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How This 4-Year-Old’s Blog Earns Up To $60k/Month From Content Marketing & Courses

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How This 4-Year-Old's Blog Earns Up To $60k/Month From Content Marketing & Courses

Seth Williams used to have an 8-to-5 job that left him feeling unfulfilled. He tried a few real estate ventures, but none of them worked out.

One day he came across land investing. After a successful first deal, he realized the potential it had to be a very profitable business model. 

Eager to share his discovery with others and show them how to do it, he started his blog, REtipster. Today he also runs a YouTube channel, sells several courses, and hosts a podcast, and Seth is earning up to $60k per month.

Keep reading to find out:

  • What Seth did before he got into land investing
  • How land investing works
  • Who inspired him in the beginning
  • Where he gets ideas for content
  • What other projects and areas he’s ventured into
  • Where his income comes from
  • Which marketing works for him
  • What the rest of his team do for the business
  • His thoughts on keyword research and link building
  • What type of content he creates
  • How he grows his email list
  • The resources and tools he uses the most
  • His biggest challenge
  • His greatest accomplishment
  • His main mistake
  • His advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Seth Williams

I’m currently 40 years old. I am married with a wife and two kids. We live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and life is great.

I’ve been a real estate investor for over 15 years and an online content creator for a little over ten years.

When I graduated college in 2006, I got married and started my career in the commercial banking industry. It was a decent career (as far as W2 jobs go), but it wasn’t truly my passion.

About a year into this career, after trying to flip houses and buy rental properties (and failing at both pursuits), I discovered the land investing business (a little-known real estate investing niche) and found it was an incredible opportunity that required far less risk and startup capital. 

After doing my first deal and realizing how achievable and scalable it was, it changed my life forever.

The land investing business model I followed allowed me to find and buy vacant parcels of land around the United States at an extreme discount (usually, anywhere from 20% – 30% of their full market value). 

This was possible because I learned where and how to find off-market properties, owned by people who did not want their land anymore, and since I found them and made it easy for them, they were willing to sell me their land, free-and-clear, at a huge discount.

As a result, I was buying properties that were immediately worth far more than I paid for them, without me having to lift a finger to make improvements… It was like flipping houses, but much easier. 

This business model allowed me to turn around and list these properties for sale at a higher price, and they would sell at a substantial profit within a matter of months, if not weeks.

Why He Created His Website

After working as a land investor for a few years, in 2012, I discovered Pat Flynn and Smart Passive Income. 

After paying attention to him for a while, I recognized I could follow his example and create a similar online community for real estate investors, making epic content teaching everything I knew. 

What I liked about Pat’s approach was that he was a real person and he provided insane amounts of value without charging thousands of dollars for the information. At the same time, he was also managing to make a great income, even though it never felt like he was selling anything.

When I started REtipster, it was purely an experiment, because I knew I needed to explore the idea of starting a blog.

I never realized how much I would enjoy writing content until I tried. 

How This 4 Year Olds Blog Earns Up To 60kMonth From Content

After writing my first blog post and making my first video, I realized I loved the process. When I was writing about things I cared about, I had a newfound passion and appreciation for the content creation process.

Most of my content ideas come from my own experiences in the real estate business. 

Whenever I encounter a problem that needs to be solved or an ingenious solution (whether I thought of it or someone else did), I’ll explain the solution and give credit where credit is due. 

It also helps to pay attention to the questions, answers, and dialogue in our community forum and Facebook group. As our business continues to change, these are great places to find where others are struggling and to find inspiration and ideas about where others need help.

Being a content creator and “influencer” of sorts has given me a lot of other opportunities to work with great people and pursue exciting new business ideas. 

In 2021, I started designing my first self-storage facility, which is now up and running.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Self-storage is a business I’ve wanted to pursue for years, because storage facilities allow the owner to generate income from hundreds of units, instead of one or two, like a single-family home or duplex. 

With hundreds of units, it’s easy to increase everyone’s rent by $3 – $5 per month, and each individual tenant won’t care, even though this can have a big impact on the global income from the property because $5 multiplied by a few hundred units makes a noticeable difference to the property owner’s income.

Storage facilities are also simpler to manage than a typical rental property because there are no people living in the units, and tenants won’t call you at 3:00 am to fix their toilet.

