ON AUTHOR NAMES AND CREDIBILITY
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor
With thousands of new account sign-ups a month, it’s no surprise that the most common names have already been snatched up on EzineArticles.com.
Names are given out on a first come, first served basis when you sign up so that each person has a unique name.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution for people with fairly common names who want to sign up for a new account. Make your account one-of-a-kind by adding your middle initial or full middle name to your account name. For example, John Doe could register as John A. Doe, John Albert Doe, J. A. Doe, etc., or Susan Smith could register as Susan M. Smith, Susan Mary Smith, S. Mary Smith, etc. There are a huge number of variations to use from one name as long as at least one part of the name is more than just a single initial.
We check each new account sign-up to verify that the author follows the Editorial Guidelines regarding Author Names (Section 2a).
Unfortunately, some authors are not making the best author name choices and end up side-stepping the rules. By doing this, they chance losing major credibility points and the potential of account suspension. Intentional or unintentional errors, here are a few examples of what we’ve seen:
- Misspelling – Authors misspell their name at sign-up. When the name on the account and the name in an article’s Resource Box don’t match up, this builds confusion. If the names are off by just one letter, they’re considered a mismatch (e.g. Betsy Johnson vs. Betsy Johnsn, Adam Smith vs. Adam Ssmith).
The problem can be fixed easily by logging into your Member Account, selecting Edit Author Names under the Profile Manager drop-down and submitting a Change Author Name Request at the bottom of the page with a valid author name.
- Flipped – Authors flip their first and last names. In this case, John Smith becomes Smith John, or Emily Jones becomes Jones Emily. The problem is that these aren’t actual names. Using a real name and uploading your author photo are two important steps for building your credibility. Both steps help give your writing a human touch.
- Hokey – Authors resort to using a descriptive pen name related to their company. Names like Alyssa Amore (who writes about relationships & love), Bil Lionare (who writes about business) or Kyle Coffee (who writes about java) are not to be used in your articles. If you’re just starting to write, a name like this will generate questions about who you are. You don’t want to leave room for question. OWN your article and brand it with your name. Article writing is not the platform for descriptive pen names.
- Screen Names – Authors try to write under a screen name, like hockeygirl1981. Screen names are okay for forums, email addresses and other informal online venues. But you’ll be helping yourself and your reputation by writing under an actual name in your articles.
These are just a few examples of what we’ve seen. Check out Section 2.c of the Editorial Guidelines to ensure that each new author name you choose is valid.
Also, always take a second look at the Resource Box before you submit an article to check that the name in your byline matches the name in your Resource Box. If you do, you’ll be on your way to building trust and credibility for more traffic back to your website or blog.
The author name guidelines apply to the alternate author names on your account. ALL names on your account must follow the outlined guidelines. See the ‘Alternate Author Names – A “How To” below on how to add an alternate author name to your account.