Create YouTube Shorts

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos Effortlessly?

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Your old videos can't teach new tricks? Learn how to create YouTube Shorts from existing videos and give your content a second life!

Approximately 26 million YouTube shorts get added every month. But are they all click-worthy? We don’t know. All we do know is how to make yours one.

From selecting the perfect clip from your existing video content to making the most of YouTube's editing features, our step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know to create engaging Shorts. Plus, we'll share expert tips on optimizing your content to keep your audience returning for more.

YouTube Shorts adds more vibrance to your previously published content and maximizes your content's reach and engagement on YouTube's rapidly growing short-form platform.

Let’s leverage this effective tool to captivate and grow your audience! Keep reading.

Understanding YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are short, vertical videos up to 60 seconds in length. They are created specifically for mobile viewing and have a vertical 9:16 aspect ratio, differing from the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio used for most YouTube videos​.

This format is ideal for phone screens, where Android or iOS users can swipe vertically through short videos, similar to TikTok or Instagram reels.

Since their introduction, YouTube Shorts have quickly become a great tool for content creators and businesses looking to engage with a younger audience. In 2024, 90% of all online activity will likely be short videos, highlighting their significant impact on the platform's engagement metrics​.

Features and Functionalities

YouTube Shorts offers a variety of editing tools within the YouTube studio or app. Creators can use features like:

  • Slider controls to select the most engaging 60-second segments from longer videos.
  • Filters, text, and music overlays enhance the visual and auditory appeal.
  • Speed adjustments to create dynamic viewing experiences that maintain viewer interest from beginning to end.​
  • Creators can also integrate YouTube Shorts from existing content. You can select portions of their previously uploaded content​​ to repurpose YouTube videos.

Why Use YouTube Shorts?

Using YouTube Shorts from existing videos can benefit creators and businesses in several ways:

  • Increased Visibility: Shorts are prominently featured on the YouTube homepage and the “Shorts” discovery tab, allowing creators to reach new viewers.
  • Engagement Boost: The short format encourages higher engagement rates as more users are likelier to watch a full video if it is under one minute long.
  • Monetization Opportunities: Although initially launched without direct monetization options, YouTube has started incorporating ads within the Shorts feed and even set up a $100 million fund to reward creators based on YouTube Shorts performance.

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos?

Creating Shorts from your existing video content can be a great way to engage with a wider audience and repurpose content that you've already worked hard to create.

To post a regular YouTube short, you just have to tap the Create button and start recording. However, you must follow a few steps to create shorts using long videos.

Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide on how to create YouTube Shorts from existing videos. Make the most of your popular long-form videos and instantly create shorts.

Step 1: Choose the Right Video Clip

First, identify a long-form video or a segment of an original video that can be effectively condensed into 60 seconds or less. This video clip should be engaging, clear, and able to stand alone as a short piece.

The best segments usually contain a complete thought or an interesting moment that can quickly grab attention​.

Best YouTube CLip

Step 2: Edit Your Video Clip for YouTube Shorts

Using YouTube's built-in editor in your lower left corners or other video editing software, trim and fine-tune your original video clip to fit the vertical 9:16 aspect ratio required for YouTube Shorts. It's important to ensure that the most important elements of your long-form videos remain in the frame after you edit videos.

Remember, you can make these adjustments using external tools like intuitive slider controls or a video timeline editor.

Step 3: Enhance Your Video with Creative Elements

Add text overlays, tap filters, and insert music to make your YouTube clips more engaging. Text overlays should be concise and well-timed to highlight key moments without overwhelming the viewer. Choose music that complements the mood of your original video.

YouTube app offers a wide range of licensed tracks that you can use. Consider using stickers or graphic effects to add a playful or dramatic flair.

Step 4: Optimize for Engagement

The first few seconds of your Short are crucial for capturing the viewer's attention. Start with something visually striking or an intriguing hook to keep your audience engaged. Adjust the pacing of your video by using quick cuts or speeding up certain sections to maintain a dynamic viewing experience.

Step 5: Finalize Your YouTube Short

Once your video is edited, preview it to ensure it looks good. This is your chance to make any final timing adjustments or add additional elements before it reaches the publishing screen. When you’re satisfied, save your Short in the appropriate format.

Step 6: Upload and Optimize Your Short

Upload your video to the YouTube app through the YouTube Studio. When uploading, add a catchy video title and an engaging description. Include relevant keywords and hashtags like #Shorts to help your video get discovered.

