The question of how to blog anonymously and make money can be a big one for anyone who doesn’t want to attach their real name to their site.
After all, it’s perfectly understandable that you may not want people to be able to link your online activities to your offline life. But does doing this mean your site won’t be successful?
Luckily, there are actually a bunch of ways that you can make money from an anonymous blog. In fact, some of the most popular anonymous blogs on the internet are also some of the biggest money makers.
So keep reading to find some easy tips on how you can blog under an alias, to add your new site to the list of some of the other most successful anonymous blogs out there.
Thinking about starting a blog to make extra money?
Great choice! After all, it’s one of the cheapest online businesses to start at under $3 per month – less than a cup of coffee! In fact, that’s the price you’ll get if you launch your site with Bluehost, which is easily my top pick for the best website host for beginners to use.
Not only will you get a free domain name, but you definitely don’t need any tech experience to get started.
To find out more, check out my simple step-by-step guide on how to start a blog as I show you the exact steps I took to start on the path to earning thousands of dollars every month – on the side of my full-time job!
How to blog anonymously and make money
1. Get WHOIS Privacy protection
The first step for anyone looking for how to blog anonymously is to ensure your domain name can’t be traced back to you.
(For those who don’t know, your domain is your website address. So, on this page, the domain is “logicaldollar.com”.)
Fortunately, this is very easy to do – and it’s free when you buy your domain through Hover, which is where I like to buy my domains.
Once you select your site name, which you can do with Hover here, you simply go to the shopping cart where you’ll see the screen in the picture below.
That “WHOIS Privacy” line is what we’re interested in here, as it simply means that if someone searches for your site details, they won’t see your personal name. Instead, they’ll see something like this, which are the details for this site:
Now, I don’t even live in Canada. Instead, these are details provided by Hover to WHOIS that mean that my real name and address aren’t linked to my site.
And this is something that everyone should do, not just those who want to blog anonymously. After all, you don’t want every random on the internet being able to find out who you are, do you?
2. Pick a domain name that doesn’t include any identifying features
For those people who want to build a brand around their own name, buying the domain yourfullname.com may be a good idea.
But for the vast majority of people, including those who want to know how to blog anonymously and make money, it’s generally a much better idea to go with a site name that isn’t your own name.
One big reason for this is that you may want to sell your site in future. If it’s linked to you personally, this may be a problem. In fact, this is the main reason why I recommend those just starting out in amateur blogging to keep their site anonymous.
You may also want to shift your site’s topic at some point to move away from it being just about you. This is something that happens fairly often with site owners and, again, if it’s your name, then this could be tricky.
And, of course, it’s impossible to blog anonymously if your name is right there in the address bar. So consider buying a domain name that’s a bit less personal.
3. Create usernames on your site that don’t identify you
It’s very easy to launch a site once you’ve bought the domain name, as I explain in our step-by-step guide on how to start a site. In less than 20 minutes, you can have your new blog up and running, even if you don’t have any tech experience – I certainly didn’t!
(And as you’ll see in that guide, it’s also incredibly cheap! I recommend using Bluehost as your site’s host, partly because of the price – at less than $3 per month to launch your site including a free domain name, it’s practically unbeatable.)
And one of those steps is to pick your administrator username, which could also end up being the one you use to publish content. When doing this, you should firstly avoid using “administrator” or “sitename” as your usernames. This is because these are very common and using something like one of these makes it much easier for someone to break into your site.
But if you want to blog anonymously and make money, you should also not make your username your actual name. This is because, on many sites, if you click the author name at the top of the article, you’ll be sent to a profile of the user who published the article. And in many cases, this may be something like yoursite.com/author/username.
This means that even if you’re using a fake name (which we’ll get to shortly) to publish your articles, if your username has your real name in it, people will be able to find it and connect your real identity to your site. As this is really easy to avoid here, pick a different username.
You may also be interested in: 27 Legit Ways to Make $200 a Day Online – Guaranteed
4. Find a photo of your new identity
Not every site has to have a photo of the author, but it’s a nice touch to add some personality and relatability to a site.
However, if you want to blog anonymously, clearly you don’t want to use a photo of yourself. This means you have a few options here:
- Find a stock photo of someone who can be “you”. They don’t have to look anything like you in real life, of course – they’re simply representing your blogging persona.
