I have been thinking a lot about my future in blogging and thought I would take a few moments to talk about this issue that has come up recently in one of my blogging groups. Actually, it comes up quite often as new bloggers come along and realize that the "hobby" they started on a whim is actually quite addicting and it could become more than just a little fun online.
I'm talking about branding, copyrighting, trademarking, OWNING your blog image.
When I first started my blog, I picked a theme at random that was cute and pink and just went with it. I researched online how to make my own blog button and was in the process of working on a header. Another newbie blogger friend of mine emailed me out of the blue with an idea for a new header for me – and the Pirates were up!!
I love, Love, LOVE my Pirates!! They are so fun and I hear from a lot of people that they are eye-catching. They actually reflect my family's personality really well (Hubby and I have a pirate joke from our first date that never stopped).
I don't OWN my Pirates.
The Pirates came from a sticker package in Picnik (which is going away on April 19, so they should just give them to me) so I can never really trademark them or OWN them – unless I manage to get through to oh-so-powerful Google to find out who made the Pirates so I can possibly buy from them, but then I'm thinking that's going to (a) be impossible and (b) be extremely expensive.
A blogger friend of mine has recently gone through something similar to this when she suddenly realized that the title of her blog was already taken!! I remember when she was getting ready to buy her domain and was asking around for ideas for her blog name and then she decided on a name, bought the domain, and started building it up – quite successfully I might add!! I don't know all of the details around how she found out, but apparently her blog name was very similar (difference of a "the") to an established website. I would have died – or at least given up!!
This strong lady just took it all in stride and now we are all so happy to be blogging friends with
You should really go check out her new site, it's so adorable!!
So, my tip in all of this is do your research, buy/make/use your own images when developing your brand, and if you ever do come across a new blog that has "stolen" your name, go easy on them. The blogger may not have known you existed!!
(of course, sometimes it's obvious that someone has stolen and is trying to be you, and to those people, boo on you!!)
Now, I have a question – what do I do about the Pirates?!!