YouTube Shorts: unlocking potential for maximizing traffic

We’ve often highlighted how YouTube is an effective source of free traffic across various verticals. Let’s look closer into a relatively new yet promising feature of the world’s largest video hosting platform. YouTube Shorts has become an absolute godsend for content creators leveraging conditionally free traffic, offering a path to an engaged and broad audience that extends beyond Reels and TikTok. However, harnessing its full potential isn’t as straightforward as one might hope. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essentials of driving traffic with YouTube Shorts – from boosting your view count to navigating the platform’s limitations and identifying the most effective creative strategies. Get ready to enhance your viewing experience.

YouTube Shorts Explained

YouTube Shorts are brief, vertical videos that last up to one minute and can feature music or subtitles. This functionality has been accessible to users of the YouTube app since June 2021. By the end of 2022, the daily viewership of these short videos had surged to over 30 billion. The Shorts format simplifies the video upload process for creators, allowing them to publish multiple videos at once, attracting new audiences more effectively. While the channel has yet to become a mainstream advertising platform, trends indicate it’s heading in that direction.

Statistics reveal a significant uptick in YouTube Shorts’ global user base, growing from 1.5 billion in 2022 to 2 billion in 2023.

Objectively, YouTube Shorts can become a serious competitor to TikTok and Reels on Instagram, though the current competitive landscape among these platforms is not yet at its peak.

How to Drive Traffic with YouTube Shorts

Before you start streaming from YouTube Shorts, you need to choose a niche. 

These brief videos can effectively draw traffic to a wide range of verticals, including “white-hat” areas like software, finance, crypto, and wellness, and restricted categories such as dating, gambling, betting, and adult content. It’s important to remember that the primary audience for this channel ranges from 18 to 45 years old, making age-specific nutraceutical offers (like hypertension remedies) less relevant here.

Similar to other conditionally free traffic sources, navigating YouTube Shorts requires a strategic approach to comply with platform rules, especially for restricted content. Instead of direct promotion, traffic for “prohibited” niches is typically redirected through a “bridge,” such as a pre-landing page, an app, or a Telegram channel.

To leverage YouTube Shorts for traffic generation, you need:

  1. Create your own YouTube channel (or purchase one).
  2. Select an affiliate network or a LosPollos offer with a Smartlink tailored to a specific vertical, either from an affiliate network or directly from an advertiser.
  3. Prepare a concise video (up to 60 seconds), upload it to your channel, and incorporate a promotional link (directing to an offer, Smartlink, or “bridge” in the form of a pre-lander, app, or Telegram channel).

An important advantage of this traffic source is that advertisers and affiliate marketers have the opportunity to promote short videos under different GEOs. The platform can identify the language of the video content and display it to an audience from a corresponding GEO. However, if you’re utilizing the LosPollos Smartlink, geography becomes less of a concern. This tool lets you monetize mixed traffic from various geographies, devices, and operating platforms.

Since we are already talking about GEO, you might be interested in the latest rankings of countries by the number of YouTube users for the last quarter of 2023.

YouTube Shorts has found particular popularity in India, where TikTok is banned. Interestingly, the success of YouTube’s service can be attributed to TikTok to some extent (read also: TikTok Affiliate Marketing: cases and secrets). TikTok acclimatized users to the format of short videos before it was removed from several markets for various reasons, which is why a significant portion of its audience migrated to YouTube.

How to Make Effective Creatives for YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts aren’t just useful for content creators; advertisers, including online business owners and affiliates, have also eagerly embraced this feature. Working with YouTube Shorts is often seen as simpler than navigating contextual and targeted advertising complexities. However, merely churning out short videos in large quantities isn’t enough. The success of your content hinges on its quality and the ability to retain viewer engagement. Ideally, each new video should attract more views than its predecessor. Shorts can achieve viral status with a high-quality boost, amassing thousands or even millions of views.

Videos can be recorded from scratch or edited together using a video editor. Crafting high-quality content is undoubtedly challenging, which brings us to creatives.

Requirements for Creating YouTube Shorts:

  • video duration – between 15 seconds to 1 minute;
  • vertical format with a 9:16 aspect ratio;
  • the title length does not exceed 100 characters;
  • audience parameters, in particular age restrictions.

To ensure your YouTube Shorts navigate through moderation smoothly, avoid including any of the following in your videos: sexual and shock value content, profanity, scenes of violence and smoking, discrimination based on gender and race, names of medications, and dietary supplements prohibited for sale without a prescription. Also, when creating shorts on YouTube, it is not permitted to use other people’s intellectual property, such as music and video content; otherwise, the video will be blocked.

By the way, previously, users could upload other people’s videos. Because TikTok and YouTube Shorts have similar algorithms, many copied trending videos from TikTok into Shorts and thus quickly gained millions of views. Now, this trick will not work, leading to the channel owner being blocked by the platform in case of attempted fraud. In addition, do not forget that your competitors may also use the same video. Naturally, this doesn’t stop anyone, but we’ll discuss ways to generate video content later.

