Fourth Year in Review

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Another year, another review of how Pony Foo did in its latest twelve months online!

Last year I posted 67 articles. This year, Pony Foo only had 34 articles — and five of those were guest posts! This brings the total article count on Pony Foo to 183 — 184 if we count this article. I wish I had time to write more, but when I look back over last year, I guess the lower count does make sense:

Support for Pony Foo on Patreon dropped significantly, from around ~$200 at the end of last year to around ~$60 this year. Luckily the weekly newsletter is doing pretty well in terms of sponsored links, so that helps keep Pony Foo afloat. 💸

Audience Growth 📈

Thanks to Pony Foo Weekly and the Modular JavaScript launch, subscriptions soared to over 6,300 subscribers today, more than 5,000 new subscribers last year alone! 💌 The chart below is publicly available and looks quite a bit better than it used to last year.

Subscribers to Pony Foo over time
Subscribers to Pony Foo over time

With the vast majority of my working hours going to Elastic and Modular JavaScript, and a few minutes every day going to Pony Foo Weekly thanks to all the automation. If it weren’t for all the automation work that went into it, I’d probably be spending a few hours a month on Pony Foo Weekly alone!

Lately, I’ve been focusing more and more on Elastic and the Modular JavaScript book series, and thus have had less time to spend on Pony Foo, open-source projects, and conference talks. Even so, Pony Foo is still growing in terms of page views. Having gotten 100,000 more page views this year than the last one, even when I published only half as many articles, Pony Foo got over 750,000 page views this year.

Page views over time for last year.
Page views over time for last year.

A large part of this improvement in page views is due to search results. Where Pony Foo used to get ~200 organic search clicks per day last year, these days it hovers around ~1500 clicks on week days. This allowed Pony Foo to earn even more page views with way less content being pushed every month.

Organic search clicks per day in the last couple of months.
Organic search clicks per day in the last couple of months.

The most well-liked article in 2016 was Understanding JavaScript’s async/await, overthrowing ES6 Overview in 350 Bullet Points as the most widely read article in Pony Foo’s lifetime.

Next year, I’m hoping to get back on the habit of writing articles periodically, but coming up with good article ideas consistently is super hard! 🎄

Book Reading 📚

I hadn’t read all that much last year, which is the reason why I created the reads repository on GitHub. This year, I read quite a few books. The following list is sorted in the same order as I read the books, thanks to the repository. I particularly recommend you read About Face, a comprehensive interaction design classic by Alan Cooper; The Sense of Style, a fantastically enjoyable read on what constitutes thoughtful prose; and Elasticsearch The Definitive Guide, a really-well put guide on how elasticsearch works at an interface level and internally.

See you next year with another yearly review!

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