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I don't know if you're reading this

I have no idea if you’re reading this article or not.

If you’re signed up for my newsletter, I have no idea if you opened the email or not. I don’t know if you click any of the links. If you’re reading it on my website, I have no idea who you are, where you came from, or how long you’ve been here.

At the beginning of last year, I removed analytics entirely from my site. Last week, inspired by DHH’s recent rants on the topic on Twitter, I removed open and click tracking for my newsletter.

The truth is, when I had analytics, I never used them.

I never looked at how many visitors I got. I never looked at where people were coming from or what they were looking at. I never paid much attention to my open rates, and I couldn’t care less about my click rates.

Of course, I run a business teaching people JavaScript. A lot of people ask me how I know what topics people like and which ones they don’t if I don’t have analytics.

It’s simple. People tell me.

Because I send my newsletter from my actual email address, I get lots of replies when I write something that resonates with people (and when I need to explain something better). They share my articles on Twitter.

Everyone who buys one of my guides or courses gets access to a private Slack channel, where I’m very active.

My articles automatically get shared there (RSS => Slack FTW!). People comment, ask questions, and share other related resources.

So, how do I know what’s working and what’s not on my website? People tell me.