Hiding behind pen names is killing quality.

by Shoot
61 replies
Ok, I know why people use pen names (& straw men) so I do not need a lesson about them. I am just simply going off of what I see day to day. I think the lack of quality and the general distaste for IM in general comes from those who use pen names to release products.

Just about every person who uses there REAL name when doing business will think more about what is being tied to their name. I see TONS of people here (some very successful some not) who use many, many, pen names to be "gurus" or some **** in many niches. WHY? Because they know anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches. So they create a "online" persona that matches what they sell just to sell it. If everyone here HAD to use there real name when doing business I bet 95% of them would drop out of the industry right away.

So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!
#hiding #killing #names #pen #quality
  • Profile picture of the author TestiVar
    When I look at the top 100 online businesses, I see only pen names. Most of them have high quality products and services. That is how they made it to the top.

    When I look at the fortune 500 list, I see almost all pen names. There are a few "real" names like Merrill Lynch, but I think he is actually dead. 99% of them are pen names though.

    When I look around here, I see almost all "real" names. You can make your own decision about the quality here.

    From where I am sitting, those using pen names for business (which is almost all businesses) have much higher quality than those who use "real" names.

    Is "Shoot" your "real" name?
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    • Profile picture of the author Adrian Int
      I think what "Shoot" is saying here is mostly that he just wants people to be "real" on the internet.

      Neither of you use your real name as usernames, and while I do it's still only a fraction of it.

      I agree that when you put your stamp on something with your real name, there's some incentive not to screw it up by offering poor quality or scamming people with misleading information. However, I would also say that the desire to be successful in business should be equally motivating to NOT do those things.

      If what I've suggested above is true, then the decision to use a pen name or not should be based more on what your target market(s) want.

      I'm a real person. I believe that my target market wants to know that I'm a real person.
      I use my name often.

      Walmart is not a person. Walmart uses a "pen name". Walmart's net earnings puts mine to shame.... haha


      Draw your own conclusions.


      Cheers,
      -Adrian
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      • Profile picture of the author Shoot
        Originally Posted by Adrian Int View Post

        I think what "Shoot" is saying here is mostly that he just wants people to be "real" on the internet.

        Neither of you use your real name as usernames, and while I do it's still only a fraction of it.

        I agree that when you put your stamp on something with your real name, there's some incentive not to screw it up by offering poor quality or scamming people with misleading information. However, I would also say that the desire to be successful in business should be equally motivating to NOT do those things.

        If what I've suggested above is true, then the decision to use a pen name or not should be based more on what your target market(s) want.

        I'm a real person. I believe that my target market wants to know that I'm a real person.
        I use my name often.

        Walmart is not a person. Walmart uses a "pen name". Walmart's net earnings puts mine to shame.... haha


        Draw your own conclusions.


        Cheers,
        -Adrian
        You get it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
      Originally Posted by TestiVar View Post

      There are a few "real" names like Merrill Lynch, but I think he is actually dead.
      I lol'd out loud when I read this.

      "Merril Lynch" is not a person. Both Merril and Lynch are the two last names of the two primary founders of the original company.

      Merril Lynch = two people, Charles Merril and Edmund Lynch.

      Such is typically the case with big businesses, especially in the financial sector, eg Goldman Sachs was the combination of a Mr. Goldman and Mr. Sachs.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shoot
        Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

        I lol'd out loud when I read this.

        "Merril Lynch" is not a person. Both Merril and Lynch are the two last names of the two primary founders of the original company.

        Merril Lynch = two people, Charles Merril and Edmund Lynch.
        Yes the rest of his post is BS too. every SINGLE top 100 "internet" as he called them company's have a listed CEO or similar not a one is a "pen name".
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!
    So why don't you use your real name when posting in this forum? Let alone products you sell? Such as the products and services that your signature is linking to?

    -Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Shoot
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      So why don't you use your real name when posting in this forum? Let alone products you sell? Such as the products and services that your signature is linking to?

