Ever wonder why some people are doing better than you?

The Edge of David "Shorts" Experiment - I'm Shadow Banned?

Alright so I decided to try out YouTube shorts. They are simply 1 minute or less videos you post to YouTube. Simply record your video in portrait mode and upload it. Then wait for the shorts algorithm to pick it up.

Use the hashtag "shorts" to help speed things up if you like, but I did noticed that it did not matter that much. What matters is that it's a portrait mode video and it's under a minute.

I went ahead and created "Edge of David shorts." A dedicated channel to my iPhone videos. Basically, whenever I would be inclined to post a story to Instagram or Facebook, I can now post that same video as a "short" to YouTube.

The results?

Crazy.


I got this channel up and over 2000 views a day in days, not weeks or months -DAYS. This is some Bitcoin style growth. Anyways, then end result was that I got a lot of views and subscribers and that's it. No money and no engagement on my main channel. Just a fun little distraction.

Update: I appear to have been shadow banned. After hitting 5k views in a day, my views have dropped to literally 0:



Post shorts to an established channel - pros and cons

So I deleted the top performing videos and re-uploaded them to my main channel, "Edge of David" on YouTube (I posted 10 or so short videos). They did well there too but not as well as a dedicated channel.

I also noticed a drop in subscribers obviously. Moral of the story, if you have an established channel, leverage shorts occasionally. Don't blast your channel with 10+ short videos as YouTube and your audience won't like that.

Instead, be thoughtful about it if you're going to post to an established channel. Rollo Tomassi is a good example of this. He posts long form videos but does leverage shorts:


He does it in the right way where he is adding to his collection of videos and not annoying his audience. If you already have a channel with an audience, this is how I would approach it.

Pros: 

  • You can take advantage of the staggering amount of views and subscribers shorts can drive.
  • You won't annoy your audience if done right.
Cons:
  • Shorts are a numbers game. Your short may fall flat, a problem you won't have with a dedicated channel.
  • To get the full force of shorts you need to be aggressive and post a lot.

Posting shorts to a dedicated shorts channel

So after looking at the data and performance, shorts work best on their own dedicated channel if you're going to be posting regularly. To get the most out of a shorts channel just take a shotgun approach and post as much as you can.

Wait a few days to see what works and what does not. Any video that is taking off go ahead and link in the description your main channel or related video and pin a comment. Next, create a dedicated shorts playlist. On your main channel, add the shorts playlist so your audience can find it.

Here is the homepage for Edge of David on YouTube now:


I have my feature video at the top, followed by two sections. My "popular uploads" and then I have a playlist of all my short videos. This seems to be a good middle ground. One where you're still sharing your short form content with your audience, taking advantage of the shorts algorithm and not annoying your audience.

Should you post shorts?

Again, if you have an established channel, go for it. Post one well edited short per every 3 or 4 "normal style" videos and see if it works for you. For everyone else, if you're the type who enjoys posting short stories to Instagram and Facebook then consider making a shorts channel.

Not only is it a fun little project but now you have a place to enjoy your stores and reminisce. It's like how Facebook reminds you of stories you posted a year ago. It's nice to look back on things you were doing.

If however you're wanting to make money then this is not it. It's easy to get views and subscribers but beyond that it's unclear how shorts will develop over time.