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Best Online Name

Updated on February 9, 2012

If you are trying to make a name for yourself on the Internet and want people to read your work, buy your products or learn from your advice you need a good title.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" William Shakespear

Online profile names are how our readers find us.

Mistakes most people make

I’ve seen some writers that change profile name everywhere they go.

“I’m known as guru79 over here on this site and on this one I’m getinfofromgreg and on this other one I’m greg79knowitall.”

See how this can be confusing for your readers? How can they find Greg if he changes his name everywhere he goes?

You can’t put guru79 or greg79knowitall on the cover of a book. Even if you don’t plan to publish a novel right now you might decide later on to do an ebook of your blogs or articles so publicizing your name well will help any of your future endeavors.

Don’t use email or password sounding names; they don’t sound professional and when you are quoted it will sound silly.

Take note of famous online writers and marketers

Look at those people who have made it big in the online industry and see what kind of names they use. It doesn’t have to be a real name but sounds like it could be. For instance, Violet Blue; it has the appearance of a first and last name even though it is a pseudonym, she capitalizes the two words and it’s easy to remember. There are no numbers or lower case letters used.

Use a consistent and easy profile name

It’s tricky to be unique these days with so many titles already out there but still possible. I have a very common name, there were already at least a half dozen published well-known authors out there with my real name so I created a pseudonym that best suits me. It’s easy to remember and spell which is helpful for me as well as my readers.

Put in a search for Pamela N Red and I’m the only one you’ll find. The less there are of people with your user name the more likely your readers will find you.

Easy to remember name

I realize some have a surname that is long and or not terribly common but if you make yourself known all over the web, eventually people will learn your name and remember how to spell it. I previously said to make it easy but you can make it work if you market yourself well, I’ve seen it happen many times.

Sometimes having an unusual or unique name can work in your favor. Look at Shia LaBeouf, when he first started acting as a kid I had a hard time remembering his name but now he’s a household word. If people start to type his name in a search and spell it wrong, Google helps them get it right. Keep putting your name out there and eventually this will happen for you.

Marketing: putting your name out there

Social networking sites, blog directories, news sites, other writing sites and places like Stumbleupon will help get your internet name out there so people will know you.

A lot of blogs and news sites want you to sign in using your email and website so other readers can find you; this is a great advertising tool. Make sure you have an email address with your pseudonym and if you also have a domain name to match you are on your way to being remembered. It makes it easy for domain lookup to find you which means your audience can also find your work.

Internet names that are consistent a higher search engine placement.

Using a pseudonym on a social networking site

In the beginning Facebook only wanted people to use their real name but after a few lawsuits by people with unusual names they gave up on that business. The same has been true with Google+, they want people to use their given names but after a few complaints they have loosened their rules. You still might have a problem if it sounds too off the wall but send them an email showing your website and other places you use that pen name; tell them it is what people know you by on the Internet professionally and you shouldn’t have any problem.

Social networking sites mostly are trying to protect users from spammers and trolls, once they realize you are a harmless writer just trying to network they usually leave you alone.

Being nice, friendly and non-combative is the key.

Write a good bio

It’s not just your writing that sells but also your profile. That’s why it’s so important to have a good bio of your platform on your homepage.

As writers we are good at giving how to instructions or telling a story but we aren’t always good at bragging about our accomplishments, I know I’m not. Keep practicing and experimenting with different clever descriptions, read other people’s home page and eventually you’ll find a great one that works for you.

Make sure your bio has to do with your writing. Your religious or political views aren’t important unless that is what you write about. Both are touchy subjects, they can and will run off readers so I avoid them like the plague. Everyone is different and has different views about spirituality and government. Some people will leave before reading your work simply because they disagree with your beliefs, not a good marketing strategy.

A real picture isn’t important but using the same one helps. People get used to seeing one pose and recognize you. If you update your avatar it will take a while before people get used to your new photo. Don’t use pictures that show too much skin. Being sexy only works if you are an erotica writer. You want your readers to take you seriously.

