This guest post is by Phil (not his real name) of somehighschoolblog.
It used to be impossible to run a business anonymously. Sure, some authors could pull it off, but if you worked at an office, what were you supposed to do? Go to work with a bag over your head? But today anyone can accomplish this, because anyone can author a blog (and you thought I was going to tell you to work with a mask on, or something).Depending on your motives, you may or may not have considered blogging anonymously. You probably didn’t contemplate blogging anonymously if:
• your only motivation is to become “famous”
• your blog connects to another part of your life
• you are blogging to build more connections with your friends or boss.
You should consider blogging anonymously if:
• you’re planning on touching on a sensitive or taboo subject
• you don’t want to be identified with your blog
• you are worried about negative real-world consequences that could arise from your blog.
If you’ve already started your blog, it is too late to change to an anonymous persona (but you can always create another blog). However, if you are thinking of blogging anonymously, you should consider these points.
Reasons to blog anonymously
The concept of anonymity has always held a special enchantment for some people, and, for others it is purely practical. Whatever your blog topic, there are a five strong reasons to blog anonymously.
If no one knows the “real you,” then they can’t tell you, in person, any thoughts they have on your blog. This means that no one will be able to make fun of, disagree strongly with, or ask to be featured on (using peer pressure) your blog. If your blog is a total flop, you won’t be publicly embarrassed.
While I wouldn’t advise disregarding your manners and morals, you don’t have to worry about close acquaintances or family members being offended by your posts.
A fresh start
Creating an anonymous identity also allows you to create a new character, if you so choose. Let’s say you are working full-time as an auto mechanic, but you are trying to create a blog on entrepreneurship. Your readers might not think you could be an authority on this subject as an auto mechanic, but an anonymous identity removes this doubt.
Instead, you could create a back-story to fit your blog; for this case, it could be something about how your latest entrepreneurial project is to build a blog anonymously.
You’re shy or unsure
Were you one of those people who is unwilling to put yourself on a blog for all to see, you should choose to blog anonymously. This way, you can hide behind a fake identity and not worry about what others think (similar to there being no pressure). You could also use anonymity to discover how people will react to your content before associating yourself with your content.
It’s a gimmick
Blogging anonymously might fit your content. For example, if you were to start a blog involving content that you received anonymously. Also, blogging anonymously places a shroud of mystery around the author and limits your personality to how you network and write your blog.
Additionally, you could make it into a marketing scheme, such as offering to reveal your true identity after reaching a certain number of subscribers.
Reasons not to blog anonymously
As an anonymous blogger who uses a pseudonym, I’ve been able to experience many of the negative aspects of choosing to remain anonymous firsthand. However, I have not yet encountered any one thing that was impossible to work around or ignore, so I have remained an anonymous blogger.
It’s harder to build traffic
Some of the initial things that many blogs recommend new bloggers do to build traffic cannot be done anonymously, and, thus, must be ignored or adapted to anonymity. For instance, many of the tips here and around the web encourage you to put your link in your email signature.
The only thing I use my anonymous e-mail address for is my blog, so this is redundant (it would be odd to have it in my real email). Also, linking to your blog from your Facebook page or Twitter account ruins your anonymity.
And, while you can (hopefully) trust your family not to share your blog’s identity, you can’t tell your friends or acquaintances to check out your blog and to spread the word, which is a great initial traffic builder.
This is the exact opposite of “No Pressure,” but depending on what type of person you are, blogging anonymously could actually be more stressful than blogging as yourself.
You have to constantly watch yourself to make sure your anonymous identity never reveals your true identity (even in something as simple as signing your name to an e-mail) and vice-versa. Often, extra measures must be taken to ensure anonymity, and, while I won’t delve in to all of those, you must always check when giving any real information that it is not easily accessible.
Take this into account when creating user profiles for services or when registering a domain name (but you can choose to keep your information private for an extra $10 in this case).
No real-life connection
Since you can’t tell your friends about your blog, you can’t ever reference your blog in conversation.
You will need to depend on the digital world for feedback, and there will be no “Did you like my last post?” conversations. Instead, you will have to rely entirely on comments to gain a sense of how your readers feel about your blog.
The truth always appears
In such an interconnected society, if enough people put effort into it, they will discover your true identity. If/when this happens, you need to consider whether or not your readers will feel betrayed or angry towards you. You should consider this even if you plan on going public with your identity yourself at some point.
Feeling a loss of accountability
Many people think blogging anonymously protects them from whatever they write, so they are incredibly rude, untruthful, or worse. You should always know that people can find your true identity, and it is just plain useless to write this way. After all, no one will want to read it.
Furthermore, though, (and I can attest to this) it may sometimes be easier to excuse not posting for an extra few days, or not pursuing a guest-posting opportunity, because no one holds you accountable but yourself (no inquiries from friends or family). Therefore, you must be responsible and motivated to successfully blog anonymously.
Should you blog anonymously?
While there are both pros and cons to blogging anonymously, I feel that the negatives don’t outweigh the positives in certain situations. Each blogger is different, but, in my case, it is the lessened pressure combined with the creation of a new character that led me to blog anonymously.
Also, because it is harder to build initial traffic with previous connections, I think it is more challenging to build an anonymous blog (therefore, any experienced bloggers looking for a new project should try building a blog with an anonymous persona, disregarding any previous connections they’ve accumulated).
Do you have any experience, or advice for those thinking of blogging anonymously?
Using the pseudonym of Phil, Phil is a high school freshman who writes for, markets, and manages a humor blog about all aspects of high school life. Phil is unsure of what career he wants to pursue, but a few possibilities can be found here.