Is it wrong to use a pen name and fake pic for article marketing?

14 replies
Ok, I'm a newbie. Well, to clarify, I'm a newbie who has been struggling with IM off and on for over 8 years and who has spent a gozillion dollars trying to figure all this out (I've learned so many ways not to do things). Until I make money...I'm a newbie.

So, I've decided to start doing article marketing to promote affiliate products. I don't want to use my real name and picture for this purpose though, because my main passion in life, which I am also trying to figure out how to pursue online, is in a music career.

I plan on building a website with my actual name as the domain, and doing youtube videos to promote some of my demo songs in hopes to get a music career going...somehow.

If I am promoting affiliate products and doing article marketing, I don't want to have my real name/pic out there for that. Example. If I am promoting a hemorrhoid cure product through CB, I don't want someone watching a youtube video of me promoting my music, and then typing in my name to see the article I wrote about hemorrhoids. Things on the net...stay on the net...forever.

I've read a couple of threads on this and I know some people do it. I know there are conflicting views on it. I don't intend to be dishonest in any way, but I'd rather keep my IM adventures separate from the pursuit of my main goal, which is music, which will have my real name/pic shown everywhere.

So, is it wrong to use a pen name and fake pic for article marketing/blogs/websites/affiliate marketing purposes? Can this get someone in trouble?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Anthony (real name)
#article #fake #marketing #pen #pic #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    Consider the following advice...
    pen name advice - Google Search

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  • Profile picture of the author mike_h58
    My advice...

    It all depends on the purpose of your article marketing and your long term plan.

    Generally speaking, pen names are recommended, but fake pictures should be avoided; when your scope is to become an authority in one area, by all means use always the same name.

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  • Profile picture of the author activetrader
    It depends on your goals. If you want to become a recognized authority in your field then you should use your name and a pic. But like you said, you dont, so there is nothing wrong with using a pen name. People have various reasons for not using a real name. Some people want privacy, some may be concerned about personal security, etc.


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  • Profile picture of the author jayden.fellze
    Using pen names is ok, but fake pix? well, it depends upon your goal and the owner of the pix as well. If you are using pix from other person you don't know, you can really get in trouble, but for someone let's your friend/relative, then I think there's nothing wrong about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Hi Anthony..

    I've always used pen names for article marketing.. never a picture though.. I'm not sure how you would best go about that..

    I've always avoided using a pic when I am writing in a pen name.



    Bare Murkage.........

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  • Profile picture of the author magneticweb
    Hello Anthony,

    There's nothing wrong with a pen name. Many prolific writers use a number of them all the time for various reasons.

    As to a different pic, that's not so clear-cut. You may get into trouble if you use someone else's without their permission. How about just using no pic at all, or using an avatar, as many contributers and writers do?
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  • Profile picture of the author Thamisgith
    Online or offline, there's nothing wrong with a pen name. There are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons why you might want to use one. Not sure about the fake pic though.

    Best Regards,


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  • Profile picture of the author daj
    I disagree with most of the viewpoints on this topic. I personally like it when people keep it real, use their real name, have actually used the products they're selling, and aren't trying to hide anything.

    Why would it bother you if someone who listens to your music, found out you wrote an article about hemorrhoid cream? You have nothing to feel ashamed about, as many people suffer from that problem, and by keeping it real, it may help others actually talk about these issues and be opened about it.

    Also if a product bothers you so much, that you feel the need to use a fake name to sell it, maybe you shouldn't be bothering with selling it. Maybe sell products that are more on your level. Such as music related products perhaps?
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    • Profile picture of the author spider222
      Thank you everyone for your comments/opinions. In response to Daj, while I respect your opinion, my viewpoint is not that there is anything to be ashamed of by selling other products such as CB products, but simply when it comes to my music, that is a lifetime pursuit and something very personal which literally opens me up to the world.

      People online can be extremely cruel. Simple as that. I have spent a lot of time, money, and effort trying to learn about how to find a niche and market it. It is my goal to market products in several niches. It is not that the products I may choose bother me, but I consider that a separate business which I would not want to interefere with my music goals. Two separate things, which I want to keep separate.

      Although I will agree with the others, a fake pic is a bad idea/unethical. I'll just use no pic. It is not my intention to be deceptive in anything I do - in any way. Discretion is probably a better word.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohanFourie
    I have also thought about it, but in the end - who cares? Do what you feel comfortable with.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Kingston
      I would like to ask posters that if it is OK to hide behind a pen name then why they feel it is unethical to not use a fake pic.

      The deception is the same. It's not you.

      IMO if you are using a pen name then using a pic is fine (ie has the same level of ethics) as long as you have rights to the picture.

      Whatever you do you have to be comfortable with and if you provide exactly what you say you are providing then no-harm-no-foul.
      Action Slider WSO - Slide Up Ad Plugin for WP
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    • Profile picture of the author bombdiggity
      No, I don't think so. Stephen King used the pen name Richard Bachman when he wrote some of his early novels. Was that wrong? Was he deceiving anyone? No. No one really has to know who you are. The pen name and picture that you'll use will be the product or website's 'persona'. It's an image.

      I think if it's anything long-term, like if you're really passionate about it and want to make a long lasting business out of it, then you should use your own name and picture. If you're just going to be doing bum marketing or something like that, then what's the problem? The article sites allow you to use pen names anyway.

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  • Profile picture of the author yzal
    I agree with Dave, fake pics are fine... just make sure they are royalty free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Michael Green runs the "How to" internet marketing forum. I
    forget his real name but he is a British member of parliament,
    and he seems to think it is ok. I've also read a couple of times
    that he is pretty open about it too. If he is introduced to
    someone as Michael Green he will usually tell the person that
    it is just an internet alias and that his real name is (whatever
    the heck it is).

    But then, he doesn't sell hemorrhoid cream. (Just kidding.)

    best wishes, lloyd
    ....( )/ ( )...

    Do something spectacular; be fulfilled. Then you can be your own hero. Prem Rawat

    The KimW WSO

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