Can I use a pen name instead of my real name for writing?

by 7pizza
30 replies
Hi,

I want to start offering article writing services on Upwork/other sites and I

would like to have a pen name, like a fantasy name instead of my real name when I

offer my writing services: I think it will be easier to market and a better choice

than my real name which doesn't sound "business friendly".

Is it possible to have a penn name on Upwork/Elance etc?

thank you
#penn #real #writing
  • Profile picture of the author positivenegative
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    yup, do it..

    pen names are cool.

    its also cool to use your real name..

    whatever works for you.

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author richieledge
    Of course, It makes sense.

    An alter personality is good to get you in the state of mind of being a professional if you are just starting out.

    This will help you gain confidence and give you authority (even if its just in your own head)

    Most authors have done it at some stage in their career.
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  • Profile picture of the author XSV1
    Many famous writer's have used different names to write under, and play with standard written rules. Just be sure that you know the rules of your profession before you start breaking them, or reworking them in a creative way, otherwise, you will look unprofessional.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony J Namata
    Well, I suppose there's gotta be a valid reason for using a pen name. Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman is one example. At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing more would be unacceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over-saturating the market for the King "brand". He convinced his publisher, Signet Books, to print these novels under a pseudonym.

    I use two pen names. But I do have a reason for that. They're two separate brands, and my third brand is with my real name as appears in the WF.

    I hope this helps!

    Anthony
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  • Profile picture of the author DeePower
    Most authors have done it at some stage in their career. Nor necessarily true. Some authors use a nom de plume that's French for pen name if they write in two different genres. J. D. Robb and Nora Roberts come to mind. The fans of Nora Roberts expect a romance novel and would be disappointed if they picked up a mystery.

    Keep in mind, if you are a freelancer, that some potential clients will do a Google search on your name. If there's no footprint that might cause them to pass you by.

    Dee
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    I've wondered about this too and did a lot of research on it. Definitely use a pen name if you don't want to be known for a certain "niche" or if you don't want to confuse people when they look up your name.
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    • Profile picture of the author PeterComeau
      Originally Posted by Edwin Torres View Post

      I've wondered about this too and did a lot of research on it. Definitely use a pen name if you don't want to be known for a certain "niche" or if you don't want to confuse people when they look up your name.
      That's exactly what I've been doing for the past 7 years. I thought that people would be confused between my real world occupation and my marketing.

      But then I took on a PR mentor who indicated to me that I could link my success in both 'jobs' to even greater impact.

      Here's just one aspect to consider. Facebook currently has a 'real person' policy and can de-register accounts which don't provide proof of ID. Sure, you can set up a page for your 'business' pen name, but you won't be showing the world your real face.

      However, if you just need a pen name for Upwork etc. then go for it. Many have.
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  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    It solely depends on you. You can use pen name instead of using your real name. Most of the writers uses their pen name and there is no problem with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cary Joseph
    Be whoever you want to be! Authors have been doing it for years!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    A lot of authors use pen names for each genre or topic they write about. No one can be an expert in every subject so they try to build an audience for each one.

    However, I'm not as familiar with freelancers using one. As already mentioned it will be make it hard for your to build any type of audience on Facebook.

    But if you're only goal is Upwork then I guess it's not a problem.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author samuelbreezey
    You sure can...

    Who's gunna know

    Obviously don't call yourself Superman lol
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  • Profile picture of the author conradomahy524
    I used to think there was something unethical about using a pen name, but I learned very early on in my IM career that a lot of people use one. In fact I would be so bold to say most people do. It's funny though, I know of an individual that changes his pen name every 6 months or so, to coincide with his new product launch.
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  • Profile picture of the author 7pizza
    Reading UPwork rules, it appears one cannot use a different name than the one on the account.


    Am I missing something?



    """Your Upwork profile must be consistent with your verification information:
    • Upwork profile picture must be consistent with ID picture
    • Upwork profile address must match address on statement
    • Upwork profile name must match both government ID and statement
    • Upwork profile payment methods must match name on government ID and statement or provide additional documentations showing legal authorization/ownership.""""
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  • Profile picture of the author BanksS
    So there you have it.

