Someone Tell Me It's Ok To Use Pen Names...

47 replies
I do stuff in various different areas (niches). And I use different pen names for each area. I kinda feel weird but I think it's important to use different ones.

Some of the people I know say I should use my real name for everything.

So what do you guys think? Is it ok to use pen names? Please say yes!

Thanks,
Adam
#names #pen
  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    Dear Adam,

    It is OK to use pen names.

    Yours faithfully,
    Bic

    P.S. Seriously, it's not a problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    It is just fine to use pen names. One of the biggest guys in IM, Eben Pagan still uses a pen name to this day for his Double Your Dating Brand (he uses the name David DeAngelo), so I see absolutely nothing wrong with using pen names especially if you're in various different niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    Adam,
    nothing illegal in using pen names - though you do need to maintain some sort of contact information that a real person answers for legal reasons, like the CAN SPAM act. But it can be a company name.

    As for writing, using a pen name is a long tradition and well respected. I know a lot of writers/marketers use their real name for their primary niche that they want to be known for - and use pen names for other niches.

    IANAL, but I'd say go for it.

    --Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author pista05
    Yea for some articles you have example

    if your talking about enlargement for men you dont want the article to be written by a womans name do you lol?
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    It's perfectly normal to use pen names

    Writers in real print have done it for decades, some of the most successful writers have used pen names to publish their works.

    Many, many successful female publishers have used pen names exclusively..

    Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë all used pen names successfully to publish.

    A few others of note, too:

    Charles Dickens
    Benjamin Franklin
    Cecil Smith
    Georges Remi
    Joanne Rowling of Harry Potter fame (Not strictly a pen name, but she added a K as her middle initial, when she doesn't have a middle name)
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

      Writers in real print have done it for decades, some of the most successful writers have used pen names to publish their works.
      Actually for centuries if not more !!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Don't see anything particularly wrong with it as long as it's not being used as an excuse to hide from customers and not deliver whatever is promised.

    I use my real name, but that's just me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Taylor French
    Stephen King wrote 7 books under the name Richard Bachman.
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  • Profile picture of the author excoder01
    Actors/Actresses use "pen" names.

    The best selling authors use pen names.

    Top IM gurus have use pen names.

    Pen names can be good for new IMers - since they might have a unique name and fear their employer might see their name appear on various "questionable" articles and "work at home" forums. Thus, a privacy reason.

    Pen names can be good for promoting among diverse niches (being single, being married, being fat, being skinny, etc).

    Pen names can be use if you're a newbie. Once you make a lot money, you can then brand yourself as a real Internet Marketer by using your real name. You want to establish credibility with a real name and test stuff using pen names.

    Some marketers use like 100 pen names for different niches - and there's nothing wrong with that.

    As long as you don't use pen names to promote fraud or scam people, that's fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author wilsonusman
    It is OK to use pen names.

    I use them on my niche sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Michael Green runs the 'How To' IM forum and he seems to think it is ok. I forget his real name but he's a British member of parliament. I've also read a couple of times that he is completely open about it.

    If he is introduced to someone as Michael Green he will mention that it is just an online pen name, and his real name is... (whatever the heck it is).
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    The UK and the US are pretty much the most permissive countries on the planet when it comes to establishing and protecting your right to use whatever name, and however many names, you like. In general, if what you're doing would be legal with a court-ordered name change, it's almost certainly legal without one too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        No...you may NOT use a pen name Adam.

        In fact, I'm not even sure I want you using YOUR name.

        I mean what kind of a name is Adam Carn anyway? Sounds like a sleazy
        detective novel writer to me.

        Adam Carn...two bit dick.

        Hey, I just might use that as a name for my next novel that I'll be writing
        under the name Hugo Screwyourself.

        *NOTE* For those of the humor bereft, the above was all in fun and totally
        not meant to be serious.

        Adam, use whatever name you want. Just don't call yourself a dick.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Some of the people I know say I should use my real name for everything.
        Get new people

        It's especially useful if you work in multiple niches. Easier to gain authority status if everything you do in the niche can be identified with that one (pen) name.

        If I see someone on an article directory who writes exclusively on one topic or in one niche...I think "expert". When I see a writer who uses only his own name and writes about gardens and debt and cats and tuning an engine...I think "niche marketer".

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Like Kay said, you need new people. There are times I will use more than one pen name.

          Respectfully,

          Parker Montblanc Waterman

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  • Profile picture of the author Orator
    You have permission.

    There is nothing ethically objectionable to using a pen name. I didn't even know that David and Eban were the same guy.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Yes of course it's okay to use pen names. There is nothing wrong with this. Just try not to use too many or you might get confused.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caiden
    Dude I have loads of pen names floating around the interweb. Its OK!
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  • Profile picture of the author wpiercy
    I say No, 1. the FTC will have something to say about it. 2. It is misrepresentation, and in this forum we all know that is Bad. 3. In Affiliate Marketing you are suppose to make it as easy as possible for consumers and authorities to find you. 4. If you are not consistently using your real name, then you will not gain your fame.... like ShoeMoney....

