How to Start an Anonymous Blog and Why You Should (Not) Do It
Deciding for anonymity today, when everyone wants to be famous, can seem unusual and even a bit exotic. But apart from that, it most definitely offers some unique advantages that no name can give you . First of all, only with complete anonymity, your work gets the chance to be judged without any kind of bias. If no one knows that you are a man or a woman of a certain age, profession, family background and similar, then your work can only be judged based on its quality, not based on how people perceive you.
Just think of the planetary success J.K. Rowling achieved before exposing her identity. Can you imagine how interesting it must have been for her to see and hear comments about her work uninformed by knowledge about who she is? After revealing her identity, she even admitted: “As for the pseudonym, I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.”
Another example of huge writing success achieved by an author who wrote under the pseudonym is the famous Neapolitan Quartet, signed by one Elena Ferrante. The book was even developed into an HBO TV series, which we watch still without having the slightest clue of who really wrote it. Does anonymity diminish its fame? Quite on the contrary. Try entering “who wrote Neapolitan Quartet” in Google search and you’ll be amazed by the curiosity this anonymous author raised all over the world.
So, there is definitely a lot more than the fear of being exposed that might urge someone to start a WordPress anonymous blog. Of course, putting your name out there for everyone to see might be the perfect course of action for someone, but what makes the online world so special is that it gives you the opportunity to make a choice.
If you simply don’t like to be in the limelight and still want to share and have a lot to say, WordPress provides you with just the perfect tool to do it, and you can use any beautiful WordPress blogging theme that you would usually use. The freedom that only anonymity can give you is irresistible, and like any other freedom, it does come with a risk.
There are a lot of reasons why anonymity is good for a blogger. If the topic you want to write about is controversial and sensitive (such as political issues for example) and threatens to damage your professional image, an anonymous blog will bring you relief. You will be able to put out your concerns and exchange opinions with like-minded people without any risk of this influencing your real identity.
Another good reason to stay anonymous is if you have a background or authority in a certain field and the field you want to write about is completely different and has nothing to do with what you are proficient in. It could be hard to build trust as a romantic relationship coach if, for example, you made a name as an IT blogger. In that case, anonymity solves it all.
These were some of the good reasons to stay anonymous. But, if your goal is to make a name for yourself one day, and you are only afraid of what others will say, hiding your identity might not be ideal for you. It would be wiser to carefully plan your online image than to hide behind a pseudonym simply because you are afraid of criticism. There are lots of proven tactics for handling the online haters and if their criticism gets you, it’ll get you behind any name.
Despite all the pros and cons of starting an anonymous blog, there is some magic in anonymity for whatever reason you’re thinking about it. It can be used as a seductive marketing trick – you can build an aura of mystery around your true identity, give occasional hints so that your audience eagerly follows you, hoping that they will find out who you really are. If exposing yourself one day is part of your plan, take care to make sure you can live up to your audience’s expectations.
Now that you are aware of the major advantages and disadvantages of being an anonymous blogger you should also know how to create a safe place on the internet to share your thoughts, ideas, knowledge, experience or opinions without compromising your offline identity.
Let’s now get to the essential practicalities of setting up an anonymous blog.
If you are all new to WordPress, then before you start, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with this platform and gain some basic knowledge about it. You can do this fairly quickly by reading a simple guide on how to create your first website or blog with WordPress.
After you’ve installed WordPress and got your domain, it will be necessary to provide your personal information like email address, phone number and, of course, your name. Since this info is available for anyone to see, domain name providers came up with an excellent solution for all those who want to stay anonymous. They now offer a service called “Whois privacy”. It is not a free service but is very affordable and if you want to preserve your anonymity it is definitely a good solution. How does it work? Whois acts as a medium between you and your site visitors, it displays the Whois contact info instead of yours and whenever someone contacts you via the Whois privacy page, this service will forward the email to your email address without exposing it. Another good thing about this service is that even if you didn’t purchase it right from the start you can do it any time later.
Now we come to the part where you need to add a new email account and an author profile in your WordPress blog. The reason for using a new email account instead of the one that you usually use, is to make sure that no one can track your identity. You can use any email provider that you like to create a new email address – Gmail, Yahoo or a more private service like Proton Mail. The course of action is simple: you go to the Settings, choose the General page in the admin area and add the newly created email account as a WordPress administrative email address, and of course, click save to store the settings.
You will have to add this same address to your author page too. You can do it by going to Users > Your Profile and entering the new email into the contact info field. Be sure to click the Update Profile button after adding the new address.
