This is a question many first-time bloggers ask (and some seasoned bloggers, as well). One of the key differences between a traditional content-driven website and a blog is that blogs have a more personal touch. The author usually includes his or her name along with a thumbnail photo to create a stronger connection with their readers. But should you use your real name or a pen name when blogging?
Let’s go ahead and discuss the most obvious benefit of using a pen name: identity protection. By blogging under a pen name, you can conceal your real identity from the public. Why is this important? Well, in most cases, nothing will happen if you blog under your real name, but there’s always a chance that some disgruntled reader will show up at your house at one day or even attempt to steal your identity. It’s happened before and it will probably happen again, which is why many bloggers prefer to use a pen name.
Another advantage of using a pen name is the ability to create a name that’s better aligned with your blog’s niche and/or target audience. If you’re a guy who operates an online fashion boutique that specialized in women’s clothing, for instance, blogging under a female pen name will almost certainly create a stronger connection with your readers. On the other hand, if you’re a female blogger who’s writing about football or other guy stuff, you may want to use a male pen name.
Of course, there are certain benefits blogging under your real name as well. Assuming you are already using your real name on social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc., there’s really no point in trying to hide it. On the contrary, blogging under your real name will allow search engines to connect it with your various social media accounts, which could prove beneficial in boosting your blog’s search ranking. Google will notice the author name on your blog matches your social media accounts, boosting your blog’s credibility and possibly even its search rankings.
Blogging under your real name also allows for greater transparency, instilling trust and confidence in your blog’s readers. Revealing your actual name to readers tells them that you have nothing to hide, at which point they’ll feel more confident buying your products or services.
There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with both types of names. Using a pen name will conceal your actual identity from the public, providing peace of mind knowing that your blog’s readers do not know who you are or the pen name better fits the blog topic. But using your real name creates greater trust between you and you blog’s readers. So, which one should you use? It’s entirely up to you, as there’s really no wrong choice. Just choose the name that you feel most comfortable blogging under.
Do you use your real name or a pen name when blogging? Let us know in the comments section below!