It’s that time of year when Spoon Graphics gets a little older, with 2019 marking 12 years of tutorial creating, freebie sharing and article writing on what started as a blog that was attached to my portfolio website in 2007. Every April I take some time to reflect on the past 12 months and talk about how things have changed. Last year I talked about how my traffic stats were on a slow decline since the site’s peak in 2012, so let’s take a look at the latest figures and talk about what the future might hold for Spoon Graphics.
I always start these anniversary posts with links to my previous yearly celebrations. It’s interesting to go back and see how my blog has evolved:
- Spoon Graphics Turns 11 Years Old — Down But Not Out!
- Spoon Graphics Turns 10 Years Old — A Decade of Blogging!
- Spoon Graphics Turns 9 – The Growth Was Incredible This Year
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 8 – Onwards and Upwards
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 7 – Surviving the Apocalypse
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 6 Years Old – Staying Fresh
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 5 Years Old – Thank You!
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 4 – A Look Back in Time
- Blog.SpoonGraphics Turns 3 – Win Yourself a Poster!
- Two Years of Blog.SpoonGraphics
- One Year of Blog.SpoonGraphics
Spoon Graphics Traffic Stats
Traffic change: -2.7%
Top Content: 25 Adobe Illustrator Brush Sets You Can Download For Free (2016) & 20 Free PSD Templates to Mockup Your Poster Designs (2014)
Email Subscribers: 165,425 (up 16% from 2018)
YouTube Channel Subscribers: 255,528 (up 24% from 2018)
Highest Traffic Peak (This Year): Monday May 7th 2018 – 20,241 visitors (45 Doodled Portrait Illustrations in the Style of Grime Art)
Highest Traffic Peak (All Time): Tuesday November 11th 2014 – 44,592 visitors (How To Create a Realistic Painted Effect in Photoshop)
Overall traffic seems to have leveled off after a few big drops by 15-20% over recent years, with just a gradual decline of 2.7% this year. My top content remains the same, but the two have switched places since last year. My all-time high from 2014 remains unchallenged, but the most trafficked day in 2018-2019 was thanks to a small influx of people from Muzli Design Inspiration that tipped the 7th of May above the daily average.
Mailing list subscriber growth is still strong. I recently made some updates to improve the confirmation rate of my subscribers. An alarming number of people were not making it onto my mailing list for failing to confirm their email address as part of the “double opt-in” procedure websites must follow. Prompting people to check their spam/junk/promotions folder in an attention-grabbing graphic has made a noticeable difference.
My Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel in many ways has outgrown this Spoon Graphics website. It is difficult to directly compare ‘web hits’ to ‘video views’, but a few of my top-performing video tutorials have gained over 1 million views, my most popular video is currently boasting almost 3,000,000 views. Over the past year in particular, my Neon Sign Effect Tutorial takes top spot with 42,555 views.
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Hosted on: 4GB VPS
Server location: Dallas
Monthly bandwidth: 10TB
Average running costs: $1525 per month
Last year I upgraded my server setup to include a higher bandwidth allocation because I was regularly incurring overage charges due to all my free resources downloads. Monthly server bills have been much more manageable as a result. One of the biggest costs every month is my newsletter service with AWeber, which helps me keep in touch with my audience by managing my mailing list, while complying with important data laws to keep everyone’s details safe. Since my mailing list grows bigger every day, this year I’ve added an ‘Average running costs’ statistic to my report, which will be interesting to reflect upon in future milestone posts!
What does the future hold?
A lot has changed since I started Spoon Graphics in 2007! We have already seen big changes in the way people use the web since then, Instagram and Pinterest didn’t even exist! I built Spoon Graphics by riding the social media wave, but these days simply posting on social media doesn’t have the impact it once did. Huge traffic spikes from StumbleUpon or DIGG just aren’t a thing anymore, and many similar design blogs from the ‘Golden Age of Blogging’ no longer exist. It’s always a worry what the future might hold for my little design blog, but I’m determined to adapt with the times!
One big change I’m looking to make is to reduce my reliance on advertising as a source of income. I give all my tutorials and design resources away for free, which isn’t the best business model, so I rely on the revenue from advertising to pay the bills. I don’t enjoy sending out those kinds of newsletters, and I know for sure my readers dislike receiving them. It has become the norm for creatives to earn a living selling design resource products or courses, so I’m making plans to introduce some paid content of my own to Spoon Graphics to go alongside my usual free content.
Whatever the future might bring, I hope you continue to find my content useful and enjoyable. Thank you to all my readers, from veteran subscribers who have been around since the early days, to newcomers who have just discovered my content. I appreciate all your support!