Should I use a pen name?

25 replies
I am looking to operate in a various markets - would you suggest I use a different pen name for each market or do I carry on being me?


I'm not a big fan of pretending to be someone that I am not, but at the same time I don't want to come across as the a Jack of all Trades.


What do you suggest?


Thanks
#alias or penname #pen #pen name
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  • Profile picture of the author Sadya Shova
    There are several advantages of using a pseudonym as well as a few disadvantages.
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    This has come up a few times on here so it's worth doing a search as you will get both sides of the argument.

    There are a couple of things I would always take into consideration when choosing which name to use:

    Is the top level domain available?

    Linked to this is also what social media profiles are still available?

    Does anyone famous share the name?

    You might struggle to get any love from Google if your pen name is Brad Pitt.

    Does anyone else in your field have the same name?

    Ok this can go either way but do you want to be confused for someone else in your niche? Maybe you do there is at least one author who was making a living selling books because he shared the same name as a world famous author.

    What are the search results in Google like?

    I spent some time with an author who had came up with a pen name for themselves but when we googled it all the results were about a convicted criminal.

    I'd be looking at all of the above for my personal name as well as pen names. If you get one that's clean then this is great for Google alerts and online reputation management.

    Ultimately though there is no right and wrong on this it's what you are comfortable with (as long as you are not committing fraud).
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    I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Info-seeker View Post

    I am looking to operate in a various markets - would you suggest I use a different pen name for each market or do I carry on being me?


    I'm not a big fan of pretending to be someone that I am not, but at the same time I don't want to come across as the a Jack of all Trades.


    What do you suggest?


    Thanks
    I look as this as a flip of a coin. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages.

    I don't think there is a clear answer as to what is better or best, just what works for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    Decide How Secretive You Want to Be. Most authors find openness easier to maintain than secrecy. At book signings, they use their pen names, but at conferences they use their real names with a reference to their pen names. The web pages for their pen names are often linked.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalinasan
    According to me, One write should use single name only. If one use many name in different place, it will turn a negative impact on the writer, Even if he write good content. Every writer wans to be famous, but if he use different name, how will he be familiar? Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Done by many famous, successful people in many facets of Life for many, many years now.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteNameSales
    Probably no one really cares a lot, even if you perceive yourself to be a jack-of-all trades. If they care at all, drop a few names like Richard Branson or Jeff Besos.
    On the other hand, a nom-de-net can be a handy moniker and good solution if you want to separate your business friends from your personal ones.. Goes way back to Compuserve and AOL and the Wishing Well, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica Ambos
    I like people using one pen name because I can easily remember it whenever the need arises. People tend to associate services with a name. Why make it confusing for them to remember you? If you use only one, they can readily connect all the services that you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I personally like using my own name. I am building the credibility of my name...my own brand.

    However some people can't use their real names for what ever reason.

    So a pen name is 100% okay.

    Just make sure to use only 1 name and work on making that persona a valuable one!

    Online success comes down to established and credible marketers who the marketplace likes, knows and trusts.
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  • Profile picture of the author cearion
    Banned
    If you really want to be close as anonymous on the internet you can use different pen names. If anonymity this is not a concert then use one pen name.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTheFreeman
    Even if you establish yourself with one name you won't necessarily become a jack of all trades. Sure you might have knowledge in a lot of fields but you'll be known more at one niche you specialize in, than all of the others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Prakash Dayani
    IMO I would not use different pen names. People love to put a face to the name and that's how you build a fan following. Additionally if you are looking at social media angle it will be better to have one name to ensure all your stuff and followers / likes can accumulate under 1 account
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Brindamour
    Info-seeker

    In my opinion, you want people to know, like & trust you. The best way is to be you and be completely transparent. You can't do that if you are hiding behind a pen name.

    I think pen names are mostly for authors.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author quadagon
      Originally Posted by Chris Brindamour View Post

      Info-seeker

      In my opinion, you want people to know, like & trust you. The best way is to be you and be completely transparent. You can't do that if you are hiding behind a pen name.
      Like Eben Pagan and Frank Kern you mean?
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      I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    Originally Posted by Info-seeker View Post

    I am looking to operate in a various markets - would you suggest I use a different pen name for each market or do I carry on being me?
    I'm not a big fan of pretending to be someone that I am not, but at the same time I don't want to come across as the a Jack of all Trades.
    What do you suggest?
    Thanks
    To me, an expert is an expert. If you know a lot, then put them under one name, even if it is a pen name. But if you do go by a pen name, make it a cool one that is easy to remember.
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  • Profile picture of the author marks2424
    I use my real name on my main big site the one I know the most about, however on my other sites I use a pen name because google and the search engines remember who you are and may not list you as an expert in something if you use your name on 10 different subjects. So much about the web is about being an expert in something so if you are considered an expert in lets say Dog training then how can you also be considered and expert in baseball or self help. Now I know people can do research and know what they are talking about on many subjects but that doesn't mean others will feel the same and I don't know how google algorithms work but I do know for a while they used author authority as a gauge.
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    This topic has been discussed many times. It boils down to one simple question which makes the the entire conversation rather irrelevant.

    If you choose to use a pen name, who, other than yourself, would know you were doing so? Allow me to answer that for you. Probably no one. Ever.

    So with that being determined, what does it matter?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    I'm trying to think of a top Internet marketer that goes by a pen name . . . maybe there some . . . but I can't think of any. For authors, it seems to be quite different.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Info-seeker
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      I'm trying to think of a top Internet marketer that goes by a pen name . . . maybe there some . . . but I can't think of any. For authors, it seems to be quite different.

      Steve


      David DeAngelo...aka Eben Pagan
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I would do one thing, with your real name, and do it so darn well that you will be a master of 1 trade. The great secret of success: specialization.

    Let go various markets; focus on one.

    Specializing plus authenticity equals impact.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    There's nothing wrong with a pen name. If you enter into different niches selling different products, then a pen name is a good thing since it wont distract the credibility of your real name.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      There's nothing wrong with a pen name. If you enter into different niches selling different products, then a pen name is a good thing since it wont distract the credibility of your real name.
      This question has been asked repeatedly for years, yet while folks choose to opine on the topic, no one can answer this one simple question. Can you???

      How does anyone know if the name you choose to use is your real name or a pen name? Do you see how totally ludicrous that giving any credence to this topic actually is???

      Cricket time! lol

      P.S. Is Randall Magwood your real name? How would anyone know if it is or it isn't?
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      "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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  • Profile picture of the author rhealy29
    I like pen names for fiction authors. Aliases for business? Not a huge fan.

    There are a number of reasons, but first and foremost, use of your own name puts something at stake. Your name means something to you, and the idea of your name - your real name - being sullied for any reason is highly distasteful. In situations that may arise of questionable ethics, that nagging feeling will help steer you right. Operating under an alias - which is what a pen name is - that you can discard easily if you need to undermines that. Suddenly it isn't your name at risk, it's a concocted one that you can simply walk away from if things go awry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    It depends on how deep people are going to dig, and how much fallout will be generated if they find out you are not who you claim to be.

    Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamel Hassell
    Does your name correlate with the message or products that you will be promoting ?
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