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Anonymous

August 3, 2011

The majority of pf blogers are anonymous.  But the majority of really really successful pf bloggers?  Not so anonymous, at least not anymore. (There are certainly many exceptions to that rule!)  They are provided with compelling reasons to reveal their identity, so they do it.  Or they never considered being anonymous in the first place.

I have very little intention of becoming non-anonymous.  My closest idea was to start up a new non-pf blog and be open on it, but… I really don’t have the motivation & energy to put into that right now.   Or this one, half of the time, for that matter.  Maybe someday, but I have and love my main job, and I really really love my hobbies.

However…  You might see a few more photos now and then.  Not a lot, since photos of me don’t really have much to do with anything, but I’m not so shy about them.  And here’s why:

  • I’m not so worried about my readers knowing what I look like.
  • I’m not too worried about long term loyal readers knowing my real name
  • I’m not so worried if someone I know stumbles on this blog and figures out that I’m me.  Because they must be interested in personal finances if they wound up here, right?  And they’d probably easily figure out it was me if they read for  little bit.  I’m not so secretive about my activities.
  • Still, I don’t want my blog to come up if friends, co-workers, or acquaintances Google me.  It is a part of my life that I don’t want to share with most people I know

So…  that’s my current policy on anonymity!   If you are a blogger, how did you decide your policy?  If you are not a blogger, do you think you would be anonymous.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 5:10 am

    My plan for blogging was, I never intended to be anonymous because I’m a writer by trade and I knew that if I did 1) I’d eventually have to become non-anon and 2) There’d be little professional incentive to write the blog if no one knew it was me writing it. So my policy is kind of the opposite of yours: I reveal my identity, but don’t reveal any of the specifics of my personal financial situation, which maybe alienates some readers who like net worth updates and budget spreadsheets and weekly spending reports and the like, but it’s a system that’s been working for me so far.

    Generally I subscribe to the notion that “nothing is private on the internet,” so anonymous or not, I didn’t want to put anything on my blog that I wouldn’t be OK with EVERYONE knowing about me.

    • August 3, 2011 2:29 pm

      “There’d be little professional incentive to write the blog if no one knew it was me writing it.”

      I can certainly understand that! For me, blogging is more of a personal outlet – I’m not looking to gain anything professionally from it.

      • August 3, 2011 7:49 pm

        Haha, everything is a professional move for me. It kind of has to be. I mean, I’m running the blog because I want to, and I wanted a project, and I enjoy it, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to leverage it into a paying gig at some point.

        That said, I also don’t even go on vacation without thinking to myself, “I wonder if I could sell a story about this somehow so I could write the plane ticket off on my taxes next year…”

  2. August 3, 2011 5:47 am

    I like your attitude towards anonymity. 🙂 Totally understand about the not wanting to be Googled thing. I knew I would go non-anon pretty much a couple months after I started blogging. However … now that I’m non-anon, there are still TONS of people in my life who don’t know about my blog. There has not been ONE person in my life that has accidentally stumbled across my blog. AND the people that I have told about it don’t seem to care or know much about blogging anyway. Ha ha. So yeah, even though I’m not anon, hardly anyone I know reads my blog (not even my husband!).

  3. August 3, 2011 6:41 am

    My reason for blogging anonymously is the one you listed last – I don’t want it to be the first thing that comes up when people Google me. I don’t mind being open about my financial situation or the fact that I’m trying to get through business school without debt; I feel that both reflect positively on my character. However, I don’t want to be primarily defined by my blog. There are a lot of career opportunities that I don’t want to close off that have nothing to do with personal finance or writing.

  4. August 3, 2011 7:21 am

    I’ve posted a few photos and use the nickname that my friends and family know me by (but not the name I use professionally – I use my full name) but I don’t plan on sharing many more details than that for most of the reasons you stated. I’ll continue to speak about my work and job duties as well as my family and personal life in vague ways. At some point I may post more photos (right now I’m just pretty lazy about that stuff).

    The PP makes a great point that nothing on the Internet is private so I try to approach blogging the same way I do with work e-mails – how would I feel if my boss read it? 🙂

  5. August 3, 2011 7:28 am

    I also don’t want my pf blog to come up if I’m googled. I pulled off a lot of the specifics (how much we make, how much we have saved) after a second family member found my blog and I realized that while I was fine sharing this information with the wider world, I don’t actually want our families to know that information.

    I do run a second blog on a totally different subject that is only kind of anonymous – I don’t talk about myself or who I am but two clicks would turn up the domain registration information, which includes my name. I’m fine with that, and intentionally set it up that way. I would be okay with that blog turning up through google, but haven’t done anything to make it happen.

