GDPR for bloggers has been a huge topic this week, not just here but all across the internet-land, and especially in the blogging community. I do have the must have GDPR compliance checklist for you, but before we get to that, I want to divert a little bit from the status quo.
Maybe the furore this week is because the deadline for compliance is less than 3 weeks away now, or maybe it’s because the sheer amount of information out there has reached a peak. A quick Google search for ‘GDPR for bloggers’ will bring you up a cool 1.8m pages, and even something more specific like ‘GDPR Compliance Checklist’ returns 140,000 pages (as at 3.5.18, I have no doubt these numbers will skyrocket with time).
I’ve talked a lot about the technicalities of GDPR for bloggers, and the things that we need to get ready. I’ve done a boatload of research, as most of you know. But everything I’ve given you so far has been to the letter of the law, so to speak.
Today, given that it’s Friday and quite frankly we’re all a bit frazzled, I want to get real about GDPR. Because it’s what I do, I have done a bit more research for you, which I’m gonna share.
According to the ICO’s website, over the course of the last year they have handed out 42 monetary fines. Now I don’t know about you, but in an ocean like the internet which houses billions of websites and pages, 42 doesn’t really seem like a huge amount to me.
And what’s more, is that nearly all of the fines handed out were to established, high profit companies. For example, The Royal Mail were handed a fine of £20,000 for poor email communications. Specifically, they sent over 300,000 emails to 327,014 people who had already opted out of email communications from them.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sending anywhere close to 300 emails a month, let alone 300,000!
What’s My Point?
Put simply, my point is this. I very much doubt that the ICO are going to be banging on the virtual doors of bloggers in the leafy suburbs of the West Country. Or anywhere else, cos y’know, we’re everywhere! Yes you need to take steps to be compliant, and yes some of it might take time and effort.
The regulations have been put in place for a reason, and I’m no way saying they should be ignored. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think we need to embrace the GDPR and everything it stands for. But I also think we need to do so with a bit of common sense.
If you’re out to dupe people, market where marketing’s not wanted, bombard people with shit affiliate links, or any other dickery, then the likelihood is people are going to complain about you and you’ll be investigated.
But if, like me, you’ve done everything you can to make yourself aware of the new regulations and put your virtual house in order, you’re gonna be just fine. If you’re not out to send 28 bajillion emails a month to your cold list, bulk email a trillion useless affiliate links, or shove unwanted products down people’s throats, you’re gonna be just fine. If you’re wrapped in a blanket in your spare room at 11:58pm on a Thursday hustling your arse off on your blog just tryna make a buck for your kids and family, you’re gonna be just fine.
My final note is this; just don’t be a dick. That’s what the GDPR is all about, really. The powers that be just want to see less unwanted utter shite sent out to subscribers, and more uplifting cat videos. Well, maybe not more cat vids, but more content that’s actually useful in some way (cat videos are totally useful for cheering you up after a bad day, I’m told).
Send your subscribers stuff they need and want. Give the the benefit of all the wonderfullness swimming around in your brain, and generally share the love. When you do have a product to sell, or an affiliate link to share, you’re list will know they can trust you, heck they’ll even like you, and be more likely to hit that ‘buy’ button.
Turns out the kids can have new shoes after all!
If you do still need a little clarification on GDPR and what you need to do to get your house tip top, you can watch this video, where I answered all the questions thrown at me and drank some cold coffee.
If you’re after more GDPR #DontBeADick, you can also watch this video. Which says just that 😉
Oh, and here’s that GDPR Compliance Checklist
Y’know, because I’m just the gift that keeps on giving 😉 With that in mind, if you’re in a pinch and have absolutely no idea where to start getting everything ready for your site and mailing list you’re gonna need the Ultimate GDPR Compliance Package I’ve put together for you. It has everything from the policies you need done for you so you don’t have to trawl the web looking for inspo, to the GDPR compliance checklist and how to guides for setting everything up. Job done!