When you have a blog or website, you’ll need to update the content frequently to keep visitors coming back again and again. If you’re writing that content yourself, you’ll want to ask an important question: Should I use a pen name on my blog or website? There are several advantages of using a pseudonym as well as a few disadvantages.
Let’s start by looking at some of the pros of using a pen name on your blog or website:
1. It will give you a fresh start.
Many people could use a fresh start in their writing careers. If you’ve written something in the past that you’re not particularly proud of or content that you’d like to distance yourself from, a pen name can provide a new beginning for you. You can use a pseudonym in your byline and no one will have to know what you’ve done in the past.
2. It can help with a genre switch.
When writers switch genres, they sometimes use pen names to make the transition a bit easier. For example, a person might have written several romantic novels and would now like to branch out by starting a business blog. A pseudonym will do away with any preconceived notions and allow you to show off your knowledge in any subject you please.
3. It’s helpful if your name has already been made popular by someone else.
Perhaps you have a name that’s already being used by someone famous. It’s going to be tough for the public to keep things straight if you share a name with a celebrity. After all, a writer named Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise would obviously create confusion. The same principle applies to authors that share names with other authors. You’ll be better off going with a new pen name that can be entirely yours.
4. You can use something easier to pronounce.
If you have a name that’s difficult to say, using a pseudonym may be a good idea. For example, if there are multiple pronunciations of your name or your parents decided to give your name an unconventional spelling, creating a pen name can simplify things for you. You can choose a name that rolls off the tongue with ease or at least change your wacky spelling to the traditional one.
5. It can make you feel a bit more comfortable.
Some writers simply feel more comfortable writing under a pen name. If you’re writing about a topic that makes you nervous or you don’t want your friends and family members to know it’s you, a pseudonym can put your mind at ease. When you aren’t worried about what someone might think about you based on your writing, it frees you up to focus on creating the type of content you want. Just use a pen name and no one will have to know. You can even use different pseudonyms for different topics if you’d like. The great part about a pen name is that you stay in control of your identity and your personal reputation.
6. It’s fun!
Who hasn’t thought about changing his or her name at some point? Using a pseudonym will allow you to create a new identity for yourself and play around with any name you like. Look through a book of baby names or do an online search to find one you fancy. If you find a name you love, feel free to make it your own. You can even switch it up if you use different types of content on your website or blog.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the positive arguments for using a pseudonym, we should also examine some of the negative arguments. There aren’t as many undesirable attributes to using a name other than your own, but there are a couple of significant ones to keep in mind.
Here are some of the cons of using a pen name:
1. You can’t build on your previous success.
A pen name gives you a clean slate, but that may not always be beneficial. When you wipe away the bad connotations, you also wipe away the good ones. If you’re an established writer with a successful career, you might want to think twice before you start using a pseudonym. You’ll essentially be starting over and that may or may not be what you want to do. A pen name doesn’t mean you can’t become successful again, but you should be prepared for the struggles that could come with your new beginning.
2. You may feel like you’re not getting credit.
While a pseudonym can be fun, it can also make you feel like your work isn’t getting recognized. Will you be upset when everyone talks about Jeffrey Everett’s fantastic blog when your name is actually Tammy Wilson? If so, that’s a good reason to stick with your actual name. Some people may feel like someone else is getting credit for their work when they use pen names. Even though you can make up a new name for yourself, you might feel like it’s not really you. You’ve likely used your real name for many years and it can be difficult to cut ties with it. Take some time to mull over using a pseudonym before you start using one for your posts.
When you’re writing content for your website or blog, you always want to post quality content. However, just because you’re proud of your work, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to put your name on it. Well-known people who write in all different types of genres use pseudonyms on a regular basis. If you’re thinking of using a pen name, consider the pros and cons on this list before you make a decision. Ultimately, your website or blog is your own and it’s completely up to you what you post on it. Whether you go for a pseudonym or use your own name, the most important thing to remember is to write well and update often.