Why I Don’t Blog Anonymously

Blogging about investing hits on very personal numbers that are sometimes considered taboo to discuss. I went back and forth on whether to be anonymous for this blog before eventually opting to blog as myself.

. 2 min read. Minimalism, Personal.

In the investment blogging world, there’s a trend of anonymous blogging. For many people, I can see how this makes complete sense. Women especially have it rough in the blogging world, as they tend to be stalked and harassed much more. For some, blogging anonymously might have impacts on their job, like Our Next Life. Others have their own reasons – based on their past, what they want to write about and what impact they hope to make.

When I started Minafi, I thought a lot about whether I wanted to do it anonymously or not. If I decided to go anonymous, I could share anything. What could I not share if I decided to use my real name? I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing my current salary when coworkers are reading. I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing the details of the Code School acquisition (I was an early employee before the company was acquired). For both of these, I don’t personally mind sharing all of the details, but the details don’t belong to me alone. For me to mention the details would impact others, and for that, I’d want their approval before divulging the details.

The Minimalist Persona

Keeping up with a secret persona and a public persona sounds exhausting. I’d constantly be worried about making a mistake with which channel I post to that could jeopardize my anonymity. The amount of time spent managing a secret account probably isn’t much, but the overhead in worry about co-workers, family, and others finding it would weigh on me.

The Upside

There is an upside to blogging as myself. I’ve had multiple chats with coworkers and friends about investing that I completely didn’t expect. At a recent work offsite, I mentioned the subject of my blog to multiple people and it resulted in even more conversations about their own investment fears. The thought that I can help people I know in real life is a powerful motivator.

One hope I have for this blog is to find people who aren’t currently investing, practicing minimalism or mindfulness. Any conversations I can have with people in these groups helps me better refine my message and learn how to better speak to those getting started.

I’m also looking forward to meeting people in person at FinCon! If you want to meet up and grab a beer there, let me know.

13 comments

    1. Hey Lily;

      I just wanted to give a shout out to you to let you know how I appreciated your interview at DYEB, so refreshing and authentic , you and MsFAF 🙂 learned a bunch especially when you mentioned about to not worry about traffic that much, it was so on point.

      So there, I’m glad you blog as yourself too. Keep it up and more power to you and thefrugalgene.

  1. Hey Adam:

    Great post, yeah anonymity for me seemed like a no brainer in the beginning but I stumbled into Pat Flynns podcast and he mentioned about authenticity, and it resonated with me, since its it’s hard to be authentic and anonymous at the same time.

    In the end people who follow you and us for that matter will do so because of our stories.

    So that’s why I’m with you, it was awkward to be vulnerable in the beginning but I got used to letting everyone know how broke I was so they won’t try to sell me or hit me up for cash or something : ) more power to you and minafi and will definitely look you up on next year’s Fincon.

    Cheers.

    1. Very true! It does feel easier to connect to someone being authentic when there are names and photos of the person for me. It’s not impossible with anonymous bloggers, but it does take reading more posts, or interacting more with them on social channels. Being vulnerable and sharing your story like that will no doubt payoff.

  2. Hey Adam,

    This may seem odd, but it never really crossed my mind to blog under a fake name or anonymous. I sort of felt that in todays world there is so much fake, that a mystery man behind the curtain was a dime a dozen. Using my real name and stories just lends a level of authenticity that I hope crosses over to the readers.

    Like you, there are topics that I will probably not discuss due to the impact on others. However the tradeoff for me was worth it.

    1. That sounds like a good step! I don’t use my full name here, but it’s easily findable. What worry would you have about using it? The worry about getting doxed is a valid fear – but at least with the current Equifax breech there’s a lot less things to dox! I think the outing fear is larger when blogging anonymously, when you have more to lose by it.

  3. I struggled (and still do) with the same questions, and like most of us, could probably make the case for either side. I’m still debating whether to get into net worth updates at some point in the future, and if so, would definitely like to remain anonymous. As far as FinCon, local meetups and the PF family goes, I have no issues about revealing my identity etc.

    1. Makes sense. Doing a net worth update when you have a family and others in person people reading is opening yourself up to a lot. That’s cool about the public FinCon identify though. Look forward to seeing the faces behind you (and other) anonymous people!

  4. Hey! I’ll be at FinCon so look for me… oh wait, I’m anonymous 😉

    Haha- I’m sure there will be a day I shed the anonymity, but for now, it is the best thing for me. I am looking forward to meeting so many bloggers in October though!

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