How to Start an Anonymous Blog?
Looking for the best way to start an anonymous blog? In a world where privacy is somewhat of a farfetched luxury and being popular is what’s on most people’s minds, wanting to stay anonymous might seem unrealistic and unachievable. There are also some great benefits you can get when practicing anonymity. The most important one can easily be being able to pour your mind on any topic with zero bias.
It is easier to be judged on only your work when your name, age, gender, and anything that defines you are disregarded. Most of the bloggers I know do not care about anonymity and share their names, their social media account, and everything personal on their blogs. Although this gives a sense of community to their readers, it might also the other way and the community might turn on you.
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Anonymity is especially important when talking about a sensitive topic or topic you feel strongly about and want to talk about it without revealing yourself. It is essential if you feel the topic, you’re talking about might damage your personal and professional life.
You might want to stay anonymous if you have strong expertise in a certain field and want people to read your works without bias as you might not work in that particular field professionally. There are tons of reasons why you might want to blog anonymously. Whatever your reason may be, this guide will come in handy.
Keeping that in mind, this guide talks about how you can start an anonymous blog.
How to start an Anonymous Blog?
If you didn’t know already, a simple WhoIs search is enough to know everything there is about a blog, including creation date, registrant name, and much more. This is a big red flag especially when you’re talking about something sensitive. A WhoIs lookup is a service for people to look up the public database to find information about the domain name.
However, you do not have to give up on your hopes of blogging anonymously. There is a service called Domain Privacy Protection. This is the first thing you need to know about when starting an anonymous blog. Domain Privacy Protection acts as an extra layer of protection for your website that protects your private data and information.
This service not only makes your blog anonymous but also protects it from spam and cyber-attacks. What it does is the service redacts or scrambles any private information about the registered domain that will lead back to you. And the good thing is Domain Privacy Protection is cheap.
Step 1: Domain Privacy Protection
There are tons of big domain registrars that provide domain privacy for a cheap price. This includes GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, and most probably every big domain registration company you’ve ever heard of. Usually, the price for the service is around $10 to $40 per year depending on the host you go for. This price is however exclusive to the domain registration and hosting fee.
After you choose a host, you need to register for a domain name. Companies like BlueHost will give you one for free; all you have to do is come up with a creative name. Remember that you do not want the domain name to be even remotely related to you.
After you’ve done registering a domain, the next step is crucial. It deals with you filling out your account information. If a would without domain privacy existed, most of the information you fill-up would be clearly visible to anyone who looks up your domain name. However, this is not the case here.
All the information will only be used by your hosting company for billing and administration purposes. You will still remain anonymous. You will need to use a pseudonym and a new email address when registering for a domain (we’ll talk about these next)
Step 2: The Pseudonym
Blogging anonymously does not mean you need to completely lie about everything, including the thing you say. This is actually the exact opposite of what it means. Anonymity should enable you to stay true to your ideas and opinions while being able to talk about them with like-minded people without compromising your identity. You can get personal while being anonymous.
This will make your blog feel personal without being too personal. If that is not your idea of being anonymous or your blog does not require you to be personal but strictly informational, you can do that too. There might not be a sense of community there but it will definitely work.
No matter what your preference is, there’s one thing that is absolutely essential – a pseudonym. A Pseudonym is basically a fake name. You use this fake name to identify yourself on your blog. A pseudonym should not reflect you in any way and should steer far from your real name. Also, make sure you do not use this particular pseudonym on any membership website, forums, or anything on the internet. You can choose something satirical.
Note down the pseudonym, we’ll use it later on.
Step 3: New Email Address
Now that you’ve come up with a pseudonym, you’ll need to use them when creating a new email address. No matter what hosting service you choose, they will require an email address in order to get started. Since anonymity is the thing here, you cannot use any of the emails that are associated with you and can be used to identify your personal information. For this, you need to start from scratch and create an entirely new email address using your pseudonym.
You can even go a step further and create social media account using the new email address and pseudonym to build a legitimate community for your audience and for outreach.
Step 4: The Password
You can disregard this step if you have a good habit of creating a strong and long password that is unique to anything you’ve previously used. If you do not have this habit, you might want to read this thoroughly.
If you ask a number of people about the uniqueness of their passwords on their accounts, most will agree to use only a couple of variants or even the same password for all their accounts. This is a serious issue that will have unfathomable consequences. For example, let’s say a small website you use gets attacked and your credentials get leaked online.
This website might not be that important for you, but you have used the password on some of your other accounts that have sensitive information. Although the possibility of the hacker that gets their hands on your credential currently using the password on another account is unlikely, it is not impossible. And with the tools we have today, it might even be highly likely.
So, you want to use a completely unique password on your anonymous blog; where you want to protect your identity. In fact, remove the habit of reusing the same password altogether.
Step 5: The Blog
This is where it all comes down to. Although you can use most of the popular CMS to create your anonymous blog, your safest bet is either of the following two options: WordPress and Blogger. The reason why I’ve selected these two platforms is that it doesn’t require you to have a domain, hosting, or a paid license. Since WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, I’ll use it for the sake of this guide.
You can start by adding the new email you’ve created using your pseudonym in Settings > General > Administrative Email Address. You can then go ahead and save the setting. The next order of business is to add the same address on your author page too. you can do that from Users > Your Profile > Email. Also, enter your pseudonym on the Nickname field. Then, update the settings.
Step 6: Time and Location
This is an optional step, but I recommend you follow this one through too. The time zone you are in might unwittingly give some clues about who you are. It is only a matter of time till these clues are joined together to reveal your identity. This is why you might want to tinker with the time and date of all your blog posts by posting them when you’re sleeping. You can schedule the posting time with WordPress.
Can you make money with Anonymous Blog?
Definitely. Although it might not be as easy, you can still make decent money with your anonymous blog under a fake name.
Social Media is a great way to promote your blog, but since you are anonymous, you can’t do that. However, if you have done like I’ve suggested on Step 3 and opened up a new social media account using the new email and pseudonym, you can still do that, fortunately. You can also experiment with Guest Posting. Guest posting means reaching wide audiences through other blogs. You can try to guest post for big blogs under your pseudonym to promote your blog.
You also need to focus on long detailed posts that cover every little detail of what you’re writing. This is to bring in more organic traffic. Also, do not give up on any single traffic source. Make an email list of all the audience that come to read your blog to create an email campaign. Sponsored ads are your biggest ally when blogging anonymously. Finally, ask for donations. If your contents are good, your audiences will definitely donate to keep you running.
If you’re serious about staying anonymous and do not plan on coming out ever, then choosing the best hosting practices is the way to go. There are downsides to this though. If your blog starts getting tons of traffic and gets famous; you would be able to share happiness with your friends and family. Although you own everything you write, it cannot still be your as you’re writing it under a pseudonym.
And when writing a post, you have to be extra careful to not share even the slightest personal information. However, there are some strong upsides to anonymous blogging too. You can write what you feel without fearing judgment from people. You will have no pressure to write about what others will agree on. Furthermore, if you’re a shy and unsure person, an anonymous blog will be a perfect platform to start fresh as a completely new character. And the best part is you can share sensitive information without fear.