Why I Blog Anonymously Using A Pseudonym

If you are following my blog and have read my about me page, you will know that I am blogging under the name of Carl, but it is actually not my real name.

Everything else on the blog is 100% true. The stories, the numbers and the thoughts are all mine.

I was recently interviewed by the largest Norwegian business newspaper, DN, and the interviewer wanted to know why I (and many other FI bloggers) was blogging anonymously.

It was a good question and not something I have thought a lot about since starting the blog, but it was great to reflect a bit more on.

So, when everything about me is already out there, why donโ€™t I just put my real name on it?

Clients

In my work as a management consultant I have many clients across industries.

These clients usually pay a decent amount for our services, and I do not think they would understand how my FI blog and the work I do for them can work together in the long run.

I do not want them to think that I do not care about their business (because I actually do care), since that is what this blog might indicate.

Furthermore, the concept of FIRE is hard for many people to understand and I do not want to engage in those discussions with clients.

Career

As I have stated many times on this blog, I actually like working and I enjoy my current job a lot.

If people at my work knew about this blog, I do not think it would heavily impact my career. As long as I do good work and deliver impact for our clients, I am quite sure nobody would really care.

If they followed my blog, they would know that I do not intend to stop working, but that I rather want some more flexibility in life to take periods off work and work part-time or freelance in other periods.

However, in a very ambitious environment, as management consulting is, I honestly just find it a bit tedious to explain the concept of FIRE to people, as I am not sure everyone would understand and I don’t want to run the risk of being misunderstood – yet.

Press

FIRE is a great news story. People “retiring” in their thirties is a sensational story and there’s not a lot of us out there.

I am quite sure that my story eventually would be picked up by a Danish media outlet and then my face and name would be all over the press.

I am not sure I am quite ready for that yet, although I do want to become a public figure at some point to spread the concept of FIRE even further.

Security

Security is only a minor concern.

However, I do have all my financial information out there and if it was combined with my name and photo, I could fear that somebody would take advantage of it somehow – both online and offline.

Friends and family

I don’t mind that my family and friends know about this blog.

I haven’t told them yet because I didn’t want to show off my blog before it actually was something and I was sure I could keep it running.

Since I have now kept it running for nearly two years (with only just a few weekly posts missed), I believe it is soon time to tell my close friends and family about it ๐Ÿ™‚

So, when will I start using my own name?

Eventually, I will become public because I want to grow the following of the blog to spread the important thoughts that make up FIRE; avoiding debt, living below your means, focusing on happiness maximization, being free from the shackles of money and living a minimalistic life to the benefit of our Earth’s environment.

I also realize that it would probably be even more interesting to follow my journey if I could disclose everything about my week and my followers could put a face on me.

Your turn: Do you think I should stop blogging anonymously? Would it be more fun to follow my blog if I had my face and name on?

6 comments

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6 comments

Mohammed @ Live Daily Mo October 18, 2018 - 07:43

Hi Carl

For me personally, it doesn’t matter whether you are anonymous or out there. From the sounds of it, you are doing rather well from blogging and there is no need to bring yourself out of the closet, especially if it runs the risk of being misunderstood.

Also on a side note, I am sure I have subscribed to your list, however apart from the Financial updates, I don’t get updates on your other blogs. Thought i’d let you know.

Reply
Carl October 18, 2018 - 21:09

Thanks for the kind words, Mo! I currently only send out a monthly e-mail for the newsletter, but should I also send out a weekly e-mail for each post do you think?

Reply
Sune - Frinans October 14, 2018 - 11:29

Hi Carl,
Yes, it would be more fun, better, for readers if you were not anonymous. But, the anonymity is for your sake as well as clients. So I guess it depends on, who you value most ๐Ÿ˜‰

– Sune

Reply
Carl October 14, 2018 - 21:57

Ha! Without my clients there would be no financial independence journey for my readers to read about – at least not yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

Reply
Nick @ TotalBalance.blog October 12, 2018 - 08:35

Hi “Carl”,

as you know, I recently started my own blog, and I had concerns about blogging anonymously as well. I decided early on that I wouldn’t use my real name, due to some of the same reasons that you mention in this post (I’m a bit more worried about security than you though).
The majority of the FIRE bloggers that I follow is not anonymous, and while I agree it might give them a little “edge” in terms of authenticity, the content on your blog – in my opinion – is just as riveting to follow, as the non-anonymous bloggers.
Stay safe ๐Ÿ˜‰
/Nick

Reply
Carl October 13, 2018 - 11:46

I agree it is definitely still fun to follow anonymous bloggers, but it does give them more a personality. I understand why you would be concerned about security, but I am not that concerned about it – there’s so many other people in Denmark earning much more (and people know who they are) that are not at a direct security risk ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply

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