Do you associate your name with your blog?
One of the choices that face bloggers when starting out is one around their own name and whether they will use it on their blog (and to what extent).
There’s a range of options open to bloggers:
- Blog under your personal name and promote it prominently on your blog (this is what I’ve done here on ProBlogger)
- Blog under your personal name but don’t really promote yourself (this is what I’ve done on DPS – my name is on the about page but not much more)
- Blog under an alias and promote that name (Skellie does this on Skelliewag)
- Blog without any name on your blog at all – letting the content speak for itself
I’m sure there are other options – but these would be the most common.
So which is the best option?
I heard a speaker recently answer this question and they argued strongly that the best way to build a blog is to associate your name with it. In answering the question they used me and ProBlogger as an example saying something like ‘when you think of blogging for money, who do you think of? Darren Rowse’.
It’s nice to have you name associated with a niche and it certainly can be a smart move – but it’s not the only way to build a successful blog.
Let me use myself as an example of this.
Here on ProBlogger I’ve always blogging under my name, included it in the byline of my posts, had a prominent about page, written in a personal tone, included personal details of my life and included video and pictures of myself in numerous places.
As the blogger I mentioned earlier suggests – it’s paid off. Having my name associated with the blog has opened opportunities for me to speak at conferences, pick up consulting work, meet partners to start a business and write a book. Some of these things might have come to be without promoting my name – but I suspect less so than they did.
But what impact has it had on traffic? Let’s look at the stats:
- ProBlogger has had just over 7 million readers since it started a three and a half years ago. It currently averages around 14,000 unique visitors a day.
- RSS readers osilate between 43,000 – 46,000 depending upon the day of the week.
The growth has been steady since I began blogging with different peaks and and troughs along the way.
But what about my other blog Digital Photography School
DPS is a blog that I don’t really associate my name with very much. Like I mentioned above I mention myself on my About page and use it in passing on weekly newsletter emails but my approach on this blog is much less about aligning my name with it and letting content speak for itself. It is a step up from anonymous blogging – but it’s much much less than I do here on ProBlogger.
If anything these days the names of other writers (those who I employ to write weekly posts) are more associated with DPS than my own name.
What impact has this had on traffic? Lets go to the stats (note, these are just for the blog and don’t include the forum stats):
- DPS started almost exactly two years ago (it’ll be our 2nd birthday later this week).
- As you can see from the Sitemeter stats it’s now over taken ProBlogger in it’s visitor levels with 8.5 million uniques in that time.
- It currently averages 20,000 readers a day
- It’s RSS feed subscriber numbers hovers between 41,000 – 44,000 readers a day
So despite it being a a younger blog with no one name behind it DPS has overtaken ProBlogger and continues to pull away.
Some might argue that if I’d associated my name more with DPS that it could have grown faster but I’m not so sure. My feeling is that some topics and styles of blogging probably do lend themselves more to associating your name with them.
I guess the point of this post is really to present the options and to point out that there’s no one way to building a successful blog in terms of aligning your own personal brand with your writing.
A Couple of After Thoughts:
As I go to hit publish on this post a few other thoughts come to mind.
An Advantage of Not Aligning Your Name with Your Blog – one of the advantages of not associating your name with your blog prominently that springs to mind is that if you ever choose to step away from your blog and sell it it can be quite helpful. One of the challenges facing many blog purchasers is that to buy a blog written by someone else is to transition the audience from one blogger to another. Obviously not having your name associated with a blog makes this easier.
A less Glamorous Pursuit – I always have to chuckle when I hear myself introduced as the guy behind ProBlogger. While this is true and I’m very proud of this blog DPS is obviously a blog that is doing better when it comes to traffic and readership. Choosing not to associate your name with your blog is not a glamorous approach. You might never appear on the top list of bloggers for your work or get written up in mainstream media… but then again that is something that I know is attractive to many.
Do You Associate Your Name with Your Blog?
I’d love to hear your approach to whether you associate your name with your blog. What do you do? How did you come to your decision? What are the Pros and Cons of the approach you’ve taken in your experience?