Spoon Graphics Turns 13 Years Previous — Visitors Down, Subscribers Up!
It is this time of year that Spoon Graphics is getting a little older. In 2020, tutorials will be created, freebies shared, and articles written on a blog that was attached to my portfolio website in 2007 for 13 years. Every April I take some time to think about the past 12 months and talk about how things have changed. Last year I talked about how much the Internet landscape has changed since Spoon Graphics started and how I am concerned about the future. So let's take a look at the latest statistics and numbers and see how things develop in another year.
I always start these anniversary contributions with links to my previous annual celebrations. It is interesting to go back and see how my blog has developed:
Traffic change: -23%
Top content: 25 Adobe Illustrator brush sets that you can download for free (2016) and 45 t-shirt templates that you can download for free (2017) (NEW)
Email subscribers: 189,773 (up 14% compared to 2019) *
YouTube Channel Subscribers: 332,014 (plus 30% compared to 2019)
Highest peak traffic (this year): Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – 17,517 visitors (10 Distressed Vector Halftone Patterns for Illustrator)
Highest peak traffic (all time): Tuesday, November 11, 2014 – 44,592 visitors (How to create a realistic painting effect in Photoshop)
* I gave my mailing list a spring cleaning that removed nearly 65,000 inactive subscribers, so the total would have been even bigger!
Unfortunately, with a 23% drop in visitors this year, traffic has decreased by the biggest drop ever, which brings me back to the numbers I got in 2008, just a year after Spoon Graphics was created. This is a -56% decrease from its peak in 2012. The biggest factor seems to be a 30% decrease in Google search traffic, which may explain why there is a new entry in my top content this year. My summary of 20 free PSD templates to model your poster designs was my most visited content for several years until it dropped to 2nd place last year. It is replaced by a summary of the 2017 t-shirt templates, so Google may have removed many of my older posts from their established search rankings.
While traffic has dropped, it's good to see my subscriber numbers continue to grow by another 24,000 email subscribers and 77,000 YouTube subscribers. One success story I have to share is a change to one of my newsletter subscription forms that has tripled my daily rate of new subscribers! Previously, a popup window was displayed asking users to log in to get my free bundle when they clicked on one of my resources. It was my most successful registration form, but it appeared after the file was delivered. I never wanted to make it mandatory to provide an email address for downloading an article. Instead, I created a pop-up window with forced interaction that appears when someone clicks a download for the first time. You will be asked if you want to subscribe to ALL my resources at once or just download this single file. The registration statistics clearly show a huge increase in new subscribers with only a minimal increase in the number of unsubscriptions.
The view statistics on my Spoon Graphics YouTube channel were also slowly declining from mid-2018 to early 2019, but thankfully I gave the YouTube algorithm Gold with a tutorial entitled "How to give your photos the cyberpunk look in Photoshop". Within a week, my channel saw a huge surge in views that hit a new all-time high. It was short-lived since traffic returned to normal at the end of the month, but since then I've seen a steady upward trend in views.
Supported by: WordPress
Hosted on: Bare Metal Server (NEW)
Server location: Dallas
Monthly bandwidth: 13 TB
Average operating costs: $ 1870 per month (up 22% from 2019)
My server setup was updated again this year, this time from a VPN to a bare metal server setup. Although I had previously upgraded to a 10TB bandwidth package, the sheer number of free downloads I host cost me extra costs every month. A deal was made on a 20 TB bandwidth bare metal server that saved me a lot of the money each month by avoiding these extra costs. Nevertheless, the growth of my mailing list has still led to a 22% increase in costs!
One of the difficult decisions I have now is how to split my time between my Spoon Graphics website and my Spoon Graphics YouTube channel. Subscriber and ad statistics on YouTube dramatically exceed my website. So maybe this is the future for Spoon Graphics? On this Spoon Graphics website, I can pay the bills and make a living from the Access All Areas membership, the affiliate promotions that I send to my mailing list, and the paid products I recently published. It sounds like I need to figure out how to get these 300,000 YouTube subscribers to Spoon Graphics! As always, many thanks to all of my readers, from seasoned subscribers who have been around since the beginning to newbies who have just discovered my content. I thank you for your support!