    Steve said "two bit dick"

    just sayn'
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by wpiercy View Post

      I say No, 1. the FTC will have something to say about it. 2. It is misrepresentation, and in this forum we all know that is Bad. 3. In Affiliate Marketing you are suppose to make it as easy as possible for consumers and authorities to find you. 4. If you are not consistently using your real name, then you will not gain your fame.... like ShoeMoney....

      Steve said "two bit dick"

      just sayn'
      1. The FTC is only a concern if you are deliberately trying to deceive people, and that deception is material to a consumer's decision. In the case of article or affiliate marketing, use of a pen name likely fails the second part of that test.

      2. As was mentioned earlier, if you misrepresent your qualifications (like calling yourself a doctor or lawyer and you are not), that is bad. If the act of using a different name were bad, most of the members of this forum wouldn't be here, as they post under pen names or assorted flavors of screen names.

      3. Huh? Where did you pick up that notion?

      4. This is the closest thing you offered to a true statement. Even here, it's definitely possible for the pen name to achieve a certain level of notoriety.
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    • Profile picture of the author excoder01
      Originally Posted by wpiercy View Post

      I say No, 1. the FTC will have something to say about it. 2. It is misrepresentation, and in this forum we all know that is Bad. 3. In Affiliate Marketing you are suppose to make it as easy as possible for consumers and authorities to find you. 4. If you are not consistently using your real name, then you will not gain your fame.... like ShoeMoney....

      Steve said "two bit dick"

      just sayn'
      I kind of disagree.

      1) The same can be said of using chat screen names. You can still provide something ethical and honest by using pen names. What about blog posts with the "admin" name? The FTC is about false representation of a product that scam others.

      2) Many people use PLR products from diverse niches - and use different pen names. Now, it's not wrong to use PLR product and put your name on it, even though you did not write the content yourself. The same could be said of hiring freelance writers to write your articles, but why are using your own name if you didn't write it yourself?

      3) It depends what niche you're an expert in. You can establish yourself as an authority in a niche you have keen knowledge of. But if you want to test different markets, you can use pen names.

      4) As for Shoemoney -- he might have use different pen names for different market niches, but when it comes to the Internet Marketing niche, that's where he uses his real name. He's established as an expert in the IM niche by using his real name. Pen names for different niches, real name for the IM niche. And not everyone wants fame. I know I don't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Carn
    Hey thanks everyone, that makes me feel much better lol. Definitely not trying to deceive anyone, just think it's better to have a different pen name per niche. Sometimes I use one pen name for more than one niche if it's related.

    And Adam Carn is a pen name too (arghhhhh).

    Nice of you all to pop in and comfort me.

    Thanks,
    Adam
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  • Profile picture of the author excoder01
    Just keep a spreadsheet of the pen names and the niche markets they belong to. I do that for most of my article marketing. That is, if you have several of them floating around.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoweb2000
    Perfectly legal, David Deangelo is a pen name in the dating niche for a big internet marketer. I think J. Reese, but not 100% sure. He does really well, so you have nothing to worry about.
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    • Profile picture of the author excoder01
      Originally Posted by seoweb2000 View Post

      Perfectly legal, David Deangelo is a pen name in the dating niche for a big internet marketer. I think J. Reese, but not 100% sure. He does really well, so you have nothing to worry about.
      Ya, even Ewen Chia is somewhat of a pen name (if you've seen screenshots of his checks) - the world's #1 super affiliate back then.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
        If I see someone on an article directory who writes exclusively on one topic or in one niche...I think "expert". When I see a writer who uses only his own name and writes about gardens and debt and cats and tuning an engine...I think "niche marketer".
        Kay sums it up. If you write in one or two niches then you can use your own or a chosen name. If you write in many niches, then keeping that name can make you look like a 'jack of all trades' and 'master of none'. So plan wisely.

        In the UK, and many other countries, you can name your self just about anything that you like. In some countries and cultures, the naming process can be very complex indeed and certainly most confusing to a simple man from the UK like me, believe it!

        Just my thoughts,
        Jeff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    This is how I do things....I love golf and article marketing so I use my real name for those two niches, but everything else I use pen names....it is easier to track and nobody knows that they are fake people.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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  • Profile picture of the author jhornung
    Adam,

    I understand your moral conflict over using a pen name. On the one hand, how can you be an expert in every niche and on the other you want to be ethical in your marketing. So really it boils down to whether in using the pen name you are in fact lying to your prospect in order to sell a product or not...

    I personally use pen names because I'm in many markets and do article marketing to drive traffic. As long as the information I'm dispensing to people is true and accurate, I can sleep well at night with pen names.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author skymarketer
    I say, use pen names!

