Abandoned is a YouTube series that dives into the history of interesting places and structures from the past. The success of the series is undeniable, with an average of about a million views per video. The series is pretty simplistic and easy to replicate.
Here is what Abandoned does that any YouTuber could do, too.
1. Abandoned uses a topic with endless episodes.
Humans discard things by nature, and Abandoned takes full advantage of this. Reddit has a whole page devoted to abandoned buildings and theme parks. This YouTuber could make hundreds of videos of this sort and still have tons left to cover.
When choosing a topic, the risk is in limiting the potential for videos by being too specific. For instance, if this channel was devoted only to abandoned Disneyland projects, there would be three episodes, and it would be done.
Pick something that is just broad enough to keep on going but not so broad that it’s hard to tie everything together.
2. Abandoned keeps the episodes visually simple.
Video editing isn’t for everyone. It’s arguably one of the most arduous tasks YouTubers have to do. That’s why so many big YouTubers outsource their editing, and others just avoid it all together.
Abandoned uses slideshow-style videos to share the content. It gives the videos a history class feel that’s appropriate for the content. More importantly, it’s super easy to piece together compared to a recorded video.
Here’s another YouTuber who doesn’t record his own videos.
3. The effort goes into the research.
Abandoned shows effort where it really counts, which is in the deep dive. For every video, the host goes into incredible detail about the history of the subject. It seems a little more in depth than just reading the Wikipedia article out loud, and the facts presented are always interesting.
The most engaging thing about this format is the storytelling. That means getting a ton of information on the topic and piecing it together. Tons of channels are devoted to this already, and it definitely works.
Abandoned sets a good standard for channels of its type. If you love storytelling and history, this format may be perfect for you.
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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s getting into shenanigans with his other writer friends.