Always, always use the same name

People will only learn and remember you if you are consistent. I realize some want to be anonymous on some social networking sites and keep your professional life separate from your personal but the more you use your pseudonym on websites the better.

Marketing, marketing, marketing, it’s what it’s all about. You have to let people see your name and get to know who you are and what you stand for.


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Modern Lady. It's never too late to start.

    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 

      6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      This is great advice about online marketing. I wish I had found it sooner.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      SJ, there are many authors using my name as well and why I chose the name I use. I didn't want to constantly be confused with that other author.

    • sjwigglywoo profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      Interesting article, at first when I signed up for various sites I thought the username would just be for logging in, I know differently now of course however I am stuck with this name on a few sites as you say using the same name is best. My real name is also a well known author/super woman of all sorts so I can't use that either. It is early days for me so it could change in the very near future.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Greenblood, that is good to know. I didn't realize you couldn't change your name on a fan page. I don't have one as of yet but good information to keep in mind.

    • Greenblood profile image


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Also important when you deciding your facebook fan page name. Facebook does not allow to change the fan page name after certain number of fans ( I think 100). I have two fan pages for two of my web sites. I made these fan pages in a hurry and now I badly in need of changing the name.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sheila, as writers we have to think of all our online activity as marketing tools. Thanks for reading.

    • sheilanewton profile image


      6 years ago from North Shields, UK

      Interesting. I like this. I like also that you point out to the reader that a profile is equally as important as your name - more so. If I want to look at someone's writing online, I'm not interested in how cool or silly or ordinary their name is. The profile is what hooks me - or not, as the case may be.

      Great hub - voted up.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thinking is good, remembering I don't always do so well these days.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Thoughtful piece. I'm thinking.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      John, you don't have to have one but I think it's a good idea for everything to be the same, easier for your readers to remember.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 

      6 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Interesting advice Pamela. Thank you - I hadn't considered having an email with my pseudonym.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      OP, unusual names eventually become common when people see them often. Consistency is the key.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      Great advice. I've been using my real name on most sites. Hopefully, my last name isn't too discouraging to remember. lol

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Angela and Angie, I'm not very good at marketing and would much rather just write but we don't have a choice if we want to make any money.

      Wetnosedog, I love The Who, great band.

      Randy, I have one other pseudonym for my erotica blog but other than that I use the same one. Different names for different genres.

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      I think your first scentence speaks volumes, "If you are trying to make a name for yourself on the Internet..." That is one big "if". Lots of good advice here for those that are. My Randy persona doesn't happen to be one of them, but the real me can use the pointers. :)

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Top advice. Love the video, the drummer is great.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Hi Pam ... I'm lousy at marketing so everything is in my own name. It's not smart or clever but at least it helps me remember who I am!

      And thanks especially for the great video of The Who enjoying themselves as young men ... especially Moonie, the best drummer of all time.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Great Hub and great advice. As writers, marketing sometimes isn't our strong suit but it's very, very important as you make so clear in this article. Thanks for the good info. Voted UP! Best, Sis

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Brittany, if we put our name out there enough it becomes well known.

      Sophia, I wish I didn't have to work on marketing and could just write. I'm not terribly good at advertising but have learned it is very important these days.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 

      6 years ago

      I very purposely set out to have a different name for every site I use. I do not want to be known and it is under duress that I acknowledge that as a writer these days, I actually have to have some sort of persona. If I could I would write everything anonymously - just so that I could get paid for it. In all my 50+ years of reading, I couldn't have cared less who the author or writer was.

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 

      6 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Great tips, Pamela! I love this hub because it shows the importance of social marketing in generating earnings online. Even if a name is difficult to spell, people will learn it or Google will suggest it when a bunch of people search it. In my title tuner and my search engine keywords, there are a bunch of suggestions for "britneytodd" and "brittnaytod". They still found my hub. Great work, voted up, etc!!!


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