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Can You Blog Anonymously? Here Are the Pros and Cons

Written by James Parsons • Updated December 7, 2023

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A Person Blogging Anonymously

When you’re writing a blog, whether it’s for a single-author personal blog, a business blog under your name as founder, or a multi-author blog, a question often comes up: do you attach your name?

The answer to this question and the factors that go into the decision can vary. For example, if you’re writing about a contentious issue, attaching your name can be more than just a credit; it can open you up to personal attacks from opponents of the viewpoint you take. On the other hand, if you’re like me and you’re writing primarily about business topics, you aren’t going to have those same kinds of risks or considerations.

That’s not to say there aren’t considerations, of course. They just aren’t as immediately, well, concerning.

So the question is, can you blog anonymously? Why might you want to, and what are the downsides to doing so? Let’s discuss.

Answering the Question: Can You Blog Anonymously?

A simple answer is, of course, yes. Absolutely nothing requires you to attach your name to the blog posts you write, whether you write them for a site you own or for an entirely different site.

In fact, many thousands of blog posts are published anonymously every week, all across the internet, covering every possible topic.

Anonymous Blog Wikipedia Entry

The real question is: should you blog anonymously? There are a few good reasons why you might want to and a few good reasons why you might not. That’s what the bulk of this post is here to discuss. First, let’s start with the benefits.

What Are the Pros of Blogging Anonymously?

There are a few good reasons why you might feel that blogging anonymously is a better option than putting your name on a post. In fact, I’ve already covered one.

Hiding your name can be a safety issue for certain contentious topics.

This one depends a lot on what you happen to be blogging about. Someone blogging about business isn’t likely to face much criticism beyond their professional opinion. On the other hand, someone blogging about politics, gun control, abortion, minority justice, and other social issues is much more likely to be a target.

Unfortunately, this is currently just a sad fact of life. There are certain groups of people who have decided to attempt to silence their opposition through threats of violence, ranging from completely anonymous nonsense to “emailing you photos of your own house.” While there are lawsuits and the occasional civil or criminal penalties for this kind of behavior, it’s pretty hard, time-consuming, and expensive to pursue.

An Email Threat Criminal Case

Sometimes, particularly in social activism, there are blogs that want to tell the stories of marginalized people, but those people don’t want to put themselves in danger. Being anonymous and promising anonymity to the people who come forward can help with some social movements.

For most people, fortunately, this won’t be a primary consideration. But, for some, it might be, and it’s worth keeping in mind.

Keeping work and personal life separate can be a boon.

Some people maintain different lives between work and home. We’ve all seen stories of the cutthroat boss who is a loving family man or the hardass who ends up being a big softie off-duty, but there are a lot more common variations of the same story that just involve hiding – or even just not talking about – hobbies at work. And, vice versa, many people have friends or family members who just never talk about what they do for work beyond extremely vague generalities.

Maybe you’d prefer to hide what you do from your family because you don’t want to constantly go through questioning about how blogging can possibly be a real job. Maybe you blog about a subject you don’t want to talk to your family and friends about (like how every computer-expert young person hates when their family knows anything about it because they’ll be pressured into doing tech support for the family).

Using a Pseudonym For Anonymous Blogging

And, of course, there are other reasons to keep the two separate. Sometimes, it’s just a good idea to make your identity theft footprint smaller. People involved in less savory careers their families might not approve of might not want to have that connection there. You never know.

Basically, if someone – friend, family, new possible employer – Google searches your name, and you would prefer they don’t find your blog because of what’s on it, anonymous blogging might be the way to go.

You’re less likely to be inundated with LinkedIn connections and email spam.

For a more practical concern, one thing I run into a lot is that the blogging world is full of people who really want to exploit you. Guest blogging is a great way to build a website, and that means there is a legion of low-quality blog spammers out there who would love to guest post on your site for a link. They’ll find your contact form, your live chat plugin, your email address, your WHOIS contact information, your social media profiles – any and all of it – and send their pitches to you.

Guest Post Spam Emails

Obviously, 99% of the time, you shouldn’t give them the time of day, let alone publish their content. Very rarely does a good networking opportunity come through those channels, which is why you can’t cut them off entirely when you don’t blog anonymously, but some people find it so unlikely that it’s better to just not make those channels available.

Of course, I’ve had pitch emails show up to email addresses that are impossible to guess and not published anywhere, so the lengths some people will go to just to send their spam are pretty intense. But hiding your name (and email) will certainly cut down on it quite a bit.

You may have ethical concerns with attribution.

Regardless of the ethics of the topic you cover, there are also ethical concerns about attribution. Many modern blogs aren’t run by a single person; they have teams, often with one or several writers who do the actual writing part. Depending on the relationship you have with those writers, you may not have a formalized ghostwriting agreement, so the question of attribution can be a sticky one.

How to Hire a Ghostwriter

A common way this comes up is if you have several writers contributing to a single post, who gets their name on the post? It’s not entirely ethical to claim you wrote the whole thing if you merely contributed.

