If you’re not getting any views with YouTube shorts, you might want to reconsider your approach. In this post, we’ll look at a few reasons why and give suggestions on how to get more video views.
YouTube shorts are a great way to express your creativity in a shorter format than your standard YouTube video. You can also take advantage of the distribution YouTube is giving to this feature in order to grow your YouTube channel or your brand. And you can even make money with YouTube shorts now.
Shorts can take off and gain hundreds of thousands of views overnight, and while this is still possible with regular videos, it tends to happen far more often in a much shorter timeframe than with your standard longer videos.
If you’re not getting any views with your YouTube Shorts, here’s what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.
- Your YouTube Shorts haven’t had enough time to take off
- Your subscribers want long-form content
- You’re not creating enough content
- Your YouTube Shorts don’t hold viewers’ attention
- Your Shorts are too long
- Your videos are in the wrong format
- You’re not tagging your Shorts correctly
Your YouTube Shorts haven’t had enough time to take off
YouTube shorts can take a while to gain momentum and really take off. If you uploaded a video and the next day it hasn’t gone viral, that’s normal.
When you upload your shorts, YouTube will first test them with your regular audience and then specifically in the Shorts shelf/section. If your video performs well and people watch a good portion of your video, this can speed up the process.
YouTube will test your Shorts with different audiences so that it can find a group of people interested, over time this testing will decrease, but once it finds an audience that engages well, it will show it to similar people and then your short can really take off.
How to fix it:
The best way to resolve this is to give your YouTube shorts enough time to find the people who are interested in this.
Only a few YouTube channels go directly into the YouTube shorts section, and these are mostly channels that have a track record already of people engaging well with their Shorts and other short-form content.
If your Shorts don’t take off after the first week, don’t worry about it, sometimes it can even take months for a Short to gain that traction.
Your subscribers want long-form content
If you have a channel that really dives deep, builds a longer storyline, and provides viewers with a 10-minute escape, then those viewers may not be interested in a shorter version of your content.
When they see you’ve uploaded a new video and it’s only a 50-second short, as opposed to a 10-minute video, they’re not going to be as enthusiastic about watching your short as they would be about watching a full-length YouTube video.
They subscribed to your channel for long-form content and that is what they want. If you keep uploading Shorts, they may even start skipping the longer videos as they may not realize it. Or, YouTube may not recommend it to them as they haven’t engaged with your short content.
How to fix it:
To fix this, the easiest thing to do is create a separate channel for your short content.
You can then also mention this in your longer videos, and vice versa for your short content and use each channel to help grow the other and retain the viewers interested in each different form.
Depending on what type of videos you make, you can even take short clips from the longer videos and upload them to your shorts channel.
You’re not creating enough content
Creating content is a staple piece of growing an audience across all platforms, be that YouTube, Instagram, your website, or even TikTok.
The problem with new platforms and features is that people who get in early tend to gain momentum very quickly because there is not enough content to meet the demand (if there is an audience already, think Instagram Reels, LinkedIn posts, etc.).
Most creators suffer from this problem with YouTube Shorts as well. Because a lot of channels were gaining rapid growth early on with Shorts, the expectation is that you will take off and have a million subscribers after 10 Shorts.
This is not the case, with more and more creators uploading Shorts, the odds of yours landing in the YouTube Shorts shelf/section just because it’s a short actually decreases.
How to fix it:
In order to increase the likelihood of your YouTube Shorts being found by the right people, you need to upload more content.
Once you start gaining momentum with your videos, it can then grow exponentially and your Shorts can land on the shorts shelf more quickly.
Your YouTube Shorts don’t hold viewers’ attention
A common reason why your YouTube Shorts get no views is that they do not hold the viewer’s attention. The shorter the content the more each second counts.
People want instant gratification when they watch Shorts, and if they ditch your Short halfway through, your retention rate suffers and YouTube will stop promoting your Shorts.
How to fix it:
You need to hook the viewer within the first 3-5 seconds, the sooner the better. Avoid intros and other unnecessary things in your Shorts, you have a max of 60 seconds and you shouldn’t waste any of them on unnecessary content.
Get straight to the point, or if you’re storytelling, deliver a hook to keep the audience engaged from the first few seconds and then deliver on the promise in the video.
Another way to keep your audience engaged with YouTube Shorts is to show and not tell. Explaining something often takes a lot longer than simply showing something in action, and watching something happen is more interesting than listening to the theory.
Your Shorts are too long
If your video is longer than 60 seconds, it won’t register as a Short, but that is not what I’m referring to when I say that you’re not getting any views because your Shorts are too long.
Your shorts are too long because you think you need to use up all 60 seconds.
You don’t need to use all 60 seconds, and what happens when you try to do that is you include unnecessary fluff that makes the video less engaging.
Like the previous point, this increases your video drop-off rate and your audience retention suffers. Causing your Shorts to be promoted less by YouTube.
How to fix it:
Keep your YouTube Shorts… short. If you can deliver the message/value in 10 seconds, then do so. If it takes 30 seconds, then make your video 30 seconds long.
Do not add extra seconds to the end explaining what you do, asking for subscriptions, likes, etc. If people want to subscribe, they will, and if you add 10 seconds of self-marketing, people will drop off and your retention rate will go down.
Keep it short and sweet.
Your videos are in the wrong format
YouTube shorts are a direct competition to TikTok and are designed for short-form mobile viewing.
As most people are familiar with using their smartphones in a vertical fashion when consuming shorter content you should adjust your videos to match this.
If you make a square or horizontal video, you’re leaving open screen space that can be used to hold more of the viewer’s attention. With horizontal video especially, viewers can see a lot less of the video if it’s been formatted to appear horizontal when viewing it vertically.
How to fix it:
Make sure your videos are in vertical format. Aim for a 9:16 aspect ratio and if you are cropping into a video, check that the main area of the video is central.
If you are creating YouTube Shorts with your TikTok account, you should be good to go, and YouTube doesn’t penalize videos that have the TikTok logo on them.
You’re not tagging your Shorts correctly
Speaking of labels, another common mistake people make with YouTube Shorts is using the incorrect tag.
Now there is a little caveat here, as you do not necessarily need to add the hashtag to your video for YouTube to recognize it as being a Short. But it can help your video get picked up by YouTube quicker if you include the #shorts hashtag.
If you already have had multiple videos picked up and done well, then you probably don’t need to include the hashtag, but it won’t harm your video performance if you do include it. So you probably should include it anyway.
How to fix it:
The correct hashtag to use on your Shorts is #Shorts.
It should be the plural version, and it doesn’t matter if you capitalize the first letter or not. So both of these versions will work: #Shorts #shorts
You can include it in your video title or the description, it does not matter.
Shorts are gaining popularity on YouTube, and if you want to take advantage of this, now is the time to act. By following the tips I’ve outlined in this article, you can get more views with your YouTube Shorts, which can build your presence on YouTube, help your socials, or even turn into an extra source of income.