Analytics for Indies

Content to help IHers set up and understand their analytics

No Employees
Founders Code
Solo Founder
Analytics
Content
E-Commerce
Growth

I've spent nearly a decade working on high-scale analytics (at PlayStation and Rakuten) and I want to make analytics easy for indies.

August 1, 2020 First completely organic sale!

Today was the first surprise Gumroad notification of a sale of the book to a customer I hadn't spoken to before!

My book had kind of been languishing, mostly due to lack of marketing effort on my part. To get a sale now means that someone found some previous material of mine (maybe a post here?) and purchased.

It's heartening to see that my past material worked, and a reminder that the 'stack the bricks' strategy could indeed work.

On a personal note, it's also a welcome development since my day job and personal life are both very busy right now - so it's great to see past seeds planted now bear fruit.

July 2, 2020 The book is out!

Analytics isn't easy. Choosing tools, choosing metrics, learning which traffic is profitable... there are a ton of decisions to make, with long term effects. And this is for something that's supposed to make your business easier to run, not harder!

What if an expert could just step in and do this for you? To be perfectly transparent with you, that exists. There's an analytics industry - mostly techies working for big e-commerce, travel, and media companies, paid "big tech" packages and going to conferences in Vegas (when it's not hazardous to go, at least). But if you're an indie maker and you're not exactly at a billion dollars yet, it can be hard to get that kind of assistance. Consulting rates are very commonly $250 per hour and go up from there.

But you deserve the help anyway. If you imagine yourself three years in the future, wouldn't you love to be able to look back on your prior data and see how far you've come?

Starting now, that expertise can be yours in a very affordable way. Specifically, it can be yours in Analytics for Indies, the e-book.

Here's what's included in the book:

  • Tool recommendations, based on my billion-dollar experiences at PlayStation and Rakuten, that are great fits for your indie business now and in the future. (Hint: think "has a generous free tier" and "also is scalable.")
  • Step-by-step guides to setting up the tools in your project, regardless of framework
  • How to see your traffic metrics in every tool
  • Revenue, and why you should look at more than Stripe or Baremetrics to study it
  • User identity and tracking in a way that doesn't violate privacy norms
  • Campaigns and traffic sources (an expanded version of the email you received a few days ago)
  • Errors, and understanding when things get in the way of customers giving you money
  • And a surprise easter egg (I'm a little excited that I could hide one in a PDF)

In each chapter, you get:

  • An explanation of the benefits of tracking the subject matter
  • Sample code to customize for your app
  • Step-by-step instructions for how to use the reporting in two tools.

Now, this book may not be for everyone. Here are some signs it may not be for you:

  • You're fully on a no-code platform such as Shopify, Wordpress, Webflow, Squarespace, or similar. (Though it's on my list to write a book that's better suited for you!)
  • Your main app is native to mobile (there's enough different that it needs to be its own book)

Still with me? Great. Let me drop the price on you:

The book's release price will be $79. Prices will go up in the future.

For that, you get lifetime access to the book (in PDF form today, with multiple formats to follow post-release). No subscription payments here.

For a fraction of 1 hour of consulting, you get step-by-step instructions to complete analytics that will scale with you in the future.

But Blake, I hear you say. Is it going to be hard?

No way. With each chapter's sample code, click-by-click reporting walkthroughs, and discussion of why we're doing what we're doing, you're going to feel clued in every step of the way.

But wait some more, Blake, I hear you say. What about privacy?

As someone who built GDPR at PlayStation, I understand privacy very well. As long as your users give informed consent to basic cookie tracking (that's a nice way of saying "show a cookie banner if you're in the EU"), these enterprise-grade tools will conform to major privacy regulations including GDPR and CCPA. The guidance in this book will also steer you away from terms-of-service violations and provide security best practices for capturing customer data.

