Is it better to use your real name or a pseudonym when blogging?
The blogosphere is split over whether it is better to blog under one’s real name, or under a pseudonym. Some prefer the privacy and anonymity that using a pen name provides, whereas others want to get their real name out there. Whether you decide to blog under a pen name or your real name depends upon many factors.
One of the most important factors to consider is the topic you are choosing to write about. If you are writing about a controversial topic, you may choose to use a pen name to avoid being embarrassed (or even fired) if people you know in real life happen to find your blog. For example, you probably don’t want to write about sexual topics under your real name.
However, if you are writing about topics that closely relate to your professional industry, such as writing about new advances in automotive technology if you are a mechanic (okay, so there might not be a lot of mechanics who have an interest in blogging), it may be beneficial to use your real name.
Using your real name also builds trust with the reader. Readers like to feel like they know the person if they are investing their time in reading their posts. Readers may feel betrayed and lied to if they find out you aren’t actually who you say you are.
By using your real name, you also give your blog some credibility, as you are forced to “own” the ideas and opinions you present in your blog. You have to take some responsibility for what you say if you are using your actual identity.
However, if you are blogging about personal events in your life, you may not want to use any personally identifying information that could allow stalkers to find you or your family. (You would probably be better off not having a “personal” blog, as stalkers would be the only people interested in reading it anyway).
If you feel the need to blog about your boss or your company, you may also want to use a psuedonym (and don’t use the actual company name or the real name of your boss either), as that could get you fired.
If you are blogging to network or to further your career, it is much better to use your real name so that you don’t have to explain the pseudonym later. However, if you are concerned with privacy issues or blogging about sensitive subject matter, you may want to think about using a pen name.