Of course, ghostwriting happens constantly throughout the industry, so it’s not really a big deal unless you make it one. Pay for the rights to the content you publish, and you’re good to go. It’s only if you exploit people and don’t have a contract to justify it that things can go wrong.

Of course, by publishing everything anonymously or under a team name, you get around this by just not attributing anyone.

There are other benefits to anonymous blogging as well. For example, some people just have very generic names – or names that are non-English and difficult for others to use – and those can be essentially impossible to brand. If you had the misfortune of being named John Doe, good luck branding yourself.

The Cons of Blogging Anonymously

On the flip side, there are some very good reasons to have your name – or at least A name – attached to the posts you publish.

Modern SEO puts a lot of emphasis on authority.

One of the biggest metrics that goes into modern SEO is called EAT; it’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These three are all facets of the same general concept: that a topic needs to be written about by someone with real authority in the subject for it to be worthwhile. Any schmuck can write about something they know nothing about, but when someone with no knowledge covers a topic that requires real knowledge, the result is misinformation at best and actively dangerous at worst.

  • Would you follow a DIY car repair guide written by someone who has never worked on a car?
  • Would you follow medical advice written by someone with no training in medicine?
  • Would you trust your personal finances to someone with no financial experience?
  • Would you trust content generated by an AI with no fact-checking?

Experts can be wrong, of course, but it’s a much more common occurrence for non-experts to be wrong. There are a lot of things in every subject that are counterintuitive that an expert would know, but a layman wouldn’t. Even something as simple as missing a step in a repair guide can make the difference between a successful repair or breaking something more.

A Fact-Checked Blog Post

EAT matters more for some subjects than others. Nobody cares who writes a blog about the daily Wordle answers. Google’s heading is YMYL, which is anything that has to do with Your Money or Your Life. It’s a good overall banner.

In any case, when you blog anonymously, you lose out on that EAT value. No matter how much gets attributed to your brand name, and no matter how much of an expert your brand is, it still ends up being better to have a real person front and center instead.

Without attribution, you can’t build up thought leadership or a personal brand.

Tying into the same concept of expertise and authority is the concept of thought leadership. Thought leaders are the public faces of an industry, the people who build their reputations and their businesses based on the expertise they express on their sites. In marketing, people like Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, and Annie Cushing are thought leaders.

SEO Thought Leaders

If a thought leader wants to start a new venture, all they have to do is ask. If a thought leader announces a new business, customers will line up to try it. They may be contentious sometimes, and if they have a few high-profile failures, they can lose their status as thought leaders, but it’s a very valuable position to have.

When you blog anonymously, you can’t build up thought leadership because “you” aren’t part of the equation. Your blog can’t announce a new speaking engagement.

Thought leadership is often the key to growing beyond a single business venture or blog. Without it, you potentially hamper a lot of long-term success. For some people, that’s fine; for others, it can set them back years.

Anonymous blogging limits collaboration opportunities.

Imagine you see a post online that you really like. You happen to have a business venture starting up, and you need a partner to contribute. The content you see would fit wonderfully. Or maybe you run a podcast and would like the author on to talk about the subject, or you’re writing a book and want a collaborator, or you just would like to invite them to guest post on your blog.

You can’t do any of that if the person who published the blog post is “Admin.” If you can’t find them to invite them, you’re out of luck.

A Blog Post

Now, sure, maybe you could use the website contact form to send the invite, but you also have no way of knowing whether the person who responds is actually the expert or if the content was written by someone else.

Avoiding the Cons of Anonymous Blogging

There’s one way many people blog anonymously but avoid the drawbacks of anonymous blogging: using a pseudonym. In fact, I would venture to say that a huge number of bloggers you see today aren’t real people. Many are, of course – those who really care about their personal brands – but for those who just want money funneled into their bank accounts and don’t care what name is the public face of it? Pseudonyms are the way to go.

Now, there may come a time when a pseudonym needs to be attributed. Many famous authors who write under pseudonyms eventually come clean (and some never hide it.) Some people assume the pseudonym as a second name. Some people abandon it and replace it with their real name. Some skip out on lucrative deals because it would involve compromising their privacy. Whatever the case may be, it’s a crisis you’d need to navigate if it ever came to it.

True anonymity is hard, and the benefits it brings to you are relatively few compared to using a pseudonym.

Of course, no matter what name is attached to your blog posts, you still need excellent blog post ideas, and that’s where I come in.

The Topicfinder Keyword Research Tool

I built Topicfinder to be a best-in-class keyword and topic research engine and a one-stop shop for getting thousands of ideas for high-quality blog content. Why not give it a try? Your free trial is just a click away.

Written by James Parsons

James is the founder and CEO of Topicfinder, a purpose-built topic research tool for bloggers and content marketers. He also runs a content marketing agency, Content Powered, and writes for Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and other large publications. He's been a content marketer for over 15 years and helps companies from startups to Fortune 500's get more organic traffic and create valuable people-first content.

Leave a Comment


  1. Sarah Johnson says: February 22, 2024 at 6:13 am

    Well done on addressing such a relevant topic with clarity and depth!

    • James Parsons says: February 22, 2024 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I appreciate it 🙂

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