Image by Kat B. Photography
Blogging can be categorized by two sets of people: those who use their real name and those who create an online identity. Writing under a fake name has long existed in the publishing industry, and with the rapid pace of the internet and the ease of privacy invasion, it’s no surprise that more and more bloggers are choosing to adopt a fake name.
I’ve been writing at Dramatis Personae for 3.5 years now, and always under the moniker of Ashe Mischief. It came from an old club name, a livejournal name, a playful way to talk about my mischievous side. At the time, it seemed only natural to use it as my online name– a way to keep potential employers from finding my blog, a new outlet to share that side of myself. But as I’ve grown with my blogging over the years, I’ve started to outgrow the name. Ashe will always be a part of me– my name is Ashley and people naturally call me Ash. But what about Mischief? At some point, I’ve stopped to say, Ashe Mischief doesn’t write this blog anymore. What do you do?
Making the choice to use your real name, or not to, has a lasting effect on your blogging. As your life changes, your tone changes, suddenly your name may not fit if you choose to write under a fake name.
A few fabulous bloggers shared with me on Twitter to share the pros and cons of blogging under a pseudonym: Joanne Faith, Stiletto Siren from Lips Hips & FATshion Tips, Amy from Wolf Whistle, and Amanda Lee.
- Some sense of privacy in a world of Facebook and oversharing online.
- Allows you more freedom in your blogging when its more difficult for your bosses, ex-boyfriends, parents, or friends to find what you’re writing about.
- You can be honest & create a personality for yourself that you might not WANT to be apart of your public self. (via Joanne Faith)
- You can say what you want. Hard to slag off fashion on my blog when I want a career in fashion. (via Wolf Whistle)
- Having the option to quit blogging if I ever wanted to without real life repercussions. (via Stiletto Siren)
- Feeling like a super hero or evil villan with an alter ego! (via Stiletto Siren)
- Confusion when working with brands– do you use your real name? At which point do you? (And, for the record– the post man can get confused when he’s used to deliver packages to Ashley Lastname and suddenly packages for Ashe Mischief arrive!)
- Outgrowing the name. How do you gracefully transition in to a new name?
- If you want to change– you have to consider all those links out there that read Ashe Mischief, the incoming traffic, the relationships you’ve built on it? It’s best not to completely eliminate that history from your site.
- Your work online will not help you offline! (via Joanne Faith) Figuring out how to use your blog/social media as an example of your skills to future employers since it is under a different name. (via Stiletto Siren) Your real-life expertise in whatever you blog about is diminished. (via Amanda Lee)
- Having to explain your pen name to people outside the blogsphere. (via Stiletto Siren)
- Going to events and introducing yourself to people, which name do you choose? (via Stiletto Siren)
- Having people who learn your real name accidently blow your cover when linking posts or on social media. (via Stiletto Siren)
Do you blog under your real name or a moniker? Do you find challenges that I haven’t addressed above?