Howdy, Campers! This is Creator Campfire. We’re the Brita filter of YouTube advice.
We get rid of the bad stuff so you only get the nutrients you need.
This video is on a channel that had less than 1,000 subscribers.
How? Let’s dig in ⛏️
Who + What Happened?
→ Niche: History
→ First-time creator
→ 3 total videos published
→ 920 subscribers before the pop
→ Gained ~5.5M views over the course of 7 days
→ First long-form video attempt (!!)
→ No cross-promotion
→ No paid ads
This shows that new channels can* blow up at any time.
*can ≠ will
These results are not typical, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them!
So I chatted with the channel owner. (not a client; just a friendly dude!)
Here are 5 key takeaways:
How'd It Happen?
1) Identify an Opportunity
How did he land in his niche? I’ll let the man speak for himself:
I chose to do history content because I noticed that the main players In the entertainment history youtube sphere were posting very very irregularly, or they werent posting at all.
So, fundamentally I believe there was a hunger for that style of content.
Demand = High (similar content has big success, often)
Supply = Low (lack of consistent content in the niche)
I’m no economist, but that seems like a good mix.
Reece saw his opening and went for it.
2) Do Your Homework
Before recording this video, Reece spent 7 months studying YouTube from all corners of the platform.
[I studied] everything, general youtube algorithm analysis
MrBeast, Johnny Harris, RealLifeLore, Oversimplified. Even people like TommyInnit.
I studied it all quite thoroughly
If you want to be a successful player on YouTube, you should study how the game is won. The great news is that there is an ever-growing amount of “winning” examples from all styles of content.
Note: While it’s great to study, don’t forget to take action. This breakdown wouldn’t exist if Reece had never pressed publish.
3) Thumbnail Strategy
Remember the bad thumbnail habits I wrote about? This thumbnail is the inverse of every single one.
“I’ve been lied to? What do you mean?”
If you have the time to ask yourself those questions, congrats!
Your scroll has officially stopped.
In the words of Ed Bassmaster, “Would you look at this?”
Answer: yes, you will. And you’ll understand it in a fraction of a second.
Now that we’ve been enraged at being lied to, what have we been deceived about? And why is there a bird here?
Time to check the title for more context.
Alluding to a secret in the title tickles brains like no other. Now I HAVE to know the real reason the dodo went extinct… *click*
✅ Packaging Synergy
I honestly didn’t expect to use “synergy” this much in my life, but here I am.
On his ideation process:
It was obviously inspired by Bill Wurtz "history of the entire world i guess" and "history of japan i guess" 2 of possibly the most infamous videos on YouTube.
4) Storytelling Strategy
Getting the click is only the start.
How did he think about keeping the viewers there?
I focused heavily on storytelling and creating a script that regular people, (not just history people) can understand…it wasn't slow and boring [like] regular history videos. It was fast paced and entertaining.
How was this done? Several ways:
→ Hook follows the 4S Framework to perfection (especially “seamless”)
→ Great use of humor and foreshadowing to re-engage viewers
→ Viewer momentum is always forward (no dragging)
→ Visual context to match everything being said, ie:
“There were giant, walking meat bags.”
5) Expectations + Patience
My favorite lesson came when I asked, “Why the dodo?”
I wanted to do something that had already shown success before, just for practice reasons.
Not too bad for a “practice” video ;)
But bigger than that, there were no performance expectations for this video. That should be the mindset of any new creator. Make your first 100 videos and know that they’ll be bad. Learn from each one. See how your 99th compares to your 1st.
With each upload, you’re investing in digital real estate. And when one of your videos pops after 10 months (like this one) you’ll have a catalog ready to reap the reward.
The Luck Argument
I already know I’m going to get messages about this being luck. That this is all due to a recent report that scientists are trying to resurrect the dodo. Yes, that’s a real thing.
However, I have seen other creators and news outlets covering that story with a majority of their videos sitting below 1,000 views.
Reece’s video is an anomaly and with his level of prep and execution, this comes down to skill.
Disagree? Agree? Reply to this; I’d love to hear your take!
And a massive thank you to Reece for letting me share this story 👏
Make It Happen
Here is your challenge for this week:
- Pick one over-performing video in your niche and write your own breakdown on what you think worked.
Then pick 1 of your points and try it on an upcoming video
- Please only choose one. If you test 37 things and something works, you’ll have no clue how to pinpoint the source of the success.
Don't forget to send me questions/results @trenthaire
All the best,