      -Chris
      Are you blind? If you looked at the products you will see real names attached to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author pilotgardens
    Nothing wrong with using a pen name. If you put out a crappy peice using a pen name you will put out the same using your own. It all comes down to personal pride. To be successful you need to give value, and if you do so it doesn't matter what name you use. There are many reasons for using a pen name, some wrong and some good as in all things.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shoot
      Originally Posted by pilotgardens View Post

      Nothing wrong with using a pen name. If you put out a crappy peice using a pen name you will put out the same using your own. It all comes down to personal pride. To be successful you need to give value, and if you do so it doesn't matter what name you use. There are many reasons for using a pen name, some wrong and some good as in all things.
      Yes you can also put out a crappy product and change the pen name for the next garbage you push..
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      • Profile picture of the author Viramara
        "David deAngelo" is a pen name. Is he selling a crap? No. In the end, quality matters. Whatever name you would use.

        Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

        Yes you can also put out a crappy product and change the pen name for the next garbage you push..
        ROFL!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    Because they know anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches.
    Hey, you know what?

    I've written over a dozen major Clickbank products that don't have my name on them.

    Do you know why?

    Because other people hired me to write them.

    And part of the deal is that I can't tell anybody what products they are or who hired me.

    So here's the real question. Even if those people are using their real names... and several of them are... I'm still the guy who wrote the product. And the product still gets the reviews and testimonials it gets. And it still sells, and people still love it, and it still does what it's supposed to do.

    But they're not the "expert" that produced the product. I am.

    And that's just the people on Clickbank. I've had over a hundred clients hire me to write articles about dozens of topics - dating, forex, rifle scopes, bird feeders, folding chairs, IR-35 for UK contractors.

    Some of those articles are sitting on authority sites right now, being read by thousands of people.

    Now tell me how many niches I'm allowed to write about. Tell me how many different subjects I'm allowed to publish. Tell me why I can't write my own blog about any one of those niches, after being paid $25 to $50 an article to write on other people's blogs.

    Do you know what the real answer is?

    Because most people are too stupid to become more than barely competent at one thing.

    They don't want to admit that you can be good at several things, because that means they're crap. Eddie Izzard famously observed that most Americans think it's "too hard" to be bilingual, but the Dutch speak five languages and smoke marijuana.

    It's not that I can't be good at several different things. It's that you can't, and your entire sense of self-worth relies on the delusion that nobody else can either.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shoot
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Hey, you know what?

      I've written over a dozen major Clickbank products that don't have my name on them.

      Do you know why?

      Because other people hired me to write them.

      And part of the deal is that I can't tell anybody what products they are or who hired me.

      So here's the real question. Even if those people are using their real names... and several of them are... I'm still the guy who wrote the product. And the product still gets the reviews and testimonials it gets. And it still sells, and people still love it, and it still does what it's supposed to do.

      But they're not the "expert" that produced the product. I am.

      And that's just the people on Clickbank. I've had over a hundred clients hire me to write articles about dozens of topics - dating, forex, rifle scopes, bird feeders, folding chairs, IR-35 for UK contractors.

      Some of those articles are sitting on authority sites right now, being read by thousands of people.

      Now tell me how many niches I'm allowed to write about. Tell me how many different subjects I'm allowed to publish. Tell me why I can't write my own blog about any one of those niches, after being paid $25 to $50 an article to write on other people's blogs.

      Do you know what the real answer is?

      Because most people are too stupid to become more than barely competent at one thing.

      They don't want to admit that you can be good at several things, because that means they're crap. Eddie Izzard famously observed that most Americans think it's "too hard" to be bilingual, but the Dutch speak five languages and smoke marijuana.

      It's not that I can't be good at several different things. It's that you can't, and your entire sense of self-worth relies on the delusion that nobody else can either.
      So your telling me that me telling people to stop hiding behind pen names and putting out low quality crap and changing the pen name they use and doing it over and over again is because they claim to be experts in many different fields and they cannot be a expert in that many fields or my feeble mind cannot? Nope its because they can put out so much crap and it wont track back to them when they put out new things. Now if you actually know the many fields and provide quality then that is fine but that is not what I am talking about here. Like I said there are many people with 20+ pen names that put out great things and are successful and there are some who only put out things under pen names due to current life situations or contracts and there are people who hide behind them. This thread is about the ones who hide behind them and push crap then change names push more crap.

      on a larger scale I also dislike the company's that provide little value run it to the ground skim as much profit on the way to the ground as they can then re open under a new name and do it over again scamming new people OR WORST the same suckers. Same thing.

