Do’s To Protect Your Blog Content: Photo Watermark Tutorial

Last week, my mom shared her 1st Blog Paws conference experience. She shared that one of the session she attended was about Copyright. The session was presented by Paul C Jorgensen, a DC intellectual property lawyer and the owner of a pug named Sloppy Joe. With the high cost of lawyer fees, attending the session provided my mom a free 45 minute consultation.

For sure you are proud and very protective of your blog content. It is unfair for someone to copy your work. In October 2010, we found out several of our blog content/photos were copied.  We did several posts about it but there are new aspects that have changed. Thus, we continue to educate ourselves about copyright as blogging becomes more popular.

Copyright means protecting any of your original expressions that exists in a tangible format.
For example: written work, photography, designs/art, and video/music.
Mr. Jorgensen clarified that ideas, lists and facts are not protected by copyright.
In our case as bloggers, once you post a content it is automatically copyright protected.
Keep In Mind: You own the copyright to your content once it is fixed in a tangible form.

Many of the blogs we visit have taken protective measures. One thing to protect your blog is to place a copyright notice on your blog. We’ve seen blogs have Terms of Use which is a useful way to let visitors/readers beware of reusing content/photos. © small circle with the letter c is the copyright symbol. We learned that whether or not you display ©, your work is still protected under copyright law. For added awareness we often use the copyright symbol.
After being having our content copied, we added a copyright notice to every post. We stopped adding a copyright notice after a year but have been re-thinking of doing it again. We feel having a copyright on the side bar and footer is enough but to take extra precautions we plan to do a separate copyright policy page, which we recommend for everyone.

Here’s a snippet of Do’s to Protect Your Blog Content

1) Educate yourself about blog copyright.
2) Add a copyright notice and/or terms of use page to your blog.
3) Make your RSS feed short. Add a copyright statement on the bottom of your feed which prevents others from stealing your content via RSS feeds.
4) Set Google alerts of phrases that you use often on your blog/content.
5) Protect your photos with a watermark. Also, make sure to properly name your photos on your blog. We suggest not to link to your media file.

Mr. Jorgensen did not discussed 3) and 4) in his session.
We learned these important do’s from reading about blog copyright.
If you have any questions, just send us an email.

Many of you have noticed our watermarks on our photos and asked us how we do it. 2011 is when we started placing watermarks on our photos. We change it every year. One thing we want to remind everyone is to rename your photos when you upload/post on your blog. It will help out especially when you want to track it. We often use TinyEye. Check it out!

For those of you who want to create watermarks on your photos, here’s a tutorial.
We typically do it on Photoshop but a free photo editing PicMonkey comes in very handy.

How To Create a Photo Watermark

There’s 2 options
1) Create it ONCE which means you have to make the watermark every time you upload a photo and post it on your blog. We don’t recommend doing this. Check out PicMarkr if you wish to use this option.

2) Create a permanent watermark and add it as an overlay on your photo.
We will show you how to do this using PicMonkey.

a) Go to PicMonkey. Select Collage. Remove the 2 cells on the right.
sgr1363bb) Select the Paint Tray icon on the right side. Click on transparent background then Save it.

c) Go to PicMonkey’s main page then Select Photo.
Upload the transparent background you saved.
d) Select the Text icon. Type © + desired text. Use the default text color.
It’s important for you to make the text the size you want so the watermark doesn’t need to be adjusted when added to your photos. It will keep it looking professional.
If you wish to add an object, select the overlay icon.
e) Crop the watermark you created then save it.


How To Apply your watermark to your photo
1) Go to PicMonkey. Select Photo.
2) Upload your photo.
3) Select the Overlay icon. Click on Your Own. Upload your watermark.
sgr1363e4) Place your watermark on your photo. Best place is on the lower right or left side.
5) You can change the color if you wish. Then Save it.

Hope this post was helpful.
Lots of Golden LVE n Woofs


  1. says

    Very creative guys :) I use picmonkey a lot. I recently found some text from one of my blog posts that someone copied and pasted into yahoo answers but have no idea how to reach yahoo to get it taken down… I sent them “feedback” about it the other day, but don’t really know if that does any good. Maybe I should try to contact the user.

  2. Reilly and Denny says

    Very cool and good advice. We add our watermarks as hidden layers using adobe

  3. says

    Very important info Sugar. My MOM never thinks about these things. I tell her, but she just has not done anything about it.

  4. says

    this was a fabulous tutorial but of course I did think of something that others have run into. There are clever people out there who are cutting OFF the watermarks when they appear at the bottom of a blog and they are still using the photos. I know of a number of people this has happened to :(

  5. says

    Excellent tips! I mentioned we do writing for an online magazine and watermark our pics in Picassa.

