We’ve already discussed some of the reasons why you may want to create an online persona for your Internet marketing and professional blogging efforts. There are certainly arguments to be made for wanting to maintain your anonymity on the Internet. Today, let’s take a look at the flip side to the argument, exploring why you may just want to be yourself instead.
Readers Appreciate Honesty and Transparency
When you use a pseudonym and play the role of a fictional character on your blog, some readers will feel like you have something to hide. They can feel like you are being disingenuous and what this means is that you are already starting off with a lack of trust.
And if they don’t trust you, they won’t believe you. And if they don’t believe you, they’re not going to listen to your recommendations or buy the products you promote. In fact, they’re not even going to stick around to listen to what you have to say.
When people can see that you are a real person behind the brand of your blog, a much stronger connection can be made. They can trust you, because they’ll believe in your honesty. And you can draw from your personal experience in your personal life for great blog stories and lessons too.
Forging Real Life Relationships
As much as we enjoy making money online, we still need to get out into the real world now and then. It still pays tremendously to meet people in person to forge those strong business relationships. If you play the “role” of a fictional character on your blog, it is that much more difficult to shake someone’s hand at a blogging conference to introduce yourself.
Networking face-to-face can have a profound impact on your business. Are you having a tough time getting approved for ad networks? If you attend an Internet marketing expo and introduce yourself to one of the reps in person, your chances for approval increase tremendously. Networking with other bloggers is hugely valuable too; it was only after I met John in person that I started writing here and connecting with his contacts.
Leveraging Your Celebrity Status
You don’t have to be famous to be successful. But if you want to make it as a professional blogger, it is in your best interest to get well known within your niche. And you can really only make a name for yourself when you are actually yourself.
By developing and leveraging your “celebrity” status, you gain access to a whole new world of opportunities. You can write a book. You can get invited onto expert panels at trade shows and seminars. You can get interviewed in newspapers, magazines, and TV talk shows. These all help to bolster your brand and increase your potential. You simply can’t do that as an online persona that doesn’t really exist.
The Choice Is Yours
At the end of the day, the decision is ultimately yours to make. You could create an online persona and develop a strong brand on the Internet. Or, you can simply be yourself and develop your own name into a strong brand too.
Just because you are using your real name and being a real person does not mean you have to reveal the entirety of your personal life to everyone online. Many successful bloggers put themselves out there, but keep their family out of the spotlight. When readers see that you are genuine and authentic and transparent, they’re far more likely to trust and like you.