A little back story.
About two years ago I started an online magazine. The idea was to celebrate South African coloured women and their achievements in a non stereotypical, positive, upmarket way. Two issues were published and covered Fashion, Technology, Business, Education, Food and so much more. In each section I featured coloured women that did not fit the stereotypical "kullid" narrative. Swirl Magazine, ZA still exists online. This was Issue 2 👇🏾:
I found a group of bloggers and journalists who would put together the different sections of the magazine. They worked for free because they loved the idea of the magazine.
Faster than I could imagine we started attracting interest and investors. Having been burned once I was rather cautious. I kept backtracking over meeting points and double and triple checked everything. Perhaps I was paranoid, but once bitten…This didn't sit well with the team I'd assembled and cracks started showing. I made promises I couldn't keep ( full time positions, medical aid, great salaries) and the mag disbanded.
I always planned to get it going again once I was back in SA, but things happened. Which brings me to the reason I'm bringing this up. Protecting what's yours.
I'd added a team member as an administrator to the mag's FB page. Within a hot minute of things going south, she'd blocked me and kept all the content and follows on the page. I cottoned on quickly and changed the passwords to the online mag, and YouTube channel, which I'd also shared with her. The FB page now operates as an online magazine for naturalistas with all my content but with no links to the existing mag.
Of course there's been online harassment from her and her minions as well ( commenting on the blog, creating fake email accounts to sign up to the blog, and so on) but nothing I (and my attorneys) can't handle.
So how do you now protect this awesome brand you've created?
1. Keep one admin for ALL SM accounts. You.
2. Change passwords regularly. I change mine monthly and use the see- smell- hear (SSH) method to set it up. Right now I see a glass of merlot, I smell Fairy Liquid from hubby doing dishes, and I hear Get Smart playing on the TV for G. So my new password would be "merlotfairygetsmart". Pretty unhackable. 😬
3. Get your logo and blog bought and locked down. I'm going through some things at the mo and the blog may change in its name and so on. That's the only reason I haven't bought the domain. You should.
4. Get an attorney ( in my case two: one here and one in SA) that can represent you should people commit libel/ slander, plagiarise your content or threaten and/or harass you. Online harassment or threats are not ok and you should never roll over and play dead. The threat of a lawsuit takes the wind out of most would be haters' sails, believe me!
5. Set up Google Alerts for when you or your blog name appears anywhere online.
6. Google search your name and your blog name regularly.
It's great having a recognized Personal Brand but realistically, people can be both hateful and hurtful, so, protect what's yours. It's a lesson I learned the hard way, but you don't have to.
If you've signed up for it, how's the e – course going? Let me know in the comments. If you haven't yet, drop your email and sign up for the free course.
Until next I blog,