Generally, the requirements for short films are the same as full-length videos.

How to Make Creative for YouTube Shorts

To craft compelling creatives for YouTube Shorts, consider the following strategies:

Create Your Qwn Shorts

This method is the most rewarding yet time-consuming. It calls for a blend of creativity and basic technical skills. The easiest way to make your own Shorts is by compiling a montage of photos or video clips into a cohesive video complemented with music. This format is particularly effective for promoting services, weight loss programs, and dating. For more intricate videos, free video content is available on platforms like Pexels, Videvo, Vecteezy, and Pixabay.

Re-upload from Other Platforms

Another strategy involves re-uploading popular videos from other platforms with a unique twist. Ensure the original video is free of any watermarks, which can be removed using specialized tools like SaveFrom. Then, using video editing software, you can personalize the video by applying various effects, flipping it, adding text overlays, or introducing noise. 

When creating content for YouTube Shorts, the key consideration is to avoid using YouTube videos as your primary source material. This approach significantly reduces the likelihood of your content being featured in the YouTube Shorts feed.

Create Short Videos Directly in the YouTube Application

To craft a short video within the YouTube app, simply choose the “Create clip” option beneath the player icon and select the video segment you wish to feature.

To effectively generate traffic from YouTube Shorts while avoiding the risk of a ban, aim to upload between 5 to 15 short videos daily, spacing them out by 2 to 3 hours. This activity level increases your chances of having at least a few of your creatives featured in recommendations. Aim to post videos regularly, ideally at the same time each day. YouTube’s algorithms favor consistency and regularity over spamming. Utilize scheduled posts to streamline and automate your upload process.

YouTube Shorts Ideas

Here are a few working ideas for short videos:

  1. “Before” and “After” videos are perfect for showcasing weight loss transformations.
  2. Unboxing and short reviews work well in merchandise and adult nutra.
  3. Emotional storytelling is effective for advertising any offer, from hair spray to online casinos. Whether humorous, dramatic, or sentimental, the goal is to resonate with the audience.
  4. The Behind-the-Scenes/creation process shows how a product is made or gives a glimpse into gaming strategies.
  5. Lifehacks and winning strategies are excellent for promoting “gray” verticals like sports betting and casinos by providing insider tips.
  6. Motivational videos are particularly effective in the gambling, betting, finance, and crypto sectors, incorporating inspirational quotes and imagery of luxury to inspire viewers.
  7. Myth debunking is great for building confidence in your expertise by clarifying common misconceptions.
  8. Testimonials featuring real people talking about their experiences with a product can significantly boost credibility and trust.
  9. Promotional codes that direct viewers to an advertiser’s website with a promo code are effective lead-generation strategies. These types of videos often end up being shared.

Additional Recommendations for Creating YouTube Shorts

Creating short videos on YouTube that capture and retain viewers’ attention involves adhering to certain standards. Here are classic, time-tested tips for crafting successful Shorts:

  1. The first seconds of a Short are the only chance to grab the user’s attention. Aim to engage viewers within the first 3-5 seconds, develop the core message within 30 seconds, and conclude within the last 5 seconds. Utilize subtitles and visual effects to maintain interest throughout.
  2. Be concise: if the message can be conveyed in 30 seconds, there’s no need to stretch it to 60. Audience members value brevity and directness.
  3. Craft compelling and “juicy” titles. It sets the expectation for the content and can greatly influence its success.
  4. Incorporate music, as popular tracks make videos go viral.
  5. Use features like linking and pinned comments to guide viewers to more of your content, increasing their time spent on your channel.
  6. Promote video content by sharing your videos with subscribers on social networks to encourage interaction from your followers to boost engagement and reach.
  7. Time your posts strategically and post Shorts when your audience is most active. In the first hours, the view counter usually shows 0. Keep in mind that there might be a delay in view count due to video indexing, so plan to upload accordingly.
  8. Optimize for search by including keywords in your video’s title and description to improve visibility search. Ensure that these keywords fit naturally within the content.
  9. Pay attention to current trends and produce content that aligns with viewer interests and preferences.


YouTube Shorts represents an emerging platform that many online business owners have yet to explore, while forward-thinking affiliate marketers are already leveraging its potential to great effect. The current lower saturation of advertising on YouTube Shorts works to their advantage, as audiences are still responding positively to both organic content and advertisements. Given the opportunity to reach a broad spectrum of verticals with minimal investment, it’s an avenue ripe for exploration. With the necessary tools at your disposal to produce high-quality video content, there’s little reason not to venture into this space.

Now is an opportune time to tap into the prime audience on YouTube Shorts. With LosPollos Smartlinks known for effectively converting both free and shareware traffic, it’s worth integrating this strategy into your efforts. 

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