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Why I don't use analytics on my blog
Jun 22, 2023
2 minutes read

Blogging isn't what it used to be. Although the glory days may be past us, the medium still survives in various forms. Probably one of the rarer forms (but in my view the best, most enjoyable) is the very same genre that made blogging an early hit: simple websites hosting personal writing. Call it the "no-frills" genre.

The "no-frills" bit is an important distinction. There are quite a few personal blogs out there, but certainly some have frills. Modern websites tend to have considerable complexity to them, and that takes away from the content. The heavy use of analytics all over the web is an example of this. In my view, a personal blog does not need analytics.

Write for yourself

My philosophy with blogging is different than writing in general. With writing, the usual wisdom is to have an audience in mind, and seek to reach them. When it comes to a personal blog, there is hardly any point to this. Nobody is paying you for it—if they were, then it would not be a personal blog! If the only benefit to you is the simple pleasure of writing and publishing something, then far more enjoyment will be gained by not worrying about what happens after you publish.

Granted, analytics can be interesting to look at. Even if you don't aim for an audience, you will still eventually reach some people. Maybe you are interested to know who they are. This is where curiosity kills the cat, in my view. You might set up page metrics and then check them, but then maybe you are disappointed by what you see. This leads to getting caught up in the aforementioned problem. I think you can still write a blog that reaches people, but just trust that good content has a way of finding people. A major problem with the internet today is that not many people want to put in the effort of creating anything decent.

With the advent of large language model (LLM) chat bots, I think we are going to be stuck reading a lot of crap on the internet in the years to come. A terrible writer at least charges something, but anyone can churn out garbage for free now. Judging by what Twitter spam I've seen, a good number of schemers think they can use Chat GPT to crank out e-books or blogs and get rich quick. As someone who's had a decent go at making a living as a writer, all I can tell them is good luck with that.

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