My self-storage facility isn’t directly connected to REtipster, but it gives me a lot of opportunities to create content and explain to my audience why self-storage investing is a great business model, the upsides and downsides of owning a facility, and what it takes to build one from the ground up!

I was also able to use my editing and storytelling skills to start a children’s podcast called Storyland, where I write and tell short stories, which are very immersive, with music and sound effects. 

It’s aimed at kids between the ages of 4 and 12, and it has grown a lot. Surprisingly, it’s about 10x more popular than my original podcast (The REtipster Podcast). 

It’s been interesting to see the difference in reach between a very niche-specific podcast (like REtipster) vs. a podcast that is relevant and interesting to a very large segment of people (Storyland). 

It’s also interesting to note that at the time of this writing, Storyland generates $0 in revenue, whereas REtipster generates five figures per month, even though the sizes of each audience would suggest the opposite.

Storyland has always been a passion project that I’ve done just because it’s fun. Part of me is apprehensive about turning it into a money-making business, because I don’t want the pressures of monetization to turn it into a job instead of a life-giving hobby. 

However… I’ll be the first to admit, with the following it has garnered, it’s hard not to think about ways to generate revenue from it.

I would like to try publishing one or two of these stories as a printed book in the not-too-distant future. With how easy it is to generate AI art these days, I’ve already put together a full, illustrated version of one of the stories, and it was surprisingly easy to do. 

Even so, in order to publish a children’s book that looks legitimate and professional, there are several more steps I still need to take (market research, editorial, layout, cover and interior design, printing, etc.), so I’m not quite there yet, but I hope to make it happen in the next year. 

If for no other reason, it will be interesting to test the market and see what kind of demand there is for a book like this.

How Much He’s Earning

REtipster’s income has fluctuated a bit over the years as the internet, traffic sources, social media, and the ways we monetize the site have changed.

These days, our gross income fluctuates between $30k and $60k per month. About 50% of this income is from the courses we sell, 30% is from affiliate sales for various products and services we review and recommend, 10% is from advertising revenue (YouTube, the podcast, etc.), and another 10% is from various one-off digital products we sell in our online store. 

Here’s a screenshot showing the past several months from our Stripe account, which collects most of the revenue from our courses.

How This 4 Year Olds Blog Earns Up To 60kMonth From Content

As far as traffic goes, we get around 40k visitors per month.

1697813766 771 How This 4 Year Olds Blog Earns Up To 60kMonth From Content

At one point, we were getting close to 200k per month, but our traffic took a huge hit when Google updated its algorithm a few years back. 

I think it has also been impacted by new competition from other content creators who have entered our space. At one point, I was one of a few people in the world publishing a lot of good, free information about land investing, but many new voices have been added to the mix in recent years.

Interestingly, though, this drop in traffic hasn’t had much of a noticeable impact on revenue. It seems the most relevant visitors who need our content are still able to find it.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than 45 hours working on REtipster in a single week.

An average week is probably 30-35 hours per week, and I’ll spend the other 5-10 hours working on my land or self-storage business.

Seth’s Main Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is our one and only marketing strategy. We don’t pay for ads on any platform. We tried this on a couple of occasions, but the ad agencies we hired to do it didn’t know what they were doing and we ended up wasting a lot of money.

I take some pride in this, but the truth is, it also leaves us vulnerable to whatever changes Google decides to make, and that can be a dangerous position, too.

The big advantage of being 100% organic is that REtipster generates revenue without requiring any ad spend, and it seems to come in on its own. 

This allows us to spend our time making more great content, instead of trying to “sell” people on why they need to buy our stuff. It allows us to be authentic and helpful, and people in our audience can decide for themselves if they want to pay for what we’re offering. Plenty of them do, and they see remarkable results from it.

I do this with the help of my team. I Have one full-time employee and several contracted employees who handle certain tasks on a part-time basis:

  • Full-time editor based in the Philippines (all of the written text published on REtipster and related channels)
  • Graphic designer in the US (blog images, infographics, PDFs, and more)
  • Podcast editor in the US (all of the audio-only content for our podcast)
  • Video editor in Pakistan (all of the long-form videos on our YouTube channel)
  • Another video editor in Nepal (all of the shorts, reels, and videos on TikTok)
  • Thumbnail designer in Eastern Europe (all of the thumbnail images on our YouTube channel)

His Thoughts on SEO

It’s very important, but I can’t pretend I’m an SEO expert. I know enough to be dangerous, but there are plenty of things I don’t understand and don’t implement. 

