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Tim Ferriss, Part Two: Data Is King.

No, Mr. Four-Hour Workweek didn’t take the stage a second time, but we wanted to get up some more of our notes—this time about data. Data, data, data is all we’re talking about at the circus today (and tomorrow) and Ferriss had some tips for gathering your own data to create your personal brand powerhouse.

Ferriss’s key: “Data Is King.” He beta-tested 12 titles for his book by setting up a Google Adwords campaign and tracking the clicks. He also uses a cheap tool, CrazyEgg.com to visualize where visitors click. He put up a “Gear” link, for example, with no gear to sell–just to track the clicks. “That told me that an e-commerce site would be commercially viable.”

Track metrics. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; Ferriss says he uses just Google Analytics and CrazyEgg; when he wants to crowdsource something from his blog, he uses a third tool called Slingset.com which creates a “personal Digg.” He’s not trying to make money from the blog—he gets value from the access it grants—but if he were, he’d want to see real metrics. “Exposure, awareness—that’s garbage. I want to know revenue.”

As far as Google Analytics goes, Ferriss tracks only a few things: entrance pages, top referrers, and bounce rate. He says it takes him only 20 minutes a week, “just looking for unusual things.”

We don’t know about the 20 minute a week claim; when we check our stats it always takes more than that, but maybe there’s a better way to do it. What do y’all think? Are you slaves to your Google Analytics page?

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