- Pay someone on a site like Fiverr to use their photo. You can find people selling their pictures on Fiverr for this exact purpose (at fairly reasonable prices too), although some will only allow you to use them for one year, so you’ll have to keep paying them every year. The advantage here though is that you can get several different pictures of the same person to use throughout your site.
- Check out This Person Does Not Exist. This is my favorite one – it’s a site where, each time you refresh, AI-generated photos of different people are shown. Simply keep refreshing until you find one you like then save it – as you can’t get it back!
- Use an image that’s clearly not you. For example, some people use cartoon images that don’t even have to be of a person. For example, you could use an animal or some inanimate object that has some connection to your site or what you’re writing about.
- Use a silhouette or some picture of you where you can’t be identified. A great example of this is J. Money, one of the most popular personal finance bloggers on the internet who’s only used the picture of himself you see on that site.
- Don’t use a photo at all. I personally prefer sites that have a photo of the author but you really don’t have to include one, at least not in most niches (which I’ll get to shortly).
You can also make money on Fiverr yourself as seen in this article: 15 Best Odd Job Apps to Make Extra Cash
5. Choose a pen name
There are plenty of popular anonymous blogs out there, with all sorts of names being used for the owners and authors of these. For example, I just mentioned J. Money, which clearly isn’t his real name – and yet he’s made huge amounts of money from his anonymous blogging over the years!
This shows that when considering anonymous blog names for your own site, you could go with literally anything:
- Something similar to your own name. For example, if your name is Bob Smith, you could go with “Brett Stephens” (i.e. same initials) or even keep it a bit closer to home with just “Bob”.
- A completely different name. You can blog anonymously and make money as literally any other name, making it as common or as unique as you want. In fact, a relatively common one can work well, as you can then blend in with every other person on Earth who has this name.
- A random, made up name. You can literally call yourself anything you want. J. Money is a great example of this as is, say, Perez Hilton (even if his real name is now known).
6. Create a new email address for this person (and link everything to it)
After all, they’re cheap (less than $3 per month!), fast and very secure!
And one of their other advantages is that you get up to five email addresses as part of your account. This means you can create [email protected] for free.
You should definitely create at least one of these, partly because they make you sound more professional than emailing people from a [email protected] (for example) address.
But it also gives you an extra layer of security from people finding out your name. After all, you may be tempted to initially link everything related to your site to your personal email address, especially as you’re still figuring things out. However, it’s better to create a website-specific email address as early as you can, to ensure there’s no way of someone accidentally finding a link between your site and your personal address.
7. Make new social media profiles under your pen name
It’s a good idea to lock in a few of the main social media handles for your blog at first, even if you’re not sure if you’ll end up using them. This generally includes, at the very least, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
And for those looking to blog anonymously and make money, you should definitely do this under your new site-specific email address with no link at all to your personal accounts on those platforms.
(This is coming from someone who made that exact mistake: I somehow connected my site’s Instagram account to my personal Facebook account, which I only realized when I started getting follow requests from people I knew in real life when I didn’t want it known yet that I’d launched a site. Whoops.)
8. Control yourself from getting too excited about your new blog in real life
Starting a blog is a super exciting thing! So you’d be excused if you find yourself dying to talk about it with people you know.
But if you’re trying to blog anonymously, this is going to be a big no-no. I know plenty of bloggers who literally only tell their partners about their sites (and a few who don’t even do that), with not a single other person in their life knowing what they do in their spare time.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, especially if you’re excited about a blogging win you’ve had lately. But try to control yourself to avoid people finding out what you’re doing online and being able to link your site to you.
This can also be a good reason to join online blogging communities, like Facebook groups. There, you’ll find like-minded people to share your blogging wins and commiserate with your losses – all without knowing who you actually are!
9. Be careful what you share as your blogger persona
Much like it’s important to be careful with what you share in real life, you have to be very careful with what you share online if you’re trying to blog anonymously and make money.
This can be a bit of a balancing act. After all, you want to connect with your audience, and so sharing some personal aspects can help with this.
At the same time, you don’t want them to be able to use those little tidbits of information to figure out who you are. Just ask Heather Armstrong who wrote under the pseudonym “Dooce” on dooce.com – but was fired after stories on her site were linked to people she worked with.