    Just don't do stupid or 'clever' ones that incorporate elements of your niche into your pen name. Keep the names real.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Even the offline authors use pen names time to time. And, such sites(i.e. article directories) wouldn't let you have pen names if it weren't ok.
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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Banned
    There is a big name marketer who I wont name who uses a pen name in this niche. If I mentioned what he is known for you would know his name(his pen name that is).
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  • Profile picture of the author wpiercy
    JohnMcCabe

    Re read that post I made but try not being so serious. There were 20 posts before mine saying it was okay, and no one playing devils advocate. It is obvious that it is okay for the pen name to be used. I was trying..... apparently Unsuccessfully......to be funny.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by wpiercy View Post

      JohnMcCabe

      Re read that post I made but try not being so serious. There were 20 posts before mine saying it was okay, and no one playing devils advocate. It is obvious that it is okay for the pen name to be used. I was trying..... apparently Unsuccessfully......to be funny.
      Fair enough...

      One of the risks of text-based humor - you lose the voice inflections and such between putting the joke over and missing the mark.

      This time through, I did get the Beavis and Butthead reference...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac Deyak
    Yea there are no problems as long as you're not doing any fishy stuff... Plus always remember that your name is essentially your brand, so it is in your interest to choose a pen name and stick with it...
    and as everyone said, big names in IM and in history have used them, here are 'big-name gurus' who have pen names and consistently use them [some to this day]

    Frank Kern - I know he uses 2 other names other than his own
    Eben Pagan - David D
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    One of the benefits of a pen name is that it can remove certain psychological barriers to writing.

    Let's say you don't consider yourself an expert on tree removal, but can write articles that are good enough to get clicks to an awesome tree removal affiliate product. When you attach your name to it, you start doubting your ability to share information - even if it's well-researched. Granted, this may all happen at the subconscious level.

    One of the problems with pen names is that they ten to sound made up (at least to the person making them up). A while back I found a neat little tool that solved that problem for me.

    Random Name Generator

    It's based on US census data and you can set a few parameters for how common the name is, as well as gender.

    All the best,
    Michael

    Or, is it...

    Raymond Hallmark, Jason Canty, or Juan Darras?
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  • Profile picture of the author Thaddaeus T. Hogg
    Nope... nosir... not alright to be usin pen names. Folks oughta only be a usin their real God-given names! I was always a figgerin that if folks used a pen name that they was tryin to hide somethin!

    Now Penelope has a pen name! It is called the Ponderosa and it is where she is a livin!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nahm D. Plume
    Adam,

    As others have said the use of a nom de plume or pseudonym is perfectly acceptable in the literary and creative arenas.

    With the proviso, of course, that such is not used with intent to defraud.

    Even here on the estimable WF rumors abound that some long time members are using names they were not either given at birth or later legally acquired.

    Although I personally would never sink to such lows I can understand how some would do almost anything to keep their friends and families from discovering what they really do for a living.

    Respectfully,

    NDP
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Sieloff
      Don't worry about Pen Names. I use them all the time.

      In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone here has read some
      of my books such as:

      Yellow River by I.P. Daily
      40yards to the Outhouse by Willie Maykit
      Brown Shorts by Betty Dont


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  • Profile picture of the author esterdsl
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      It depends on the situation, pen names are a tool like any other marketing tactic.

      If it will increase the conversion rate and profits, you do it. If not don't.

      As long as you are selling genuine products which benefit people, sell under A, B, C or D - who cares.

      Who is the BIGGEST pop star in the world right now?

      A: Lady Gaga (Real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta)
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    What about your website as a pen name?
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  • Profile picture of the author Marke Juster
    hi ,It is just fine to use pen name .
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  • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
    I use different pen names in different niches for my InfoProduct business.

    Primarily I made this decision to protect myself for when I used my real name in the IM niche. I didn't want other IMers diving into my niche and swiping some of my profits away. Profits that took a lot of research, time and commitment ... not to mention the blood, sweat and tears!

    With that said I've built relationships and syndicates with my competitors in these niches, but ironically enough, they don't know my real name and I don't know there's ...but it works.

    So yeah, I fully endorse using pen names in niches, if only to protect your business.

    Garry.
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  • Profile picture of the author HorseStall
    There is nothing wrong with pen names it helps establish expertise in niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author Harold Lindsey
    Oh yeah, writers use pen names all the time. I've just published a book on Amazon using a pen name so I can flip the book later to someone else.

    Horror & Thriller author Steven King, uses the pen "Richard Bachman" in some his work. Sometimes people do this for privacy purposes. It is completely legal and ethical.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMStudentforlife
      According to EZA they would prefer you using pen names rather than creating multiple accounts.

      So I am guessing that would be for the whole lot of Article sites. From the ones I have seen they allow this.
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