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The Benefits of Using a Pseudonym

Posted by on 22nd Jul 2008 | 8 comments

The name which you attach to your blog posts carries more weight than a lot of people realize. As your blog grows, so does your profile, which means that future blogs you own and posts you write will probably get more exposure because you are known within your niche.

Of course, many bloggers do not want to use their full name on their blogs. I personally use my real name on all my posts however many guest posters at BloggingTips have chosen to just use their first name or a knickname and I appreciate the reasons why many people do not want to attach their real name to articles they write.

In todays online world it is painlessly easy to search for someones name and bring up hundreds if not thousands of references to them : blog posts, social media profiles, forum posts etc. Nowadays many employers search applicants names on the web to see what they can find out about them. Depending on your situation, this can be a good or a bad thing. For example, all of the blogs I write on are either business or tech related. If I was to apply for a job then I don’t believe any of the articles I have written will harm my application in anyway, infact, it might even help me get the job. However, if I blogged on a topic which many people had different opinions on then there is a chance it could hurt my job application therefore I would think twice before attaching my real name to these posts. Views on politics, religion and even sports can spark a lot of heated debate and you never know what side of the fence your employer will sit. Even if they agree with you on a certain subject they might not be too happy about one of their employees having such a public profile online.

It might not be employers you are worrying about. You might want to hide your identity online from friends or family. Whatever your reason for not wanting your real name online or attached to specific websites, I believe there are some good benefits of using a Pseudonym or Alias instead of just attaching your first name to posts. Authors have been using Pseudonyms for many years. Infact, some of the most popular authors you see in your nearest bookshop use a Pseudonym.

The Benefits of Using a Pseudonym

So why would a blogger want to change the name they write under? There are actually many reasons why it would be beneficial to do this, even if you have no problem revealing your real name online.

  • Raise Online Profile – As I mentioned before, most of the bloggers I know of who don’t want to display their real name online have chosen to display their first name only. I don’t think this is a good idea as whilst your blog might grow, your own profile will not. It’s easier to explain this with an example.

    Consider a blogger called David Jones who has just started a blog similar to this one eg. blogging advice. David did not want his real name displayed on the site so he used the author tag ‘Dave’. David’s blog starts growing quickly so he decides to launch a blog about making money online. He also refers to himself as ‘Dave’ on this blog. Most readers would refer to David as ‘Dave from XYZ.com’ or ‘Dave from ABC.com’ or whatever and unless he specifically tells his readers that he also runs the other blog no one will know they are run by the same person. This might be what some bloggers want in some instances however in this instance, since the two blogs will be of interest to the core readership of both blogs, it’s in Davids interest to broadcast that he is the main author on both sites.

    If David chooses to tell his the readers from his blogging advice blog that he has started a new blog which covers making money online topics then this 2nd blog should grow quicker than his first because many of the readers of the first blog will start reading the 2nd because it covers a similar topic. However, one thing you need to realise is that whilst his 2nd blog has grown because of the association to his first blog, his own profile has not grown. He can’t start writing for other blogs using the name ‘Dave’ and assume that readers will know who he is and if he ever sold these websites his profile would effectively disappear ie. if he sold both blogs then he would effectively be starting from scratch with his next blog.

    Now consider that instead of just using ‘Dave’ he chose a pseudonym, a name which he will use for all his blog posts. Lets assume he chose to use the pseudonym ‘David J Stoneson’ for his blog posts. Readers of both blogs would quickly realise that it was the same author and if he ever chose to sell those blogs, the name ‘David J Stoneson’ would still be known to readers of his old blogs and a search for his name on Google would produce a list of all the articles he had wrote too. As I said at the start of this post, the name which you attach to your blog posts carries more weight than a lot of people realize and if you are lucky enough to develop a blog with thousands of readers, you should really capitalize on your identity.

  • Hide Gender – There are times when it might be in the bloggers interest to hide their gender from the reader. If you are a female writing on a topic which is predominately associated by males or vice versa, your articles might be taken more seriously if the reader believes that you are male (or female).
  • Change Genres – I have spoken about the benefits of using a pseudonym to boost your online profile however it can be useful to use an alias if you are developing a blog on a topic which is controversial ie. a blog which could in some way harm the other blogs you own. For example, if I was to start a blog which followed a football team, I might choose to use a different name so that any spam or heat from rival fans do not find their way here.
  • Easier Name to remember – If your full name is difficult to spell or pronounce in English then you might find a pseudonym will help promote you and your work better. Many musicians and actors use more English-Friendly names since their identity is so important to promoting their work. For example, Surnames of an Eastern European heritage have many Z’s, J’s and V’s in them and some of these names can be difficult to pronounce if you have not been exposed to them before.

If you are currently just displaying your first name on your blog then you should strongly consider using a pseudonym instead. Likewise, those who blog about topics such as religion or politics should consider the benefits of using a pseudonym.

Please leave a comment if you have used an alias before, using one currently or planning on using on in the future. I’d love to hear everyones thoughts on the subject :)


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

8 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by SomeAudioGuy on 22nd Jul 2008

    I used to work for a talent agency which frowned on employees having a web presence. I started writing under my pseudonym, and it just sort of stuck.

    I don't work there anymore (and I was recently outed by another voice over blog lol), but I still pretty much stick to being SomeAudioGuy.

    It's sort of like my geeky bloggy web super hero name…

  • Posted by Codrut Turcanu I Rem on 22nd Jul 2008

    Kevin, I do agree with you up to a certain extent.

    However, in my opinion one should put his/her real name as it will help them to build their brand over time.

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 22nd Jul 2008

    Codrut – As I explained, a pseudonym can help you build your brand. What difference would it make term if I referred to myself as my real name Kevin Muldoon or some alias like Kevin Connor or Kevin Jones or whatever. If I stick to using that name it wouldn't make a difference to my profile.

  • Posted by Jason on 23rd Jul 2008

    Hi Kevin, As a new blogger, I never thought about the benefits of a Pseudonym. As I'm open about my political views, I think it'd be wise not to use my real name. Thanks for the tip.

  • Posted by John Leschinski on 23rd Jul 2008

    I’ve received my fair share of death threats whilst using a pseudonym, but I’ve started to use my name more often as it is my brand now.

  • Posted by Todd Andrews on 24th Jul 2008

    ^ Not my real name

  • Posted by Fildaddy on 7th Aug 2008

    I have to say, your take on raising online profile got me thinking. Great stuff here!

    Cheers!

  • Posted by David on 22nd Oct 2008

    Well i chose to use just my first name for many reasons, like the ones you posted.