I use my profile name here 'tsmog' for many accounts everywhere on the Web for more than 15 years now. That includes forums I have and do participate with, former chat rooms, my eBay account name, Amazon review name, Twitter, and others too. The name has been registered years back several tims such as in a chatroom. I also used it with a former blog. My goal was seeking and achieving connections between all my interactions on the web hopefully building recognition as a brand name.
Have others used this strategy and received good results?
The negatives I have seen with that is when doing a Google search for 'tsmog' Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Group receives top billing. Also, 'tsmog' has been copied as Tsmog by another identity socially interacting. I see it used somewhat extensively in gaming sites for an ID, although they seem independent of each other being specific to different sites.
Another thing is where former articles have been backlinked at other sites unfortunately since I deleted many hubs they lead to a 410 or 'Article No Longer Published'. When Google 'images for tsmog' is clicked probably about 40%+ images posted I recognize as mine. So kinda very mixed. Many of those do lead back to tsmog.hubpages.com or my Pinterest, Twitter, and etc account.
I use my name with different spellings on different sites. (vnktchari, venkat chari, venkatachari, mvchari, like that). On hubpages, it is full name. But even then, when I search with one name many of my other names also appear in search results.
Just now, I searched with my hubpages name, venkatacharim. The search results on first page contain links to my hubs and also to my twitter and facebook accounts. Only two results show to other people with same name of venkatacharim doing some other business.
Unless 'tsmog' represents an idea, or product, or group of qualities to someone who is not you, it's just a screen name that identifies you and not a brand (beyond the definition of label).
When someone hears 'tsmog' what are they supposed to think or feel? (And how would someone even say it?) If you never formulated an answer to that question, and have not been working towards the establishment of that goal, you have not actually been building a brand.
Here's a useful article that discusses various factors that go into branding, https://aytm.com/blog/research-junction … g-factors/
I agree Relache and thank you for sharing! At first it was a chat room ID. Yes, especially with friends I get the casual joke of how are you 'smog' said with a giggle + giggle. I will look into the recommended article next.
The cause for asking was others experience with the name related to being a brand. For instance when you wrote for BellaOnline did you write with the same author name Relache? I am pondering a new account. Obviously a different name.
Note: I looked at that article. I realize how the ID tsmog really is just that. Its only value may be regarding its use a commenter at different sites. Even my Ebay store has a different name more 'Brand' orientated. 'tsmog' only relates to the stats regarding performance as a seller / buyer especially with feedback ranking.
BTW any of interest if you click the author ID "Susan Gunelius' or the it will lead to many articles for 'Branding'. The 'Niche' for the blog seems to be 'Branding'. Looks well worth looking into. Thank you Relache for sharing that jewel of information.
At BellaOnline, the author/editors write under their real names. The focus that the writing was done by real people was part of the BellaOnline brand.
I have used several different monikers for online writing. It depends on my intent.
My brand-building work right now is primarily off-line. The two bigger clients I'm working with presently are a truffle confectioner expanding her retail markets and an author working towards presentation and teaching gig goals. I find that work more satisfying than purely virtual clients because people who have brick-and-mortar concerns are much more focused/concrete goal-setters and they better grasp data collection and ROI.
My reply here turned so long that I was considering turning it into a Hub (maybe). Right before making my decision about that I came back here and read the article about brand. I think it's a really good article.
Anyway, I don't really have the energy right now to do more than spew my own thoughts (without worrying about adding capsules, etc., to a Hub). So, I figured I'd just post the long post in the interest of, maybe, contributing to the discussion here. (and for whatever they're worth/not worth....)
This HubPages name that I use is a derivative of the "real sounding" pen name I used when I first did "this kind of writing" online. Although I had a few screen names here or there (mostly before I got involved with online writing), I originally went with a pen name because I was looking for "real" work (offline and/or on) and didn't want any potential employer/client to see that I was writing on "writing sites" (where "any-old-body" could write). It was casual, writing-for-me, writing that I was doing; so I wasn't even thinking in terms of "brand". I wasn't a deep, dark, secret. I didn't really care if someone found out that I was writing under a pen name online. It's just that I wanted any quick searches by potential employers/clients not to immediately run into my free-time writing. Over time I began earning enough that I had to file tax forms, so the pen name became a little more official beyond just my online writing.
In more recent times I slowed down on the looking for "for-hire" writing work. So, because of that (and for some other reasons) I decided to phase out the pen name and transition to my real name. Google has all derivatives of any names I use with my profile; so - for good or ill - the name situation is, as they say, what it is.