Our focus has always been on providing the best content—information so valuable, it’s worth paying for… but it’s free—and that has been very effective at attracting lots of attention and respect.

Granted, if I spent more time trying to understand and implement SEO, it would probably make a difference, but with my limited time and mental energy, I have to be careful about where I spend it, and I usually opt to put it into creating more helpful, relevant, applicable content rather than trying to keep track of Google’s ever-changing qualification standards.

Keyword Research

On some occasions, I’ll check Google Trends, and I’ll usually do a few different searches for the topic I’m thinking of writing about to see what kind of competition exists and how much demand there seems to be, along with any other related keywords.

At one point, I was subscribed to both Ahrefs and SEMrush, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it work, but it felt like a never-ending labyrinth where I could spend all day without making much progress.

There was a time when I geeked out on SEO tools, and it was helpful to understand them… but I found that when I spent a lot of time with these tools, they overwhelmed me and drained my energy. 

I wasn’t able to spend my energy deciphering these tools and taking the required action to make a difference. I understood how they worked and what issues they were pointing out, but I don’t rely heavily on these to run my business. 

They’re a secondary focus, not the first thing I think about when deciding what content to create.

Link Building

This matters to some extent, but it matters less today than it used to years ago.

When I started REtipster, nobody knew about it; and it was very important to leverage other platforms to let the world know that our site existed. 

Over time, as we’ve created a vast library of top-notch content that ranks well, people can now find us in the regular course of their searches, and inbound links are created naturally because we’re an important resource that matters to people.

There is still value in having links on other websites, and I’ll take those opportunities when they naturally present themselves in the course of our day-to-day business, but it’s not something I’ll bend over backward to try and get these days. 

The Content Creation Process

We have 570 blog posts and 485 terms articles live on the site. The two types of content are a bit different in how they’re written, why they’re written, and who they are for. 

Blog posts are more of a personally written message with the goal of teaching a lesson, similar to what you would find in a course. They include video content, and they are also used as “show notes” for our podcast episodes. They are written in a more informal, conversational tone.

Terms articles take more of an academic approach, and each article in this section of the site is written to help readers develop a comprehensive understanding of what a word or a “term” means. It’s a similar concept to the Dictionary of words from Investopedia, but we focus only on words related to real estate investing and the real estate industry. 

These don’t include much personal commentary or opinion, it’s just a black-and-white reporting of the facts, supported by evidence from other sources around the internet.

We started the Terms Library as an SEO play, in an attempt to rank for various terms. It has worked reasonably well, but it hasn’t been a huge game-changer. 

Not surprisingly, it’s been difficult to rank for the terms with the most search volume, but when we cover a term that hasn’t been explained in many other places on the internet, we can usually rank quite well for that term.

1697813766 958 How This 4 Year Olds Blog Earns Up To 60kMonth From Content

His Email List

We have created a number of lead magnets over the years, where we explain how to use a tool that we’ve developed (e.g. a spreadsheet, calculator, PDF, or something similar) and then give people free access to it if they sign up for our email list.

A few examples are:

The Surprisingly Simple Math to Retiring on Real Estate: This is a retirement calculator that we spent a lot of time creating, and it’s an interesting way to look at what it takes to plan out your retirement using only income-producing real estate.

The Fastest Way to Research Any Property in the United States: This is a research spreadsheet I use in my land business, and I decided to give it away to our audience if they sign up for our email list. I included a good explainer video in the blog post, so people understand how to use it and why it’s helpful. So, even if people never sign up, they’ll still walk away with a lot of value.

My Self-Storage Facility Due Diligence Checklist: I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what information was absolutely necessary to make a well-educated decision about buying an existing self-storage facility. Since I had already done all the work, I decided to make a blog post out of it, and I allowed people to download a PDF of my checklist if they signed up for our email list.

We have plenty of other opt-in forms throughout our site, and people can also sign up through those (you’ll find a big one immediately on our homepage at REtipster). 

They all work to some extent, but the ones that really give a person a compelling reason to sign up work the best.

Seth’s Favorite Resources

For video creation and inspiration, I’m currently getting a lot out of FilmBooth. I also follow a lot of other YouTubers who are in totally unrelated niches, but I get a lot of ideas and inspiration from how they present themselves and their information. 

