Should I use my real personality?

53 replies
I am planning to go into some niche topics, writing articles and probably selling some products at the same time. I have read that to be successful and recognized as a professionalin the chosen niche you need to use your own name and personality. But what if you have a few niches? Any advice?
#niche #personality #real
  • Profile picture of the author IMVIKING
    why not? if you got nothing to hide, only problem is that it will be forever online and maybe gets you in problems later on
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    If you have a few niches there is nothing wrong with making up another persona for the task. Don't use the personal for a mask to hide behind though, stay true to your niche.

    I would advise using your real name and persona for you main niche though as it will allow you to keep directly connected to your online entity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    I have read that to be successful and recognized as a professionalin the chosen niche you need to use your own name and personality.
    You've been misadvised, there.

    You don't "need" to do that, at all.

    Some people mistakenly imagine that "people will relate to you more easily if you use your real name". The point they're missing, of course, is that those are people who don't have a way of knowing whether or not it's your real name, and if you use a pen-name, to them it will be exactly the same.

    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    But what if you have a few niches? Any advice?
    Like most professional affiliate marketers, I use a different pen-name for each niche, and always have done.

    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    I am planning to go into some niche topics, writing articles and probably selling some products at the same time.
    Good luck - don't try to sell the products in the articles (You weren't going to anyway, but I'm serious: there are people who try to do that! Obviously it doesn't work out too well, because nobody wants to publish their articles apart from a few article directories in which nobody much reads them anyway, and those authors tend to end up with search engine traffic only, which also clearly isn't exactly a recipe for success). :p
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Like most professional affiliate marketers, I use a different pen-name for each niche, and always have done.
      This. I have three niches that I would be willing to use my real name in because 1. I've already used it and 2. Being recognized in it can help with a non-IM career. Other than that, I use a pen name. There are only so many things I can be an expert in before people start going "Hey, how the heck does Joe know about astrophysics, football, and Middle Eastern culture between 1923 and 1941? I'm not buying it."

      Now, you'll get the random trolls who would call this "faking it" and trying to parade yourself as an expert when you don't deserve it. There are certainly people that do that; but it isn't the point of using a pen names (for me at least).
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    If you feel uncomfortable with using a made up personality then you can create a brand, rather than a person. When somone lands on your website they will see a brand name like for example: Kelkoo, earthclinic, Which, you can sell the product under the banner of the brand.

    This can work if you build up your brand, rather than just aiming for an Exact match domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Player87
    I highly suggest you have a personality when writing articles. The only real way you can differentiate yourselves from other writers is your personality. The content could be very similar to other writers who have written reviews.

    People buy from other people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    Listen to Alexa...
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    I am planning to go into some niche topics, writing articles and probably selling some products at the same time. I have read that to be successful and recognized as a professionalin the chosen niche you need to use your own name and personality. But what if you have a few niches? Any advice?
    It depends. For me, if it is a niche I know very well, I use my own name. However, if it is a niche I don't know quite as well and I may be outsourcing the writing, I use a pen name.

    I only use my own name for a handful of niches because I am not an expert in everything, but I do have expertise in a few areas. I certainly have more sites with pen names than my own, however.

    Benjamin
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    • Profile picture of the author robestrong
      You can go one of two ways. You can go the super professional route, or you can be yourself.

      In my experience, going the super professional route works to a point. It works much better if you're part of a company as opposed to just one person. The fact is, I'm not (and I don't think anyone really is deep down) "professional" in my personality. Professionalism is a social and economic construct that only really exists in our minds. It makes business easier, but in any form of community, being yourself tends to play out better. Plus it's easier and more comfortable.

      I've tried both routes. I prefer to be myself. If you're just getting started, by all means try out the professional route until you get comfortable, but sooner or later your professionalism will probably snap, and you'll look silly for having upheld it. If you act like yourself, then you can have opinions about things and no one's going to judge you for it.
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        Definitely use your own name/personality for the site you imagine will be the breadwinner.

        You can even use your real name for more than one site if the are related. Think fitness, diet and boxing as an example of three niche sites where it would be fine to use one name.
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        • Profile picture of the author DeMango25
          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          Definitely use your own name/personality for the site you imagine will be the breadwinner.
          I do the same thing... use your real name for your main niche (most likely the one you're most interested in) and a different alias for other niches.
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            I have always used pen names along with their own uniquely identifiable personas for marketing in dozens of unrelated niches. Particularly in very competitive markets, this technique adds an aura of credibility when making product recommendations based on specialized applications. In effect, your pen name is your brand. This credibility factor may be lost when marketing in a wide variety of unrelated niches using one's own name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony
    I will advise that you use a different pen name for each niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dragontech
    You may see how Eben Pagan becomes David DeAngelo easily.

