2016 Year In Review

2016 Year In Review

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As 2016 draws to a close, it’s a great time to reflect… and what a year it was!

Below I’ve shared statistics, top posts and social stats of Just Creative as well as affiliate marketing insights, a travel summary, client work and future plans.

2016 Year In Review Just Creative

Just Creative Website Stats

  • 2.54 million visits (THANK YOU!)
  • 3.36 million page views
  • Top countries: USA (31%), India (8%), UK (8%), Canada (4%), Australia (3.6%)
  • Top browsers: Chrome (60%), Safari (20%), FireFox (11%)
  • OS breakdown: Windows (48%), OSX (30%)
  • Google brings in 70% of traffic
  • Domain authority: 62
  • SEOMoz page authority: 68
  • Sites linking to Just Creative: 13, 064
Just Creative Stats

Top Posts of 2016

Also view my Top Medium Posts.

Social Stats

I prefer Buffer to keep my social posting organized.

Email & Affiliate Marketing

Over the past 1 to 2 years, I’ve focused on building up my email list, which is currently at 23,000 subscribers, but there is a lot of room for improvement here; especially when it comes to creating better lead magnets.

Email List

Having a newsletter is the best way to share new blog posts and do affiliate marketing, which gives me the opportunity to recommend awesome products — that I truly believe in — to you at a heavily discounted rate, while taking a small cut on the side.

This affiliate marketing has brought a good chunk of revenue this year, approximately USD$35-40k, which is the perfect supplemental income for a globetrotter who wants to maximize their time in any given country, with extremely minimal effort (2-3 hours a week). Affiliate marketing really is a win-win for everyone involved!

If you’re wanting to earn money online, give affiliate marketing a go

I’ve found these to yield the highest returns: Udemy, Skillshare, DesignCuts and UnlimitedStock. You can see some of the stats from Udemy below which shows $20,000 in commissions over the year.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Discount

Udemy Affiliate Sales

Banner Advertising

To minimize clutter on my website, I only feature one small sidebar ad using CarbonAds. This covers my Media Temple hosting costs of about $120-$160 a month.

Client Work

Clients of Jacob Cass

My client work still makes up the vast majority of my income and time, but most importantly, I enjoy it the most. Entering the “zone”, solving problems and making clients happy is challenging and deeply satisfying.

Clients still find my services mostly by search (work on your SEO), word of mouth or are repeat customers. Social references are quite minimal to be honest, but without social, my SEO would not be so good, so really it is the combination of everything that is at play here.

This year I’ve focused on working with higher tier clients, ultimately allowing me to work less and charge more. I’d rather work on one $5,000 project than five $1000 projects – it allows me more time to focus on the project at hand, and more time to spend elsewhere. A win-win for all!

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A good buffer for lower tier clients, is having a ‘budget’ dropdown in your contact form, with a minimum threshold. eg. $2500 is my minimum for taking on a branding project.

Travel & Freedom

Just Globetrotting

In April 2015, I quit my cushy NYC agency job and left to travel the world with my wife.

We intended to travel for just a year, but this quickly extended to two years, and we’ve just scheduled our third year. Read our 100 lessons learned from world travel.

Over this time we’ve visited 54 countries, 193+ towns/cities/islands, flown on 69 flights, cruised on 20 ferries, watched the world go by on 26 trains, sat through countless hours on 8 million buses (approximately)… all while running a design blog and business.

And the fact of the matter is, is that it is cheaper to travel and work on the road, than to live in any absurdly priced city. We’re actually earning & saving more money on the road, than when we lived in NYC.

If you’re even slightly interested in this sort of nomad lifestyle, I highly recommend you read my favorite travel book “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day” and “The 4 Hour Work-Week“.

Also see this course on How To Become A Successful Digital Nomad.

What’s in store for 2017?

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More travel: My wife and I will be staying in Sydney, Australia from December to March 2017 and then we plan to extend our travels by one more year to see see more of Asia, Africa and North America. See our itinerary.

A website & portfolio update: My portfolio and website needs an update! I launched this site design and portfolio in 2012, and although it’s held up quite well (4 years is an eternity in the web world), it does need a good refresh, so this is high on my to-do list.

Blogging & affiliate marketing: I will be working on providing you guys with more amazing deals. Any requests?

A Logo Of The Day come back?

Happy Holidays & Thank You!

Just Thanks!

I wanted to take this time to thank you for your loyal following. I’ve been doing this since 2007 and many of you are still with me today. I don’t take this for granted, so thank you.

Happy Holidays and have a great 2017!

12 thoughts on “2016 Year In Review”

  1. Well done Jacob! I have been following your blog for years. You always provide solid information and my design ability has improved greatly thanks to you. Keep up the good work!

    Christian from Australia

  2. Hi Jacob. Wow… Not only is this is a summary, but it’s insanely useful and valuable content too. Thank you so much for continuing to be an inspiration, for sharing your wisdom, and for being 100% transparent to genuinely add value. I wish you and your partner all the best for 2017 and beyond! Ian

  3. Congrats on all your success in 2016 Jacob! I just started up my own business at the beginning of 2016 and it’s been one of the most amazing years of my life. I wish you even more success in 2017, especially with affiliate marketing!

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