There are countless great examples I’ve been able to observe and then put my own spin on what they did to make my own version of the same type of video.

For example, I once found an interesting video from Wired, where astronaut Chris Hadfield explained some myths about outer space. 

This has absolutely nothing to do with my niche, but I thought the concept was great. I saw it had a lot of views and likes, so I decided to come up with my own version of that video for land investors, which was a lot of fun to make, and it ended up performing very well.

I would also recommend attending a conference or two in your niche every year, where you can meet other key people. I attend FinCon most years, and I’ve been able to connect with a lot of other content creators who talk about money, investing, real estate, and other similar things.

His Go-To Tools

ChatGPT: If you have a good enough imagination and thought process to come up with the right prompts and explain exactly what you’re looking for, ChatGPT has endless applications. 

I use it to get business advice (coming up with ideas I never would’ve thought of on my own) and how to implement it. 

I also use it to come up with headlines (a hugely important and otherwise time-consuming task), and when I’m trying to write emails that require a lot of thought, and I know what I want to say but I’m not quite sure how to word the message effectively.

I almost never do exactly what ChatGPT says (I never click copy, paste, send), but it can do 80% of the heavy lifting for me, and then I’ll put my own voice and flavor into the content to make it my own and make changes where needed.

Slack: This is another essential tool I use every day to communicate with my team and other key people that help REtipster run smoothly. It can do everything I need it to do and more. If Slack suddenly ceased to exist, it would be much more difficult to run my business.

Canva: As someone who isn’t a graphic designer and doesn’t have access to (or understand how to use) most photo editing software, Canva is an essential tool that I use every day. 

Whether I’m creating a video thumbnail, blog post header image, infographic, PDF, or any other visual asset, Canva can do just about anything I need. I also have a graphic designer who can do the super-complex things that Canva can’t handle, but for 95% of what I need, Canva has me covered.

His Biggest Challenge

Most of the biggest challenges I’ve faced have been in my own brain. 

Whenever I encounter a perceived threat or when a “bad thing” happens to our business, I eventually realize it wasn’t a threat at all, nor was it a bad thing, I was just thinking about it the wrong way.

For example, when we have a month where revenue is down, one response is to panic and scream that the sky is falling. 

1697813766 961 How This 4 Year Olds Blog Earns Up To 60kMonth From Content

A more productive response is to step back and look at what isn’t working, and start the fun creative process of ideation: thinking of new ways to make money from new sources, or to change course in a way that makes the perceived threat irrelevant. 

Admittedly, thinking differently takes a bit of effort and mental energy, but it ultimately brings us to a much stronger and healthier place when we can deal with these challenges in a way that creates a more sustainable business.

His Greatest Accomplishment

The fact that I can arrive to work late and leave early, whenever I want, and be available as a father to play with my kids and serve them in the ways they need and deserve, is something I’m most proud of.

I’m also grateful for the extra margin my business has given me, allowing me to pursue fun projects like Storyland, start new businesses and sources of income like my self-storage facility, and connect with countless other amazing people… 

It’s given me a life that far exceeded my expectations, and I don’t see how this existence would have been possible if I was still working an 8 to 5 job.

What He Wishes He Knew When He Started

It’s possible (probable, even) to spend an insane amount of time and effort creating something nobody wants or cares about. Just because you think it’s great, and put your blood, sweat, and tears into something doesn’t mean it will matter to anyone besides yourself.

This is a hard reality that content creators have to acknowledge. After investing absurd amounts of effort into projects that flopped, I realized the importance of researching the needs of my audience before I start working on something. 

It’s important to do some homework to verify there is sufficient interest in what you’re doing. If your goal is to make money from what you’re creating, try to verify that it’s something people want enough to pay for.

Depending on what you’re trying to build, I think there are some cases when you simply can’t be 100% sure of this before you start, but you should still do some amount of homework to understand the situation. 

Don’t just start running towards your dream without spending some time to understand and verify the amount of demand for what you’re trying to build.

Seth’s Main Mistake

My biggest mistake is trying to chase after too many things at once. And to be honest, I continue to make this mistake today (although I’m getting better at it).

When REtipster started gaining momentum, I started getting inundated with requests from companies and people who wanted to “work with me, “which is code for, “we want you to promote and sell our stuff, and you probably won’t make anything from it”. 

For the most part, you can assume that everyone is out to serve their own interests first. Their interests may align with yours, but they also might not.

