A Cease and Desist Letter Came In The Mail- What Should I Do?

I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I never intended to infringe on anyone’s trademark. I am not sure that I have. But just last week I received a letter demanding that I stop using a domain that I own, (not this one) because the first five letters of my 12 letter domain name are trademarked.

The company is not a large company that anyone would have known about, the characters they claim as theirs alone are a common word and a common acronym. Most people would assume they are in the public domain, much the same as I am assuming that “Webmaster” and “Blog” are in the public domain. (If not I am going to get them trademarked as soon as I finish writing this.)

It just so happens that this is one of my most successful domains, and not because of the 5 trademarked characters. In fact, I had recently changed the name of the blog for better SEO. The blog name contains none of the trademarked characters, it is just the domain.

If I had the money to hire a lawyer I might have a decent chance of defending my claim to the domain. I mean seriously, 5 letters our of 12? The company claims that their customers have been confused and have thought that my blog is related to the company. I find that hard to believe.

Searching the internet I have found that generally there are two things you should do when you receive a cease and desist letter. The first is to take it seriously, the second is to hire an attorney.

But the reality is, I have no money to fight this. I will try and appeal to the company’s sense of fairness. Maybe I can receive some small compensation for the loss of income and hard work. But I doubt it. Because I lack the resources to defend my rights, they will be trampled.

I bring this up here, not because I am asking for money, but because I think there is a problem with the system, and I am not sure how it can be fixed. It does not seem right to me, that just because someone else is bigger and has more money than me, they can take what is mine and there is nothing I can do about it. I know this has happened to many people in much bigger ways. It is not like I am losing a major source of income, or my life’s work. Just my very first domain that made a little money from adsense and other ad sales.

So bloggers everywhere beware. And if you have any ideas about what can be done please let me know in the comments.

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Anyone Up For A Challenge?

Recently I have been writing a few hubs(posts) on Hubpages. Hubpages is a site where you can write about just about anything, and they share the page impressions with you. So when someone looks at my hub on getting rid of credit card debt, 60% of the time my adsense ads are showing and 40% of the time the hubpages ads are showing. My clicks go into my account and I don’t have to trust HubPages to pay me. Having recently been burned by another get paid to blog site, I really like the way HubPages pays.

So here is the challenge, Can you write 100 hubs in 30 days? And if you did, what would your income be?
You can join the challenge over at HubPages, but I would like to make it even more fun. Sign up for a HubPages account using this link.
Then join the challenge and start writing hubs. Leave a comment here with a link to your new HubPages profile. Anyone who signs up under my referral link and writes 100 hubs before June 17, 2009 will receive $5 via PayPal! That will be in addition to any Adsense, Amazon, and eBay affiliate earnings you get from your hubs. (That will go direct into your affiliate account.)
If no one writes 100 hubs before June 17, 2009, then I will give one $5 prize to the person who writes at least 25 hubs and has the highest number of hubs written.

Now I have to get busy. The challenge officially starts on Monday and I need to have a few hubs ready to go!

Im in, are you?

I'm in, are you?

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3 WordPress PlugIns to Reward Your Commentators

One of my favorite things, is when I get comments on my blog. Apparently I am not alone! Commentors tell you that someone has actually taken the time to read your post, and leave a comment. It is a good boost to the ego. I think it is also good for your blog to have a dialogue going on. Your readers can add insight and different points of views to your posts, making them more interesting for everyone.

So recently I have decided to do everything I can to reward my commentators. This was easily accomplished by adding three plugins to my wordpress blogs.

One plugin that is very popular, that I really like to see on other blogs, is Comment Luv.
With Comment Luv, when your visitor enters their URL, the plugin finds their last blog post and inserts a link to it at the end of their comment.

What goes along quite nicely with Comment Luv is Keyword Luv Many commentators like to use their keywords in place of their name. But that can make their whole comment look spammy, and it can be awkward to reply to “Make money online with Adsense”. With keyord luv, your commentators are prompted to enter their name as Kat@ Blogging tips for Webmasters. The plugin separates the name from the keywords. So your name will look like Kat from Blogging Tips for Webmasters. Pretty nifty!

And then, to add the icing to the cake, to make Comment Luv and Keyword Luv truly show Luv to your commentators, make your blog no follow free with theNo Follow Free Plugin. By default, most WordPress blogs will add the no follow tag to commentator’s links. No follow free removes those tags, and lets some link juice flow through to your commentators.

Now do know, that when you add these three WordPress plugins to your blog, you will get a certain number of spammers just wanting the free links. You will need to actively moderate your comments and delete the ones that do not add value to your blog. I know that some people may be coming to my blog and commenting just for the do follow link, but I expect them to give me something of value in return, in a well thought out comment that encourages discussion.

To see how all the plug ins work, leave a comment on any post. But make sure it is a good comment, or it will be deleted!

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