You can be successful blogging anonymously, but you need to know how to promote your site without using the traditional methods
One of the oldest problems in blogging is how much to share about your personal life and whether it's better to blog anonymously.
Most of the bloggers I know share their real name, share on their social media accounts and let readers into their personal lives…sometimes sharing way too much.
That sharing and the sense of community it can build goes a long way in growing a blog and making money.
But what if you don't want to share personal details? What if your blog topic is about something you haven't discussed personally with friends and family, but you feel strongly about it and want to be heard?
You can be successful as an anonymous blogger, and you can make money.
Anonymous blogging means keeping an eye on all the common blogging mistakes but also watching out for stuff specific to hiding your identity. We'll highlight why you might want to blog anonymously and how to get started before digging into some details on how to make your anonymous blog a success.
Can You Blog Under a Fake Name?
There are several reasons you might want to blog anonymously, including:
- Conflicts with work
- Talking about touchy subjects
- Expressing yourself more fully
Quite a few anonymous bloggers I know do so because they would otherwise not be allowed to by their employer. This situation might be something like an investment analyst running an investing blog when their employer doesn't want them competing for clients or talking about investments outside the office.
Of course, all this begs the question, Can you blog under a fake name? How do you connect with people without sharing your personal life? Do you use a fake name that is obvious or one people don't even know is fake?
The biggest reason I hear for anonymous blogging is privacy and related safety concerns, especially with financial bloggers. One of the biggest names in personal finance isn't a name at all but a pseudonym. J Money has been blogging anonymously for nearly a decade and even shares his net worth with readers.
While I haven't heard any stories of bloggers being targeted for financial or other crimes because they posted their real names, social media trolls are a constant threat. These people have nothing better to do than to harass bloggers on social media, leaving hateful comments and remarks. Being an anonymous blogger can help shield you from it personally. However, they'll still go after your blog name.
Another important reason to blog anonymously is when you're talking about sensitive issues or something you haven't shared with friends or family.
There are some issues that people might be ashamed, scared of, or embarrassed to talk about, but that doesn't make them any less important. I see a lot of blogs around emotional topics like rape, suicide, drug, and domestic abuse run by anonymous bloggers.
J is actually the exception among anonymous bloggers I've talked to in the blogger community. His pseudonym is obviously fake, but most bloggers choose a common-sounding name for their anonymous blog. They might even use their picture and authentic experiences in the blog.
The idea is that even successful blogs might only get a couple hundred thousand visitors a month, so the odds of someone you know finding your anonymous blog are pretty low. By blogging under a fake name, nobody will find it by searching your real name. You'll still be able to connect with people on that deep, emotional level because you're sharing real-life stories…just under a different name.
I'm looking forward to interacting more with the Work from Home community through video this year. It's an excellent opportunity to answer your money questions more personally. I'm challenging the community this year with three goals; beating debt, making more money, and making your money work for you!
How to Start an Anonymous Blog
Blogging anonymously doesn't mean you must create a new personality or lie about yourself. Most of the anonymous bloggers I know share everything about themselves but keep their real names a secret. So the blog still gets that personal feel, but they don't have to worry as much about privacy problems.
Other anonymous bloggers share nothing about themselves. The blog is strictly informational, and it's tough to build a sense of community, but there are ways to make it work.
Blogging anonymously will mean a few extra steps to setting up your blog.
1) Spend time thinking about your blogging name and what you'll share. This name will be the ‘person' that creates a community around your blog, so don't neglect writing out a profile. One of the easiest ways to anonymously blog is to create a real-sounding name and let that be the only thing you change about yourself.
2) You'll want to create a new email account you can use to register your blog and hosting.
3) When you set up your hosting account, you'll need to check the box for Domain Privacy Protection. This privacy protection costs $0.99 a month extra on Blue Host but will keep your name from appearing in WHOis.net and other web directories.
4) Set up your anonymous social media profiles for the blog. You can convert your public profiles into anonymous ones but this involves a lot of blocking and changing privacy settings. I suggest you create all new profiles associated with your anonymous email account.
Managing your anonymous blog doesn't get any easier after setting it up. First, you'll need to read through every post before publishing to ensure you're not giving up any details that can point you out. These details include where you live, physical characteristics, personal stories, and little quarks that make you unique.
Can You Make Money from an Anonymous Blog?
We'll look into some ways to make money on an anonymous blog in a bit, but I wanted to get this question out of the way now. You can DEFINITELY make money on your anonymous blog or under a fake name.
Remember J Money? He made millions on his two blogs in the years after we met (and several years before). He sold his two blogs last year for another seven-figure payday.
Some of the best ways to make money with an anonymous blog include,
- Sponsored posts – companies you work with will know your name but never disclose it.
- Affiliate marketing
- Self-publishing under your fake name. Writers have used pseudonyms for centuries.
- Advertising on your blog with Google or other networks.