Years ago, I wasn’t very good at discerning this. I would say “yes” to everyone, and I ended up wasting a lot of time on things that went nowhere. 

These days, I have a good set of criteria I use to gauge whether these opportunities and pursuits make sense for REtipster. 

Sometimes, the answer is “yes” because we can generate revenue from it, but sometimes, the answer is “yes” because it will simply help our audience. 

You have to clearly understand what kind of benefit you’re looking for (whether it’s a money-making benefit or not) and then get laser-focused on pursuing those opportunities while ignoring the rest.

His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

Get started! Make mistakes, learn from them, have fun, and enjoy the journey!

I absolutely love what I get to do. That doesn’t mean there aren’t hard days. 

There are plenty of tasks I have to do that are monotonous, difficult, or simply aren’t fun… but I’m still happy to do those jobs because they’re a small part of a much larger whole. I am extremely fortunate to have a career that I love doing and find a great deal of satisfaction in.

I used to live on the other side of the fence. I’m intimately familiar with having a job that doesn’t pay as well as I’d like, with the knowledge that it’s not leading anywhere I want to go. This was my life for years, and it took a toll on my mental health and personal satisfaction. 

For the longest time, I could only dream of the life I get to live now. Now that I know it’s real, I want everyone else to know it can happen for them too… but nobody is going to give it to you. 

It takes a lot of intent and a concerted effort to get there, but if I could do it, you can too!



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ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here’s How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

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ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Unless you’ve been living under that proverbial rock, you’ve heard of ChatGPT and its creator, OpenAI. Part of the generative AI explosion, ChatGPT is revolutionizing entire industries, including branding and brand positioning. But it’s not without its drawbacks.

Some of the milder criticisms include creating generic content, not supporting brand voice or tone and failing to connect with audiences. Those are pretty dramatic disadvantages for a technology that’s supposed to be such a game changer, and they’re stumbling blocks you’ve probably encountered in your own use of AI.

There’s good news. A custom GPT lets you take AI to the next level. You can say goodbye to generic, boring copy and hello to brand-aligned, customized content that engages from the start.

Related: 5 Ways ChatGPT Can Help Your Business

What is a Custom GPT?

A custom GPT is the next step in AI evolution, at least for individuals and organizations looking to build their brand and enhance brand awareness with their audience. It’s a free option available for anyone who subscribes to ChatGPT Plus and essentially allows you to create a customized AI that knows everything about you and your business.

Rather than using conventional training materials, the OpenAI team uses your branding information to train the AI. The result? A customized version of ChatGPT that’s unique to your brand.

Related: How Generative AI Will Revolutionize The Future of Your Brand

The proof is in real-world experience

In the ever-evolving entrepreneurship landscape, I recently had the privilege of incorporating a custom ChatGPT into my toolkit. Created by a skilled team, this AI marvel was trained with insights from my articles and branding advice and attuned to my unique tone of voice. I was thrilled to discover that it could perfectly emulate my style (professional yet approachable and friendly) and provide branding advice that I would have given myself.

Why would I want to let AI replace me? Am I planning for my own obsolescence? Not in the least.

The goal here is to create an ally in sharing my expertise — an AI-powered alter ego capable of responding to questions, comments, and requests in the same way I would. It’s also an important tool for providing potential new clients with a preview of what working with me is like.

How did the experiment pan out? What benefits did I achieve, and how might you apply them to your own needs? Here’s a quick rundown of my experience.

Improved brand consistency

A custom GPT’s primary advantage is its ability to ensure brand consistency across different touchpoints. Whether people seek advice, ask questions or want to engage in another way, a custom GPT mirrors your brand’s unique voice and identity. These are not generic robots; they’re tailored allies designed to respond in the same tone of voice and style, aligning seamlessly with your brand. This not only strengthens your brand image but also cultivates a deeper connection with your audience.

Effortless communication

With my custom GPT taking care of everyday questions, I’ve gained valuable time to focus on the core aspects of my business. That’s something any business owner can appreciate. It has also become instrumental in smoothing out communication and enhancing overall efficiency.

When it comes to client relationships, the custom ChatGPT handles routine inquiries, allowing me to concentrate on building stronger connections. It’s not just about answering questions; it’s about providing a personal touch that goes beyond the basics, ensuring clients feel genuinely attended to.