    It's not a big deal, isn't it?
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  • Sometimes yes, sometimes no. On one of my "make money" product creation sites I spend half the sales pitch telling the customer they're just not good enough to make money with this and it sickens me to tell to people so unworthy using a fake name and a male model/actor.

    Don't put your name on something unless it's your biggest best most amazing launch ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author alamest
    100% I agree, you need to use personality all the time.. see time is more valuable thing in internet, if you use different personality than you will be confused with both things and one day it will come in your mind which one to use..

    As long as if you have not done anything wrong on internet or big than you should always use your name every where as quickly as possible and you need to have your own name .com so it will be very good as well..

    Do not waste time on thinking new name and new account and so.. focus on the thing which you need to do.. I hope this helps..
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  • Profile picture of the author Winston Tenbrink
    Of course you should use your real
    personality! However, you should
    really brand your business in a
    different way, because you need to
    think about the day where you wish
    to sell the business away.

    What will your business be worth
    in the future, and how do you "exit"
    from it?

    -Winston Tenbrink
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Your name can have a much greater effect on people than you likely realize.

    For example, first time I watched David DeAngelos dating seminars I thought "of course he's an italian, because italians rock at seducing women".

    If he used his real name, I would NOT have felt such a close personal tie to his material being italian-american myself.

    When I later found out his real name was "Eben Pagan" I thought he was a sell out for faking his name. Then I considered how many actors don't use their real names, and I watch their movies, so I felt like a hypocrit.

    I think it depends more on whether or not your name makes "sense" to the niche your entering, so a bit of market research can likely help with that.

    -Red
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Then I considered how many actors don't use their real names
      Exactly. It's very, very common.
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  • Profile picture of the author IanGreenwood
    If you're an expert in a particular niche, and you want to be known for that, then I would go along with "yes" use your real name. If you're just selling products, or trying out a niche to see if you can get any traction, then certainly use a pen name.

    One thing I found to my cost was selling a business that has your real name attached to it (rather than a brand or pen name as has been suggested) is fraught with all sorts of legal difficulties. Trying at a later stage to extract your real name and details from a business you're selling is a difficult and protracted process.

    For that reason alone I would always use a pen name that can be sold along with the business. This ability will also make the business more valuable at the time of selling because the "personality" associated with the business can be packaged up and go along with the sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eldon
    I asked this same question to one of the big name guru's - one who is very active and almost everybody has heard of this person. I was told that they use their REAL name, and have never had any problems with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    People don't buy from a name they buy from the relationship they have with that name.
    So there's nothing wrong with using a pen name as long as you're comfortable with it.

    Whatever you do, you have to be confident in it. Otherwise it won't matter what name you use it will come off as fake.
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  • Profile picture of the author tycoonms
    guys like eben pagan and frank kern change their names in niches. I would recommend doing the same, that way you create a personality from scratch and can make yourself look like more of an authority
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    There is no need for you to use your real name unless you are planning to make a name for yourself via video tutorials, trainings etc.

    If you are just making money from adsense or ebooks sales, just use pen names.
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  • Profile picture of the author jimbo159
    Alexa made some very good points. I would take her advice.

    Create a pen name if you don't feel comfortable using your own, and build a relationship with your customers built on honesty and trust. In return, over time you will build a group of loyal readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary336
    Using your real identity makes the audience/customers to feel more connected to you , such they will tend to trust you more and more . But sure if you have some side niche sites you can create your own identity but you'll have to be vigilent so no one can know theral you , that can srly drop you income and your customers
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  • Profile picture of the author Gerald Arno
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    I am planning to go into some niche topics, writing articles and probably selling some products at the same time. I have read that to be successful and recognized as a professionalin the chosen niche you need to use your own name and personality. But what if you have a few niches? Any advice?
    It's always best to create a brand about your own name or company name. I would never recommend to brand yourself around a random name like "unknown898".

    Use your full name as well as a photo of yourself and people will remind you.

    The main reason why people don't use their full name is because they don't think they are worthy of success. The are scared to get the message out and show who they are.

    You need t get rid of that mindset and just do it!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by GeraldGigerl View Post

      The main reason why people don't use their full name is because they don't think they are worthy of success.
      This is opinionated, patronising nonsense. (And it's also pretty rude to huge numbers of Warriors).

      The main reason affiliate marketers in multiple niches usually wisely use a different pen-name for each niche has absolutely nothing to do with that, at all.