      I also read most of your posts and know you know what the fck your talking about, but there are plenty of people out there who have the mentality you earned by putting out quality. They think that if they put out an article or got paid to write something or its been read a billion times they are a "expert" when in fact are not even close.

      I do Agree with
      Because most people are too stupid to become more than barely competent at one thing.

      That is the point many people try to be experts and they can barley function.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

        So your telling me that...
        ...people use pen names because the general public is effectively retarded.

        What you are complaining about has NOTHING to do with using pen names. It's people putting out crap. Plenty of people put out crap under their own name for years (Imran Naseem anyone?), and the general public is plenty stupid enough to keep buying it. But if someone like me puts their REAL name on products in a dozen different niches, people start shaking their head and saying "nobody is good at that many things."

        If you produce quality products in multiple niches, you have to use pen names. It's that simple. Not because "anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches" but because most people are too damn stupid to know that you CAN.

        Demanding that people use their real name on all their products in every niche is bad advice. Pen names are used for a reason. We don't live in a world where it's okay for someone to write a book about the history of early christianity and a book about using the tarot to manifest your dreams, but it's entirely possible that someone might be an expert on both.
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        • Profile picture of the author Shoot
          hahaha, I was waiting for someone to mention him. I can name tons more that suck that use real names. But if you really look at who is putting out a majority of the same crap products over and over it comes from the mostly the same people who just spin and twist and release something else under a new name and I would say most never even notice. Maybe I am biased because I know a lot of these chumps.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

            Maybe I am biased because I know a lot of these chumps.
            Stop hanging around with those people. I used to know a lot of them, too. They used to tell me it was the only way to succeed and if I didn't do it myself I would never make any money. And if that's who you're hanging around with, you will start to wonder if maybe they're right.

            But once you get out of that crowd and into a crowd who are honestly dedicated to producing and delivering quality products, you'll start to see just how incestuous the "sell some crap and change your name" group is. There's seriously just something wrong with those people. It's probably something you can look up in the DSM-IV.
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            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          What you are complaining about has NOTHING to do with using pen names. It's people putting out crap. Plenty of people put out crap under their own name for years (Imran Naseem anyone?), and the general public is plenty stupid enough to keep buying it. But if someone like me puts their REAL name on products in a dozen different niches, people start shaking their head and saying "nobody is good at that many things."

          If you produce quality products in multiple niches, you have to use pen names. It's that simple. Not because "anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches" but because most people are too damn stupid to know that you CAN.

          Demanding that people use their real name on all their products in every niche is bad advice. Pen names are used for a reason. We don't live in a world where it's okay for someone to write a book about the history of early christianity and a book about using the tarot to manifest your dreams, but it's entirely possible that someone might be an expert on both.

          What Caliban has said is very true.

          I used to publish only in my own name, and being a person of some intellect, I have diversified interests.

          For years, I had only written about online marketing.

          Then I launched a website where I was selling history books, because to be honest, before the Internet, I was only published as a writer of history.

          I launched my new website about history books with articles about Western U.S. history.

          Then the ugly emails started coming in...

          People were telling me that they read what I wrote, "because I was very insightful about online business." Then they would follow that with, "But if you keep writing about this history crap, I will stop reading what you write, because I don't want to see crap like this!"

          So, the "little-minded people" in my audience forced me to start writing under pen names, because they did not want to see that I was a multi-talented writer. Instead, they wanted what they wanted and nothing else.
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        • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          It's people putting out crap. Plenty of people put out crap under their own name for years (Imran Naseem anyone?)
          Ahahahah this made me lol!

          I am so glad that guy got banned. He rehashed everyone's WSO ever.

          Maybe he should've used a pen name?
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  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    I think the lack of quality and the general distaste for IM in general comes from those who use pen names to release products.
    That's quite a sweeping generalization - and one that's also quite inaccurate. But, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.... :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Id rather purchase a great product with a pen name, than a lousy one with a real name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    If you have built a reputation in one area you need to protect that reputation. I have written and contributed to various academic journals. I have also published some sci-fi and written about graphic novels (a geek, I know).

