Should you use your real name on writing sites, or not?

Although it is a very personal choice whether to use your real name or not, there are specific reasons why I choose to always use my real name. I have been writing online for many years, and have always used my own name rather than a pen name. There are pros and cons for each.

Using a pen name gives one a sense of anonymity. One may feel that there are certain privacy concerns that can be avoided by using a fake name. This is true, but only partially. The fact is, anyone with enough computer savvy can find out who you are regardless of what name you use on any given site. Still, if the plan is to only write short, journal-like posts, without future expectations other than payment for these posts, then it may be best.

For those who have written for years, or plan to write extensively, especially if those articles or posts contain some expertise, then using your real name establishes authorship. There was a time, just a couple of years ago, when one could Google my name and there were literally pages of listings of my online work. Ah, those were the days! In any event, this is true for many of my fellow online writers. Using your real name would also come in handy should you ever decide to write a book.

A following, such as this site has, can literally follow you to other sites. For instance, those who wrote for Squidoo often followed each other to Hubpages, as well as other sites. The “friends” you make on one site usually get to know the style of your writing, as well as the types of topic about which you write.

There is no right or wrong answer here. It is a choice that should be made thoughtfully, and with consideration.


  1. Ople Dulnuan

    You’re correct. Sometimes when you’re writing good articles using your real name, you might accidentally land to a better wrting career. I’ve seen some.

  2. Sandy KS

    I tend to use a screen name while writing online. Why? Having an estranged husband who has stalked me. Privacy has nothing to do with it. Safety for myself was my concern. Since, he is the one who shot and disabled me.

    He started by going through my list of friends asking people how they knew me and all kinds of questions. He had no business asking.

    1. Sandy KS

      That is why I stick with the same username when I can. That way people who know me, can find me.

  3. Marie Edgerly

    I would most likely use my real name when writing articles. But may use an pen name if I was to write an book or kindle ebooks. I know a lot writers do that as well.

  4. Ceci

    I do agree with you, there is no wrong or right answer. there are always pros and cons, just matter of personal choice.

  5. Vinaya

    I am using my real name, I think you should use your real name on writing site. It is a matter of pride to call yourself a writer

  6. Logix

    You made a valid point.
    Though I never use my real name. In fact, when I join any site, I pre – decide what am I supposed to do there. Then I choose a username which is in accordance with what I thought. This way, I remember my goal as it is clear and in front of me.

  7. Ruth Cox

    Agreed, no right or wrong answer to the name we use as writers. I pretty much use my real name now, along with my sunny nickname… abitosunshine.

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