  6. says

    Great advice, good stuff to know.
    I use Lightroom to resize and watermark all my photos. It is super easy because I create the watermark once, and every time I use Lightroom it will automatically place it on the photo, unless I tell it not to.

  7. says

    Every now and then I am reminded of what an ignorant rookie I am at blogging. However did you learn all of this? Thank you for sharing the watermark tutorial and the suggestions. I never ever thought about properly naming my photos (though I really can’t imagine them being theft-worthy to anyone!)

  8. says

    Wow! Sorry to hear about your pics. That’s truly a bummer that people just use things without at least, getting permission first. For awhile I ran a plugin on my site that made it so you couldn’t click on my site to copy content or pics. But later found out if you view the blog in a reader, you could still copy that info. Stinks! Fabulous tips though, and thanks for sharing it. I try and remember to at least put Pibbles & Me on it but people could just chop if off. Watermarking is a better idea. Might have to look into it more myself. :)

  9. says

    These are great tips! I watermarked my photos for awhile but stopped. I really need to get back to doing this.

  10. Callie, Shadow, and Ducky says

    Like Goose’s Mom, ours never seems to get around to it either. But this tutorial and the copyright one are great! Mom doesn’t feel anyone would want to copy her blog content either, but I guess there’s always someone out there with nothing better to do…and they’re just the same ones who know how to get around all we could do to protect ourselves. Oh well, maybe someday Mom will do something about it. :-) Meanwhile, thanks for the great tips!

  11. says

    Sugar you have no idea how long it took us to back track and mark our pix. We did not know until we kept seeing our images being copied. It took forever. Wish we’d knew on day one. We haven’t forgotten about your book we will download it sometime this week and we will do a review. We will let you know when. We have just been super busy at the moment but it is on our list of things to do. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  12. says

    This is really is helpful information Sugar! Our mommy has tried to protect our blog more but is really clueless about it. We still have your emails from awhile ago on how to not share photos but again, our mommy is clueless. On the Do’s for blogging, we don’t understand #3 and #5 but we’ll bookmark this page and try to figure it out.

  13. says

    Great information, Sugar…especially the photo watermark! I was wondering how everybody did that and now I know thanks to you!
    *Cairn cuddles*

  14. says

    I wouldn’t be able to do anything this complicated, but then I don’t need to. I don’t have any photographs of importance like you do.

    Have a terrific day. Scritches to Sugar. :)

  15. says

    Wow, your mom has been busy creating these tutorials! Mom is hoping to have some free time this week to work on blog/blogpaws stuff…we shall see. So much to do and just not enough time. Thanks for the information since mom did not attend the copyright session!

  16. says

    Great tutorial Sugar! Thanks for the TinyEye link and for the suggestion of renaming our files.

    What I am confused at and I have not been able to find an answer for is when making a copyright symbol for your blog – are you supposed to use your real name or can you use your website/domain name? I have read that you should use your given name if you do not have the legal right to use your blog name – like obtaining a “Doing Business As” license.

    I have a DBA for my jewelry site, so I know I can use my site name for my copyright symbol. I do not have a DBA license for My Life In Blog Years, which means it does not legally exist, and it cannot have ownership of a copyright – so I would need to use my legal name.

    I have also read that you need to put he year in which the work was first published.

    Did he go over any of this info in class – like what your copyright logo needs to include?

  17. says

    Thanks Sugar – now I know more about watermarks – I thought watermarks are the things I do always on trees – but they are much more and very important.

  18. says

    Thanks for the info! The watermark also helps to identify your blog so that people know where these great photos of Sugar come from. I need a better watermark on my photos. Also, here is a great article on how to file a complaint should someone use copy your blog posts or photos – I’ve had one of those websites that had nothing but duplicate content banned by Google because they copied and pasted one of my blog posts with photos and called it their own. I’ve also had a video deleted from YouTube because it used photos of my Maya to promote their stuff without my permission.

  19. says

    This was great Sugar!!! OMD, I was just laughin’ at EAsy’s comment! BOL!!!!
    I’m gonna bookmark this so I can come back to it and study it further!

  20. says

    Thanks very much for the “how to.” Mom needs encouragement to do these things. She needs it now that she is adding photos to all of my posts.

  21. says

    thanks for this, that is really great info. especially about the watermark, i’m going to play around with picmonkey tonight and i’m bookmarking this page.

  22. says

    Dang Sugar, you’re hooking me up. Thank you!! I admit to sometimes doing this and sometimes not, i don’t know why. I guess it depends on whether I’m in a hurry or not. :-(

    Lord knows I can use all the help I can get! Golden thanks to you.