Finally, this weekend you get the Plus edition for free. Not only do you get the core book with everything described above, but you also get:

  • The Campaign Manager cheat sheet. If you're on my email list, you got an email about how to track campaigns so you can study conversion rates, and profit, from traffic sources. Imagine a cloud-based spreadsheet that would categorize and format your tagged links for you, and store them safely in the cloud for re-use. This is that sheet. Companies pay insane amounts of money for this functionality (would you believe me if I said $X00k at the enterprise level?), and it's yours, free.
  • All add-on chapters. Every post-release chapter will add material to the book that I wasn't able to fit in, and every chapter will increase the price of the book. But you're already in and get all future chapters at no extra cost.
  • Voting rights on add-on chapters. As an early adopter, your opinions matter the most. So you'll get to suggest, and vote on, what chapters get written. Perhaps you want to know more about video tracking? You got it. Need the big bad privacy walkthrough? It's yours if you ask. Democracy is so in style right now, and you'll be part of the community that shapes the future of the project.

The Plus edition will sell for $20 more, at $99 total, so you're getting a 20% discount by buying now.

If you could pay $79 to guarantee yourself product-market fit, or the right path to scale upward, wouldn't you?

Here's the link: https://gum.co/YPXAA

June 29, 2020 Preorders are live!

Analytics isn't easy. Choosing tools, choosing metrics, learning which traffic is profitable... there are a ton of decisions to make, with long term effects. And this is for something that's supposed to make your business easier to run, not harder!

What if an expert could just step in and do this for you? To be perfectly transparent with you, that exists. There's an analytics industry - mostly techies working for big e-commerce, travel, and media companies, paid "big tech" packages and going to conferences in Vegas (when it's not hazardous to go, at least). But if you're an indie maker and you're not exactly at a billion dollars yet, it can be hard to get that kind of assistance. Consulting rates are very commonly $250 per hour and go up from there.

But you deserve the help anyway. If you imagine yourself three years in the future, wouldn't you love to be able to look back on your prior data and see how far you've come?

Starting now, that expertise can be yours in a very affordable way. Specifically, it can be yours in Analytics for Indies, the e-book.

Here's what's included in the book:

  • Tool recommendations, based on my billion-dollar experiences at PlayStation and Rakuten, that are great fits for your indie business now and in the future. (Hint: think "has a generous free tier" and "also is scalable.")
  • Step-by-step guides to setting up the tools in your project, regardless of framework
  • How to see your traffic metrics in every tool
  • Revenue, and why you should look at more than Stripe or Baremetrics to study it
  • User identity and tracking in a way that doesn't violate privacy norms
  • Campaigns and traffic sources (an expanded version of the email you received a few days ago)
  • Errors, and understanding when things get in the way of customers giving you money
  • And a surprise easter egg (I'm a little excited that I could hide one in a PDF)

In each chapter, you get:

  • An explanation of the benefits of tracking the subject matter
  • Sample code to customize for your app
  • Step-by-step instructions for how to use the reporting in two tools.

Now, this book may not be for everyone. Here are some signs it may not be for you:

  • You're fully on a no-code platform such as Shopify, Wordpress, Webflow, Squarespace, or similar. (Though it's on my list to write a book that's better suited for you!)
  • Your main app is native to mobile (there's enough different that it needs to be its own book)

Still with me? Great. Let me drop the price on you:

The book's release price will be $79. Prices will go up in the future.

For that, you get lifetime access to the book (in PDF form today, with multiple formats to follow post-release). No subscription payments here.

For a fraction of 1 hour of consulting, you get step-by-step instructions to complete analytics that will scale with you in the future.

But Blake, I hear you say. Is it going to be hard?

No way. With each chapter's sample code, click-by-click reporting walkthroughs, and discussion of why we're doing what we're doing, you're going to feel clued in every step of the way.

But wait some more, Blake, I hear you say. What about privacy?

As someone who built GDPR at PlayStation, I understand privacy very well. As long as your users give informed consent to basic cookie tracking (that's a nice way of saying "show a cookie banner if you're in the EU"), these enterprise-grade tools will conform to major privacy regulations including GDPR and CCPA. The guidance in this book will also steer you away from terms-of-service violations and provide security best practices for capturing customer data.

