So, today we talked a lot about ads and analytics and making money off your website. I’m mostly gonna reflect on analytics, because that’s something I can speak on from two different perspectives: that of a small creator, and that of the average consumer.
So, I know this whole blog is dedicated to my tips and trials as an artist, but if you’re new here: I’m an artist. A small, emerging, part-time artist, but an artist nonetheless. I did a whole series of festivals this summer, and I regularly post music and poetry online, alongside regularly updating my digital novel, Freakspotters.
Point is, I’m all over. And I use a whole lot of social media to share my work! This means I spend way too much time mooning over analytics. Why? I guess they’re neat, is all.
I mean, so many of them tell you so many different things. Like, first, look at Instagram. It’ll give you both a general look at how your account is doing, AND insights on specific posts. You can compare and contrast different pieces of content, and also get a broader look at your account as a whole.
But do I care about that? Honestly, not really. I’m not looking for maximum engagement. I’m having fun.
You know my favourite analytics app, though? Spotify For Artists.
It’ll tell me where people are, a bit about them, and, when I open the app, it even shows me if any people are listening at that moment! That’s so cool to me.
Also, it tells you when your tracks are doing well. For example? I released a collab album with a more popular artist a while back.
Can you guess when on the graph it was?
I’ll be real, though. I don’t know what to do with most of the information I’m given. I’m a smaller, more casual creator, really just having fun and seeing where things go.
Like, look at Tiktok. What am I supposed to do with information about when my followers are active, down to the hour? Maybe an influencer could us that, but not me. It honestly feels kind of intrusive. The most I ever did with this stuff was joke about how about 90% of my audience is women.
I have… no use for this.
But as a consumer? I know who does: the platforms I create on. I mean, they’re the ones that gather all this information. The ones that give it to me.
And of course, pretty much always, this information (and more) is used to personalize the ads and content that show up on my feed.
Look at Google, with its personalized ads. Look at YouTube, always recommending new channels and the like. Look at Twitter, with its whole tab about my interests.
Twitter also tried to guess my gender. And failed.
And of course, there’s Tiktok, where the algorithm is so intense you get “sides” of Tiktok that you end up on by interacting with the right kinds of videos. There’s a “gay Tiktok,” and I’ve been on it since I got the app.
I feel like I should be mortified, but really, this has been a thing for as long as I can remember. Even when I was in elementary school, I was getting personalized ads for flash game collections and adoptable pet sites. And when it’s not offsite ads, it’s an algorithm learning your patterns so you’ll spend more time there, generating more money.
And does it work? Yeah, sometimes. Regrettably, my curiosity gets piqued from time to time, and I’ll follow someone or click a video that’s recommended to me.
It’s honestly like a form of nihilism. The ads and analytics already know where I live. Unless I go totally off the grid, they’ll continue to cozy up to me.
At least I’m popular with the ladies.