Having a mailing list is a great way to increase your blogging income, but many bloggers are put off from starting a mailing list because of GDPR. Let's explore GDPR for bloggers in this post.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It is a regulation in the EU law around data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU.
Let's take a moment to point out the obvious – aren't we leaving the EU? Brexit and all of that?
Well yes, but the UK Government will most likely want to implement this EU law, to do with trading with businesses within the EU.
GDPR is not going away just yet.
Although you are probably sick of hearing ‘GDPR', it is a really good thing. We need to make sure that we treat people's data with respect, and that we have a legal right to collect (and sometimes process) that data. We also need to ensure that it is stored securely; that people can easily find out what data we have on them and that we amend or remove it promptly once asked.
These are all things that we would appreciate ourselves, so it is only fair that we do this to other people's data.
When did GDPR come into effect?
GDPR came into effect on 25th May 2018.
How does GDPR for bloggers work?
You might think that, as a blogger, this law won't impact you. However, if you hold any data about individuals then you need to make sure that you comply.
Here are some suggestions for data you might be holding:
- Receiving comments on your blog – names, emails and IP addresses
- Newsletter members – names and email addresses
- Displaying adverts on your blog – cookies
- Using affiliate links – cookies
- Using Google Analytics – cookies and IP addresses
- Running a membership site – names, addresses, payment details, etc.
- Paying a Virtual Assistant – names, addresses and payment details
What you need to do
Every blogger is different, so there isn't a blanket solution. However, most of us will need to:
- Check if we used double opt-in for our email subscribers and remove anyone who did not double opt-in
- Decide what to do about blog comments (stop allowing them, delete after one year, anonymise after one year)
- Add a disclosure to email opt-in forms telling potential subscribers that they are signing up for your opt-in freebie AND additional newsletters
- Consider whether you need to register with the ICO (you can take this self assessment test here to see if you need to register)
What if we get GDPR for bloggers wrong?
GDPR is still so new, and whilst there is the potential for a big fine, the ICO have told numerous bloggers that we are not the intended target.
It is rumoured that the first port of call will be a slap on the wrists whilst the ICO work with us to ensure that we meet the GDPR standards.
I would suggest that we try our best to adhere to GDPR by following the advice above.