In the World Today, Blog Anonymously or Use Your Real Name
One of the decisions you face when starting a blog is whether or not to use your real name. It can be a tricky decision, because there are pros and cons to whatever you decide.
You can choose anything from ‘no anonymity’ through to ‘full anonymity’. For instance, you could:
You See, Which Option Works Best for You?
- Blog under your real name and promote it prominently on your blog.
- Blog under your personal name without promoting it
- Blog under an alias, or use just part of your name.
- Blog without using any name.
Which option would work best for you?
There is No Right or Wrong Choice, What is Best for You
There’s no ‘right’ choice. What you choose depends on what you’re comfortable with and what suits your blog. My blog posts have always had a personal tone.
My blogs posts include anecdotes from my life, my opinions about topics, and so on. While I don’t hide who I am on my blogs, I don’t go out of my way to make the blog about me either.
When you’re considering whether to be anonymous or how anonymous to be, you might want to consider these factors. Here are six factors you need to consider when deciding whether to use your real name:
Will Your Topics and Type of Content be Personal?
Some topics invite transparency, while others don’t. And some types of content are more personal than others. A “how to” style instructional site can be more anonymous than a site that focuses on personal stories.
How You Blog Matters, Are You Using Text, Audio, or Video?
If you’ll be writing posts and using stock images then it will be relatively easy to hide your identity. However, if you plan on doing videos or podcasts, or even using personal photos in your posts, it will be harder for you to remain anonymous.
You Have to Understand, Your Long-Term Plans Matter
While you may not know how you want things to be in a few years’ time, your long-term goals for your blog could determine how anonymous you can be.
If you want to build an online platform to help sell books you’ve written, you may well want to use your own name. But if you want to build a blog to sell in a few years, or that will have multiple authors, you might want to be anonymous. This helps keep the focus on the content instead of on you.
You Need to Know Your Monetization Methods
Some monetization can easily be done anonymously. For instance, you can monetize your blog through ads or affiliate links without ever using your name or even a pen name.
But if you want to make money as a consultant, speaker or coach, your readers will need to know who you are. If you plan on becoming an influencer, you’ll need that personal connection. Even selling ebooks or other digital products will be easier if your audience feels they know who you are.
Your Personality, Do You Enjoy the Limelight?
Some bloggers enjoy the limelight. They love being featured in ‘Top bloggers’ lists and getting mentioned in the media. But it will be difficult to become this popular if you don’t blog using your name.
Other bloggers are happy to avoid the spotlight. They may feel quite daunted by this kind of recognition. If that’s you, then blogging anonymously or under a made-up name might suit you best.
Do You Worry About Your Privacy or Have Safety Concerns
Depending on your circumstances and your topic, it may be vital for you to remain anonymous. I know a number of bloggers who avoid using their real name for various reasons:
- a health blogger who feared revealing who she was would jeopardise her career
- a family lawyer who didn’t want her clients and colleagues finding her online
- a blogger who didn’t want to be identified by an abusive ex-partner
- a blogger who wrote about an embarrassing health condition.
If you’re still not sure, here’s one thing to keep in mind: you can always add your name, but you can’t take it away.
Is it Best to Begin Writing Anonymously, Then Choose
Plenty of bloggers start off writing anonymously. They later choose to use their name. A great example is Ramsay Taplin, who began blogging as “The Blog Tyrant”. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same. You can start out anonymously, or using just your first name and not putting photos on your site. After establishing you blog you could be more open about your identity over time.