This includes if you post your own photos, which can have metadata that reveals, say, where the photo was taken – which clearly isn’t ideal if you took the photo at home.
How do I start a secret blog?
The first step to take when looking to start a secret blog is to ensure your domain provider offers WHOIS Privacy. That way, no one can search your site name and find your personal details. You should also ensure that no identifying information is linked to or posted on your site.
Otherwise, starting a secret blog is very similar to starting a non-anonymous blog, especially from a technical perspective. That is, all you have to do is:
- Pay for a host (as mentioned earlier, Bluehost is my top choice here when starting out, as it’s very fast and super inexpensive – and you’ll even get a free domain name with it. Just get the cheapest plan when starting out though, as it’s more than enough)
- Set everything else up from there (which really isn’t that hard to do – hey, I managed it, so you definitely can!)
To set up your new site in only 20 minutes, check out our step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
Can anonymous bloggers make money?
Anonymous bloggers can make money in many of the same ways as a non-anonymous blogger. After all, most ways to make money with a blog don’t depend on the site owner’s actual identity. Instead, they mostly depend on building a large enough following or presenting content in such a way as to promote certain products or services.
This means that the answer to the question of can you make money from an anonymous blog is: absolutely!
Some ways to do this include:
- Affiliate marketing. This is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to make money, with some people having enormous success with this. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, for example, makes over $50,000 a month from this. Her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, shows you how to do the same.
- Advertisements. Having display ads on your site can be very lucrative and it makes zero difference whether or not you’re blogging anonymously. As long as you have the traffic, this can be a great way to make money.
- Selling products. Again, in most cases, it doesn’t matter if you’re blogging anonymously or not. As long as your product caters to your audience’s needs, you’re good to go with making and selling things online. The one exception may be if you plan to do a video course where you appear on screen – but there are ways around that, such as only doing voice overs or offering a text-only course.
Most successful anonymous blogs
Assuming you interpret “successful” as “high earners”, some of the most successful anonymous blogs are the following:
- Jon Dykstra – Jon owns several sites but only discloses what a couple of them are. This means that on most of his sites (including his most successful ones), he clearly blogs anonymously. Despite that, he’s seen huge success, as evidenced by his income reports. In fact, at the time of writing this, he earned over $110,000 from just one of his blogs last month. (And his Fat Stacks course is amazing at showing you how you could do the same.)
- J. Money – Started two massive personal finance sites (Rockstar Finance and Budgets Are Sexy) which he ended up selling for low- and mid-six figures respectively
- Perez Hilton – Although his identity is now known, his website named after this pseudonym took him to an estimated net worth of $30 million.
- Jennifer – Jennifer founded Show Me The Yummy just using her first name and grew it to earning around $50,000 a month – and that’s only until she stopped reporting her blog income, meaning it could have easily grown further since then.
- Mr. Money Mustache – While he blogs under a pseudonym, his real name is now very easy to find online. Nevertheless, through his M$M blog, he earns about $400,000 per year.
As you can see, some of these are pretty obviously pen names. But others appear to be “normal” names that people are using to very successfully monetize their sites.
And of course, this means that your favorite blogger called something completely normal could actually be blogging anonymously by using a name that’s entirely made up – and you wouldn’t even know it!
How to promote an anonymous blog
The ways to promote an anonymous blog are basically the same as a non-anonymous blog, although perhaps with some tweaks to maintain your anonymity. These include:
- Social media – You can easily create social media profiles for your fake persona. In fact, many social media profiles are just those of the blog itself rather than the site owner, meaning there doesn’t have to be any mention at all of your name, whether or not it’s real.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform, which is why I’ve included it separately. It’s also one of the best ways out there for blogs to generate traffic if you know the ins and outs of pin design, keywording and pinning strategy – none of which require you to even mention your name. My favorite Pinterest guru is Carly Campbell whose course, Pinteresting Strategies, is seriously one of the best investments you can make for your blog.
- SEO – SEO (or search engine optimization) is the name for the strategies you put in place for Google to push your content up the rankings so more people see it. While it can take some time to work out, it’s easily the best way to generate quality traffic. It also has the added benefit of having no reliance at all on your identity, with the exception of any YMYL sites that I outlined earlier.