Choose the right visibility settings to target your intended audience. Publicly visible YouTube videos have the widest reach. Private or unlisted videos are best if you're still testing out new footage.

Optimize Your Short

Step 7: Monitor Performance and Iterate

After publishing your Short, monitor its performance through YouTube Analytics. Look at metrics like view count, watch time, and engagement rates. Use this data to understand what works and what doesn’t, and let these insights guide the creation of more videos on YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Shorts Tracking

Best Practices for Creating Engaging YouTube Shorts

Now that you know how to create YouTube shorts from existing videos, you must know how to launch them effectively. Creating YouTube Shorts videos requires creativity, technical skills, and strategic planning. Here are some best practices to consider when creating Shorts.

Focus on the First Few Seconds

Capturing the audience's attention within the first few seconds translates to success in YouTube Shorts. The beginning of your video should be engaging enough to stop viewers from scrolling past.

Use striking visuals, exciting teasers, or an immediate start to the action to hook viewers right away. This is crucial because the initial engagement can significantly influence the overall performance of your videos​.

If you take this short, for example, the first few seconds begin with a question that creates curiosity among the audience, especially football enthusiasts.

YouTube Short in first few seconds

Leverage High-Quality Visuals

High-quality visuals are critical in creating short videos that stand out. Even in a short video format, the clarity and quality of your visuals can greatly impact viewer retention and engagement. Investing in good lighting, using a decent shorts camera, and applying high-quality graphics can make your YouTube Shorts more appealing and professional-looking.

Using trending background music and sounds can enhance the appeal of your YouTube Shorts videos and help them reach a broader audience. Trendy audio tracks often have a viral quality that can increase the shareability of your YouTube videos. Always check the current trends on YouTube to ensure the sounds you use will likely resonate with viewers​.

Look at this video that hopped on to the trend of dancing to the “Worth it” song. Not surprisingly, the video has garnered more than 5 million views.

Engage with Your Audience

Engagement goes beyond just watching videos; it includes likes, comments, and shares. Encourage this by interacting with your viewers through the Shorts created. Ask questions, invite opinions, or encourage viewers to participate in challenges or contests. This interaction can help build a community around your channel.

Here’s a YouTube Short from Matty Kay. He is giving away $2000 worth of items to his followers, provided they follow the instructions on the video. Also, note the 35k comments—which is not an easy metric!

Engage with your audience

Be Consistent

Consistency is key in building and maintaining an audience on YouTube. Posting regularly helps keep your channel active and in the minds of your viewers. It can also aid in algorithmic recommendations on YouTube, increasing the chances that a larger audience will see your Shorts.

Show Behind-The-Scenes Moments

Viewers love getting a peek behind the curtain. Use your Shorts creation page to show behind-the-scenes (BTS) content related to your existing YouTube videos, events, or daily operations. This humanizes your brand and builds a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, show the setup process for a photo shoot, your team's day-to-day operations, or how a product is made. This transparency can strengthen your bond with your audience and make your content more relatable and engaging.

Now, look at this BTS of a viral video idea trending earlier. It has received 277 million views!

YouTube Viral Short videos

Create Clips That Keeps Them Coming Back

To encourage repeat viewership, create clips that are episodic or tease what's coming next. This could be a series of short videos telling a story together or offering a weekly tip or challenge.

Creating anticipation and a reason to return makes you more likely to build a loyal viewer base. Consider ways to intrigue and surprise your audience, keeping them curious about your next videos​.

For instance, a music producer, Jarred Jermaine, has a YouTube channel brimming with informative and entertaining shorts on music.

Jarred uploads more footage daily about iconic songs' origins and parallels, viral pop culture occurrences, and music trivia. Because of this, fans are always eager for new videos, regardless of the day of the week.

Create YouTube Clips

Include A Clear Call-To-Action (CTA)

Every Short should have a clear call to action, encouraging viewers to engage further with your content or channel. Whether prompting them to like, subscribe, follow a link, or watch another full video, a strong CTA converts viewers into active participants and can help channel growth.

Make sure your CTA is simple and direct. Ideally, link it to the content of the Short itself, making it natural for viewers to take​.

Here’s an example from Yoga With Amit. The ‘shop’ button prompts viewers to take action.

Yoga YouTube Shorts

How to Monetize YouTube Shorts?

Monetizing YouTube Shorts has become a more tangible option since early 2023, with several avenues available to creators for generating income.

Revenue Sharing

YouTube now allows creators to earn money through an ad revenue-sharing model. As part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), creators can earn a 45% share of the revenue generated from ads displayed between Shorts in the feed. This system calculates earnings based on the number of views your Shorts receive.