    People google my real name, especially before conferences and after publications and it keeps things simple to have all my academic work appear under that name and all my other work under other names.

    This is the way most people go about things. Some choose a variation on their real name for each niche/activity and some go for totally different names.

    Some people create entire personas to sell their work. This can be a good or bad thing, depending how it is done. But it's a lot more involved thatn simply chosing a different name for each genre you write about.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!

    Some of us already do that.

    When doing article marketing, I realize that more people will syndicate my stuff if I lead with good quality content.

    I have been published in authority websites with at least 6 of my online "author names" in several niches.



    p.s. Most people who publish crap under pen names publish crap under their own names too.

    The thing is, people who publish good stuff tend to always publish good stuff, and people who publish crap tend to always publish crap.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Most people who publish crap under pen names publish crap under their own names too.
      Well said
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    People do not use pen names so they can slack off. If their work sucks with a pen name it sucks with their real name as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author DreamWarrior
    If the product gives you what you need, and does what it says it will do, then it should not matter what name is on it. Right? Otherwise, why bother spending your hard earned cash if you are unhappy in the first place?

    The other thing could be, if the original owner decides to sell off their product/business/site to someone else, then they won't want their real name associated to it anymore, just in case the new owner runs the item to the ground and their name is associated to it. It would be more profitable when selling the site to keep the product as it is with a pen name (that is if it is making a profit in the first place).
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      There is also the safety issue.

      In some of my niches, there is no way I'd use my real name. Not because I'm ashamed of what I do, but because there are crazy nuts/zealots in the world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I've used several pen names over the years, but have now decided to use my real name. Why? Because i want to launch a consulting business soon. But before i do so, i want my name "branded" on the internet marketing scene.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
    Gotta love the irony. "Shoot" is ranting about pen names and others not using their REAL NAMES.

    You set them straight, Shoot!


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  • Profile picture of the author ronaldmd
    Pen name is common nowadays. What funny is when people sometimes use man's name and sometimes woman's name. Are they crossdresser?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by ronaldmd View Post

      What funny is when people sometimes use man's name and sometimes woman's name. Are they crossdresser?

      Maybe more accurately, a cross writer?
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      • Profile picture of the author Capitalist_Pig
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        Maybe more accurately, a cross writer?
        Sometimes I write with a Cross pen, does that count?
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    I started using a pen name for the same reason many people use pen names, my actual name is hard to remember and if you typed it up on Google, you would find the name of:

    The mayor of New York City over 100 years ago
    Famous Photographer
    Someone who calls AIDs a scam or something
    Famous Producer
    and more

    So if someone is like "Oh, lets look into ______ for consultation" and they Google me, I want them to be actually be able to find me and not information on some dude that went to prison for throwing babies off of roof tops.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Interesting discussion...

    I (we) use our real names online for our businesses. We've never had a reason not to, I guess. I'm still not entirely sure I see any good reasons to do so. One of the commenters above mentioned that his readers preferred that he stay "on topic". I don't see why you can't stay on topic for that particular blog or subject and start ANOTHER blog if you wanted to write about something else...

    Of course, there are those that will use a fake name to hide behind their crappy product launch...but I'm not talking about those guys. I know real people doing real business that see it as a good strategy, but I just don't get it.
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  • Profile picture of the author meltingwaves
    I would never use a pen name. I just think that's silly. Why let a fake person soak up all the credit when you can? Probably confusing to the audience too after a while...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Imagine this...

    Finally, you find a fantastic niche and build a small business around it, all the months, sometimes years, of learning and hard work are paying off... how an online business works is finally starting to click for you.

    So you look for another niche, and then another and another... after months of research and hard work you've built a solid structure for your business, multiple niche sites all doing well.

    Then somebody comes along with more experience and more resources, takes a look at one of your niche sites and thinks "Hey, this niche is HOT. This guys knows what he's doing, I wonder what other niches he's operating in..."

    And before you know it, competition across all your niches has ballooned.

    All because you used the same name on everything you do.

    Paranoid? No, I've seen too many products encouraging this kind of unethical "market research".

