How I Made a #3 Top Trending YouTube Video

This article is from the Unstuck newsletter archives — a 5-minute weekly read about what’s working in the world of entrepreneurship for creators just like you. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, join the 127k+ readers who are getting unstuck (100% free!) every week.

After publishing a video on my Pokémon YouTube channel, Deep Pocket Monster, this happened:

Comment from Bilal & Cards on YouTube video that reads: "Wow, I've never cried before at a YouTube video about Pokémon before. Well deserved, Pat. You and everyone in the community are great."

This was one of hundreds of comments, within hours, that mentioned crying or tearing up. Here’s another:

Comment from Jorge Gomez on YouTube video that reads, "So what if I teared up towards the end..."

Why is this important?

The truth is, this is not about the tears. The tears are a byproduct of what really matters, and a huge, game-changing lesson that I want to teach you about content creation.

It was certainly game-changing for me. When you do it right, this can happen:

Screenshot of YouTube video showing #3 on Trending circled in red.

This video has since become the best-performing video I’ve ever published across both of my YouTube channels.

325k views in less than 24 hours and the #3 top trending video in ALL of YouTube.

I’ll tell you why this happened. Let’s get unstuck.

The Story

In early 2020, I caught a series of tweets from my good friend, Ryan Deiss, founder of the Traffic & Conversion Summit. His company is widely known for super tactical and data-driven strategies in the digital marketing space. This series of tweets, however, was new to me.

This is the part that caught my attention the most:

Screenshot of Ryan Deiss Twitter thread about data-driven strategies.

He went on to share a simple strategy to entertain and hold people’s attention: make people laugh, and make people cry. If you can do that, you’ve connected on a human level — more than any surface-level content could ever do.

This spoke to me a lot, so much so that later in 2020, when I decided to start Deep Pocket Monster, entertaining my audience was my #1 goal. Even if I’m educating them, I still aim to entertain in the process.

And it’s working. 

In the video I referenced above (here’s a link in case you want to watch it) I take viewers on a rollercoaster ride as I attempt to complete an entire set of Pokémon cards in only 48 hours. This set — which has 237 cards — is a well-known but rather expensive set to complete. To make it even more challenging, I’m in a location I’ve never tried looking for cards in before.

To add to the stakes, if I didn’t complete the set in time, I’d have to give the entire binder of cards that I collected away.

There’s ups, there’s downs, there’s twists and turns, but me and my producer, Dan Patrick Norton, pieced the right story together, one that anyone could follow, even if they know nothing about Pokémon. 

We wanted to connect on a human level, so we added comedy and drama into the mix, too…

(Spoiler coming…)

In the end, we painted a picture of defeat, coming oh-so-close to victory. Right when you think it’s over, it turns out a few characters we met along the way had gone out of their way to find what I needed and seal the victory for the team. 

It’s a story that anyone can relate to: feeling defeated, only to have someone help you when you’re down — and if you happen to watch it, there’s a chance you might get choked up a little, too.

And now, with over a million views and counting, this video continues to introduce new people to the brand, add more people into the community, and generate more ad revenue, too.

Your Call to Action

In an upcoming piece of content, explore how you can go from surface level to entertainment level. 

Don’t be someone you’re not (it’s important to be yourself!) but craft a story that has something at stake — something to potentially lose.

Teach, yes, but showcase the hardships and the comical things that happen along the way. 

And finally, study. Study the art of storytelling and entertainment. When you watch a video on YouTube, or a TikTok that captures your attention, ask yourself, “why?”

Get good at it, because as more and more information continues to bloat the internet (and our attention) it’s the creators who find their own special way to entertain who are going to stand out, gain superfans, and survive.

I hope you enjoyed this 5-minute read! To get more like it every week (again, totally free), sign up below!

Share this post

  • Pat Flynn

    Hi, I’m Pat, founder of SPI and host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Let’s continue the conversation over in our communities.

Get Unstuck in just 5 minutes, for free

Our weekly Unstuck newsletter helps online entrepreneurs break through mental blocks, blind spots, and skill gaps. It’s the best 5-minute read you’ll find in your inbox.

Free newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime.

Join 135k+