Instant expertise at scale

Scaling my entrepreneurial efforts became seamless as my custom ChatGPT effortlessly shares branding advice derived from and consistent with my body of work across platforms. Whether interacting with one client or a hundred, the AI manages to deliver advice and guidance consistent with my goals in terms of professionalism and expertise. That’s good news for business owners, entrepreneurs and others trying to scale their brands without burning out.

Dynamic adaptability to trends

The world is evolving faster than ever. It feels impossible to keep up with trends and shifting market dynamics. However, my custom GPT can be retrained with new data and instructions so I can keep ahead of the curve. That’s an important benefit for anyone hoping to stay relevant today.

Related: How ChatGPT Will Dramatically Change the Influencer Space

Time-saving creative sparks

ChatGPT doesn’t just answer questions; it sparks creativity. Whether you’re stuck on a branding concept or seeking inspiration to name your new business venture, the AI’s unique insights and suggestions serve as a springboard for creative endeavors, accelerating the ideation process. This can be an important advantage when it comes to creating marketing collateral, content for your audience and even writing a business plan to get your idea off the ground.

The team you’ve been missing

Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs often try to do it all. Chances are good that you handle your own marketing, market research, customer support, email correspondence, and more. That leaves little time to focus on other aspects, like spending time with family and friends. A custom GPT can become the team you’ve been missing and handle those tasks for you in many cases, saving you time, cutting costs and protecting your sanity.

In essence, a custom GPT acts as a force multiplier. It allows you to do more, from engaging with your audience to building a stronger brand without burning out. From streamlining communication to answering questions and providing guidance to interacting with leads at different touchpoints within your funnel, a custom GPT could be just what you need to jumpstart your success.

Related: What Does ChatGPT Mean for the Future of Business?

A global solution for leaders in the spotlight

For prominent figures like business leaders and public figures, managing a constant influx of inquiries can be overwhelming. A prime example is MarcGPT, tailored for Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix. Drawing from his wealth of experience, this custom GPT delivers inspiring and actionable advice for entrepreneurs, showcasing its potency as a valuable tool for leaders. It extends mentorship and offers insights on a global scale, reaching a diverse audience without the limitations of time zones or physical presence. Since it incorporates information from various sources, including a copy of his book, interviews, podcast episodes and other writings, it becomes a versatile asset for sharing expertise on various topics.

Embracing the AI revolution with caution

While the benefits of custom GPTs are evident, it’s essential to approach AI integration cautiously. Human-to-human interaction is always the preferred option. And while AI continues to evolve, it should be seen as an ally working alongside you, not a replacement for you. Maintaining the human touch within your business remains vital.

My recommendation? Use a custom GPT to help you carve out more time to do what you do best and to provide much-needed human interaction at key touchpoints. Let your AI handle mundane but important tasks that would not be a wise use of your own time and expertise.

Ultimately, a custom GPT can provide critical automation, reduce costs, improve efficiency, save you time, improve your customer or client experience and increase the accuracy of interactions. Creating one tailored to your business is the first step toward building a stronger, more resilient brand and achieving a better balance in your own professional life.

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How to Build Trust and Transparency With Your Customers While Taking Their Data

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How to Build Trust and Transparency With Your Customers While Taking Their Data

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Innovation starts with identifying the outcomes customers want to achieve — which is why most companies rely on modern tools and technologies to acquire vast amounts of customer information for creating personalized customer experiences.

You need your customers to share their details, including preferences, to ensure you create a seamless, engaging and personalized customer journey. However, this need is at odds with the growing concerns surrounding customer privacy. Now, more than ever, customers are growing increasingly protective of their personal data.

According to a survey conducted by Gartner, consumers are less comfortable with brands collecting other types of data, including browsing history. Only 27% of respondents feel comfortable sharing information pertaining to their employment, financial data and personal health.

Users know the risks associated with their personal information fueled by various privacy breaches, data thefts and increasing regulatory scrutiny. Hence, businesses striving to innovate and meet customer demands must navigate the complexities of privacy protection since customers trust brands that value their privacy security.

On the other hand, the stringent privacy regulations, including the GDPR and CCPA, are even more concerning. These regulations demand businesses to collect, store, and manage customer data securely. Failing to adhere may entitle the business to pay hefty fines and even reputational damages.

