Is having a "Pen" Name ok for building authority?

25 replies
hey folks,

I was hoping to hear some opinions from everyone on this.

Let's say your real name just sounds very unappealing or it's such a common name that it doesn't stand out in the crowd and you want to become an authority on a certain subject. Is it ok to create a pen name that sounds cool and looks like your real name and use that name throughout the internet to establish your online presence?

I find this very interesting to discuss.
#authority #building #pen
  • Profile picture of the author Dennisknows
    I would think so. You really have to drill it in there though.. I don't know if you've heard but Eben Pagan is Known as "David Deangelo" in the relationship niche and he's quite successful with it.

    Many marketers use it. It's a great way to either protect your own name or cover up a distasteful name.

    I have a few for projects I do.

    Hope that helps.. Best of luck
    Signature
    "May the optimism of your tomorrow fuel your drive for today"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095540].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author zenman108
      great answer!

      now the questions arises, would you use the same name on WF, your blog on an IM niche, other forums related to IM and sources for other things?

      I would think yes.. In that way you become known, unless you want to hide yourself somewhere and have people not to connect the dots in some way..

      What about that?
      Signature
      "Everything is revealed in a still mind"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095553].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JDub07
    I've always thought best to go with real name but I don't think it really matters.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095565].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MN Warrior
    Its better to have a pen name slandered than your legal name. People will think you're more of a private person if you use a pen name, most likely... and some people might think of you as more sketchy if you do as well.

    I'd prefer to use a pen name.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095575].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Trevor M
    Using a pen name is perfectly fine.

    There are many marketers that do this if they're involved in more than one niche and want to use a different name for each one.

    People also use them if they think they would be more successful in a niche being the other gender.

    For instance, if a man wanted to start a blog about the 'parenting' niche he may want to use a female name. This may help mothers (mothers being his targeted audience) feel more comfortable and relate to the writer.

    In summary... yes, pen names are perfectly fine to use.

    Hope this helps.

    - Trevor
    Signature

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095635].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      I think using a pen name is fine. However I wouldn't use a female name if you're a male (and vice versa). For me that's being misleading.

      CatchHimAndKeepHim.com (another venture from Eben Pagan) is a good example of a male giving female relationship advice.
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095683].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randohm
    In today's world of of chronically offended citizens a pen name is a smart thing to do. You'll offend someone if you wish someone else a merry Christmas and they overhear you. If you purchase a product from a business that supports a presidential candidate other don't like you could end up all over the news media with negative press. If you donate to a charity that a special interest group doesn't like you could end up in trouble in some way. Be careful out there.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095672].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Ever heard of Mark Twain?

    Think that was his real name?

    There's your answer...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095823].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by J Bold View Post

      Ever heard of Mark Twain?

      Think that was his real name?

      There's your answer...
      Cassius Clay and Muhammad Ali. : )
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095874].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mlord10
      Originally Posted by J Bold View Post

      Ever heard of Mark Twain?

      Think that was his real name?

      There's your answer...
      You beat me to it! Right when I say the title of this thread this was the example I was going to use!

      There also may be times where you are in a niche and you do not want your real name associated with the niche...for instance Travis Sago (The Bum Marketing Method Guy) has the pen name "TW Jackson" for a product that he has in the relationship niche.

      I definitely think it is smart to use separate pen names if you plan on create brands in a variety of different niches.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6391684].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I use a different pen name for each niche I'm in.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6095986].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by zenman108 View Post

    Is it ok to create a pen name that sounds cool and looks like your real name and use that name throughout the internet to establish your online presence?
    Louis Szekely was a great comic, but nobody could pronounce his name. He used to tell them it's pronounced "see-kay." Like the letters C and K.

    Now he just bills himself as Louis C.K. Last year, he became the first comic ever to release a self-produced, independently marketed, DRM-free concert video on his own website... the same as any of us might do it ourselves. It broke $1 million in sales in less than two weeks.

    What do you think? Sound okay to you?
    Signature
    "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
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6096163].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Using a pen name is smart, as long as it is not obviously fake. Readers like to get to know the people who are on the other end of the screen. It's not necessary at all to use your real details, but you should be consistent and personal nonetheless.

    A good pen name, as people above have mentioned, can really help your cause. Think what kind of a name would sound cool to your target audience, and then go for it.
    Signature

    >>>Get your websites ACTUALLY ranked by checking these out: Quantum SEO Labs, Home Page Link Building & SERP Ability. Want to get rid of negative listings? Check out Reputation Enhancer.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6096235].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Muhsin Aziz
    It depends on your niche actually. But having a pen name helps if you are in different niches. Who knows you might be in the adult niche but you dont really want to be known as the expert in bed.etc. In that kind of situation, a pen name would be idea.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6391612].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author peewhy
    Pen names are as old as the hills and if used properly without abuse or sharp practice, they are perfectly acceptable
    Signature
    Marketing & Promoting Websites Since 1994 www.wsoWhich.com for open and honest WSO reviews
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6391786].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author denologis
    using a pen name or a real name is your choice, there are so many different idea and suggestion.
    Signature
    Just Scammed by Bob Stephan / Leonardo Cattani aka KickAss Marketing LOL!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392084].message }}
  • Using a Pen Name is quite alright. If you want it to become a real "Brand" though, you have to use it as much as possible to really let it be known.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392107].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author quercus5
    Pen names are fine, as long as you build true relationships with people. Remember that WF members are people behind the screen names, as are customers. If you can still connect with them under a pen name, go for it!
    Signature

    FREE WSO Ebook: Offline Marketing Vault ($17 Value): Download Here

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392769].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nick Copy
    I have no problem connecting using my pen name.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6399689].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CPAGodFather
    yes, of course pen name is fine!

    many authors use it and so should you! (if you want to)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6399698].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    Here's a cool bit of trivia about pen names...

    Many countries (not the USA) have something called "moral rights" as part of copyright law. Essentially moral rights concern an author (or other artist's) right to their name and reputation in their creation.

    In Canada, part of an author's "moral rights" is the RIGHT to use a psuedonym (aka a pen name).

    In other words, the right of an author to use a pen name is so important and recognized that it is entrenched in law!
    Signature

    -- Find blues festivals around the world at the bluesmusicfestivals.com directory and jazz festivals at jazzmusicfests.com.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6400176].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sanjx01
    It really is up to you at the end of the day.

    If you want to use one - then use one.

    If you don't want to use one - then don't

    The main reason people use pen names is to maintain the expert status in different niches.

    I have a friend who is an expert in the finance field online, and also with webinars.

    For each niche this person uses different names.

    Again - up to you. Think about what your long term game plan is and see if it makes sense.

    Hope that helps!

    ~S
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6400996].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rojak Moon
    No problemo using a pen name in my opinion.

    Rojak Moon ;-)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6402357].message }}

Trending Topics