Here’s a question for discussion this weekend:
Do you use your real name when leaving comments on a blog or do you use ‘keywords’?
I was moderating comments last night here on ProBlogger and noticed almost a 60/40 split between these approaches (with 60% using ‘real’ names).
My personal preference is to leave my real name – that’s partly because I feel it is more personal and also because I guess inadvertently over the years my name has become a brand of sorts – so it makes sense.
My personal preference for people leaving comments on my blog is also for ‘real names’ – although I’ve not moderated comments based upon people using keywords.
A Spectrum of Approaches
There is a spectrum of approaches that I see people using when it comes to what ‘name’ they leave on comments:
1. Key Words Only – For example some people are obviously just using words that they are attempting to rank for in Google. In my mind when you leave a comment under the name of something like ‘Bad Credit‘ or ‘Interior and Exterior Painting‘ or ‘Steel garages sheds‘ or ‘revenue‘ (all names used here on ProBlogger in the last 48 hours) you’re coming close to looking like you are spamming and doing it purely for SEO, even when your comments are on topic and genuine. I don’t honestly see the point in doing this. Most blogs (including ProBlogger) have nofollow tags in their comments so your links and the words you use have no SEO benefits what so ever. I doubt you’d get many people clicking on words like those either.
2. Brands/Site Names – Also on the spectrum but more acceptable in my mind are people who use keywords in more subtle and in ways that help brand themselves or their blogs. For example ‘Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy‘ who is a commenter on ProBlogger. I don’t mind this type of approach because it is more personal and is tied to his brand (rather than just being an attempt to rank well for certain keywords).
3. Brands and Personal Names – The next step along the spectrum is people who use their name AND a keyword of blog name. Examples including ‘Vered – MomGrind‘ and ‘John Hoff – eVentureBiz‘ and ‘Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)‘. To me this works reasonably well as it gives a personal touch as well as some branding benefits.
4. Personal Names – The lastly there are those who leave just their name. This is my personal favorite and I find myself much more drawn to reading and interacting with these comments. I can understand that some don’t like to use their name as they want some level of anonymity – but for me a name actually makes me feel like I’m interacting with a human being.
Of course there are other approaches. Some use pseudonyms or nick names – I’m sure others will tell us about other options that they use too.
The above spectrum and ordering are based upon my own personal preferences and approaches – but I don’t have a monopoly on the truth and am interested in your personal approach.
What name do you leave comments by and why?