    Using a pen name is a sensible layer of protection for your business.

    Originally Posted by londonwarrior View Post

    Some real names just wouldn't suit the products those people want to sell to
    I agree, look at my surname (it's real - but not really suitable for IM).
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  • Profile picture of the author webmazter
    Wow why is it soooooooooooooooo important to know who the product is related to, I agree with some of the above comments who wants to be connected to a product gone sour?

    In all honest -always use a pen name to protect your real name if something goes wrong it will follow you the rest of your internet life.........unless you resurface as a pen name...........like some of these gurus who did burn their names in the past
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  • Profile picture of the author Dreamer333
    So, I have a burning question...what if your business plan includes building authority using a lot of video and webinars? Most of the top guys/gals in the IM niche do "talking head" videos and webinars and at least have their pic on the first few slides to build credibility. How do you handle that if you're using a pen name?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Dreamer333 View Post

      So, I have a burning question...what if your business plan includes building authority using a lot of video and webinars? Most of the top guys/gals in the IM niche do "talking head" videos and webinars and at least have their pic on the first few slides to build credibility. How do you handle that if you're using a pen name?

      Martin Sheen seems to do alright with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
    Originally Posted by Dreamer333 View Post

    So, I have a burning question...what if your business plan includes building authority using a lot of video and webinars? Most of the top guys/gals in the IM niche do "talking head" videos and webinars and at least have their pic on the first few slides to build credibility. How do you handle that if you're using a pen name?
    If the markets/niches are unlikely to crossover, some people use their real pic and pen names, and hope nobody notices.

    You've got the people who do big marketing under their real or pen name, are highly visible, get busted for shady dealings, and come back later with the same picture and face, and make another big marketing venture in another field.

    I could name names, but that goes against the spirit of the forum rules whether or not it would technically go against the rules (I don't have a beef with these gurus, I'm referring to national news stories, but still). [and I'm pretty sure they don't come to this forum either]

    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    Ok, I know why people use pen names (& straw men) so I do not need a lesson about them. I am just simply going off of what I see day to day. I think the lack of quality and the general distaste for IM in general comes from those who use pen names to release products.

    Just about every person who uses there REAL name when doing business will think more about what is being tied to their name. I see TONS of people here (some very successful some not) who use many, many, pen names to be "gurus" or some **** in many niches. WHY? Because they know anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches. So they create a "online" persona that matches what they sell just to sell it. If everyone here HAD to use there real name when doing business I bet 95% of them would drop out of the industry right away.

    So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!
    I do use a pen name. But only on certain items. It has nothing to do with not being willing to tie my real name to the product. It has to do with, my real name is associated with my businesses, my pen name is associated with my published fiction. The fact that I have published fiction has nothing to do with my marketing or other businesses. I don't use one to cross sell to the other.

    Nothing nefarious. Nothing deceptive. It is a long standing commonly acceptable practice that in writing fiction authors may use pen names. I do so, because my non-fiction and fiction are completely independent of one another.
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    • In packaged goods, "name branding" is regularly used to command
      a higher price for a product that is identical inside to one sold under
      a store brand, or "no name brand" right next to it on the same shelf.

      People who have allowed themselves to shop on automatic pilot, that
      is to say, based primarily on "brand names" may routinely pay more
      because they have become complacent consumers, rarely doing any
      research to learn about what they are purchasing and then, deciding
      for themselves about quality.

      Further, I have seen just as many "experts" who have built "big name
      brands" for themselves, begin to rest on their laurels, slacking off on
      quality because they know their legions of fawning, salivating
      "fans" will purchase whatever they put out, regardless of quality.
      So, it can cut both ways!

      I would hope that as consumers of products (of all types), we would
      learn to take responsibility for discerning quality for ourselves,
      regardless of the name on the label.

      Likewise, as product producers, hopefully, we would determine
      that our income is related to the quality of products and services
      we provide, regardless of the name on the box.

      Good discussion!

