I realized this morning that site growth is a lot like losing weight. If you weigh yourself every day, you get to see the work you put in NOT reflected in your daily measurement. This can be bitterly depressing and demotivating. However, my experience has been, if i do not weigh myself daily, I quickly get out of shape, flabby, and plump. This is where the analogy sort of breaks down.
A few years ago, I gave up on my website and my hobby of publishing YouTube videos. I was disenchanted with the behavior of a subset of viewers and decided my efforts were better spent elsewhere. No longer updating content, I let my hosting contract run out and my site was lost.
Interestingly enough, the adsense checks were still coming in every month.
Anyone who has viewed this blog in the past month or 2 knows about my Java Code Camp project. From the outset, I felt hosting the videos on YouTube would be ideal since it is an easy way to share video content. So when I finally got around to checking my YouTube account online, I was surprised to find I have over 1100 subscribers and over 500k views. I am still blown away.
Enter Google Analytics (again).
I have always been a fan of the phrase, “what gets measured gets managed.” So, I’ve been watching (weighing) for many days now. Recent efforts do not show immediate results. Steady, organic growth is the cat’s pajamas. But I’m watching, assessing for trends.
Example: I can tell my repair videos are by far the most popular. If I desire to grow more, I may focus more energy on repair videos. Right now my focus is on Java Programming tutorials – helping people learn to program for free. We will see if that is a good strategy for growth or not – but it will take time to bear out.
At any rate, Google Analytics means more data to analyze: it is configured and ready to go. I must admit, i’m a bit fired up at the moment. I love data and I know this will be fun.