Changing your identity used to exclusively be the province of spies and people in the witness protection program. But in 2016, using a pseudonym doesn’t mean you are running from the mob, it means you probably have a very active internet life. And if you’re a blogger, you might consider a pseudonym for your blog name.
When it comes to putting a name to your blog, you can choose to use your proper full name or a nickname. Your choice depends a lot on your lifestyle and privacy needs, but it also depends on what you blog about.
Blog name option 1: Using your full name
Using your full name for your blog name is important when you want to grow your personal brand or use your blog as a calling card for employers. It also adds an extra layer of connection to your audience if your blog topic is personal to you and your core public identity, or you want it to be associated to your given name in search results.
If your blog deals with community issues, health care, or is at all service-oriented, readers are more likely to trust your advice or information if it is coming from a real, verifiable person.
If you want to become an authority on the subject you are writing about, being transparent about your identity means your name is synonymous with expertise in your field.
Blog name option 2: Using a nickname or pseudonym
Internet culture in general is exceptionally pseudonym friendly. Typically, in addition to the name that you go by in everyday life, you have an email address, a nickname and a variety of usernames. If you are particularly savvy, you probably have private social media accounts set up under pseudonyms for your friends’ eyes only.
Reasons vary from having a common name to concerns of privacy maintenance and online abuse. For writers who blog in “character,” using a nickname that separates your blogging identity from your identity as an actual person is an important way to stay on brand for your readers.
It is also wise to use a nickname for your blog name if the subject of your blog is something you would prefer to not have associated with your full name. For instance, it is best to create a great nickname if you write funny essays about your family that would get you disinherited, your blog is about your wild personal life, or if it is an epic work of fiction that shouldn’t be connected to a real person.
Most importantly, remember that anything you post online — whether it is under your full name or a nickname — will live online forever. Nothing is certain except death, taxes and the eternal life of your internet content.
Search for your domain name
Once you’ve decided on your blog name, it’s time to register the domain. With the above guidelines in mind, search for a domain that’s memorable, unique and easy to spell. If your real name doesn’t meet these three basic criteria for a strong domain name, you might want to look for a pseudonym.