This is my second year putting together a content roundup. It’s always fun looking back to see everything I’ve done, often forgetting that I actually did a particular thing this year and not 5 years ago (2021’s been weird).
I didn’t quite put out the same amount of content as I did in 2021, but my focus has been beyond purely content creation, but building integrations as a Dev Advocate, demos, and courses that help developers learn how to make awesome stuff in other ways.
It’s also been a year with a lot of huge changes! So let’s get started and dive in.
Big life changes
This year has not only been big for me professionally, but also in my personal life.
In June, my wife and I bought our first house! It’s been a lot of fun being able to have a place that we can make our own.
But that was small news compared to the new member of the Space Jelly family! Our first child and son, Gregg, came in July, bringing joy (and a whole lot of new challenges!) to our life.
We were fortunate that we were able to celebrate the holidays this year in Brazil, making it the first time my wife’s family was able to see our son. It was really special and we’re looking forward to getting back as soon as we can.
Professionally, I carried out most of my year working with Applitools as a Developer Advocate, helping developers build quality products with visual testing, but in November I moved on to join Cloudinary as a Senior Developer Experience Engineer.
Cloudinary has been a product that I’ve used personally on and off for years, but have always advocated for with my professional work. It’s a super powerful way to manage media, from working with creative teams for managing assets to actually delivering them.
I’ve been super excited to join up with them and be able to help developers learn about media and how to effectively and efficiently use it in their apps.
But the exciting part about all of this is the numbers right? How many articles and videos did I actually put out this year?
Let’s dive in!
I didn’t put out quite as many articles this year, but I ended up publishing to more places.
Last year I published the majority of my articles on freecodecamp.org, where this year I only published one in the beginning of the year.
I decided I wanted to focus on putting tutorials on my own site, which I made at spacejelly.dev.
Next year I hope to continue to diversify where I write and get back to writing some good articles to support freecodecamp.org!
- 46 total articles
- 29 of those on spacejelly.dev
- 2 of those on colbyfayock.com not including this one
- 9 of those on applitools.com
- 3 of those on snipcart.com
- 1 of those on smashingmagazine.com
- 1 of those on github.com
- 1 of those on egghead.io
- 1 of those on freecodecamp.org
While 46 is lower than last year, I’m still super proud of this output, 6 short of 1 per week for the entire year.
Top 2021 spacejelly.dev Articles by Pageviews
Note: These numbers may not be totally accurate, as I use Google Analytics, which is commonly blocked by ad blockers
- 6,432 – How to Create a Headless WordPress Blog with Next.js WordPress Starter
- 6,160 – How to Use Cloudinary Images in Next.js with Blurred Placeholders
- 3,362 – How to Automate Code Linting in Next.js with ESLint & Husky Git Hooks
- 3,296 – How to Send Emails with SendGrid and Next.js Serverless Functions for a Contact Form
I really don’t know what to have expected in terms of Pageview numbers, but I’m pretty happy with that. I don’t really do a whole lot of promotion aside from 1 Tweet and a link in my newsletter, meaning, it’s a vast majority from search.
I generally need to get better at promoting my content, though generally speaking, I firmly believe that SEO is more important than any amount of Tweets on Twitter for long-term growth.
I typically put out a video for every article I write. I end up using my article as somewhat a script, and while it’s not identical, it’s about the same.
In addition to my article-based videos, I also published my streams after airing and other videos like Jelly Drops.
My Jelly Drops idea was to provide short videos teaching a specific JS fundamental. I think it helped some people but it didn’t really do as well as I was hoping. I enjoy doing them so I’ll probably still do some more this year, but it’s not a focus.
I also did two videos to talk about the gear I use. Again, didn’t do very well, but still might do more, we’ll see.
I’m not the type of YouTuber who’s hyper growth focused. A lot of what I do comes from what I think others would find helpful to their dev journeys and also things that I enjoy teaching.
For instance, my direct and to the point format is geared towards learning and not YouTube growth, so my channel probably will never blow up like others, but I’m happy with my growth.