    To sum up what everyone else is saying, if you feel more comfortable with a Pen Name, then go ahead.

    However, it only REALLY comes into play if what you are writing is more for the English market. I would suggest you use a name that fits the language of your market. This just builds a small level of familiarity and trust.

    Hope this helps.

    Steven
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    It's fine, but personally I always stayed away from it.

    That's just me though


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author 7pizza
    Can someone pls advise on Upwork regulations? It appears one cant use a different name.
    Below I copied from their website:

    ""Your Upwork profile must be consistent with your verification information:
    • Upwork profile picture must be consistent with ID picture
    • Upwork profile address must match address on statement
    • Upwork profile name must match both government ID and statement
    • Upwork profile payment methods must match name on government ID and statement or provide additional documentations showing legal authorization/ownership.""""
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    7pizza, looks like you're the only one who answered your question correctly

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Day
    Just found this which might help you out:
    Pseudonyms: 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Pen Name

    Cheers

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author KennyAmy
    Post a picture of yourself and use your real name, the engagement is better in my opinion!
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by KennyAmy View Post

      Post a picture of yourself and use your real name, the engagement is better in my opinion!
      We've been through this 1000 times. No one will know it's your real name - ever.

      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author William Waltham
    If you're working for content sites, you may be required to use your real name. But, if you're writing your own e-books, you can use whatever name you like. I sell some e-books I've written, and get a good side income from them. I write in three different niches.

    I use my real name in one niche, and two different pen names in the other two niches. That way, it's a different persona for each niche, and it doesn't seem like I'm specializing in too many things to my customers.

    Lots of famous writers have used pen names. Even Anne Rice used a pen name for some of her books that were in a different genre than the supernatural ones she's famous for.
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  • Profile picture of the author krees
    Absolutely you can use a pen name. I have a couple "adult" names you can use. Ha! I like using a pen name when I can.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Reading UPwork rules, it appears one cannot use a different name than the one on the account.

    Am I missing something?
    No, but other people are. Another thread where people are answering a question different than the one you asked.

    Many authors/writers use pen names for their own books, their business, forum names....etc.

    That is not the same "writing" as you do on a freelance site when someone hires you to write for them. In that case, it's up the rules of the freelance site as you learned when you looked into it.

    When people pay you to write for them - they want to know who you are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gazdecki
    Originally Posted by 7pizza View Post

    Hi,

    I want to start offering article writing services on Upwork/other sites and I

    would like to have a pen name, like a fantasy name instead of my real name when I

    offer my writing services: I think it will be easier to market and a better choice

    than my real name which doesn't sound "business friendly".

    Is it possible to have a penn name on Upwork/Elance etc?

    thank you
    Absolutely! As long as your work is solid, you have high quality reviews, your business will grow regardless of what your name is under.
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    http://www.BiznessApps.com

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  • Profile picture of the author lindseysan494
    I use a pen name for my blogs and other articles I've written, use them all the time.

    You mentioned using a fantasy pen name, but if you're writing professional documents then you'll want to make sure the name isn't anything really off the wall.

    But other than that, use whatever pen name makes you happy
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    You don't use a pen name on Upwork - because they don't allow it.

    That was the question - and the OP answered it himself above.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    You should always be yourself...unless you can be a Unicorn. Then you should always be a Unicorn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexis Gil
    It's also seems to me then when it's goes about Upwork you can't.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamNuku
    Yep you can do this. I did this very successfully with a different niche because I didn't want my personal name associated with that particular market long term.

    It worked well. People had no idea. I made alot of money. My name is clean now that i'm all about personal branding

    I'm glad I did it. If you think this niche/market isn't going to be something you do FOREVER then use a pen name so you can detactch in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Yep you can do this
    No, you can't - read the thread. Amazing how people keep posting answers without reading what the real question is.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    You should always be yourself...unless you can be a Unicorn. Then you should always be a Unicorn.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    Given Upwork's TOS for providers, you're better off starting an LLC and using a proper business name. Regardless, Upwork needs to know your real identity for payment and tax purposes.
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