Eligibility for Monetization

To qualify for monetization, you must meet specific criteria:

  • Your channel needs at least 1,000 subscribers.
  • You also need 10 million views on your Shorts over the last 90 days or 4,000 watch hours on your channel overall in the past 12 months.
  • Additionally, your YouTube account must be in good standing with no active community guideline strikes, and you must have a linked AdSense account to receive payments​.
YouTube Monitization

Direct Revenue Streams

  • Super Thanks and Super Chats: Even with fewer subscribers (minimum 500), you can earn through fan donations via Super Thanks, where viewers can tip you directly on individual Shorts. Additionally, if you engage in live streaming, Super Chats and Stickers provide another revenue avenue during streams​.
  • Channel Memberships: Offer exclusive content and perks to subscribers through memberships, which can also be extended to include unique Shorts content for members.

Alternative Monetization Methods

  • Sponsored Content: Partnering with brands to create sponsored Shorts can be highly lucrative. Compensation varies based on your channel's popularity and engagement rates​.
  • Merchandising: Selling branded merchandise can be a significant income source. Since direct links in shorts are not supported, you'll need to direct viewers to your merch store via links in your video descriptions or pinned comments.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Earn commissions by promoting products in your Shorts and directing viewers to purchase through affiliate links in your video descriptions or pinned comments.
  • Selling Products or Services: If you offer a product or service, use Shorts to promote these directly to your audience. While you can't embed links in Shorts, directing viewers to your description or comments section for links is a practical approach.

Consider These Monetization Tips!

  • Quality and Engagement: The potential to earn significant income directly from YouTube Shorts ad revenue is limited unless your videos consistently attract millions of views. Focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience to increase viewership​.
  • Diversify Income Sources: Considering the relatively low pay rate per view from Shorts ads, diversifying your monetization strategies — through direct sales, fan funding, sponsorships, and more — can help maximize your earnings​.

Wrapping Up

If you want to expand your following and achieve your YouTube Shorts goals, posting films randomly won't cut it. Having fewer pieces of material circulating also reduces your chances of success. Rinse and repeat these steps and best practices in the guide for your perfect YouTube creator strategy.

YouTube Shorts and video creation are fulfilling. But what if you could take them to the next level, educate the audience, and create a community of followers? That’s what a platform like FreshLearn does.

For creators looking to scale their influence beyond YouTube, FreshLearn presents a compelling opportunity. With FreshLearn, over 13,000 coaches, fitness and wellness trainers, instructors, artists, and other creators globally have monetized their expertise by selling courses, cohorts, workshops, and more.

By leveraging FreshLearn's all-in-one platform, creators can build their websites and tap into a broader market, effectively turning their knowledge and skills into substantial online earnings. For more information on how you can expand your creative endeavors and monetize your content through courses, visit FreshLearn.


1. How to convert a YouTube video to YouTube Shorts?

You can use the YouTube mobile app to convert an existing YouTube video into a Short. Select the video from your channel, tap 'Edit,' and then choose 'Edit into a Short.' This allows you to trim your video to 60 seconds or less, which is required for Shorts, and make any additional edits, such as adding text or music.

2. Does YouTube automatically convert videos to Shorts?

YouTube does not automatically convert standard videos into Shorts. Creating a Short requires the creator to manually select and edit videos to fit within the specific criteria for Shorts, such as duration (up to 60 seconds) and format (vertical 9:16 aspect ratio). This manual process ensures that only content intended to be viewed as Shorts is formatted and presented as such.

3. Why is my video not a short on YouTube?

If your video is not recognized as a Short by YouTube, it's likely because it does not meet the necessary criteria. The primary factors are the video's length and aspect ratio. A YouTube Short must be 60 seconds or less and in a vertical format. If your video exceeds these dimensions or is presented horizontally, it will not be classified as a Short. Make sure your video adheres to these guidelines before uploading to ensure it is recognized as a Short.

4. How do I change my YouTube Shorts after posting?

After your Short is posted on YouTube, you can still modify elements such as the title, description, and visibility settings via YouTube Studio. If significant changes are necessary in the video, it is better to delete the original Short and upload a revised version as a new post.

5. How many Shorts can I upload on YouTube per day?

YouTube does not limit the number of Shorts you can upload per day. You can upload as many Shorts as you want as frequently as possible. However, for strategic purposes, it’s better to space out uploads to maximize engagement and avoid overwhelming your audience.

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