Alternate Author Names – A “How To”

Stay on the right path by managing multiple brands.

It happens to everybody.

You’re in the groove and generating a steady stream of article ideas in your primary business-related niche, when suddenly you realize there are a ton of other unrelated niches that you know a lot about and you’d like to explore more.

You’re not alone. We each have a very diverse range of knowledge based on our work life, hobbies and other interests. You write about health insurance because of your business, but you’ve also owned a dog most of your life, so you want to share what you know about them. Oh, and you’ve raised two kids so you have some parenting advice to pass on, as well.

Coming to the Crossroads

That brings us to the “crossroads” that many people reach during their journey as an Expert Author. You can either (A) stick to your primary niche and continue to climb toward becoming the top author in that niche or (B) spread out your talents in new niches and promote other web properties.

If you’re an expert, feel free to go for option “B”. Just be sure to research and understand all the niche(s) you’re writing in. You won’t help your credibility if you’re writing with no experience.

Once you reach the point to where you want to branch out, use alternate author names to separate each brand of expertise you launch. Each niche you write about is basically a different brand. Confusing your brands hurts your credibility as an Expert Author, so the alternate author names can be brands connected to each new niche.

Here’s how:


  • Launch each separate brand under a new alternate author name (e.g. Joe Article writes about insurance, J. Article writes about dogs and Joe A. writes about parenting).
  • Use variations of your real name as your alternate author names. You create strength, confidence and credibility when you write articles under your own name, especially if you’re driving visitors directly to your primary website. You can build even more credibility if you upload an author photo for each alternate author.
  • Be cautious of sharing an account and login information with business partners. If the partnership doesn’t last, you could lose access to the account. Instead, have one account per human author.
  • Create the alternate author name yourself. Don’t let anybody else, like your ghostwriter, choose your brand for you.


  • Don’t adopt an alternate author name that appears similar to another notable expert in the niche unless it’s your actual name. Build your own credibility instead of stealing the credibility of others.
  • Don’t put descriptor words or puns in your author name, such as “Suzy Homemaker,” “Gary Pipewrench” or “Ivanna B. Rich.”
  • Don’t try to get more than 50 alternate author names. Some authors representing multiple clients will put all of the clients under just one account. The best practice is for each client to have their own account, so it’s clear exactly who owns the content.
  • Don’t use a screen name or “handle.” All author names should be real human names and comply with all of our other author name guidelines posted in our Editorial Guidelines (Section 2)

Once you’re ready to expand your account across multiple niches, use these Do’s and Don’ts to stay on the right path and solidify your brand with alternate author names. Also, let us know if you currently use alternate author names in your article writing and marketing strategy and, if so, how you do it.


Alexis writes:

That is very helpful to me as I was thinking about writing some articles in varieties of niches.


Comment provided February 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM


J Chase writes:

Thanks for the info. I have five now and they really are beneficial to keep your niches separate.

Comment provided February 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM



I can see how my ‘niche’ can easily be expanded to include other areas and topics. Thanks.

Comment provided February 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM


Zoe writes:

I employ several author names or “handles” and they help alot in keeping my separate sites and blogs in synch.

It’s great that you make it easy. Cheers!

Comment provided February 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM


Rich writes:

I like the idea of using alternate author names…but if you want to create videos or do a podcast, you might have an identity crisis when people from one niche recognize you in another niche using a different name.

Comment provided February 10, 2011 at 9:44 PM



Cross promoting is essential between your different sites…increased traffic & backlinks.

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 12:32 AM



Very good post with practical reminder about why and when alternate names make sense.
Thank you for the good “pointers.”

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 1:40 AM


Janet writes:

What about facebook and twitter? You have one name for those but different names on each niche?

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 3:04 PM


Mayo Best writes:

Steve, thank you for all of this great information. Yes I plan to have morea than one nitch. As of now, I am in the second week of John Thornhillmaster class so I’am not yet ready for multiple niches as of yet. I will save the information for such a time as needed. Thank you very much for a glimse into my future.

Mayo Best

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM


Sandra bey writes:

Very good info.Now I know how I can branch out..
Thank you

Comment provided February 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM



thanks for such a cool post …i agree with all the tips you mentioned …i will surely get some from them

Comment provided February 13, 2011 at 8:00 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

I was thinking about maybe doing this, but then I realized I have written in 700 categories now? And I couldn’t think of 700 names to call myself, other than all those four letter words people shout at me when I take my Big Wheel on the freeway, I just cannot peddal fast enough.

