Blogging Anonymously or Under Your Real Name: Which Is Best?
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When launching a blog, you’ll need to decide whether to publish posts anonymously or under your real name.
After all, nearly all blogging platforms show author names by default. They’ll automatically append your specified author name to each of your posts.
If you use your real name, readers will see it when viewing your posts. An alternative approach, however, is to blog anonymously. There are several ways to do so.
You can use a generic name like “admin” for your author name, or you can use a pen name. Depending on which blogging platform you use, you may be able to hide your author name so that it doesn’t show in your posts.
While you can blog either anonymously or under your real name, they each have their advantages.
Advantages of Blogging Anonymously
Blogging anonymously allows you to conceal your true identity. If you blog about controversial or sensitive topics, you may not want readers knowing who you are. When readers know your real name, they may contact you through other channels to express their opposing points of view. Maintaining anonymity keeps the discussions on your blog so that your social media profiles and other publically accessible accounts aren’t flooded with messages from readers.
Some bloggers prefer to stay anonymous to protect themselves from identity theft. Malicious readers can’t necessarily open credit accounts on your behalf using only your real name. Rather, they’ll need other and more sensitive personal information, such as your date of birth, address and Social Security number. Nonetheless, they may try to capitalize on your popularity by starting their own blog under your real name, which is still a form of identity theft.
Another reason some bloggers choose anonymity is for job security. Some business owners don’t want their employees to talk about certain topics in a public domain. If you work for a business, anything you publish online is reflective of the business’s values. As a result, publishing the wrong post under your real name may compel your employer may take disciplinary action against you. Blogging anonymously, on the other hand, ensures that neither your employer nor your blog’s readers know who you are.
You’ll face less pressure when blogging anonymously. Since they won’t show your real name, you can write posts without worrying about otherwise minor errors harming your personal credibility. You should still strive to create error-free posts, but you won’t suffer from perfection paralysis. With less pressure, you’ll be a more productive blogger.
Advantages of Blogging Under Your Real Name
Readers will trust you more if you blog under your real name. Showing your real name in posts creates transparency, which fosters trust in readers. Upon seeing your real name at the top or bottom of a post, readers will trust you. Readers know that if you were trying to deceive them, you wouldn’t use your real name.
In addition to trusting you more, readers will have a stronger personal connection to you if you use your real name. It’s difficult to create a personal connection with readers when blogging anonymously. With a generic author name or no author name, they won’t relate to you. They may still acknowledge you as a human, but a real name allows readers to form a mental picture of you. If you have a feminine name, they’ll picture as a female. If you have a masculine name, they’ll picture you as a male. Regardless, using your real name will create a stronger personal connection with readers.
Other websites will link to your blog more frequently if you use your real name. Websites often quote bloggers when linking to their respective posts. While they may link to your posts if you use a pen name, they won’t link to your posts if you use a generic author name. After all, they can’t quote you if you publish a post under “admin.” To acquire more links to your blog, you need to blog under your real name.
Your blog may rank higher in the organic search results if you use your real name. Not only will it acquire more links, but your blog will be better aligned with Google’s algorithm. In 2018, Google performed a broad update to its algorithm known as the Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) update. With this update, Google now places greater importance on the three aforementioned factors when ranking websites.
The expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of websites themselves and the authors who create content for them now affect Google’s algorithm. Blogging under your real name allows you to build a credible personal brand. Google will recognize you as an expert in your field, and its algorithm will reward your blog with higher rankings.
When blogging under your real name, you can upload a photo of yourself to use as your author photo. Anonymous bloggers often use an illustration or logo image for their author photo, which fails to create the same connection with readers.
Another advantage of blogging under your real name is more guest posting opportunities. Guest posting is a marketing strategy that centers around publishing posts on other blogs. You can use it to funnel readers from other blogs to your own blog while building your personal brand in the process.
Most high-traffic blogs, though, won’t accept posts written by just anyone. To maintain the quality of their content, they only accept posts written by reputable bloggers. If you publish posts anonymously on your blog, they won’t know who are. In turn, they probably won’t accept your posts. You need to use your real name to succeed at guest posting.
You can blog either anonymously or under your real name. While they each have advantages, the latter approach usually works best.
Blogging under your real name instills trust in readers, creates a stronger personal connection with readers, attracts more links, drives higher rankings and more.
Therefore, you shouldn’t conceal your identity by blogging anonymously. Let the world know who’s behind the wonderful posts you write by using your real name.