- 93 total videos on YouTube
- 76 of those on my YouTube channel
- 17 of those on the Applitools YouTube channel
Top 2021 Videos on my YouTube by Views
- 27,047 – From Design to Development Crash Course – Full Stack Next.js Tutorial
- 13,747 – Sass in Next.js Tutorial – Write SCSS with CSS Modules
- 7,907 – React SEO with Next.js – Dynamic SEO Meta Tags Tutorial
- 7,742 – Send Emails with SendGrid & Next.js Serverless Functions – Contact Form Tutorial
- 7,203 – Next.js Image with Cloudinary – Blurred Placeholder Images Tutorial
My course clearly did super well compared to other videos. I’m not sure of how “worth” the course was in terms of channel growth, as views isn’t the only metric, but I plan on doing more of these in the future because they seem to help people a lot and people enjoy them.
All of my top content also is Next.js related. I definitely plan on continuing to work a lot with Next.js, but I’d like to start mixing in Astro a bit as I see a lot of potential in it and generally I’d love to see more diversification in the market share for frontend frameworks.
I had a lot of fun doing this, but it never took off.
I don’t know that I plan on bringing back Colbyashi Maru, but I do plan on putting on a new stream series, more details to come 🙂
- 28+ total streams
- 23 of those for Colbyashi Maru
- 5 of those for my recent Ecommerce course
- More on various other channels
Top 2021 Streams by YouTube playback
- 1,594 – Full Stack Serverless with Prisma & Next.js ft. Mahmoud Abdelwahab
- 1,396 – Ecomm & Next.js with Salma AKA whitep4nth3r
- 1,080 – Themeable Layouts with Sass & 11ty ft. Stephanie Eckles
- 1,025 – Draggable Kanban App with Svelte ft. Brittney Postma
- 967 – Automating Social Images w/ Airtable, Cloudinary, & Serverless ft James Q Quick
The Twitch metrics are hard to gauge, I don’t really know what made sense to show, and again, my channel never grew much, so thinking YouTube playback was a fair way to show this.
Courses, Workshops, Webinars, Twitter Spaces, & More
In 2021 I put out a new course on Level Up Tutorials. I was super happy to work with the amazing Scott Tolinski to get this out. I plan on doing another course with him this year, but not details announced.
Beyond that I did my first workshops towards the end of the year. I was asked by the Jamstack Conf organizers (Netlify) to do a workshop and another for GitHub Universe. Because of the success of signups for GitHub Universe, they asked me to do a second one too!
- 1 course on leveluptutorials.com
- 3 webinars with Applitools
- 1 workshop with Applitools
- 2 of the same workshop for GitHub Universe
- 1 workshop for Jamstack Conf
- 2 Twitter Spaces
- 28 conference talks that I kept track of
Don’t really have metrics for any of this. But I’m proud of all that work this year and hope to do more workshops in 2022.
Plans for 2022
So what’s in store for the new year?
I’m not the type of person that likes to put hard numbers on my goals, but I broadly have a bunch of stuff I want to do and keep doing.
Articles & Videos
I have no plans on stopping my article and video content. I love to try to get one article and video out per week, so I’ll still try to aim for that.
You’ll likely see more Cloudinary content. I’m not getting any pressure to put out more content from my team, but I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to work with the product everyday and helping others learn how to do awesome things with it, so I’m going to keep having fun with it.
I’m not sure if I’ll bring back Colbyashi Maru, but I do have a new show lined up that I’m excited about. Once I settled in from travel and get into the new year, I plan to start fleshing out the details and announce my plans.
My plans already include two separate courses. One ecommerce related and one Cloudinary and media related. It’s possible I’ll even put out more than that, but those are the only ones currently lined up.
I also want to do another YouTube-based course, though haven’t planned out any type of curriculum yet.
Workshops, Webinars, Collaborations, & More
I also want to do more workshops. I had a lot of fun running the few I did virtually.
I’m looking forward to things opening back up in person so I can give one to a class IRL.
I’m also generally always open to collaborations, so I hope to work more with other awesome devs from other teams to try to ultimately help others do cool things.
What are your plans for 2022?
I’d love to hear what your goals are and how you plan to make the best of 2022. Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think of my plans and what your goals are!