    Keeping two blogs is tiring and I don’t recommend it. I just couldn’t come up with a way to combine the two and have the benefits of both anonymity and not needing to worry about anonymity.

  6. August 3, 2011 8:42 am

    I think I’m more anonymous than I am, but really I’m not. I also have a huge mouth and don’t keep secrets that aren’t worth keeping. That having been said, since every friend and family member reads “my” blog, I hardly post real numbers on there. I’m trying to figure out what I want my blog to become, and there’s probably a good mix of anonymity versus full-disclosure.

  7. August 3, 2011 8:44 am

    If I were a personal finance blogger, I would be anonymous, because I am very private about that sort of thing. However, if I were to start a blog, it would not be a personal finance blog, but probably more of a lifestyle/food/etc. blog, which are rarely (never?) anonymous.

  8. August 3, 2011 9:12 am

    My boss decided my status for me. I’m not anonymous by far, but it’s very difficult to google my real name and find my blog. So I’m at, “It’s not a secret, but it’s not general knowledge”

  9. August 3, 2011 12:53 pm

    I’m not anonymous. Both strangers and family and friends read my blog…although my boyfriend doesn’t. I haven’t tried to keep it from him, but he says he doesn’t read it. I think now that I’m out of debt and focusing on savings, I might use percentage of goals rather than dollar amounts. I feel weird advertising how much I actually have.

  10. August 3, 2011 2:23 pm

    Because my name is, essentially, my brand and my portfolio, I want to keep my full name off my personal blog – don’t want it Google-able. What does come up in my search is all the stories I’ve written over the years and my social accounts; I actually don’t have much of a problem talking about how I spend my money and happily do it in real life (and I don’t think I disclose my exact income on the blog) but ultimately, it’s personal not professional and I’d rather keep it quite separate. I have tried to keep a separate prof blog but don’t have the time and energy! Who knows – I may come out in the future and kind of turn my blog into a combo website/blog/portfolio. There are journalists with PF blogs – Donna Freedman and Nicole at Rainy Day Saver – but I enjoy feeling free enough to write absolutely anything I want. To be honest, the people I really wouldn’t want to read the blog (ie T’s sister who I recently blogged about…) are not the kind who would anyway.

  11. August 3, 2011 6:47 pm

    I’m not anonymous but I do self sensor… alot. I would never talk about my net worth.

  12. August 3, 2011 6:49 pm

    I think i’d be more embarressed if people found my PF blog than my sex blog

  13. August 3, 2011 8:29 pm

    I’ve actually thought about posting a picture of myself so people can see what I look like. I don’t want to include my name so people can’t google me. I think that I’m more interested in what people look like than their name.

  14. August 4, 2011 8:22 am

    I have just started a new blog and although I blog anonymously I have stated on the site that I am not sure if that will continue for ever. However, to counter that I am not giving out actual figures about my salary but instead I am giving everything as a percentage. I do not make much, but I find people are funny about money, although I am totally comfortable discussing it with friends, many of them do not feel the same. The Google comment is also very valid. At the same time I do agree with Amber…I am not sure how many of my friends would read my blog if they knew about it, I did tell my boyfriend the link but I don’t know if he reads it.

    Overall although I am blogging anonymously and not giving exact numbers at the moment, that may very well change as things progress.

  15. August 4, 2011 1:36 pm

    I hadn’t figured out a way to articulate my anonymity policy, but I totally agree with you! I really don’t care if readers who are that interested or observant figure out who I am, but I don’t want my posts (particularly the most inflammatory/opinionated/popular ones) to be what pops up when a future boyfriend or employer googles me. Exactly.

  16. August 12, 2011 2:06 pm

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve posted here, but I’ve already had issues with people finding my personal accounts and it creeped me out (a thousand views in less than a week on photos of me from college!)

    I don’t really mind if people from real life find me (I’m not sharing that much financial information anymore), and I don’t mind readers I know finding out who I am. But stuff like the excessive viewing of my pictures (and there used to be a wedding photo with my face up, and that one was viewed/downloaded waaaay more than any of the others) is just weird, and I don’t think that it’s my loyal readers doing that!

  17. mrsb09 permalink
    August 20, 2011 12:18 pm

    I just started blogging about my financial situation as well and I am blogging as anon as possible for now until I figure out how it all works. I wouldn’t really want my family or friends to read my blog and personally I don’t think they would be very interested. My husband knows of course.

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