Using Your Name vs. Going Anonymous as an Online Writer

The issue of online anonymity has been popping up quite frequently in the media, so we decided to discuss the issue as it applies to online writers.

In this week’s edition of the Online Writing Insider (Using Your Name vs. Using An Alias Online), we review reasons why online authors might want to be anonymous, and also weigh the perks of using your real name. After listening in, you’ll be able to make a practical, educated decision as to whether or not using your real name online is best for you.

Are there other challenges, quandaries, or roadblocks you face as an online writer that you would like us to discuss in a future podcast? Tell us about it by sending an email to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com!

9 thoughts on “Using Your Name vs. Going Anonymous as an Online Writer

  1. Great advice and helpful hints. Sometimes I wish I had used my real name when I began writing online. However the “Hyphenbird” has become a brand all of her own so it all worked out. Thanks for an interesting podcast.

  2. I used to use my real name for DMS articles, but now that I realize what a garbage dump that place is, I changed to a pen name. Using them as a reference is like using McDonald’s as job experience for a V.P. position.

  3. I can see the upside of writing with annonimity because there can be no judgement based on who you are however, I can see the upside of using your name when writing because if the piece is good it could be viewed by the right person and could be a remarkable way to improve your writing opportunities. The other good point is that if you are gatehring things for a portfolio, having it published under your name will be important.

  4. What a great idea, first of all, for a hub or podcast; a little biased perhaps as you both use your real names! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first started writing online, so I went with kimh039. I use the same name and the same profile pic on all sites online. I have had to forego the use of facebook and +1 as a result. I’ll be really jealous if kimh039 gets invited to a late night TV talk show and I’m not!

  5. I published and still publish everything under my own name. which I sometimes regret because I didn’t proofread some articles just to get them done quicker and I had some typographical errors that the editors never corrected. I was published for the first time when I was about 12 years old. I didn’t know any better so I used my real name. I continued this trend to prove I was published and had experience. A part of me thinks its best to use your real name, while another part of me thinks using a pen name has its own set of advantages as well.

  6. There are plenty of cowards on the Internet, and I’m not one of them. Sure, I do understand that people feel they must protect their identities, but at the same time, writing involves taking risks. I started writing professionally in the 1970s. It was a time when people used their real names, and the people who responded to your writing used their real names in correspondence. I use my real name because I am responsible for my writing, I am proud of my work, and I answer to what I create. In any of my correspondence with my readers, I prefer to be addressed by my real name. If I had a cutesy pen name, it would be WhoopWhoopWhoop, but I would never use a cutesy pen name. Sure, you can establish a brand using a pen name, but what good would a pen name be if you decided to take your work into a professional mode and had to turn in the required clips to an editor? Those last two clips of mine had my real name on them, and they played a part in getting me a writing job. Two clips with your byline simply showcases your work and what you can do. I doubt very much if I would impress an editor with a pen name like WhoopWhoopWhoop. If you are so serious about your writing, then at least have a believable and memorable first and last pen name instead of some cutesy name used for an email address. Writing is all about the presentation and reaching out to your readers, beginning with your name.

  7. I’ve used a pen name from day 1. I use the same name everywhere, and if you were to Google my pen name, you get plenty of hits.

    I don’t make it a secret of who I am to the people that know me, so it’s not like I’m trying to hide in anonymity. Pen names have been around for more than 100 years, so I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  8. using pen name doesnt mean your a coward. it’s plain stupid to make such assumptions. of course a writer should always be responsiblity for their writing no matter what name they go by and using a pen name doesnt free a writer from such matters if they are honest to begin with.

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