How to create a YouTube Short

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YouTube shorts are basically YouTube versions of Instagram Reels or TikToks. But are they worth integrating into your content performance strategy or are they just yet another content type that will take even more time to produce content for?

In this article, I discuss:

Let’s dive into the topic and see how YouTube shorts have worked for me.

What are YouTube shorts?

YouTube shorts are videos that are 60 seconds or less and shot in the  9 x 16  format as opposed to the traditional YouTube format of 16 x 9. Often they include music, dancing, but people simply talking to the camera is also a thing. Many creators have started repurposing clips from their podcast this way as well.

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So they look like this:

YouTube shorts examples
To publish a YouTube short, make sure the video is shot in that format, under 60 seconds. You used to have to add #shorts to the title, but that’s no longer needed. In the mobile app there’s even an Upload – Shorts button sequence so there’s no doubt it should be one. On desktop, it should upload as a short as long as it’s under 60 seconds and the format is right.

Do YouTube shorts perform?

I can’t say that YouTube is one of my major platforms, but I do live stream my podcast on my channel. Most of those episodes have just a handful of views at most. But my YouTube shorts have a ton of views. For example, this set of five videos had about 20,000 views. So something is working.

YouTube shorts performanceCertainly, there are some that don’t perform at all but in the big picture of my YouTube content, they perform fantastically well. They also have driven an increase in the number of subscribers of my channel, which is great for my podcast performance.

YouTube shorts performance

Now, I don’t know if those subscribers will care about my live streams, but they will also be notified of my next shorts.

And the numbers have continued to go up for me.

YouTube shorts performance

How to create YouTube shorts

You can certainly create unique content for your YouTube strategy. That’s one way to try it. You could also take up to 60-second snippets from your video podcasts or other video content and use that. Just make sure it’s correctly formatted.

Try using trending sounds to hop on a song that’s currently taking off.

My daughter and I create these videos in the form of Instagram Reels. Those Reels are jumping on an audio trend. After we share them on Instagram, we share them on YouTube as well. That used to work great but not Instagram has really clamped down on allowing the download with the audio. And downloading without the audio makes no sense. As of November 2023, creating in TikTok first makes more sense. And I’ve started creating more trending sound videos directly in YouTube Shorts.

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Creating unique YouTube Shorts in the YouTube app

You can also create YouTube shorts directly in the YouTube mobile app. Just like on Instagram or TikTok you can add songs and other text and effects. The next few pictures walk you through the process.

Click the plus, and then you get the option to create a short.

From there, it looks very similar to the other networks.

So that’s another way to produce them to see if that drives additional results and the YouTube algorithm seems to like these uploads.

To reuse these YouTube Shorts elsewhere, go to a desktop browser, enter the YouTube Studio and then download the video.

download a youtube short

How to upload YouTube Shorts from PC/Mac

Certainly, the default method is to record them on your smartphone, but there are two ways where I upload from my PC (or Mac).

How to make your video a Short on YouTube

I now use Opus Clips to create short video soundbites from my podcast, which is recorded in the 16×9 dimensions of a traditional YouTube video. I did upload them as YouTube shorts, and as you can see by these metrics, the numbers keep going up. So if you have a video podcast, this is another great repurposing strategy using YouTube shorts.

YouTube shorts from podcast
Podcast audiograms perform well as YouTube shorts


To get started, upload your entire video podcast to Opus Clips.

The program automatically produces the clips and you can like them, dislike them for feedback to the AI and edit or download for use. To ensure they all work as YouTube Shorts, check the under 60 seconds option once the video has been uploaded.

Recording YouTube Shorts on PC

The easiest way is to use Restream, which now allows you to record in the YouTube Shorts dimensions. 

Can you share a YouTube Short on Instagram?

Yes, the easiest way is to go to YouTube Studio from desktop. Find the video, click the three dots and then download.

downloading a YouTube Short

Then head over to Instagram in your browser and upload. Change the dimensions once it’s uploaded to show the video correctly.

Creating content for currently working trends like YouTube shorts is a strategy. I certainly will keep going with it – especially as YouTube seems to be stepping up its podcast game, and since my podcast is also on their platform, anything that helps to grow my channel is good in my book.

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