      Gerald, if you read some of the many threads here in which this subject's discussed in detail by so many longstanding and successful marketers, who explain exactly what they're doing and why, you might be able to learn something about it, rather than simply regurgitating these meaningless, psychobabble generalizations.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    It would depend entirely on what you are selling and your circumstances.
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
    You could use your real persona if you wish but could also develop a "pen name" for certain niche topics. I know of a guy who operates a very successful natural health blog and he uses a female alias for it. He bought the rights to an image of someone he can use and made up a pen name for it and hasn't looked back. I don't see a problem with either really..
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  • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
    Alexa has nailed it.

    In the event that you want to use pen names then I guess you should check Generate a Random Name - Fake Name Generator and create a randomly generated identity.

    Of course, you need some signatures, right? How about checking this, MyLiveSignature - Creating a signature using the signature creation wizard

    These are just suggestions and it's up to you to decide.

    At first, I dislike the idea of using pen names because I thought doing that will make me a dishonest person. But hey, this is the world of making money online so we need to adapt and use the techniques which are already proven and tested.



    Cheers,
    Louie Tugas
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    Only you know which name is actual and which is not. The question could be whether you use the same nick or different. In those niches you are expert enough, you should use the same as it will certainly be a brand! But where you are not expert it will be better to go with different one to save your long term image.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Your original question (OP) was should you use your same name and personality. I think the question regarding pen names has been answered. There are many good reasons why people choose to use pen names. So it depends on your situation.

    Not as many people have addressed the personality part of the question.

    When I worked as a children's entertainer/magician there were a lot of people I knew who created completely different stage personas. I decided I had enough trouble keeping my one personality in line so I choose not to create a new one.

    However, what I did do was use my own personality and "take it up a notch". My stage persona was more out-going, funnier, and generally less crabby I'm certainly not saying that everyone needs to do this. But for some niches I don't think it hurts to be a little more "out there" then your everyday personality. For niches such as finance you might want to be less "out there" lol.

    My only point is, if you don't want to create a completely different persona, you can tweek your online personality to be a better fit with your niche. I don't mean, "fake it". I just mean add to the personality you already have so you're using it to your best advantage.

    Rose aka Ramblin' Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Not as many people have addressed the personality part of the question.
      I think the personality part is the raison d'etre of using pen names. For example, when writing I always try to match the style most commonly associated with my target reading audience. This includes industry jargon, professional terminology, and even delightfully crude language in the labor trades. Separating these writing styles (or personalities) by using pen names really is an effective technique for branding and establishing a competitive presence in multiple niches.
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      • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
        I personally have a few niches and use a pen name for each of them. I have always done this and I've never had a problem with it. How are they ever going to know my real name anyway?
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      I believe it really comes down to personal choice, and neither using your real name or a pen name is wrong.

      Let's use real life as an example. For instance, I am Terra Kern and am a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a friend, and a business professional in several arenas, etc. No matter what role I am in, I am still Terra Kern.

      However my role as Terra the Wife is completely different than Terra the Friend and acting as a wife in a friendship would be totally inappropriate. I don't allow my children to use Terra, but Mother, or any derivative thereof. I do know mothers who do allow their children to call them by their first names. The choice is personal.

      Now just in my existence, I have my "real name" and "pen names" of sorts and have been called Terra as well as Mother, Wife, Sister, Writer, Teacher, Counselor, etc.

      Whether I go by Terra or by a "pen name", still doesn't change who I am. The choice is personal whether I go by my "real name" or a "pen name" in any facet of my life and the same should be true on line as well.

      The choice is completely personal in what an individual believes will be most beneficial in that particular role.

      Uh, I hope that makes sense, lol! It made perfect sense to me.

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    You've gotten some excellent advice from some smart people here. A logo/brand (or name for that matter) is just a sign nailed onto a lobby wall or printed on a business card -- it's the people behind it that makes a relationship worthwhile. I tend to worry more about how the flower smells and not what they call it.

    As Alexa pointed out, being real has a lot more to do with what you are than what your name is.

    Regards,
    jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    Terra, your analogy was spot on in my opinion. Different hats to wear; but still the same person at the end of the day.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by Joe Robinson View Post

      Terra, your analogy was spot on in my opinion. Different hats to wear; but still the same person at the end of the day.
      Thanks Joe!

      I think the perfect quote to sum it up would be, "A rose by any other name would would smell as sweet." ~ William Shakespeare

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

        Thanks Joe!

