On personal branding, its protection and domaining

When I learned that I was amongst the few bloggers who were chosen to be given a .com.ph domain for free, the first thing that came to my mind was to name it after myself. Thus, jrocas.com.ph was born. I just fancied the idea of my name being associated with my home country and besides, there are not that many .ph domains out there.

It was never my plan to really build the domain into my personal brand, like that of Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger.net, but just like what he said,

One of the best definitions of a ‘brand’ that I’ve read is that it is ‘what people say about you when you’re not in the room’ (I’m not sure where I heard this one – if you know who came up with it please let me know). Your blogs brand is the way that it is perceived and described by others.

As a result a brand emerges over time without or without you as people begin to develop perceptions about you and what your blog stands for. As they read your content, as they look at your design, as they interpret what you say, as they gauge your passion, as they observe how you interact with them and other readers – all of this contributes to how they perceive and describe you – your brand.

And blogging gurus would tell us that we should really build up our brand, market it and protect it. It may not be for purely commercial (money-making) purposes, but since it’s an inevitable part of blogging, we might as well maximize it.

My name as a brand

The last word, “protect” as in protecting our brand really caused an itch to my brain when I received an email from WorldWide – a domain registration company telling me that someone, whose name I would keep secret for now, wants to use the brand name ‘jrocas‘ and register some domains using that same brand name/keyword.

They did some investigation and found out that I am already the owner of this domain, jrocas.com.ph and jrocas.net, leading to the assumption that I own the rights to use “jrocas” as a brand name.

They said that if I register or pre-register the same domains that other guy wants to right now, they’d cancel his application. If I don’t register those domains, they’d give all of it to the other guy.

Domaining

It felt like GoDaddy.com was trying to convince me to register multiple versions of a domain so that I’d be able to protect the main domain or the brand from competitors. Budgetary constraints, however, have prevented my from registering multiple domains and besides, I never really get to fully utilize additional domains I’ve bought before. Aside from the usually redirection to my main blog, those domains have been idle and costing me money.

And it never really occurred to me that someone else would use my name as a brand name back then, but now, I’ve realized how short-sighted that was.

So my dilemma now is whether to register other versions of this blog’s domain as to protect my ‘brand’ or not. Definitely it will cost me money, but I’m starting to really consider it and view it as an investment. I’m also approaching this issue with great caution, as I’ve never heard of WorldWide before and some how, I cannot help but get the feeling of suspicion as this could be just another scam or something.

So what’s next?

However, their message does have a valid point. That’s why I will register some of the domains they’ve mentioned but not all it. There are other ways to promote and protect your brand besides registering multiple versions of a domain and I’d like to give it a shot.

How about you? Have you had a similar experience? What did you do to protect your brand? If you have tips and stories, don’t hesitate to share.

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