Promotion for Anonymous Blogging
Building traffic to an anonymous blog is more difficult because you can't rely on friends or family for sympathy shares.
When I started blogging, I think my mom was the only one reading the posts. Unfortunately, not getting that first little push from your network means you'll need to look for other ways to get your blog out there.
Not having this push will make guest posting all the more important. We've talked about guest posting as a way to boost your ranking on Google, but it's also an excellent way to build traffic back to your website.
Understand, though, that click-through rates on guest post links are only around four or five out of every 100 readers, so you'll need to do a lot of guest posting to get meaningful traffic. Aim to write one guest post a week for your first year, and you'll slowly grow your blog and search ranking.
You might rely more on social media advertising to build your following. This advertising means promoting posts on Facebook for your first few months to get that initial group of 100 likes. These likes typically come from your existing personal network but can be earned with a bit of ad spending.
Remember to exclude the locations where people might recognize you when advertising on social media.
Don't get discouraged when your anonymous blog doesn't grow to 10,000 visitors overnight. That doesn't happen with any blog. Give it at least a year, and your traffic from Google will start to grow, and you'll build your social community.
How to Make Money on an Anonymous Blog
There's basically no difference between anonymous blogging when it comes to making money if the only thing anonymous is your actual name. You'll still be able to share personal details and stories that create a sense of trust and drive sales of affiliates and your products.
You might be limited from a few money-making strategies like video courses and selling products through webinars.
It depends on how far you want to push your anonymity. There are nearly three billion internet users out there. So if you're not sharing on your social profiles, the risk of someone you know seeing your picture or video is pretty low.Among the nine best strategies to make money blogging, you'll still have access to self-publishing, affiliates, and even selling your own products as an anonymous blogger. Self-publishing will be a little more difficult because you won't be able to promote your books to friends and family, but it can still bring in several hundred a month for each book.
Check out all nine money-making strategies with Make Money Blogging. The books details the nine strategies I use to make money, starting with the easiest and working through the income sources that make thousands a month. Each chapter walks you through how much you can make and how to set it up on your blog.
How to hire help for your blogs
Of course, you can't just hire anyone to help you write your blogs. The audience you have spent years building has already connected with you on a level that someone will have to very strategically study and mimic if given the job of taking over some or all the copywriting. In my opinion, you must find a writer who seamlessly fits into your business by aligning with your values and brand voice. Additionally, you need to ensure that the individual you are hiring for content writing is knowledgeable on the topic.
There are a few questions I ask myself before hiring any employee. Then, in order to hire them, I require that every box be checked as a “yes.”
- Is the individual knowledgeable on the topic they will be producing content for?
- Does the individual have a similar writing style to me?
- Has the individual pursued similar work in the past? Do they have a proven track record of past results?
- How long has the individual been writing or working in the field for? Do they have experience in my niche?
- Will this individual bring creative ideas and help me to achieve my goals?
So now you're wondering, how do you find the person for the job? Thankfully, there is a brilliant website called Fiverr,which brings freelancers and employers together. With Fiverr, you will discover incredibly skilled individuals in almost every area that you can hire virtually on the spot. It's truly as easy as a few clicks of a button. I have hired numerous people from Fiverr throughout my career and still swear by it!
Downsides and Risks to Anonymous Blogging
There are some downsides to blogging anonymously. First, it's tougher to build a community when you're not open with readers. There are millions of blogs, and the only thing that probably makes yours different is the personality and personal stories you can share.
One of the hardest things to do while blogging anonymously is not sharing with friends and family. Of course, you'll get the urge to share blog successes with others and will want to ‘confide' in someone…but those secrets never stay hidden for long.
Anonymous blogging isn't an excuse to be an asshole or a way to get around legal problems. I know one anonymous blogger that has been sued multiple times for defamation from posts he published about a company. He eventually won those lawsuits but not before, costing a small fortune in legal fees.
If you break the law or someone wants to go after you in court…they will find you, anonymous or not.
There's also the risk that social media will ‘out' you from being anonymous. One anonymous blogger friend found this out the hard way last winter when Facebook suggested their blogger profile and picture to someone they knew.
The Facebook software matched their blogger page with someone's interests, and the blogger's picture showed up in the person's “Pages you might like” news feed. Of course, the acquaintance recognized them and shared it with all their friends and family.
If you're worried about being outed on social media, don't use your actual picture for your posts or profile.
You might want to blog anonymously for many reasons, but you'll need to watch what you share and how you do it. There's nothing to stop you from making as much money or building a massive community if you follow a few simple steps to anonymous blogging.
Read the Entire Blogging Series
- How I Made $23K Blogging in Three Months
- How to Start Blogging for Introverts
- Ultimate Free Blogging Course to Become a Professional Blogger
- 5 Income Streams to Make Money Blogging [How I Make $300 a day]
- Beginner Blogging Checklist: Daily, Weekly and Monthly Blogging Tasks