      -CP, Seepy and Sea Pea (Collectively)
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  • Profile picture of the author weheartcontent
    I'm not an expert marketer or anything, but I'm curious. I really want to know how people with pen names do it. I highly doubt those dating gurus who've slept with so many women are actually using their real names. I know at least one of them who used a pen name. While some are definitely lady killers, I wonder how do the rest who aren't players make it big? Like getting invited to talk shows, doing live webinars etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dreamer333
    Bill and Scott, very good points and thanks so much for your posts. I should have been a little clearer in my question. I personally don't have an issue with creating talking head videos and posting my picture all over the internet (even if I'm using a pen name) but my husband prefers for my safety and his piece of mind that I don't.

    So, I'm trying to respect his wishes and at the same time help my customers feel as though they are dealing with a real person. That's my dilemma. Any thoughts, advice, encouragement on this would be sooo appreciated as it seems to be hanging me up moving forward. :-(
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Dreamer333 View Post

      Bill and Scott, very good points and thanks so much for your posts. I should have been a little clearer in my question. I personally don't have an issue with creating talking head videos and posting my picture all over the internet (even if I'm using a pen name) but my husband prefers for my safety and his piece of mind that I don't.

      So, I'm trying to respect his wishes and at the same time help my customers feel as though they are dealing with a real person. That's my dilemma. Any thoughts, advice, encouragement on this would be sooo appreciated as it seems to be hanging me up moving forward. :-(

      Your husband is a smart man.

      There are a lot of freaks online that could go ape **** because they lust after your image... (There is a warrior here who has that very problem at the moment....)

      There is nothing wrong with using your own face in the video, if you hide your true identity...

      But you have other options too...

      You could:
      • Talk on the videos, but only use still images -- images perhaps purchased from a stock photo site;
      • Hire someone to be the face and voice behind your videos;
      • Don't show a picture of anyone, but only display your logo or other materials;
      • Display a caricature of yourself. (My friend Dan Rinnert does this famously. And I don't think any of us have ever seen his real face.)

      The real importance is the message, not the talking head in the video.
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      Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        pen names have nothing to do with quality.

        I found this thread most amusing...

        :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

          :rolleyes:

          Brilliantly appropriate image!

          This is nearly always the way, though.

          Irony is sometimes the norm: it's typically people clinging to their own anonymity who criticise, cast aspersions, and question the identities of others using their real names.
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          • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            Brilliantly appropriate image!

            This is nearly always the way, though.

            Irony is sometimes the norm: it's typically people clinging to their own anonymity who criticise, cast aspersions, and question the identities of others using their real names.

            thanks!

            and...absolutely. This forum is great, isn't it?
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        • Profile picture of the author sparkmarketing
          Using pen names or aliases makes a lot of sense for all of the above reasons people have mentioned. Early in my writing career I used my middle name for my last name simply because for various reasons I was embarrassed by my real last name (it didn't really hide my identity). The history of literature and entertainment is filled with people using pen names who did not do it to hide behind a false identity so they can produce crap.
          Do some people hide behind pen names in order to scam? I'm sure they do, but the cause of using the fake name is the desire to scam, not the other way around.

          So I would weight in on the side of those who say that it does not follow that using a pen name is a cause of bad quality -- that's just bad logic. It's like saying all dogs have paws, and cats have paws, and therefore cats are dogs.

          But unless I've been totally duped, most of the big name marketers who we can all name have put out quality information products under their real name and used their real picture, so I'm not sure how common this practice is. However, come to think of it, I can also think of some who have said they used aliases in the past, and on forums, and so forth, and maybe they still do and I just don't know it. Either way, it's fine with me.

          BUT the real reason I wanted to comment here was this: I would actually like to know more about how to develop a pen name and identity to develop and sell products in different niches. My reasons are in line with many of the comments above, but more particularly with those who talked about having different personas in different markets that people in one might not consider compatible with another, and for the purposes of the all-watching Google eye, it makes sense to keep your different eggs in different baskets and develop a single brand identity, but also there may be some conflict with not wanting clients or employers to know that I'm, er, moonlighting.

          Any helpful hints?
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by sparkmarketing View Post

            BUT the real reason I wanted to comment here was this: I would actually like to know more about how to develop a pen name and identity to develop and sell products in different niches.

            Any helpful hints?

            I use real first names from the baby name sites, and real last names from Rootsweb.

