Less Ads, More Brad
May 8, 2024

Less Ads, More Brad

Posted on May 8, 2024  •  4 minutes  • 705 words

A few weeks (months? Has it been that long?) ago, I was listening to an episode of the Go Time podcast , in which Jon Calhoun (made famous by the esteemed ) mentioned that he had removed all of his analytics tracking from aforementioned website. I'm just going to share the quote here:

I think I've told this on Go Time before, but I used to have Google Analytics on my personal website, that I have blog posts and stuff on... And I eventually took it off, because I realized I wasn't doing anything useful or actionable with that data. I would look at it to be like "Oh, cool, I'm getting this many users", but it didn't affect what I did at all.

I wasn't trying to figure out which article should I write more about, or anything; it was sort of just a random thing that I'd toot my horn about, of like "Oh, cool, I have these high numbers." And I basically realized, why am I making use of these, or collecting all these analytics and making people agree to sending me analytics if I really don't need it?" and I just decided to remove it. And I'm like "If I'd get to a point where I can act on that data, then great. I'll stick it back in there." But in the meantime, I don't need to collect data I'm not acting on.

  • Jon Calhoun, GoTime episode 309

I was actually mowing my lawn while listening to this episode and being alone with the smell of grass, the hum of the mower, the Go Time podcast, and my thoughts ultimately ended up being a potent combination. While the episode didn't really go into more detail on removing analytics from his website, my thoughts definitely did. I, too, had (keyword -- "had") analytics on my website. I, too, wasn't really checking them. I, too, decided it was time to remove them.

Lets rewind a bit, though. I started blogging about 10 years ago. I love it -- so much that I had a plan to quit my job and just blog about programming full time. I was excited to add analytics to my site to start to see how people were engaging with my blog and then quickly disappointed in seeing the actual metrics.


I tried a lot to improve my metrics but quickly realized that this is a trend for programming related blogs. Most people don't go to a programming blog to browse. They're searching a stacktrace or problem and end up on your website. They get their answer (or don't) and then they leave. I've finally acknowledged that this is a reality, and I've stopped caring so much about the metrics on my site. Occasionally, I'd see fun little blips in my analytics that would point me to an article I wrote being shared on HackerNews, but for the most part, my analytics were becoming pointless.

Meanwhile, I had added Ads to my site in a goal to make money blogging so I could justify spending more time on it, and ultimately moving to blogging full-time. It took me years to get my first payout from Google Ads. For context, payouts start at $100. Google won't cut a check until you hit that milestone. I found myself checking Adsense weekly, placing more value on that metric than analytics. It was unhealthy, to say the least.

Years have gone by and I can live comfortably now with or without the $0.03 that I rake in daily from my blog. The value of the ads and analytics are nonexistent for me at this point, so I'm removing them all. I want to focus on teaching ideas and don't want to be tempted by the carrot of coercing developers into clicking another page for another ad impression.

I still like the idea of producing content for a living and I've got a lot of irons in the fire for that (Youtube , , and a few others), so Im retiring the idea of my blob being a form of income and a potential job.

Please enjoy the content on this site ad and analytics free. I hope you find it helpful.

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