In a nutshell, if a business wishes to jump on the innovation bandwagon, it can’t ignore the inherent privacy risks, especially when collecting vast amounts of customer data. Let’s unpack why businesses must be more vigilant about customer data security and privacy when innovating and learn how to navigate this complex landscape.

Related: Why Your Company Needs to Rethink Its Purpose to Acquire Loyal Customers — And Drive More Sales.

Why you need to innovate with privacy on top of mind

Delivering seamless user experiences is vital, but ignoring privacy security wouldn’t please your users. Stats reveal that users worldwide are more concerned about their privacy than ever and wish to do more to protect it.

On the other hand, when we see things from an organization’s perspective, they have a typical mindset of invoking technology’s true potential to innovate for improving user experiences. However, ignoring privacy and security could be the worst strategy in today’s business landscape, especially when your customers know the importance of their privacy.

No matter how unreasonable it may seem to prioritize privacy in today’s world, where data-driven decisions dominate, embracing privacy protection can eventually open up new avenues for growth and innovation.

Users are more likely to engage with digital platforms and applications when they trust that their privacy is respected and their personal data is secure. They love to share personal information, along with their preferences and participate in innovative initiatives.

Consequently, a deeper understanding of user preferences and needs helps businesses develop effective and targeted innovations.

Why ignoring privacy regulations will spell trouble for your business

The relationship between innovation and privacy is quite evident. As organizations navigate their technological advancement journey, privacy regulations guide them toward a sustainable future where innovation does not affect or compromise users’ fundamental rights.

Whether it’s CCPA or GDPR, every regulation guards privacy rights and protects organizations from legal obligations. Furthermore, organizations that cater to customers across the globe shouldn’t ignore the importance of adhering to various data privacy regulations, as failing to do so may entitle them to pay hefty fines.

What’s worrisome is that if your organization’s reputation is tarnished for not adhering to global privacy compliances, your potential customers won’t trust you and will inch toward your competitors with all the necessary compliances in place.

And regarding innovation, you can freely collect essential information about users, and they won’t mind if you adhere to the latest data privacy and security regulations.

Strategies for privacy-driven innovation

1. Prioritizing a privacy-first mindset

Organizations that don’t prioritize privacy at every stage of their product development and innovation initiatives will not be able to win customer trust.

Hence, it’s essential to lay the foundation of your product by equally emphasizing privacy along with other aspects, including user experience, usability, compliance and marketing. Collaborating development, security, user experience and marketing teams to emphasize privacy security is perhaps the need of the hour for every business striving for success.

2. Prioritize transparency tactics — communicate clearly, win trust

If you establish clear communication with your customers regarding data collection, usage and protection, you can quickly win customer trust and loyalty. Most customers are reluctant to share their personal information just because they aren’t sure why an organization is demanding it in the first place.

Once they’re comfortable sharing essential information, you can use this data to drive meaningful innovation, such as offering personalized recommendations, suggesting products/services based on their preferences, and more.

3. Tap the potential of technology

Embracing cutting-edge privacy-enhancing tools and technologies can help you navigate your innovation journey seamlessly. Using robust privacy management tools, identity management platforms and multi-factor authentication can eventually help build lasting customer trust and loyalty.

Furthermore, using cloud platforms to scale rapidly would further enhance user experience without compromising security.

4. Optimize data collection

A data-minimization approach in which organizations collect only essential data and maximize its value helps deliver impactful results. Admit it: No innovation is possible without knowing what your customers want and their pain points. Effectively analyzing essential data can help boost targeted innovation efforts, ensuring impactful outcomes.

5. Skyrocket innovation with powerful partnerships

Last but not least, collaborating with privacy experts, regulatory bodies, and industry peers to exchange knowledge and best practices can accelerate your innovation efforts. Businesses can embark on an innovation journey flawlessly through collective support and expertise.

Related: This Unique Marketing Strategy Is Winning in 2024 — Here’s Why (and How You Can Implement It Successfully)

Navigating the nexus of innovation and privacy

While navigating the innovation landscape, organizations shouldn’t overlook the undeniable nexus between innovation and privacy. Hence, ignoring privacy while pursuing innovation could hamper customer trust and lead to legal obligations.

Emphasizing a privacy-first mindset, coupled with transparent communication and technological advancement, are undoubtedly pivotal strategies for unlocking the true potential of innovation while safeguarding customer privacy.