            I match the two, then run them through Google to make sure I am not adopting the moniker of someone wanted for murder or child molestation.

            I also seek a small footprint name, because I want to see what people are saying about my "author". What I mean by "small footprint" is a name that when Googled has very few positive returns on it.
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            Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
            Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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            • Profile picture of the author Rick Wilson
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              ... I match the two, then run them through Google to make sure I am not adopting the moniker of someone wanted for murder or child molestation.
              EXCELLENT point! heh heh

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          • Originally Posted by sparkmarketing View Post

            Using pen names or aliases makes a lot of sense for all of the above reasons people have mentioned. Early in my writing career I used my middle name for my last name simply because for various reasons I was embarrassed by my real last name (it didn't really hide my identity). The history of literature and entertainment is filled with people using pen names who did not do it to hide behind a false identity so they can produce crap.
            Do some people hide behind pen names in order to scam? I'm sure they do, but the cause of using the fake name is the desire to scam, not the other way around.

            So I would weight in on the side of those who say that it does not follow that using a pen name is a cause of bad quality -- that's just bad logic. It's like saying all dogs have paws, and cats have paws, and therefore cats are dogs.

            But unless I've been totally duped, most of the big name marketers who we can all name have put out quality information products under their real name and used their real picture, so I'm not sure how common this practice is. However, come to think of it, I can also think of some who have said they used aliases in the past, and on forums, and so forth, and maybe they still do and I just don't know it. Either way, it's fine with me.

            BUT the real reason I wanted to comment here was this: I would actually like to know more about how to develop a pen name and identity to develop and sell products in different niches. My reasons are in line with many of the comments above, but more particularly with those who talked about having different personas in different markets that people in one might not consider compatible with another, and for the purposes of the all-watching Google eye, it makes sense to keep your different eggs in different baskets and develop a single brand identity, but also there may be some conflict with not wanting clients or employers to know that I'm, er, moonlighting.

            Any helpful hints?
            As it happens, I just read a very good pen name primer on Kindle, recently (it's not mine).

            Here's the link:Amazon.com: A Writer's Guide To Using Pen Names:...Amazon.com: A Writer's Guide To Using Pen Names:...
            Btw, as an aside, when you go to review a book for the first time on Amazon, what's the first box that pops up for you to fill out? "Set Your Pen Name"! Yet another example of how prevalent and accepted the use of pen names is in the publishing and online marketing world.

            -CP
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            "Better to have gotten off my behind and risk falling on my face, than never to have gotten off my behind at all!"-Carrie's Quote of the Moment
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  • Profile picture of the author Dreamer333
    Sorry, one more clarification...when I go to my competitor's sites to see how they are doing things (not to steal their stuff of course), pretty much all of them use talking head videos so that's why I'm feeling like it will be hard to compete.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlenGeorgeson
    Pen names are awesome. I don't think people use them in order to "hide" their real persona (at least most people). They just do it because they don't want people to know that they are an expert in 5 different niches, because they could lose credibility simply because most people just aren't expert at 5 different things.

    But I mean who says you can't be an expert in 5 niches? You can be an expert in the fitness niche. If you are in the fitness niche, you can be an expert in the weight loss niche. If you are in the weight loss niche, you can be an expert in the nutrition niche. And even if you are an expert in all those niches, you can still be an expert at making money online. And maybe you are even self-developed and good at picking up chicks. I know people that are experts in a lot of different niches. YES THAT'S POSSIBLE!

    Using pen names is the most normal thing in the world IMO. And it can be very useful for marketers.

    Cheers

    Alen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    Ok, I know why people use pen names (& straw men) so I do not need a lesson about them. I am just simply going off of what I see day to day. I think the lack of quality and the general distaste for IM in general comes from those who use pen names to release products.

    Just about every person who uses there REAL name when doing business will think more about what is being tied to their name. I see TONS of people here (some very successful some not) who use many, many, pen names to be "gurus" or some **** in many niches. WHY? Because they know anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches. So they create a "online" persona that matches what they sell just to sell it. If everyone here HAD to use there real name when doing business I bet 95% of them would drop out of the industry right away.

    So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!
    I can only half-agree with what you wrote. I don't think this is a "pen name" issue per se, but a quality issue. So I'm with you on the whole quality thing.