In case you already have your WordPress website or blog, and you want to start blogging anonymously on your own website, this is also possible. Since you are probably pretty familiar with the previous steps, then all you need to do is to follow the simple procedure of adding a new user in WordPress. After you finish, you will be able to post blogs as a new, anonymous user.
Another important detail when blogging anonymously is to create a clever pseudonym to use on your blog, as you wouldn’t be able to stay anonymous if you simply used your author name or your username. So, go to Users > Your Profile, where you will see the Nickname field where you need to enter your chosen pseudonym. Then click on the drop-down menu next to Display name publicly as and choose your pseudonym. Never add your real name in this user profile and of course always click the Update Profile button in the end.
Now that you have a new blogger identity, you can also go the extra mile and create new social media accounts as well. This way, you can build a new, genuine online community and audience for your blog.
Last but not least, you also have to think about keeping your anonymity safe. That means making a smart choice when it comes to VPN. If you are wondering what VPN actually stands for, it is a virtual private network whose purpose is to protect your identity and keep your internet connection secure. In the usual circumstances, your internet traffic goes through different servers distributed all over the world. Hackers and government institutions can in some cases spy on this traffic and track your online activity. VPN acts as a medium between your website and the outside world – it encrypts all your data to make it much harder to spy on it, and sends it to a destination through a random server in any part of the world. That’s why you should choose VPN services with high-level encryption and plenty of private servers.
Finding hosting and domain is the first, but definitely not the hardest step in creating an anonymous blog. What actually is quite challenging refers to finding the right WordPress theme and customizing it to match your needs perfectly. A high-quality, multipurpose, feature-rich theme may be a deciding factor in how quickly and successfully you manage to start your blog. The free Qi Theme is a great choice as it comes from reliable authors and features 100 different demos that are easily customized to match your purpose. All the demos are meticulously crafted to the tiniest detail so it is possible to just import one that you like and fill it with your own content and data and your website is ready! For even more demos and features, you can opt for the paid version of the theme, too – you get even more variety to help you create your anonymous blog.
What’s also great is that you can combine elements from different demos and create a unique website that resonates seamlessly with your vision. Based on Elementor, the famous drag-and-drop page builder, this theme is highly customizable and answers a large variety of different needs with ease. If you’re an Elementor fan, though, you might also check out Qi Addons for Elementor – a freemium plugin that features over a hundred awesome Elementor widgets in its full, premium version. If you’re a fan of Gutenberg, though, you can get the Qi Blocks for Gutenberg plugin and do wonders using a native WordPress editor.
To get an impression of how powerful the Qi Theme is, we selected a few most popular demos that show what happens when you pair top quality design with amazing functionalities:
Bear in mind that despite the fact that the demos are niche-specific, they can easily be used for a variety of purposes! You should also know that you have the option to forgo themes altogether and build your website using templates and wireframes. In that case, you’ll need a block theme to access the Full Site Editor, as well as Qi Templates if you want to play with hundreds of different patterns and templates.
We all know how most social media functions when it comes to creating an audience. If you’re starting a new account, you’ll be prompted to add people you may know – your contacts. If you’re using your own email to do it, the contacts may even be pulled automatically (although you will probably be asked about this beforehand). What this means is your new anonymous social media account will probably be not so anonymous when a bunch of your contacts realizes it’s probably you. And there goes the secrecy. Creating a new email is the least of your troubles – to safeguard your anonymity, you better get a separate phone number too.
On the other hand, if you decide to use a brand new email account and made-up name, you will have a very hard time building a social media following. If your strategy involves relying on social media a lot to promote your blog, you should keep in mind that it won’t happen fast when going full anonymous.
The great thing about anonymous blogging is that doesn’t prevent you from making money. There’s nothing about anonymity that would hinder your chances of earning a few (or a lot of) bucks through blogging.
If you’re looking to monetize, advertising should be your first choice. Pick an ad network (Google AdSense is the biggest one) and start placing ads on your blog. You will earn a little each time a visitor clicks on one of the ads.
You can also consider affiliate marketing and earn a commission every time one of your readers clicks on an affiliate link.
Note that many people these days use ad blockers so make sure you understand the difference between visitors, ad views and clicks.
Another thing you can do is sell digital products: you can make audiobooks, eBooks, sell designs, courses, music, etc.
In short, you can earn money blogging anonymously just like any other blogger who goes by their own name.
Let’s Wrap it All Up
If anonymity is definitely your choice and you do not plan on “coming out” ever, bear in mind that the more you invest in the privacy and security of your site, the better. This means choosing the safest available web hosting server and as strong encryption as possible. Now, anonymous or not, always remember that the quality of your content, both textual and visual, will play a key role in your success as a blogger. Also, don’t forget to try advanced WordPress blog plugins that can further upgrade your website.