From My Desk To Yours – 26th Edition

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

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.

Additional Resources:


Lisa Mason writes:

Great tips here!

Only problem I have regarding name is that mine was taken without my permission and I had to add my middle initial. I had a client years ago purchase articles from me and said I would get a byline. I found out later, he put them here in my name, locking out my ability to use my own name due to 5 articles. He gave me the impression they would be on his site, not here. I was told someone would help me with it but they never did.

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 2:50 PM


R Matt Lashley writes:

I like the names Alyssa Amore and Amanda Kiss. And Seymour Butts, Phyllis Steen and Billy Aiken have nice rings too. :)

And so, EzineArticles sweeps onward, cleaning out the closet.

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 2:55 PM


Julia Andersson writes:

I use different author names for different niches… so as not to confuse my readers… they look to Julia Andersson to find weight loss articles… not articles about forex so I have those under a different author name.

In my case I’ve used prior surnames… and now I’m not sure I should have. I used my maiden name for one niche and my ex married name for another, and now my new married name.

Do you think I should change them so they all use my current surname but just include my middle initial in one and my middle name in the other?

LOL… Love my captcha (free traffic)… yes please!

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM



This is a difficult question because once you build name recognition, you don’t want to confuse your readership by changing it. If you don’t think it will build confusion, then change it.



For those who change relationships and niches every now and then it is OK. But too difficult for devout Christian whose gender names all quite unique.

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM


Mully writes:

I like the idea of having only one penship name. It may deviates slightly from your actual name. Names like Adam Smith, Julia Anderson is relatively common to be used. So, variation to such name, e.g Adam Smither or Juliet Anderrsen makes the individual stands above the other commonly used name. But stick to your chosen name all the time so that your readers are able to follow. It’s okay if you have several niches.

Providing a photo of yourself shows your sincerity & intergrity.

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM


Karen writes:

I used my married and maiden surname for different niches and another one where I used both together. Wonder whether it is okay.

Comment provided April 18, 2011 at 8:31 PM



As long as it works for you and the name on your article matches the name in your resource box, you’re OK to do this.


paban writes:

But i rather use my surname ending with my year of birth such as alex1950.

Comment provided April 19, 2011 at 12:09 AM



This is not an author name we would allow.



Nice tips. Keep up the good work.

Comment provided April 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM


John Box writes:

This is great and a bit funny post! Thank you.
Yes, I can see how having spelling mistakes or other inconsistencies in the resource box could undermine the whole article.

Comment provided April 20, 2011 at 9:02 AM




Here’s a video on Managing Multiple Brands with Alternate Author Names that is fitting for this post. It’s a must see if you haven’t yet. :)

Comment provided April 20, 2011 at 10:37 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Not long ago, I talked with the husband of Registered Nurse who writes Health and Wellness articles here and he said his wife writes under a pen name, but also leaves her nursing “RN” next to the fake name she made up. Is this allowed? And if in case it is, I hereby condemn such activity with all the fury I can muster as fraudulent and borderline criminal. But, I’d like to hear your comments on this.

Comment provided April 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM


Lisa Mason writes:

Good point you bring up. I am curious as to the answer as well. IMO, it sounds fraudulent but then again, the real human behind the pen *is* an RN. On the other hand, the name she uses was *not* the one the RN title was given to, which would make it false.

Personally, if you have a title or license in your niche, I don’t understand why you would want to use a pen name anyway. Build that brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert, IMO.



I have co written an article with a holistic MD about using guided imagery to prepare for surgery.
How do we submit an article that is co written?
Glenda Cedarleaf

Comment provided January 11, 2012 at 6:36 AM


Glenda –

Simply go into your account and create an alternate author name using the name of your coauthor – you can even upload their picture. Then when you submit your article, you’ll be given the option to select both a primary author and a coauthor.

You can contact our Member Support Team if you need more assistance by clicking on the “Contact” link in the upper-right corner of your member interface.

– Marc


Charles Boustany writes:

Hello Penny

Glad I found this thread so here is my question
I am branching into another niche and was wondering what is best to use

Charles Boustani
Charles Bustani
Charles C Boustany
CC Boustany
or a combination of the above

Having said all that and wanting to keep my photo does it make any difference by changing slight,y my name ?

Look forward to your suggestions


Comment provided January 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM


Charles –

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to jump in for Penny and answer your question.

We recommend that you use only variations of your real name and avoid misspellings as a way to create unique variations. So your first two suggestions would not be acceptable author names. 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) by our editors.

The solution is to work on variations that are still valid renditions of your real name, like you did in the last two examples. You’d be surprised at how many variations you can come up with if you stop and think about it.

– Marc


Charles Boustany writes:

Thank YOU Marc. Will follow your advice


Comment provided January 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM


VMM Milic writes:

My author name is probably hard to pronounce, where I would have to change every “j” into “y” if I wanted people to read it properly.

Thus I use VMM as my first name (combination of name and surname: Vanja-Marija Milic) and I leave my surname as it is.

Some time ago I thought of changing it into Vanya-Maria for the sake of readers’ ease, but then – I don’t really feel comfortable signing my few articles with something which is not on my ID :D

I put the optional name in “about myself”, just for the sake of it.

Strikes me as best what Penny wrote (or at least I thought she did) that consistency in signature will not confuse readers. I think so, too.

Interesting article and even more interesting responses.

Comment provided July 9, 2012 at 8:44 AM


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