To Use or Not to Use: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Your Real Name on Blogs

Hide under a mysterious pseudonym or not? This is one of the more common questions of first-time bloggers. Some of them want to hide their true identity, while others want to keep their real one. So, how will you know what is best for you?

Although this seem may be a petty topic to discuss, choosing the right one could spell much difference – as far as protecting your privacy and reputation on the Internet is concerned.

Using pen names in blog writing

Ever since time in memorial, authors have been using a pseudonym or pen name to hide their true identity. Some authors do this so that the readers would not have biased on their real name. Some of these critically-acclaimed authors include Howard Allen O’Brien (AKA Anne Rice), Francois Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire), Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (AKA Pablo Neruda), Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (AKA Ayn Rand), among many more.

Today, in the digital age, pen names have found new users – bloggers. Some bloggers do not want to reveal their real name on the Internet. However, there are some others who are more comfortable using their own identity. Just like any other thing, using your real name in your blog has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of using pen name

First up are the advantages. By using your true identity in your blog, your credibility as a blogger is somewhat improved. Some netizens tend to trust bloggers who use their real name on the byline. Some of them will take it as a bold and truthful act.

Another advantage is that you could get better readership and more followers. Since some people would like to read blogs of “real” people, they are likely to follow or read your blog if you are using your real identity. However, this does not mean that once you use your real name, you are already bound to Internet fame. Your blog must have the right recipes, including neat layout, great content, and interactive features.

Disadvantages of revealing your real name online

Juxtaposed to these advantages are disadvantages. When you use your real name in your blog, there is a chance for other people to invade your privacy or even stalk you. It is no secret that the Internet is a place for both good and bad users. By having your real name plastered all over your blog, some of your readers who do not like your posts or opinion on a certain issue could make a bad name for you.

Another disadvantage is that whenever you post a controversial and unpopular post or commentary with your real name on its byline, your online reputation could suffer. If you are applying for a job, and your future employer sees your blog post, which could be taken against you, your chance for employment could suffer.

Choose wisely

If you believe that revealing your real name in your blog would not do you any harm and you would be comfortable with it, by all means, use your real name. However, if doing so could potentially harm your privacy and online reputation management , do otherwise.


Zayn W. worked for a California-based public relations firm where he handled celebrities and public personalities. He is currently working as PR consultant and writes blogs and articles on reputation management.