    Do some people hide behind a pen name? Of course. But one doesn't necessarily follow the other. My main point is this: people who put out poor quality are going to do it regardless if they use a pen name or not.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author Deepak Media
    Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

    Ok, I know why people use pen names (& straw men) so I do not need a lesson about them. I am just simply going off of what I see day to day. I think the lack of quality and the general distaste for IM in general comes from those who use pen names to release products.

    Just about every person who uses there REAL name when doing business will think more about what is being tied to their name. I see TONS of people here (some very successful some not) who use many, many, pen names to be "gurus" or some **** in many niches. WHY? Because they know anyone who has a brain knows they cannot be MASTERS of 50 different niches. So they create a "online" persona that matches what they sell just to sell it. If everyone here HAD to use there real name when doing business I bet 95% of them would drop out of the industry right away.

    So if you are going to be using a pen name(s) do yourself and the community a favor and put out the type of product you would want associated with your REAL name!
    Eben Pagan used a pen name for his dating business - David De Angelo. And his products were of top notch quality - changed lives of thousands of people and he made (makes) around 80M$ in sales per year from that range of products alone.

    I do not disagree with you entirely.

    Only the point where you talk about quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
    Two names for you.

    A. N. Roquelare.

    Anne Rice.

    Amazon search A. N. Roquelaure's work. (It just might make you blush!)

    And then try calling Anne Rice a crap writer. Her millions of fans will argue differently.

    But not all of them are going to want to read (or their children to read!) her X-rated version of Sleeping Beauty!

    So there is just ONE example of a GOOD reason to use a pen name. In marketing it's called brand management. It's the reason why there was such an uproar when Mylie Cyrus posed nude. And it's the reason why advertisers paid Tiger Woods so much more than they paid Snoop Dogg to endorse their products, or why certain brands wouldn't touch Mr. Broadus with a 50 foot pole.

    Another advantage for successful marketers using pen names is that they get to keep their secrets to themselves. I mean, it's the internet! Fully searchable. Why should someone give up their most profitable niches for free???
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    IMO, you just need creative pen names that match the content. For example:

    "Under the Bleachers" By I. C. Butts

    or

    "How to Enlarge Your Manhood" by Dick B. Biggs
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  • Profile picture of the author Dreamer333
    Bill, great stuff. Thanks. As long as I'm delivering remarkable value, I should be fine using a pen name and a caricature. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author TopBackBuilder
    Using your real name is seen as unprofessional when it comes to the internet, it gives the general feeling that you aren't smart enough to hide your identity online, so why would they trust your service/product?
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by TopBackBuilder View Post

      Using your real name is seen as unprofessional when it comes to the internet, it gives the general feeling that you aren't smart enough to hide your identity online, so why would they trust your service/product?
      LOL ^^^

      I guess that would depend on what niche you were in, if you ought to be hiding your name.

      Pen names certainly have their place. All depends on your reason for doing it. Ironically, I know many of the gurus who use their real names push crap while they made damn sure their pen name products were top quality.

      Not the sharpest tools in the shed.

      Pen names are great for being a leader of many niches, too - which you can be. I can be a leader (to some lol) in Internet marketing. I can be a leader in the golf niche. I can be a leader in the parenting niche.

      Nothing malicious about it and all the quality is great, but if I used Tiffany Dow for all of them, all of my leader sites competing with one another for my name, that'd be bad and would confuse my target audience.

      What sucks about pen names is that it limits your multi media use a bit. Text is no problem. I can slap a name on there without issue.

      But if someone saw me on a YouTube video as Tiffany Dow, then on a golf video as Julie McMann and then on a parenting video as Sarah Point, it might be bad.

      Tiff
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by TopBackBuilder View Post

      Using your real name is seen as unprofessional when it comes to the internet, it gives the general feeling that you aren't smart enough to hide your identity online, so why would they trust your service/product?
      hmmm, you are kidding me, right?

      what about JohnChow.com, are you going to tell me he's not a smart man? Or the many warriors here who use their real names as their forum ID? You're calling them not smart?

      I AM smart enough to hide my real name online, I just CHOOSE not to.
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