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

How to Determine The Ideal Length of Your Marketing Emails Your Customers Will Actually Read

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How to Determine The Ideal Length of Your Marketing Emails Your Customers Will Actually Read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Email marketing is booming: last year, 52% of marketers said their campaign’s return on investment (ROI) doubled, while 5.7% of marketers experienced an ROI four times larger compared to 2022, a Statista report shows.

How can you create similar results for your business this year?

The effectiveness of email marketing comes down to a few key factors:

  • Knowing your audience and its pain points and desires.
  • Creating emails that respond to those specific needs.
  • Getting your emails in the inbox, where your subscribers can interact with them.

As the CEO of a B2B email marketing company, I often hear from customers about their top challenges. A big one? Creating emails that really engage and drive results. Getting the content, length and audience targeting just right is tough.

Related: How to Get People to Open – And Read – Your Emails

Most of your prospects prefer shorter emails

If you’re struggling to make your emails more engaging, here’s an aspect you may be overlooking: just make them shorter. Recent data from a ZeroBounce report shows that 66% of consumers prefer short emails, and only 6% favor longer ones.

But keep this caveat in mind: For 28% of people, email length becomes irrelevant if the content is well-tailored to their needs and interests.

It’s no surprise that people prefer shorter marketing emails. When inboxes are clogged with messages, why would you opt for a long message instead of a quick note? Concise and direct emails respect your prospects’ time and have a higher chance of getting their attention. But while most people prefer brevity, the quality and relevance of your emails are what truly capture and retain interest.

The message is clear for the 28% who don’t mind the length: When an email resonates well with their needs or interests, they’re willing to invest more time, regardless of word count. This segment of your audience is receptive to more in-depth content that speaks directly to their challenges.

How to determine the right email length

So, how do you strike the right balance between brevity and substance? The key is to start with understanding your audience. Segment your email list based on behaviors, preferences and past interactions. This segmentation allows you to tailor your messages more precisely. Also, you probably send different types of emails. That aspect alone should guide your approach:

  • Newsletters can be longer and cover several pieces of information in more depth.
  • Drip campaigns can consist of a series of emails that gently push your prospects closer to a purchase. Those emails can be short — sometimes, a few lines followed by a call-to-action (CTA) is enough.
  • Targeted campaigns, such as a discount or free offer, can have an engaging image paired with a couple of sentences and a catchy CTA button.

If you’re still unsure whether your email is too long, here are a few tips to save you time and make things easier.

Start with a clear goal

Every email should have a clear purpose. Whether it’s to inform, increase engagement or drive sales, your goal will dictate the necessary length. Don’t add fluff just to extend an email; keep it as long as necessary to fulfill its purpose.

Choose simplicity and clarity

Use simple language and clear CTAs. Marketing emails rarely benefit from any metaphors. Your email should guide readers smoothly from the opening line to the desired action without unnecessary detours.

Personalize to the last detail

Use what you know about your customers to tailor your emails. When marketing emails feel personal, people care more about the message and less about the length.

Test and adjust to what your audience likes

Studies can point you in the right direction in terms of consumer preferences, but only you can determine what your audience responds to the most. Before sending your next email, consider A/B testing different lengths. Then, analyze your metrics to see what performed best.

Improve your layout

Sometimes, the way information is presented can affect how we perceive the length of an email. Breaking text with relevant images or using bullet points can make longer emails appear more digestible and engaging.

Related: 4 Things You Can Automate in Your Email Marketing That Will Save You Time and Drive Sales

Ask your subscribers

Asking for opinions shows you care about serving your audience better, so why not include a poll in your next newsletter? Allow your subscribers to tell you how long they’d like your emails to be. Nothing beats direct customer feedback in helping you create more effective campaigns.

Bonus tips to increase email engagement

Here are a few extra tips to help your next emails get more clicks:

  • Try to keep your subject lines between 30 and 50 characters. Not only will your subscribers process them faster, but keeping your subject lines short ensures they display well on all devices.
  • Check your email list health to avoid bounces and the likelihood of landing in the spam folder.
  • Assess your spam complaint rate – it should be under 0.1% to comply with Yahoo and Google’s new email-sending rules.

Also, remember your goal is to connect with your audience genuinely, no matter how many words it takes to get there. If your email ends up longer than you’d planned but addresses a topic many of your subscribers care about, don’t worry. Engaging content can often justify a longer read.

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