I just earned my first revenue from ChatGPT and other observations

revenue from chatgpt

Too short for a blog post, too cool to ignore, here are ten short observations on the marketing world worthy of your attention. Starting with … my first revenue from ChatGPT!

1. Revenue from ChatGPT

human contentI just earned my first revenue from ChatGPT when a new client found me by searching for “top 10 marketing experts.” I tried this myself, and the list would shuffle on each query, but I was usually in the top ten. Also, I had friends try this in Europe, and the same names came up, all of them Americans by the way.

Why is this first revenue from ChatGPT significant?

  1. Not only was this the first revenue from ChatGPT, but this might also be the first business that came to me via a search engine other than Google! It makes you reconsider the role of SEO in the ChatGPT world.
  2. Microsoft is investing $10 billion in OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT. Microsoft owns Bing. Remember Bing?
  3. Google has its own AI — perhaps the most powerful in the world — waiting in the wings. When will they unleash it on the world?

By the way, I assure you that I am NOT one of the top ten marketing experts in the world. Just in my own circle of friends, I can easily name ten people smarter than me. However, I have an effective personal brand, and that is everything in this world.

2. Building on that idea …

ChatGPT and other AI bots present an existential threat to many creators. I have shouted from the rooftops for years that working on your personal brand and the meaningful, emotional connection with your audience is the ONLY thing that can save you.

Here’s another lesson in personal branding.

One of the things I teach about in my Personal Branding Master Class is the importance of paying attention to qualitative data as a measure of your progress.

How do you know you are becoming “known?” This is an essential question, and the answer is not always found in a quantitative measure like revenue.

Keep a sharp eye on qualitative measures of success like:

  • People finding you and asking questions
  • Invitations to be a guest on a podcast or video
  • Kind words about your content in a social media post or tweet
  • Higher levels of engagement and social shares of your content

These are all signs you are becoming “known.” As long as this is happening, keep going!

It’s the same for me. I watch for qualitative signs of success. This week, I was mentioned in an article on The Drum alongside luminaries like Scott Galloway and Martin Lindstrom. I was asked to be on a Pew Research Futurist Panel with several Internet Hall of Fame pioneers. Could that have happened five years ago? No. These are important signposts of progress and leading indicators of future commercial success.

The personal branding journey is never over for any of us.

3. Evil uses of ChatGPT

A common “black hat” SEO technique was to scrape excellent content from other websites and re-publish without permission to drive ad sales on a crappy site. As Google improved, it detected these frauds and penalized the culprits.

I recently discovered a tricky new use of AI. The bots scrape original content and then use ChatGPT to re-write the copy just enough to make it seem like it’s original! Here’s a screenshot of my original post:

evil uses of chatgpt

And here’s the AI-modified version:

evil uses of chatgpt

The AI re-write is not very good, but it doesn’t have to be. It only has to be Google-sufficient to build authority and attract eyeballs to this site. The only way I discovered this is because my friend John Espirian was mentioned in the article and he got an alert that his name was being used in an article.

Where corruption can occur, corruption will occur!

4. The story of my life

revenue from chatgpt

5. My go-to application

When people ask about the best apps I use on my job, I have a boring answer: Excel spreadsheets and WordPress!

However, I am also a huge fan of SEMrush. I am NOT a paid “influencer” for the platform, but I just honestly love it because it saves me time and money. Three ways I use it nearly every day:

  1. Detailed competitive research for my clients
  2. Reports on content and keywords that inspire content plans
  3. Analysis of my website performance with detailed action plans. Years ago, I used to pay $500/month to a person just for this one report!

6. But I LIKE my dance moves …

This week I had a great conversation with Dana Malstaff. Dana is a true business visionary and I devoted an entire chapter to her in my book Belonging to the Brand.

She was talking to me about where she publishes content and in regard to TikTok said, “I want to be known for my brains, not my dance moves.”

Now Dana knows there are deep layers to TikTok and it is an important social media channel. But she is just one person creating content for her entrepreneurial business and she knows that WHERE you show up and HOW you show up are important.

Similarly, my Marketing Companion co-host Jay Acunzo announced this week that he is leaving Instagram. I hate that because Jay is an entertaining storyteller, but he explained it is taking too much time and distracting from his core business.

To have an effective online presence, you have to be great, and you can’t be great in five places. Be intentional about where you spend your time.

7. An important lesson in one photo

elton john on roblox

Carrying the “where you show up” discussion even further, this ad should inspire discussions on several levels.

I think this is amazing. Sir Elton is creating relevance within a new generation.

8. What happened to voice marketing?

A few years ago, many were claiming that voice-activated bots were the next big commerce platform, emphasizing the importance of Amazon’s Alexa and Echo.

This is one of the big mysteries of the marketing universe: Why Alexa and other voice assistants never rose above the level of voice-activated clock radios. I mean, Siri still spells everything wrong, and I haven’t used Alexa in two years. I recently just remembered that I had one.

Amazon just announced a 10,000-person layoff, and apparently, this has hit the Alexa team heavily. News accounts reported that Alexa has little developer activity or commerce usage any more.

There is SO MUCH progress on AI and audio applications. How did this fail so badly? Is this a case of bad timing? Bad marketing? Or was Alexa just a bad idea? Would love to hear your views on that.

9. Keeping in touch with all of you!

Last month I opened up my calendar for any blog reader who wanted to talk to me. For two days, I met amazing people in back-to-back 20-minute meetings. It was SO MUCH fun!

If I had to point to one theme of these discussions, it would be “relevance.” How do we stay relevant amid this hurricane of change? Keeping up with this crazy rate of change is on a lot of minds.

I loved spending time with so many interesting people from around the world, and I will probably open up my calendar again in the summer. In the meantime, anybody can sign up for an hour to talk to me about their business problems. I’m always accessible to you.

10. An insight on viral

I’ve been blogging every week since 2009 and had my most significant “viral hit” last month. Although I first posted this article on my blog, for some reason, it really took off on when I posted it on Medium. The article:

20 Entertaining Uses of ChatGPT you never knew were possible

Here is the lesson. This work was created by a collaboration of friends from my RISE community, not an AI bot. I am certain this post would never have achieved its viral status if I had written it alone or composed it with ChatGPT prompts.

Humans for the win!

Mark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak at your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.

Illustration generated by MidJourney

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