Finally, pre-order customers get the Plus edition for free. Not only do you get the core book with everything described above, but you also get:

  • The Campaign Manager cheat sheet. If you're on my email list, you got an email about how to track campaigns so you can study conversion rates, and profit, from traffic sources. Imagine a cloud-based spreadsheet that would categorize and format your tagged links for you, and store them safely in the cloud for re-use. This is that sheet. Companies pay insane amounts of money for this functionality (would you believe me if I said $X00k at the enterprise level?), and it's yours, free.
  • All add-on chapters. Every post-release chapter will add material to the book that I wasn't able to fit in, and every chapter will increase the price of the book. But you're already in and get all future chapters at no extra cost.
  • Voting rights on add-on chapters. As an early adopter, your opinions matter the most. So you'll get to suggest, and vote on, what chapters get written. Perhaps you want to know more about video tracking? You got it. Need the big bad privacy walkthrough? It's yours if you ask. Democracy is so in style right now, and you'll be part of the community that shapes the future of the project.

The Plus edition will sell for $20 more, at $99 total, so you're getting a 20% discount just by preordering.

If you could pay $79 to guarantee yourself product-market fit, or the right path to scale upward, wouldn't you?

Here's the link: https://gum.co/YPXAA

May 3, 2020 50 active email subscribers!

The email list for my book, Analytics for Indies, has reached 50 active subscribers!

As far as I know, everyone on the list has come from IH. About 10-20 are people I've had conversations with on their threads or via email. The remainder seem to be coming from people finding my prior posts/replies via IH search, or signing up after reading informational posts I write.

The last several have come in from something evergreen, as I haven't done any promotional work in the last couple weeks.

Here are 3 hypotheses for what I think has gone well:

  1. Nearly daily, someone on IH asks, "What analytics tools should I use? What metrics should I track?" and I make it a point to reply to say that I'm writing a book on exactly this (peep my comment history for plenty of examples). This tends to go over well with OPs.

  2. My blog content is informative. I'm kind of starting a content base, where I have enough content that I can re-use similar material on Twitter, on IH comments, blog posts, email campaigns, and so on. In most cases, IH comments are the genesis of that content. You guys ask great questions, and my answers turn into content. So thank you for having questions!

  3. My email course is informative. It directly answers the questions "What tools should I use? How do I set them up?" and I promise that up front. I recently wrote a post on my personal account sharing the open rates, which look pretty good. So I think this piece is going well, too. There's no sales pitch (yet) but the first 5 emails are 100% educational (and they'll stay that way).

Since you've read this far, you may be interested to know what the book is.

I've started writing an e-book that tells you:

  • which tools to use, and why
  • what data to capture, and in prioritized order

The goal for this book is to take you from "not sure what to do" to "done" in less than a day, with future-friendly analytics data capture all set up, and links to reports you can leverage to your advantage.

Why me? I've spent the last 8 years in the analytics industry, building scalable, billion-dollar analytics for PlayStation, Rakuten, and a chunk of the Fortune 500.

Sign up here to be notified, and to receive four quick wins and a cheat sheet as freebies: https://signup.analyticsforindies.com

January 2, 2020 Announcing Analytics for Indies + the First Ebook

After observing the Indie Hackers community, it looks like many founders don't know where to start with their analytics.

Analytics is a complex art, no doubt. There are a ton of tools, each with their own setup procedures.

I'm here to help with that.

I've spent eight years working on high-scale, billion-dollar e-commerce (at PlayStation and Rakuten) and have built an analytics organization spanning the globe.

The first product will be an ebook. Join the list now for four free tips to get started and a free cheat sheet that tells you which tools to use.

https://signup.analyticsforindies.com

I've spent nearly a decade working on high-scale analytics (at PlayStation and Rakuten) and I want to make analytics easy for indies.