It’s that time of year when Spoon Graphics gets a little older, with 2023 marking 16 years of tutorial creating, freebie sharing and article writing on what started as a blog that was attached to my design 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 successive drops in traffic have taken my site back to 2008 levels, so let’s take a look at the latest stats and figures and see how things are going another year on.

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 Traffic Stats

Traffic change: -33% (again!)
Email Subscribers: 133,937 (-7% after a cull of inactive subscribers)
YouTube Channel Subscribers: 534,588 (up 9% from 2022)

Previous years have seen traffic drops of 25-30% and this year was no different with the gradual decline continuing with another 33% decrease in website visitors. We have now gone full circle and are almost back to year one traffic levels!

Thankfully things are looking better over on the Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel. Over the past year I surpassed the milestone of 500,000 subscribers and view counts are on a slight trend upwards after the Christmas and New Year lull.

One of the big changes I touched on in the last anniversary post was my decision to convert many of my previously free resources into members-only downloads for Access All Areas members. Over the course of the past year I have also made many of those items purchasable as individual products without the need for a membership.

Those previously free downloads that still have good search rankings have unlocked a new revenue source that has helped to replace the lost income from ads. This has made me realise just how much money I left on the table by giving away my resources for free for 15 years! I can only imagine how much more I could have earned if I sold my tools rather than give them away back when Spoon Graphics was at peak traffic levels. That’s not to say I didn’t make a decent living from ads and affiliate income, though in hindsight it probably wasn’t the most efficient way of monetising the traffic.

Technical stats

Powered by: WordPress
Hosted on: Bare Metal Server
Server location: Dallas
Monthly bandwidth: 6TB
Average running costs: $1414 per month (-3% from 2022)

The largest monthly expense is my email newsletter, so I try to give it regular maintenance to remove inactive subscribers. My server setup wasn’t ever downgraded after converting those free resources to premium downloads, so the site is now only using around 30% of its bandwidth allowance.

I now have a clothing brand too!

Odyssey Activewear

Over the past few years I’ve also been working on a little side-hustle that has turned out to be quite successful! Until now I haven’t even mentioned it on my Spoon Graphics platforms because I’ve enjoyed growing it independently, but I suppose it’s silly not cross-promoting it to an already established audience! If you’re into mountain biking and other outdoor activities, check out Odyssey Activewear for a range of clothing and accessories. We ship internationally too!

Share on Pinterest
15 Comments submitted Add yours!
Subscribe receive Spoon Graphics newsletters

Subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to hear about new posts


  1. it saddens me to see the decline in your website traffic, Chris! At the same time I have to admit that I, too, have been a far less frequent visitor in recent years, for a variety of reasons. I’m still incredibly grateful for the countless tips and tricks I picked up from you over the years, and even some of the assets from a few years ago that I still occasionally use today. I will happily support you in your new endeavor and buy some active-wear as this is right up my alley, and I’m glad to see you are branching out.

    • Chris, I just read the genesis story of Odyssey over on your website and as a graphic designer who is also an avid mountain biker, I’ve been grappling with the same issues as you (as a consumer) when shopping for tech clothes. Good on you for doing something about it — and the product looks great! BTW I have a couple of Cotic frames. Looking forward to a bike trip one day to the Peak District to ride them where they were conceived. Cheers and thanks for all the tutorials over the years.

      • Thank you Mike! It has been a fun creative outlet having the opportunity to create cool stuff on a totally different medium!
        There are some great rides out in the Peak District. There are so many I haven’t done but Jacob’s Ladder is my favourite so far

    • Thanks Julian! It’s just how the landscape of the internet has changed over the years. The era of design blogs has come and gone! I am glad I branched out with YouTube all those years ago

  2. I so, so, so appreciate your tutorials and videos. I have dozens of photo and design students here at my High School completing your tutorials every year. One of my assignments for my beginning and advanced classes is to complete three Spoon Graphics Photoshop tutorials. Some complete dozens and even branch out into AI. Scrolling through your endless supply of tutorials and videos is a wonderful way to hook them. I can’t thank you enough!

    • That’s amazing to hear! It is quite surreal to imagine students following my tutorials but it’s wonderful to think that my tips and tricks are helping out new designers

  3. I love checking in on these updates every year. Glad to see the YouTube channel thriving, and congrats on the clothing brand! That’s so awesome! Best of luck with everything, Chris! I’ll always be appreciative of the resources and advice you offered early on in my career.

    • Thanks Brent, I love seeing comments from veteran Spoon Graphics readers in these anniverary updates! I appreciate you checking in again after all these years

  4. Just coming here to say first of all thank you for all these years of resources. 16 years is a long time. Also to congratulate you on your new endeavor. Your Activewear brand looks great!
    I think overall YouTube has been remaining a bit the more constant social media of all and the one that provides more genuine interaction/help between users.
    I wish you all the best. Will keep coming here!

    • Thanks Dina! YouTube is the first place I go when I’m trying to figure something out so it definitely seems like my content is better suited on there now the era of design blogs is pretty much over

  5. Here’s to another year, Chris!

    Not sure if it’d work with how your newsletter’s set-up, but I recently switched from MailerLite to Substack to save myself a few quid each month.

    Hope you’ve been well lately.

  6. Thanks David, it’s great to see another familiar name in the comments. How is life treating you all these years later?

    Substack is completely new to me, I’ll have to do some research!

  7. Chris, I have followed your progress intently throughout this creative road; the amount of time, since I started following your tutorials is beyond my comprehension; please accept my heartfelt congratulations.

  8. Your writing style is engaging and easy to understand, making complex topics accessible to everyone. NfrThank you for making learning enjoyable.

Comments are now closed