- Guest posts – Guest posting on other people’s sites can be a good method for getting new visitors to your blog. While most sites that accept guest posts will ask you to provide an author name, most of them don’t care if you’ve started your blog anonymously to make money. More important to them is that the guest post is of sufficiently high quality.
- Email marketing – Promoting your blog through email requires actually getting people to visit your site first, but it’s a good long term strategy for promoting your blog to visitors who’ve shown an interest in what you’re offering. Just think of all the emails you get every day from a brand name rather than an actual person. They all clearly work so you could do exactly the same thing with your anonymous blog!
Can you make an anonymous blog?
You can make an anonymous blog and still make money. With plenty of popular anonymous blogs written under pseudonyms, there’s almost no reason why an anonymous blog can’t still be successful. This can also have a number of benefits for you personally, especially if you don’t want people in your life to know about the content you’re publishing online.
The process of actually making an anonymous blog is very similar to how to create one that’s written under your own name.
Take a look a bit earlier in this article for the steps to follow or go through our detailed guide that shows you every step to start a blog.
Can I start a blog with a fake name?
You can definitely start a blog with a fake name. In fact, much like how successful book authors have used pseudonyms for centuries, there are plenty of websites written under pen names that have seen great success online. Google has also confirmed that there is no issue in writing with a fake name.
In fact, there are plenty of benefits to those who use anonymous blog names, especially if, as mentioned earlier, you don’t want to have your online writing associated with your offline life.
And about Google’s confirmation of this (courtesy of John Mueller, who works for them):
There is, however, an exception to this that I’ll cover in the next section.
Should I use my real name on my blog?
In most cases, you don’t need to use a real name on your blog. There can be some exceptions, such as if you want to tie your real life expertise to your blog-related authority. This can be particularly relevant to those niches where you need to establish E-A-T, especially if your blog is on a YMYL topic.
Let’s run through what each of those mean.
YMYL stands for “your money or your life” while E-A-T stands for “expertise, authority, trustworthiness”.
And why do you have to know these?
Well, Google has declared that YMYL content is the information that has a big potential to negatively impact users’ happiness, health or wealth. This means that if you write on a YMYL topic that your content is low quality, you could detrimentally impact your audience’s well being.
The consequence of this is that any blog that covers health, financial or safety issues has to display a high quality of E-A-T – and you have to prove that somehow.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t blog anonymously and make money if you’re in a YMYL niche, but you do have to be careful. I would say that this particularly applies to health-related blogs, where Google is known to penalize site owners or authors that don’t have the expertise to back themselves up.
And it’s in those cases where it may be helpful to use your real name on your blog. For instance, if you have a medical background, if you can promote yourself as Dr. Blog Owner, Google is really going to like you much more than Random Site Person.
Should you use your real name as an influencer?
You don’t need to use your real name as an influencer. Much like when you blog anonymously, using a pseudonym generally has no impact on how successful your online business can be. The difference as an influencer is that you’ll probably have to actually show your real face, meaning someone could recognize you.
I ran through a few different ways above to find a fake photo of yourself if you’re looking to blog anonymously and make money, but this may not work if you plan to combine this with influencing.
After all, let’s say a brand sends you a product to use, with the intention that you’ll show it off to your followers. It’s going to be hard for you to do this if they can’t see your face or any other identifying features.
This means that if you truly want to remain anonymous, you may want to consider which platform and format to build your online brand, as this can often be easier with just a standard website.
Final thoughts on blogging anonymously and making money
It’s pretty clear that you can make money from an anonymous blog. In fact, some of the most popular anonymous blogs have found themselves making six figures a year – not bad for those who blog under an alias!
There’s actually almost no difference between how to blog anonymously and make money compared to those who use their real name on their blog. Specifically, when it comes to the different ways to make money from your site and to promote it, the strategies are basically identical no matter if you use your real name or not.
Where the actual difference arises is if you want to rely on your real identity to give your site authority or to make money. This could also apply if you’re blogging in a YMYL niche and need to establish E-A-T.
But if you’re worried about using your real name and don’t need to based on what you’re blogging about, then why not blog anonymously? For many people, it can be much easier and when it won’t affect your bottom line, then there’s really no reason to go ahead with using your real name unless you want to.