OMG- this one lady she totally flipped my off out her sunroof, while talking on her cell phone, and steering with her elbow?

I am so sure, just because I hooked a rope on her car when she went through the McDonald’s drive thru, since I figured she was getting back onto the freeway to head towards Los Angeles. I mean how else am I going to get there on my Big Wheel, do you even realize how much peddling that would be?

Sheesh, you’d think she would appreciate my use of alternative energy and eco-friendly transportations? But NOOOOO, she called me something with four-letters, actually a two-four letter word combos! Anyway, I think that might be against the rules here for author names, so, I am just going to stick with what I have for now.

Comment provided February 14, 2011 at 2:02 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

I am really offended that no one laughed at my joke! So, I ask; if I used a different name – could I get you to smile?

Joe Kurr Amongstus.

Whoops, that one wouldn’t be allowed!



We laughed and no, the name cannot be used, it’s invalid. (But you knew that.) The vision of you on a big wheel is what made me laugh out loud. ;)



The issue is really complicated. You can not take your readers for granted. A writer is always multi color combination. He can have different niches. Better to be frank. A good doctor can always be a good barber too.

Comment provided February 15, 2011 at 3:49 AM


Emmitt Hollin writes:

I combine related niches and use a pen name for each major group. For example, I write about several health related niches and use one pen name for all of them, but when I write about something totally unrelated like real estate, I use a different pen name. That keeps the number of pen names manageable for me.

Comment provided February 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM


Elisabeth Kuhn writes:

I am wondering what to do about author photos — it can be confusing if my smiling mug appears alongside a range of different names…

How do people handle that? Or maybe I should scan in photos of when I was much younger, or wear a wig for my next photo shoot, or something?

Don’t think using iStockphotos is appropriate.



Comment provided March 12, 2011 at 6:11 PM



An example for you: If I wrote articles on management, I would add a professional photo of myself. As a runner, I may add an alternate author name to write about running. My author photo could then be a photo of me running a marathon.

The photos should always be of yourself. You can get creative in your other niches as you develop association with the content you are writing about.


Sarah writes:

I seem to be missing the “How To” of this how to article!!!

How, exactly, do we set up alternate author names? Do we go through the original sign up process for each name? Or is there a way to link alternate names to an existing profile?


Comment provided April 20, 2011 at 1:48 AM



Here is a video for your understanding:

Let us know if you have questions. :)


Sarah writes:

Fantastic – thanks very much. The end of the video does provide clear step-by-step instructions on how to set up the alternate names.

Thanks for your help!


craig writes:

I’m confused between: “Don’t try to get more than 50 alternate author names.” and “The best practice is for each client to have their own account.”

We represent multiple clients and need an easy-to-administer way to post their articles without involving the client each time.

Since each author name is totally different than the other names, does this mean we couldn’t effectively use a single EzineArticles account to post & manage online article placements?

Comment provided July 21, 2011 at 10:08 AM


Stacie Walker writes:

Thank you for this informative post. I never even thought of using variations of my name, to organize my content for specific niches. I learn something new everyday.

Stacie Walker

Comment provided October 17, 2011 at 10:33 PM


Stephen Hendren writes:

This is ideal as I was looking for a way to do some work for a client in a totally separate niche without confusing my profile.

This is the perfect solution and my client is very happy. The training video was excellent too.


Comment provided June 29, 2012 at 4:20 AM



Does anyone have experience of using pen names for other forms of writing such as novels.

Comment provided July 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM


Paul Monk writes:

Great, I was wondering whether I would have to create seperate accounts for my company and my book as they are in completely different markets. I am thrilled to find the answer before I even got to ask the question. Many thanks!

Paul C.R. Monk

Comment provided November 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM



This is a very helpful article. Now I have a clear understanding of how to create new author names for my different niches. Thanks.

Comment provided February 1, 2013 at 12:22 PM


morris stephens writes:

This is very helpful information. I am thinking of using a different pen name, and after reading this article I now have an idea of the right names to use.

Comment provided February 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM


peter johnson writes:

This post has been very helpful! Thank you very much

Comment provided December 21, 2016 at 2:08 PM


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