Trademark, Brand Your Online Identity to Better Safeguard Against Accidental, Intentional Theft
An identity is something that needs to be protected in this day and age, as it is easier for people to have the same brand ideas, or even steal an identity, than ever before.
Thanks to the internet, most of us have two identities: a physical “real-life” identity and a digital identity, which can be easily shaped and molded online. Usually, we are the ones controlling this digital identity by how we present ourselves online, though sometimes this identity can be affected by others who may steal it (either on purpose or accident) and misrepresent your brand.
We’ve all heard of identity theft that can cost someone a lot of money and ruin their credit, but a blog’s identity can also be stolen and used to discredit your name and reputation.
If you have your own blog, be it for your business or your own personal use, you need to protect and secure it in some way so that it is synonymous with the business or opinion you regularly present. Below are four professional tips on how to secure your blog identity.
1. Knowing the Face Behind the Blog
“Find ways to make sure your customers know you and connect with the face behind the business. Businesses really thrive when the energy of the owner is there,” Caron Beesly, community moderator of the Small Business Association, says.
Doing this may entail taking simple measures, such as making your face more of a regular part of all the business you do or posting a picture of yourself on your blog. That way people know exactly what you look like and who you are. Make sure it’s a good picture that someone can get used to looking at on a regular basis though—you don’t want to turn people off due to a picture that is a little too cheesy, serious, or over the top.
The more people who see your face, the more readily they will associate it with your brand or your online personality.
2. Secure Your Social Media Brand
“As a best practice, be sure to register your personal name, business name and any products or services that are unique (or trademarked) to your business. This is especially important on the sites you are, or will be, most active in (think both short and long term),” Sierra Friend, The Blogsite Coach, says of social media.
This may seem like a not-so-important thing to do when you are just starting a business and your time is limited, however, it is still a critical part of securing your online identity for your business and your blog, so that if you do hit it big later on, no one can take over a name that is similar to your blog.
Part of running a successful business is proactively thinking in both the short- and long-term, and this is one of the examples of doing so in the digital age.
So put in a little more time up front and it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Plus, securing your blog and brand name on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular forms of social media costs no money and is a great way to consistently connect with fans, followers, and customers of your blog and brand.
3. Stay Relevant
“Just like any other company, building a blog brand means staying relevant, posting every week, expanding your community, and maintaining the qualities and characteristics of the brand that you started out with,” Catherine Alford, owner of Budget Blonde, says.
It is critical for a blog to post articles regularly and continues to update their fans, followers, and customers with information and news about the business or just life in general.
The content that is posted should reflect the tone and quality of the brand you are building as well, so it shouldn’t be just random content that is being posted. However, the posts should be scheduled at least once a week; if you can post more often, do it. This is a way for you to stay in the forefront of customers, clients or followers minds, so the more often you post, the more they will think about you and working with you in the future.
4. Legally Protect
“I would strongly recommend conducting a trademark search on the desired name of the blog before you begin blogging,” Gerben says. “It is important to ensure that the name of your blog will not infringe on the rights of a pre-existing blog. If the trademark search does not show any conflict, you should then take the steps necessary to file a federal trademark application. This will protect the name of your blog in all fifty states.”
It makes sense, both legally and practically, to register your trademark. Some people will use names that they like, whether they know someone has it registered or not, so getting a trademark for a desired name is a good business decision and can help lock down your blog’s identity.
You should trademark your brand right off the bat, preferably before or in congjunction with your blog launch, so that there is never a conflict of interest. While this may mean more money and legalese up front, it is worth the peace of mind received with the possession of your blog’s name.
Follow these basic guidelines for creating a secure brand identity, and you will certainly have a great foundation for your blog. Post great content and you will be sure to have a strong brand with a great following!