Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How This Creator Got 852K Views in 58 Seconds From YouTube Shorts
Dan, our executive producer at vidIQ, has achieved something every creator dreams of. After posting a video to YouTube’s platform of 2 billion monthly viewers, he's gained 852,000 views in just a few weeks.
That magical video is titled, “How to Make a Map in Minecraft 1.16.3," and it’s one of his shortest videos at only 58 brief seconds:
Dan’s video - and any vertical video less than 60 seconds - is what YouTube is now calling YouTube Shorts. The platform has been testing this content in the Stories and Short Videos shelf, a new display area for discovering short-form content. In it, viewers can cycle through random videos - kind of like TikTok’s never-ending loop of content.
We’ve talked about YouTube Shorts a lot on this blog, and we even have a playlist to help creators understand what Shorts are and how they behave. If you need more information about short-form content on YouTube, use those two resources to get caught up!
As for Dan’s 852,000 YouTube Shorts views, just keep reading. There’s a strategy behind his success, and it’s repeatable for both newer and established creators.
How Long Does It Take For a YouTube Short to Get Views?
When Dan isn’t filming YouTube growth tutorials for vidIQ, he posts gaming videos on his own channel, Vortac. But as a gamer, he wasn’t sure how YouTube Shorts would complement his channel's strategy. Gaming videos are usually much longer than 60 seconds, so he decided to post a couple of Shorts and wait for the results.
Within 48 hours of posting his first Short, Dan's video was featured on the YouTube Shorts shelf. It quickly gained tons of views, and then suddenly, people stopped watching the video.
Meanwhile, his second Short was stagnant with minimal views, no discovery placement, and no circulation on YouTube. To his credit, there were 337 views, but those came from people finding his video through YouTube’s browse features or loyal subscribers watching his content. He welcomed those views, but Dan was aiming for the YouTube Shorts shelf specifically.
About four weeks went by, and then it finally happened - the views on Dan’s second YouTube Short began to skyrocket. The process was fascinating to watch because the ascent wasn’t steady. On some days, the video earned anywhere between 50 and 100,000 views in just 24 hours. And right now, it's the most-watched video on his gaming channel.
Of course, that’s the same video we’re so intrigued by right now: “How to Make a Map in Minecraft 1.16.3.” It has more than three-quarters of a million views and has earned Dan more than 5,000 new subscribers.
To hear the details of this feat, watch our latest video about how Dan got featured on the YouTube Shorts shelf:
Now that we’ve witnessed the power of YouTube Shorts, only two questions remain: How did Dan’s short video attract hundreds of thousands of views, and what can creators learn from his experience?
How to Get More Views on Your Next YouTube Short
If you know anything about Minecraft, you know that creating a map is a beginner-level task in the game. But to get on the YouTube Shorts shelf, that’s exactly the kind of topic Dan was looking for - a teachable moment.
Prior to creating his first Short, Dan did some keyword research on YouTube and learned that new players were curious about how Minecraft maps work. With such powerful intel, he decided to make a video answering that one, specific question.
Whether you're trying to rank on YouTube’s search pages or get featured on the Shorts shelf, doing these two things will help you succeed faster:
- Make valuable content for the viewer. Shorts still appear on the regular side of YouTube, so Dan took the time to create a proper thumbnail, write a video description, and plug in some tags - all for the benefit of anyone watching his video outside of the Shorts shelf.
- Don’t overlook a video's ‘weaker’ traffic sources. Even with Dan getting 750,000 views on a Short, percentages from ‘lesser’ traffic sources represented thousands of quality views.
So what does this mean for you and your channel? Well, for one thing, it tells us YouTube Shorts aren't just for people who dance in front of their phones. Gaming channels can benefit too.
Our Best Tips For Creating YouTube Shorts
Out of everything Dan learned from his viral moment, here are his best tips for creating popular, attention-grabbing Shorts.
- To create a Short, simply record a video as you normally would, in a widescreen format. When you’re editing the video, you can adjust the aspect ratio and chop off the left and right sides of the frame.
- Shorts should quickly add value to a viewer’s day. Try to teach people something new, and have a strong hook from the beginning. If you can make viewers laugh, that’s even better. Humor should boost your video’s retention rate, and that lets YouTube know your content is worth sharing.
- Finally, have some patience. Shorts can take 24 hours or even a month to start getting thousands of views on YouTube.
Dan’s latest Shorts are doing OK, but who knows how they’ll perform in the next 20-30 days?
No matter what kind of YouTube channel you have, add some Shorts to your strategy so you can potentially, hopefully, get more views on your content.