I don't want to sound self-righteous, but regardless of what name any of my stuff is under I don't do anything online, or go to any sites, that I'd really care if anyone tracked back to me. There's not much anonymity/privacy in the world today anyway; so I got so I figured "why bother, anyway...." (with some limits, of course). If I did have a potential employer (or someone like that) see my online stuff I just think, "So, there you go. That's what I have online on any number of sites. Like it or lump it.". These days pretty much everyone has an "online presence" of one sort or another. I think the idea of separating "professional" from "personal" has become blurry enough that the first "brand" people need to worry about is their "personal" (own-name) brand. To me, if , off "in the corner" of a broader picture of a person's Internet-doings, there's a little "section" devoted to online writing (or one kind or another), I wouldn't imagine some potential employer who discovers that I've been posting foolishness on a "general" site (as opposed to on a "serious-writing" site) would think much about it. (And if s/he did I'd probably not want to work for them anyway, because expecting someone not to have some silly stuff on "social" sites is, as far as I'm concerned, expecting too much in this day and age.
My name-transitioning, but also any number of other things I've done with my online writing, has kind of put my online-writing into a "hold" mode. I have a lot of clean-up, re-organizing, etc. to do. So the jury is still out with regard to "brand" (as it related to just the online writing stuff). I'm burying some stuff (but keeping it online). Re-packaging other stuff. Planning new stuff. My overall approach to my "mini-business" of online (but originally, casual) writing has kind of amounted to wanting to build up a basic inventory and mix of stuff before a) looking more seriously into finding "more serious" space for my "mini-business" and deciding how, and if, I want to blend isolated elements of existing "inventory". That's when I'll worry more about "professional brand" and the online-writing I do/have done.
I have no doubt that I've probably got any number of things like 404's out there; but I figure either I'll take care of some of them, or someone/something else will (or maybe won't, but I can't worry about it.). I know it's different for people who have been earning a decent living with, say, Internet marketing-type stuff.
The best (or maybe not-so-best - I don't know) I have now with the online-writing stuff is that I've had that "personal brand" online for about ten years now. If all I have for now is that I"m obviously not "fly-by-night" and/or that my stuff is all "G-rated" that has to do for now, as far as "brand" goes.
Then, too, I don't think that with the world having become "all connected" (with social media and whatever else being a part of both business and personal lives) that the more conventional concept of "brand" (as related to, say, offline and more traditional businesses) can always and necessarily be easily transferred from, say, offline business to an online branch of the same business. It's even more complicated when "online business" didn't start out as a business, turned into a kind of hybrid mini-business, and is/isn't connected to one's personal and/or professional life.
I don't know... I just think with all the complications involved in something like treating online writing reasonably seriously; when it comes down to it, everything can pretty much be reduced down to "personal brand" and packaged and dealt with from there. Maybe there are short-term disadvantages "algorithm-wise" and Google-search-wise. (No, there are definitely ARE some. I, myself, have taken much of my own stuff out of search because I don't think it's what someone wants to find when they search.)
People write different types of stuff online for different reasons. I don't think brand, alone, will help someone who writes Hubs that aren't the kind of thing HP wants on the site these days (or that aren't the kind of thing Google wants searchers to find). I don't think, either, though, that the question should be limited to "how has brand helped or not helped until now?". I think it's more a matter of how may it help or benefit someone regardless of the latest "thing" in online writing/search traffic, etc. The benefits (even if only from here on, as in the case of someone new to online writing) aren't necessarily just about getting traffic. Having well established/long established roots (even if only with "personal brand" as the base) can offer some protections from things that are too numerous and rampant to name here (not to mention similar "things" that will likely become more sophisticated as more and more people try to think up ways to get around any attempts of writers to protect their own stuff/brand).
I can't see, though, how over the longer term, getting "personal brand" in good order (and as a foundation for whatever "mini-business brands" a person establishes) won't be good when the next round of net-castings-for-online-questionables" gets cast.
When all is said and done, I think the ages-old story of The Three Little Pigs serves people well in any number of areas in life....
Thank you Lisa HW. That is a lot of experience offering perspectives to consider. One thing I noticed adding to your theme is my personal name now appears at my profile. I just checked and believe I can change that if I wish. However, I am not sure what I would like to change it too or if I should. My ID 'tsmog' is there in parenthesis so that adds more to what your shared with thought.
I think I will search out all the notable sites where I have used 'tsmog' and see how they promoted. Also, I still seeking a 'Niche' Topic or two to write about. I don't know if my name would be best or theme name related to the topic for another HP account or even a website. I'll ponder. . .
Good luck with your project adventure your shared :-)
I pretty much know that emphasizing my own name (or the screen name) means that people aren't going to be searching out either of my names when they're looking for anything (other than my name - and who'll be looking for that? Maybe one or two of my own distant (and temporarily bored or curious) cousins or something like that..... ). It's just that I think (particularly with the mix of writing I do/want to do) that having that foundation of "personal brand" first makes sense (for some writers, more than others, at this moment in Internet-writing time; but I think ultimately, for anyone who wants his writing/content trusted. Again, it depends on the subject someone's writing about and how they're presenting it.
