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My Evolving IndieDev Analytics

A look into my IndieDev Analytics for 2014

IndieDev Analytics

When I started learning to make games, I also started learning marketing.  Of the two, there's been a lot published on making games.  (Pixelprospector is where I started).  But when it came to marketing, there wasn't much covered. IndieDev_Analyticw_2014_Small   You can click here to download a larger version of my stats, or join my mailing list and get the spreadsheet copy, as well as the template I'll be using for 2015.

Also, here's the exact steps I use to get my data.

1st Quarter 2014

1st Quarter of 2014 my wife and I spent moving from Fort Hood Texas, back to the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

My wife transitioned out of the military as I had 2 years earlier, and began her journey of being a stay at home Mom, as I was a stay at home Dad for the first 7 months of our daughter's life.

I felt eager to get into Game Development, not realizing that being my own boss would bring its own set of challenges.  Eventually, making my own systems helped me to stabilize my life.

2nd Quarter 2014

"What do I even track and how do I track it?" I thought to myself.

The first thing I did as everyone should, was install Google Analytics into my Wordpress blog.  (If you don't know have your own site, click here to create one in 5 minutes).  I didn't know what to do with the data for several months, but at least it was tracking my stats while I figured it out.

I also opened up my Twitter account, and nervously sent my first tweets.

"Am I even doing it right?  What do I talk about," I thought to myself.  I shared my learnings on how to use Twitter here.

If you're looking at my spreadsheet, you can see there's a lot of empty values in the 2nd Quarter of 2014, which is around when I started.  They are empty, because I didn't know what to record!

3rd Quarter 2014

In the 3rd Quarter of 2014, I started to take Marketing Classes and read books on marketing heavily.

It was at this time too, that I tried being everywhere.  I made Meme's, I tried Vine, I made my Facebook page, created a Youtube Channel, and started a newsletter.

Looking back, the biggest benefit I learned from all of it, is putting myself out there and daring to fail.

If you look from 2nd Quarter to 3rd Quarter, you'll see my newsletter subscribers is small.  When I switched email providers, not everyone opted back in, and I even lost some.  Those few that were on, were my family and friends too.

4th Quarter 2014

Then I started to become curious.  The marketing classes started to pay off, even though they cost time and money.

I came up with strategies for managing Twitter and Facebook, and started blogging regularly.

I put myself out there on Gamasutra, IndieDB, Reddit, and TIGForums.

It's been hard switching careers and not having a set path to take.  I honestly was one of those people who said, "Oh I'll just make an app on iOS or android and be able to sustain myself after a year."  When the money didn't start coming though, I held onto my grit, and kept going.

A Year in Review

These Analytics hopefully will help you to come up with ideas of what to track.  If you sign-up for the newsletter, you'll even get access to what I'll use next year.

I did a marketing analysis earlier in the year, and I felt pretty bad comparing my measly beginnings.

The piece of advice below, really helped me when I played the comparison game.

"Don't compare your #indiedev beginnings, to someone else's middle."

What's Next

While I learned a lot over the past few years about IndieDev, it's time to actually start putting it all together.

Inspired by another Indiedev, I'll be doing a prototype game each week for at least the first quarter of 2015.

Have a suggestion for what analytics to track or an article that'll help, leave a comment below!

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