Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How Jenny Hoyos Gets 10M Views Per YouTube Short
If you don't know who Jenny Hoyos is, you've taken the longest break from YouTube in recorded history. Because seriously — this Shorts creator has been pulling in millions of views since 2022.
Jenny is in the finance niche, so she loves to film extreme budgeting challenges: making $1 meals, giving $5 gifts, and other cool stunts. Her viewers love it, and all the praise has lifted her channel to 1.69 million subscribers and 954 million views. But her most impressive feat is getting over 10 million views per YouTube Short.
By now, you probably know that gaining 10 million Shorts views in 90 days is one way to enter the YouTube Partner Program. And once you're in, you can monetize your Shorts with YouTube ad revenue.
If that's your main goal as a creator, keep scrolling or check out the video below. We interviewed Jenny to learn how she goes viral with short-form content dozens of times each month!
1. Find a Unique Niche (Blue Ocean Strategy)
Finding the right target audience for your content is more complicated than most creators know. You have to go deeper than deep, avoiding the crowded niches if you want a real shot at standing out. Or in Jenny's own words, you need to look for a blue ocean — not a red one.
- Red ocean = Bloody waters. Creators don't survive because hundreds of "sharks" go after the same video topics and angles.
- Blue ocean = Smooth sailing. You have room to explore many video topics and stand out within your niche.
So, how do you avoid a red ocean and find those crystal, blue waters? It's all about finding a gap in the market.
"At first, I was actually copying Graham Stephan.... That's a red ocean because everyone's trying to be him. But then I looked at the money/finance industry and realized nobody's doing it for kids," Jenny says.
2. Craft a Compelling 'Hook'
A hook is a three-second introduction that reels people in and compels them to keep watching. According to Jenny, the best hooks are concise, visually compelling, and tell the gist of the story within seconds. This gets people to stop scrolling and increases the odds of earning millions of views.
"It needs to be so good that you can be watching the video on mute and still know what it's about," Jenny says.
For example, pay attention to the first three seconds of the video below, where Jenny recreates a chicken sandwich (at Chik-fil-A) for $1.
The first words you hear are "$1 chicken sandwich." She wastes no time getting to the point, and she shows her sandwich next to the Chik-fil-A sign.
To build a compelling hook, you should:
- Use foreshadowing: Give a sneak peek of what happens at the end of your video.
- Try these 18 viral introductions: Some phrases grab attention much better than others. Experiment with intros like "Did you know about this...?" or “I never do THIS, and here’s why…”
- Show emotional reactions: Starting a video with someone laughing or crying makes viewers curious about what led up to those moments.
3. Use Common Storytelling Techniques
Storytelling has taken over on YouTube. The days of giving information without having unique characters, scenes, and conflicts are long gone! Today, YouTube videos are more like mini-movies.
That may sound intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. According to Jenny, you just need three key elements, which involve:
- Setting up conflict
- Resolving the conflict
- Setting up new conflict
You can bring this to life by using the words "but" and "so," Jenny says.
For example: I was going for a walk, but I noticed a dog blocking my path, so I turned around. But the dog whined softly, so I followed him for a few miles. He led me to a dark tunnel, so I backed away in fear. But I saw a bunch of abandoned puppies at the rim of the opening.
Each "but" stops the viewer from scrolling away as conflict rises.
4. Balance Pace with Structure
Setting a good pace for any story is crucial, and Shorts are no exception to the rule. But the real challenge is figuring out how to pace a short video. After all, you only have 60 seconds to make your point.
Here's what Jenny suggests:
- Make your initial hook brief (fast-paced).
- Make the middle a bit slower (medium-paced).
- Make the peak of your story memorable and sharp (fast-paced).
- Make the resolution a bit slower (medium-paced).
- Make the ending quick (fast-paced).
Image credit: Nielsen Norman Group
"There are multiple theories to back this up. One that I want to get into is the Peak-End Theory. It's this theory that people only remember their favorite part of a movie and the ending," Jenny says."
Take your viewers on a rollercoaster of fast and medium-paced scenes. That way, important moments have more room to stand out.
5. Entice Returning Viewers with 'Content Buckets'
Did you know that viral Shorts aren't created in a vacuum? Successful creators have a strategy for each video and the collection of videos surrounding that one masterpiece. That's why Jenny prefers to create "content buckets", or themes that viewers can easily recognize.
"Buckets are repeatable formats, and I try to build mine around very similar titles. For example, my bucket would be '$1 fast food item versus restaurant'.... All the videos are [metadata-linked using that title]. YouTube will say, "Oh, the viewer liked when she made '$1 pizza.' They're going to like it when she makes a $1 sandwich or $1 burger too," Jenny explains.
Creating content buckets (based on what worked in the past) is the fastest way to get returning viewers and increase your Shorts views.
YouTube Shorts Monetization: It's Easy When You're Going Viral
Compared to long-form content, YouTube Shorts don't bring in as much ad revenue. Going viral helps in that department, but many creators make as low as $100 for a Short with millions of views. It's a common problem that pushes Shorts creators into making long-form videos.
But what if you have no desire for that? What if you love making Shorts and nothing else on YouTube?
Fortunately, there's another path to monetizing your Shorts.
"If you have products, courses, and sponsorships, that's where the money is made. I know a couple of creators who literally make a million dollars per sponsored Short," Jenny says.
Of course, going viral is the best way to get lucrative sponsorships or sell the right number of products to support yourself.