I just learned about the fact that US Bloggers and Solopreneurs must get GDPR Compliant too. While I’m not an expert by any means, I’m going to share why US Bloggers and Solopreneurs must get GDPR compliant with European Union (EU) regulations too. I don’t usually blog about blogging, but this is super important so I wanted to share what I’ve found out and how I tackled and achieved compliance (quickly and at an affordable price).
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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor am I trained in GDPR compliance, this post is my own perceptions and findings on the road to compliance. Please seek the advice of a professional.
Why did I become GDPR compliant?
As a writer and blogger, I value ALL my site visitors, including those from the European Union and UK (and associated countries); therefore, I became GDPR compliant because it’s the right thing to do with respects to the new regulations. There are many other reasons I became compliant, this is just one. Bloggers, keep reading to find out more about GDPR.
What is GDPR?
What does GDPR stand for? It stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It refers to the new regulations going into effect May 25, 2018. All US businesses and websites must be GDPR compliant by the May 25th, 2018 deadline.
But, I’m a US Blogger…so, this doesn’t apply to me, right? Wrong!
I had this question and I began to see through research that yes, the regulations apply to me. Yikes! I knew I needed to figure this out quick.
At first, I figured it’s their regulation overseas, not a US regulation, so it wouldn’t touch me. But as I began to research further, I found I was completely wrong in my assumption. I was completely unaware of this requirement, including how as a United States citizen and a website owner, I must comply as well. This new regulation applies to US companies, website owners, bloggers, and solopreneurs.
ALL websites who could have visitors and subscribers from the EU and UK regions must follow the regulations. And, it’s retroactive. The new regulations apply to website owners who may be collecting subscribers from the EU (European Union) and the United Kingdom. The new regulations apply to any site visited by people from these regions, even if the website doesn’t target people living in these regions.
I was still confused, so I kept researching.
What is GDPR Compliance in one sentence?
Most simply stated, subscribers and website visitors must opt-in and be notified about any personal data processing.
The longer explanation…
GDPR compliance involves getting thoroughly informed consent, specific permission in “positive affirmation” that subscribers and website visitors (from EU and UK residents) give permission for how their personal data is processed (including email addresses, tracking, even IP addresses).
Non-compliance results in fines 🙁 when a website is turned in. Just don’t go there! Protect your dream and all your hard work and get GDPR Compliant today.
So…I get it, this GDPR applies to me, now what?
My first thought was one of denial, how can this be? What if I just ignore it? I soon found out it was all true, including the potential to be fined if my site is turned in, and I began to panic with the fast-approaching deadline!
I began to read all the websites on GDPR I could find. My panic increased because the language was over my head, technical, and complex. The mumbo-jumbo terrified me! I’m not a lawyer or even a trained business person. I’m a writer and a mom running a small business and website, and my background is in nursing and science (plus being a SAHM).
I really wondered what I was going to do about all of this and how was I going to accomplish in a few short days?
But then I found the answer.
An Affordable and Doable Solution for GDPR Compliance
My panic grew and grew as I read website after website until I found a lovely blogger who made it all clear.
She spoke in plain and simple language that was easy for me to understand. Plus, she offered an affordable course, which as a small business owner and solopreneur I found to be a giant lifesaver. Other places I had looked online listed services for prices ranging from $200 to $500 for making a site compliant. This was way too high of a price tag for me, so when I found this US blogger’s course on how to comply for only $50, I signed up immediately.
Honestly, her templates alone are worth $50, I was overjoyed when I perused them! Plus, her videos are concise and exactly what I needed. She made the whole process of becoming compliant seem doable and I set off on the road to compliance. It did take me several hours (but can be as quick as 3 I hear), however, I needed more than 3 hours to complete it because of all the updates I needed to do. The course made the whole thing less scary to me.
I highly recommend Blogging Successfully’s Course.
How to Follow a Plan to Become GDPR Compliant
What processes are impacted for a website owner to become GDPR Compliant?
- email subscribers, past and future
- opt-in forms
- any consent forms
- any freebies
- websites using Google Analytics or other tracking scripts
In my opinion, Blogging Successfully’s Course will help you address all aspects of GDPR compliance.
Why I loved this course:
I need my hand held for most technical things, and this course did just that for me. Visuals such as videos and exact images of how to navigate screens are what I need. This course provided visuals and explanations so I could understand what I needed to do to accomplish compliance.
I wrote this post because I enjoy helping others and I wanted to share with others this affordable and easy to understand course. Plus, these GDPR compliant regulations are important and shouldn’t be ignored. I went into nursing because I love helping people, so I wanted to help other website owners and bloggers by alerting them to the need to follow these regulations. I believe this course will help others immensely as it has helped me, so I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Feel free to ask me questions in my comments section below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Providers Can Assist Too
Many email service providers can help figure out which subscribers are from the EU and UK so they can be asked to consent again following the new regulations. I use Convertkit (and love it!). It is very simple to separate out subscribers from these regions to re-consent them in Convertkit. Check this amazing service out in my affiliate link for Convertkit Email Service.
Good luck in your quest for GDPR compliance!
I sincerely hope you have found this post useful. Please check out How to Be GDPR Compliant using Blogging Successfully’s Course. The course explains the processes needed for compliance in easy to understand terms and the course contains so many extras. It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds, but there are many steps to take to make your website and it procedures compliant.
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Megan Rowsey says
It’s pretty scary especially for a new blogger like me who is just getting started. As if there wasn’t enough to worry about! Thanks for posting.
Julie Hoag says
I agree, and even though I’ve been blogging for two years, this scared me. It was a challenge to get it all done, but I could not have done it all without the course. I need my hand held, the technical side of blogging is NOT my strong suit. I hope it all goes smoothly for you. Thanks!
Wow, this was super informative! There’s a lot in this that I didn’t know before!
Julie Hoag says
Oh, you are so right, there was so much more to it than I even imagined. I’m glad I’ve completed it, but I would have had no idea what to do or how to do it without having a guide. Tech stuff is not my strong suit. Thanks!! Hope it goes well for you.
This was really informative. I hadn’t heard about GDPR compliant before.
Julie Hoag says
I know, a lot of bloggers haven’t heard of this, but anyone with a website needs to do this. The US is complying with it, not that the US is enforcing it for US citizens, but the US is complying with GDPR so we all need to complete measures to get compliant. Those who don’t are risking fines. Kind of scary. Good luck, I hope it all goes smoothly for you.
I have been wondering what all these pop ups have been talking about. It looked legit but also a bit spammy.
Julie Hoag says
Yes, to be GDPR compliant, people need to agree to cookies and any tracking and the only way to ask them is through a pop-up, which also allows them to opt out of any tracking. It’s part of the GDPR and all websites should be doing this. Those that don’t risk getting fined someday, plus it’s just the right thing to do to honor people’s wishes on their privacy.
Cristina - Memories of the Pacific says
Thanks for this, it’s very informative! I hate having to deal with this though, one more thing to worry about…