        I think the perfect quote to sum it up would be, "A rose by any other name would would smell as sweet." ~ William Shakespeare
        I can't argue with that Rose
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        • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
          Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

          I can't argue with that Rose
          In your case Rose, the quote would be, "She, whom we call Rose, by any other name would be as sweet."
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

        I think the perfect quote to sum it up would be, "A rose by any other name would would smell as sweet." ~ William Shakespeare

        Terra
        To put this quote in its proper context taken from "Romeo and Juliet":

        "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
        Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
        Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
        And I’ll no longer be a Capulet...
        ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
        Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
        What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
        By any other name would smell as sweet
        ;
        So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
        Retain that dear perfection which he owes
        Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name ..."


        Julie sez, don't use your real name.
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        • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          To put this quote in its proper context taken from "Romeo and Juliet":

          "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
          Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
          Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
          And I’ll no longer be a Capulet...
          ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
          Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
          What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
          By any other name would smell as sweet
          ;
          So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
          Retain that dear perfection which he owes
          Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name ..."


          Julie sez, don't use your real name.
          Well, that's part of it, indeed. The other part would be...because your real name has a bad reputation or negativity attached to it, but I know the man behind the name and he is not as others perceive him.

          She wouldn't have told him not to use his real name if it carried honor and admiration, so it goes back to personal choice depending on the benefits of using a real name or pen name in a given situation.

          Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Wow, Paul. You really can write in any style for any audience.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Aswad
    For different niche, you should use different pen name.

    Let say you have problem with one of the niche, the negative feedback will not effect you on the different niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author eman1
    I would suggest that you use a different pen name in each niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author larry1113
    Originally Posted by Playwerks View Post

    I am planning to go into some niche topics, writing articles and probably selling some products at the same time. I have read that to be successful and recognized as a professionalin the chosen niche you need to use your own name and personality. But what if you have a few niches? Any advice?
    Hey you don't have to use your own personality for every single niche.

    But whatever personality you do use should be congruent meaning it should stay consistent.

    Take a look at Jason Better the cartoon spokesperson for BetterNetworker.com.

    Jason Better is a fictional character who is actually the combined personalities of each of the site's creators.

    But Jason Better's personality is consistent in all his communication.

    If you are going to use the same personality for each niche then just have a different pen name. No big deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lawless
    Hi Playwerks,

    If you are working on multiple niches, then I suggest you use your real name/personality in your main site (it's the site that you are passionate about).

    For your other niche sites, focus on building the brand.

    When people say that you should use your real name/personality, it means that you have to humanize your website or in other words put a human touch into it. It doesn't entirely mean that you should put your real name in there. There are tons of websites out there that were created and managed by software and people tend to get away from those.

    Just by putting your name at the end of every article or in the about section doesn't really mean that your website looks more human. I believe that's not the case. What makes the website more human like is the way you show value to your readers, the way you write the articles and the way you engage with your readers and subscribers.

    That's the point of all this Google updates right? - to penalize those websites that are just filled with crap.

    Just my thoughts
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  • Profile picture of the author David Sneen
    Playwerks, Use a pen name if you like. Use it consistently if you want to get branded.

    As for a made up personality. That sounds like hogwash!!! Who are you going to be? You can be only you. That doesn't mean that you refrain from developing your personality and seeking to keep your readers entertained. Find the humorous you and the story-teller you.
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    that determines what you will be able to
    do when everyone is watching.
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  • Profile picture of the author virtu
    Yes, I followed the folks. Use the real name in main site (or self-branding site) and use others pen-name for others sites. I think it'll works!

    CMIIW,
    virtu
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  • Profile picture of the author JPBailey
    You've gotten some good answers here and a nice mix of opinions that you can take in and weigh for yourself.

    Personality is a must - yours or your pen name's; remember it's a choice.

    Also, depends on the niche - if you are blogging and writing articles in a niche that is 'personal' you may want a pen name. If you are running a business you may want a business name and use your real name. You may do both if you want. Up to you.

    Look at the purpose and intention for each niche/pen name - there's nothing wrong with a pen name if that frees you up to write better, and there's nothing wrong with developing a personna that goes with it.

    It might be a good idea to flesh out your pen name by describing it's personality in detail on paper and re-read it every time you step into that 'role'.

    Good Luck!

    JP
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    • Profile picture of the author brillbranding
      I have two niche sites where I sell handbags. Since I am a male, I made up a personality called "Sarah Lee". Who wants to buy a handbag or get a recommendation from a guy in that area!? Someone mentioned to me that I ought to try and I have seen a small sales increase since doing so. I do feel a little "shady" about doing so, but it has helped the bottom line.
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