Dan got his start on YouTube in August of 2011, recording gameplay videos as a fun hobby while attending school for video production. Joining the vidIQ team in 2020 allowed Dan to combine his hobby and professional talents to now help others grow their own YouTube channels.
How to Grow a YouTube Shorts Channel
JUMP TO SECTION:
- 1. Determine How Long Your Shorts Need to Be
- 2. Make Valuable Shorts That Entertain or Inform
- 3. Create Custom Thumbnails for Your Shorts
- 4. Make Your Titles Count
- 5. Use YouTube Stories to Increase Shorts Views
- 6. Don’t Post Long-Form Content on Your Shorts Channel
- 7. Be Consistent
We know you’re focused on growing a regular YouTube channel, but what about a Shorts-only channel? So far, Shorts creators are attracting millions of subscribers. And, they’re going viral with less than 60 seconds of content.
But how do you achieve such a feat?
In this episode of TubeTalk, we chat with Block Facts about how he gained a million subscribers on his Minecraft Shorts channel. His recipe for success is simple: Commit to a content style that’s working, and never give up.
Of course, there’s more to the story. Here are seven practical tips to grow a YouTube Shorts channel.
1. Determine How Long Your Shorts Need to Be
A YouTube Short can be a maximum of 60 seconds, or 59 if you count the extra second YouTube adds to every video. But that doesn’t mean you should use the full minute. If you can get your point across in less time, that’s a good thing.
Below, notice how most videos on Block Facts' channel are 27 seconds. He tells viewers what they need to know in that short period, and it's working for him.
Answer these two questions to make your Shorts the right length:
- Did I make my point or should I keep going?
- Is there any “dead air” I can cut or eliminate?
2. Make Valuable Shorts That Entertain or Inform
You can create a variety of content with YouTube Shorts. Some people dance to music, play with pets, or produce funny skits. Others share their expertise by showing viewers how to do something in less than 60 seconds.
No matter what you do, make sure the video is valuable for the viewer.
Block Facts uses this strategy for every Short, and the video below is a great example. In it, he shares facts about furnaces in Minecraft, which is useful information for those who play the game. The video has more than 2 million views.
3. Create Custom Thumbnails for Your Shorts
If you’re familiar with how Shorts work, we know what you might be thinking: “If viewers are watching from the Shorts shelf – a display area that plays vertical videos non-stop – why should I create thumbnails for Shorts? They don't show up in that area anyway.”
That’s true. But did you know that Shorts are also watched as regular YouTube videos? You can view them on a normal watch page, which has advertisements and a comment section. Before someone watches a Short in that area, they will see a thumbnail. If it’s not a custom one, YouTube shows a random video frame, which makes for a lousy graphic. That’s why more creators are making custom thumbnails for Shorts.
“MrBeast Shorts started doing that as well,” Block Facts says. “He makes custom thumbnails for people [watching] on PC. They’re vertical but don’t actually appear in the video. I’ve tried to incorporate my thumbnail into the video so the one on the Shorts shelf is similar, but it’s always slightly different.”
4. Make Your Titles Count
Have you noticed the more prominent areas of the YouTube Shorts player? There’s the video, of course, which fills the entire screen. Then there’s the video title, the channel’s name, a subscribe button, like and dislike buttons, a comment icon, and a share icon.
Of all these sections, the title is most important. A viewer doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the next 60 seconds of a Short, but they will if they read the title.
The video below is titled "Minecraft Salmon Facts." Click the play button to see if this Block Facts video is consistent with its headline.
What did you discover? We spotted several facts: how salmon used to look in Minecraft, the amount of health they restored, where to find salmon in the game, and more. The video's title lives up to the hype.
To get more views on every Short, make your titles interesting and accurate.
5. Use YouTube Stories to Increase Shorts Views
Here’s a hack anyone can use to promote their YouTube Shorts channel. Instead of posting a Short and hoping for the best, create some YouTube Stories that “highlight” your best Shorts.
“Stories helped a lot,” Block Facts says. “Every time I posted a Story, it tripled or even quadrupled the amount of subscribers for that day.”
Block Facts did two things to create such results. He asked people to hit the subscribe button within the Story and leave a comment about their favorite Minecraft block. He says the extra engagement may have pushed his content to new levels within the YouTube algorithm.
6. Don’t Post Long-Form Content on Your Shorts Channel
This probably goes without saying, but lengthy videos will underperform on a Shorts channel. Viewers originally subscribed for brief entertainment – videos that play within the same time you'd microwave a cookie. Stick to the plan so viewers are satisfied and in the mood to subscribe.
7. Be Consistent
This tip isn’t just for Shorts. Whether you’re posting long-form videos, Community tab polls, or YouTube Stories, one piece of content won’t help you gain millions of subscribers. You must be consistent and continue to post fresh content. That doesn’t mean you need to upload daily, but it’s smart to have some kind of schedule. The right posting frequency depends on the type of Shorts – or overall content – you want to make.
Also, don’t forget about style consistency. Having a recognizable format and appearance for your content helps viewers remember your work.
Want more YouTube Shorts tips? Here's a quick guide to double your Watch Time by looping Shorts.