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Edit Your Footage

Once you’ve filmed all your footage, you can edit it directly in the app. Again, there are plenty of options. Drag the sound bite you’ve picked to the right part of the song, add filters, and edit multiple clips together in your timeline. 

In addition, you can layer text over your footage, and adjust its position, font, and color. 

add writing to youtube shorts
Note the triple track editor here - manage video, sound, and text in one spot!

If you want to continue editing your project later, click on the back arrow in the top left corner and pick the option “save draft”. That way, you can return to editing later by clicking on the camera icon at the top right of your Shorts home tab.

save youtube shorts as draft
Be right back? No problem - just save the draft.
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How to Upload YouTube Shorts

You’re happy with how your Short looks? Great! Time to put it on YouTube! 

To publish the Short, just click “Next” in the top right corner of your editing screen. Then, you can pick your Short’s title and adjust its visibility setting. In the “visibility” tab, you can also schedule your Short if you want it to be published at a later time. 

Finally, you can add details about your Short’s audience – specifically if it’s made for kids or if your want to restrict it to an adult audience. 

Pro-tip: You should include #Shorts in your Short’s title to make sure that YouTube classifies it correctly. 

When you’re happy with the settings, click “Upload” and the clip will be published. You can then track its performance directly via the app. Just click “Analytics” in the bottom right corner of your video.

how to upload youtube shorts

The Bottom Line: It's Time for Shorts

When you’re first figuring out how to make a YouTube Short, the process can seem a little daunting. YouTube has stuffed a lot of powerful features into the Shorts editor.

It’s also constantly tweaking the Shorts algorithm, integrating it better with the rest of the platform.

The good news is that there is nothing much that you can do wrong! Watch a few Shorts to get the feel of the genre, then set out to create your own. Play around with the app. Explore. And most importantly – have fun!

Ready to give professional video editing a shot?

YouTube Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long. Individual clips are limited to 15 seconds.

You can use music from YouTube’s catalogue and the music of any YouTube video as long as there is no copyright on it. If a video’s sound is available, you can tap the “sound” button to use it.

YouTube Shorts is a feature that lets you shoot and edit short videos directly on your phone in the YouTube mobile app. A Short can be 60 seconds long, and you might receive a bonus from the $100 million Shorts fund if it proves popular and engaging.

4.5/5 – (4 votes)

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  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

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