In any case, I think the new author bios for Hubs will be a great way for people to show why it is they're likely to know what they're talking about (or maybe why it is they feel free to dare to write in a first-person voice in some instances) regardless of how well they've built up some kind of "brand" for themselves. I don't think new Hubbers should be intimidated by the idea of "well established brand" (of one kind or another) if they've just started writing). It's just that people are either solidly familiar with their subject, or the angle from which they present it - or else they're not. If they are then author bios will help show credibility "per subject"/"per Hub". One or another kind of "brand" will further back-up that credibility. And, a string of really solid and credible, decent-quality, Hubs will help someone build up "brand" (or "branch-of-brand" in the case people who write all kinds of things). The thing about soon being able to store up to 25 author bios seems to me to support the idea of one Hubber, one "brand", many different subjects/Hubs. In any case, I think it's all a discussion worth having among people interested in decent-quality stuff (of one kind or another)
The three little pigs reference is interesting. I never paid attention to the real meaning of that story, though I learned the story way back when I was a kid of course. The reference turned on a light bulb for me. Good timing, I needed that.
It took me 5 years on HP to come out as my real self, Juliette Kando on my hubs. My website too is in under development.
This is its logo
Does it work as a brand?
I like the 'ring of it'!! I like the theme of it too. I listen to my body much more these days including when to sleep and wake up. My circadian pattern is I wake at near Midnight am awake until about noon. Sleep to 8 - eat (because I take meds needing food) and then sleep until midnight or so. No alarm clock. That just seems to be the normal pattern for me. It does contrast with 'normal' patterns', although I do not know what that means.
I like the 'Branding' idea you are using. I certainly would see it is easy to remember. It also seems to me to go with what is shared by at the site recommended by Relache. The author there Susan Gunelius has an article or two on emotional branding. I will have to read that article while remembering your 'Branding' launch.
I'm glad I started with my actual name and use that across many platforms. Yes, there are a few other people out there with the same name but hasn't been a problem.
That sounds best actually. I see at HP my name appears in parenthesis now. I wish it was the other way around 'tsmog' in parenthesis and my name as main theme. I think I wish it that way. Still pondering the 'How' of branding. Maybe leave the 'tsmog' as an account for general and develop a 'Branding' name with a different account 'Niche' topic orientated. I dun'no . . . pondering.
I never would have thought of branding until I started writing a lot online. I'm pretty far removed from a businessman or marketer, or, at least, have been far removed from it in the past.
Otherwise, I suppose, I would have chosen a different, much less random, user name; and probably would have set up niche/authority sites from the beginning.
Promoting myself as a brand, I have to admit, is odd to me. At any rate, people make money doing it, evidently, so if it works I guess they should use it.
I of least recognize NateB11 as an authority for success at HP. That is branding just like Relache and many others here at HP have. All my adventures with 'tsmog' online I am not sure really has a lot of value.
I have a friend who uses her nickname and real last name (Sannel Larson) for pretty much all her work. When doing a Google Search for that name the first 10 pages of the search are directly related to her. That is as far as I searched.
A peek for NateB11 show at least 5 pages, (as far as I searched). The image page is impressive too with most referring to NateB11 - HP, Pinterest, and others, at the top images while scrolling a bit of way. I have no idea what that means searching a name as a brand recognition on Google.
I have gone to a few sites in the past to check out 'tsmog' for ratings on the web. I have a rating in the 2 - 5 million range, while some hubbers I checked were in the top 100K. Pretty impressive I feel. That is what prompted me to ponder 'tsmog' and possibly a different name for branding.
I have looked at Website Analyzer to get an idea of the performance of tsmog related to others including blogs I follow. Still learning and getting a strong idea about my HP account performance as tsmog and all its content.
Maybe I have a brand and didn't know it. Come to think of it, I've googled my user name at times, out of curiosity, and see plenty of results that point to my work.
Edit: Wow, you're right about the image results.
I think creating a good pseudonym is vital if your name is too common. My "real' first name is Jennifer, the most common female baby name in the US for almost two decades running, from the end of the sixties into the eighties. So I used an invented name to avoid blending in with all the tens of thousands of other Jennifers who write online, especially those who share my exact legal name.
I think a pseudonym needs to be unique or nearly unique to provide the most help with branding. Tsmog seems pretty unusual and it's catchy. I think you could make it catchier and distinguish your brand from the few other Tsmogs out there by adding a surname of some sort.
I started with just Kylyssa as my pseudonym for certain types of writing but I added my last name, Shay, to it so it sounds like a "real" name. Tsmog Mitchell might be fun or you could inject a bit of humor by going with some extremely common surname like Smith.
I know it really tsmog is odd. It did start out some 15+ years for chat rooms and forums. I just carried it along. Actually it is my name initials + 'OG' for two nicknames - Old Guy at work. The nearest to me with 90% of the employees were 15+ years younger. At a few chat / forums they use to call me Opera Ghost for the OG.
Anyway I think I will use 'tsmog' for a general kinda' profile here and open a different account for when I discover a 'Niche' Topic. The Grouping Feature will work fine for diversity between article type. I like that feature here at HP a lot. I have a pen name for short stories and poetry so far unpublished while will use it with that elusive novel too.
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