December 16, 2018
A recap of 2018 at Analytics Mania
Another year has almost passed and it’s time to take a quick look back on what has happened and what’s waiting for me (and you) ahead. First of all, this year has been really great and full of challenges. And some life-changing things for me are starting to happen.
This is going to be some cliché’d quick-rant but I really wanted to share some things with you (because my readers and students are the key components of it).
Let’s start with some statistics first. Since I’m writing this guide on December 16th, I will be comparing January 1st (2018) – December 15th (2018) with the previous period (January 1st – December 15th in 2017). Not a full year but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In total, there are 132 blog posts posted on Analytics Mania. Out of which, 50 we published in 2018. Yup, the production has slowed down. Mainly due to several reasons:
- A significant part of the year was dedicated to creating and launching Google Tag Manager course (this is still my finest piece of content so far and students can confirm that)
- Google Tag Manager Community was launched meaning that I dedicated more time helping people there
- In general, I started feeling a lack of time and exhaustion. After all, Analytics Mania is still my side project (not my day job) and I am working on it during my leisure time only (weekends, evenings, holidays, etc.). Working for 70-80 hours every week (in my day job + AM) for 1-2 years has really affected my productivity.
Speaking of most popular blog posts, the top 5 of this year are these:
- Google Tag Manager form tracking (58 000 pageviews in 2018 vs 14 000 in 2017)
- Common Google Tag Manager mistakes (50 000 pageviews vs 8000)
- Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics (37 000 pageviews vs 11 000)
- Singe page web application tracking with GTM (35 000 pageviews vs 5000)
- GTM Custom Event trigger (33 000 pageviews vs 2000)
Interestingly, none of them were posted in 2018. However, in the 6th position, there is a blog post from 2018: dataLayer.push with examples. It got 30 000 pageviews in 2018.
Back to the stats. The slowed down production of blog posts in 2018 also affected the growth of traffic. The beginning of 2018 was really great (because there still was an effect going on from the massive content production in 2017) but once the GDPR kicked in and I updated my cookie consent mechanism, a significant traffic drop appeared in my reports and I didn’t properly recover after then. I mean, the growth is definitely there but the rate isn’t what it used to be 🙂
And here are the session numbers for the same period. This is just a quick overview, therefore, I won’t dig deeper into other metrics here.
Another thing that grew pretty well was my newsletter. I started 2018 with just above 2500 subscribers. Currently, there are over 8500 and I expect the number to reach 9001 in the beginning of 2019. Yup.
Even though the goal was to reach 10 000, that’s still pretty close.
The number will decrease next year as I plan to clear the list and get rid of inactive contacts (after all, my current day job is in the email marketing industry and this is definitely a best practice to keep email deliverability at the high level).
Google Tag Manager course
One of my biggest achievements with Analytics Mania in 2018 was the launch of the Google Tag Manager Masterclass course (for beginners and fresh intermediate users). When I started blogging, I never thought that I would do a course. First of all, I’m not a native English-speaker, therefore, I was afraid that people would not like my accent and eventually reject my course.
However, this year I overcame my fears and decided to do it anyways. The transformation started thanks to my first (ever) guest video on MeasureSchool’s channel (that was published in 2017).
When I shared an embedded video on Analytics Mania and asked my readers what they thought of it, the feedback was incredibly positive. I remember doing a quick survey about the video quality and that video received 9.8 out of 10 from you! Viewers liked the structure and clear explanation, they found it really useful and they did not care about the accent after all.
This gave me enough courage to spend my entire summer creating/polishing the course and launching it in September.
Just in a bit more than 3 months, the course already has more than 200 students, which is definitely a better result than I anticipated in the first place.
Google Tag Manager community
The more I was working with Google Tag Manager and helping others, the more I was irritated that there was no proper community where people could get help and discuss all things GTM. Google+ is pretty inactive + it will shut down soon. Reddit is still a desert for GTM. Google Product forums are kinda active but (for me) it does not look like a community. LinkedIn group is dead and there are a bunch of other places that never hit me as a good place to get help. MeasureSlack was the best opportunity but it has its own limitations as well.
That’s why in January 7th I founded a Facebook community dedicated fully just to Google Tag Manager. The growth is nice and still goes strong.
I’d like to remind that the largest GTM community (on G+) currently has 11 700+ members (and this happened over the course of many years). We reach 50% of its size just in 11 months. Which is amazing!
And, most importantly, we’re very active!
So what’s next?
We’ll 2019 looks like even a bigger year for Analytics Mania and me, personally. My biggest announcement so far (and one of the biggest in my lifetime) is that I’m leaving my full-time job at Omnisend in March 1st to fully focus on Analytics Mania, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, MeasureMasters (I’m also a part of that too), and you.
After 8 awesome years at Omnisend (which is my first employee), I feel that there is a new challenge with Analytics Mania up ahead and I need to take this path. This looks really risky (as I’m refusing stable recurring income and taking this venture instead). But I will definitely blame myself if I don’t take this chance.
Furthermore, I will be able to spend more time with my family and my kids as they definitely received too little of my attention throughout the last 1.5+ years.
What does this change mean in general? I’m going full time with Analytics Mania so you can expect more content, more help, more awesome stuff from me. I’ve already planned some good stuff for 2019 in order to give even more value to you. I’ve got my personal TO-LEARN / TO-IMPROVE list too. Hopefully, this will also give even more value to the community.
Last but not least, I’m thinking of meeting my analytics colleagues (including you) in-person. This means that I’ll probably attend some conferences/events. The first one that comes in mind is MeasureCamp London.
So that’s it for this time. Have good last weeks of 2018, get some rest and spend some time the way you love. Charge your batteries because 2019 will be a blast.
Thanks for being together. Without you, Analytics Mania would not be the way it is right now. Bye!