Guest Post – Today’s host is Dana Vicktor, who looks at the pros and cons for using a pen name on your blog.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Many famous authors have used pseudonyms to write books. Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain, Stephen King became Richard Bachman and so on.
Writers have chosen to publish under pen names for a variety of reasons, from protecting their brand (such as when changing genre) to fighting discrimination (such as the many women authors who published under men’s names).
Blogging has become the medium of choice for many modern-day writers, with some blogs eventually becoming books themselves. While blogging, social networking, and other online activity have encouraged many of us to share our personal information more freely, some bloggers are starting to pull back and withhold some of that information – even their own names.
If you’re name is Stormye Rose, you might be better suited for writing a relationship blog than you would a serious finance blog. While a rose by any other name might smell just as sweet, a person by another name might not be taken as seriously. Choosing a pseudonym that is appropriate for your niche might help you to seem more authoritative to your readers.
Conflict of Interest
Many employers have become more savvy about their employees’ online presence. Employers will routinely monitor blogs, social profiles, and more to find out what their employees are doing online. If you are writing negatively about your employer, or if you are writing about a subject that presents a conflict of interest to your company’s work (or that directly competes), you may face negative consequences or possibly even lose your job.
Choosing a pseudonym for your blog can help you to avoid being “found” by your employer. However, if your blog does compete with your company’s business – or divulges company secrets – you may be at risk of legal repercussions. Either stop blogging or quit your job.
Do you blog about your children on your parenting or craft blog? Or do you share details about your family finances on your personal finance blog? If so, you may want to consider using a pseudonym.
Many bloggers share personal details like these to help their readers understand how to solve problems based on real-world experiences. However, those same bloggers don’t want their readers – or their friends or family – to be able to connect those details to them personally.
If you share very personal details like these on your blog, you may want to consider using a pseudonym.
Letting everyone know about all your dirty laundry on your blog is only one worry if you use your real name. Even if your blog is entirely professional and shares no personal information about you except your name and your professional experience, readers may still use that information to annoy or harass you – maybe even try to steal your identity.
Of course, this may be a problem that you will face only if you become a very successful and well-known blogger, but that’s usually the goal for most bloggers. Using a pseudonym can protect you from any unwanted attention or contact.
There is a long tradition of women writing under male pen names, or of ethnic minorities writing under different racial personas. While it may seem like such discrimination is no longer an issue for writers, it still is. One prominent blogger (http://www.copyblogger.com/james-chartrand-underpants/) of a men’s writing blog recently revealed that she had to use a pen name to find success as a writer.
You may find that using a pseudonym helps you advance in your writing career, as she did.
Some would suggest that you should blog under your real name to build greater trust and authority, or to build up your professional reputation. However, this is not true for all blogs or all writers. Perhaps if you write a blog about legal analysis, using your real name would be appropriate. But if you are writing a food blog, then calling yourself “The Hot Cook” isn’t going to diminish your writing. Ultimately, the decision to use a pseudonym for your blog is a personal one based on the scope of your blog and your goals for it.
Do you use a pen name for your blog? Tell us why or why not in the comments!