I value privacy. I collect only what I need to help me tailor and distribute my content.
I will not misuse the information collected. Here, I am being transparent and disclosing what I'm tracking, how I'm doing it, and why I do it at all.
Sigh... I sure hope more of the internet do this.
What I track
- Number of site/page visits and listeners
- Countries visitors and listeners are from
- How people arrive at the site (e.g. clicked on site link from Facebook, LinkedIn, and etc.)
- Device, browser, and/or app used to view the site and listen to the podcast
- Average time spent on the website
- Percentage of users who listen to some or all of an episode
I'm pretty sure that I can't determine anyone's personal identity based on these information. None of the analytics tool that I use let me filter stats by user or userflow.
For example, I don't if the person who click on my homepage also click on another page. I also don't know if they're one of the 20 listeners from NZ, and which device they're using. I only know individual totals of each stats. Not their relationship with eachother.
How I track
I use Fathom Analytics (affiliate link); a privacy-focused web analytics.
I like their principle, and how simple it is to setup.
Since the platform itself is focused on privacy, I can't track more than what I'm tracking now even if I wanted to. A nice saftey net isn't it?
Lastly, it's GDPR compliant. I really don't want to be putting those annoying cookie acceptance banners on the site. It's a nicer browsing experience I believe.
Captivate podcast stats
I'm hosting this podcast on Captivate (affiliate link), which collect basic information on how people are listening to the podcast (via web or app), which country is listening, and how many listeners per episode.
Why I track anything at all
Understand how people found this podcast
As a content creator, it is useful for me to know how people are landing on this site. Did they clicked on a social media post? Or simply stumbled upon it on their favourite podcast app?
I've opened a lot of social media accounts for this podcast. I hoped to find the best way to reach the people who might find it useful. But keeping all those accounts up-to-date for an extended period can be exhausting. This is afterall, a hobby, not a full-time job.
Eventually, I will focus on sharing on the platforms where people seems to be most engaged with the podcast. But in order to determine which one that is, I will need to add tracking to links I shared on those platforms.
Tailor content to suit the audience
Even seemingly vague information like country, number of downloads for each episode, and number of visits can be a useful guide for me.
For example, if almost all of my audience is from NZ, I could refer to things familiar to NZ audience. But if most are from elsewhere, I will refer to something more international, or be more descriptive about it.
If a specific episode seems more popular, then I'll try to make one more like it.
Get sponsorship or support for hosting costs
Right now, I don't have a sponsor. I'm paying out of my own pocket, and asking people to support this show via a one-off donation on Buy me a coffee. I don't have enough donations yet, so I need to prepare information for future sponsors.
Sponsors won't give me money without knowing if enough people are listening to this podcast. They also want to know if my audience at least live in the country they operate in.
I'm not sure whether this is considered 'selling' my site and podcast stats. But I'm certain it's not selling anyone's personal information, because I can't even collect those.