Writing in Your Own Name

writingAs a freelance writer, you are often asked to write content and deliver it to the client for them to publish.  In many (maybe even most) cases, they will publish the content in their own name, or under a generic name for their site.  This is a fairly normal practice, and there is nothing wrong with it.  If, however, you are able to have the content published in your own name, it is MUCH more valuable to you.  You may even offer a discount on your services in order to get the content published in your own name.

For example, depending on the site where the content is published, I offer between 10 and 20% off of my prices if they will publish the content in my name, ideally with my picture next to it.  If they include a link back to my site or my Google+ profile, I may even offer a higher discount.   There are many reasons why publishing in your own name is important including those listed below.

Surprise Publicity

One important reason why it is so important is because you never know what will happen to the content you write once it is published.  The event that prompted me writing this post is a prime example.  I write a significant amount of content for a popular performance marketing site, and it is always published in my name.  To my surprise, the New York Times quoted the article I wrote, and gave a link back to it.  Needless to say, the gentlemen who owns the site (who I work for) was thrilled to have such a powerful link to his site, and I am extremely excited to have been quoted in the Times.  You can see the article in which I was quoted HERE.  To see my quote, scroll down a little bit to the area under the sub-title ‘Online’ and you’ll see it there.

I was extremely excited to find out that I was quoted in such a prestigious and famous publication.  If I had been writing for this site in someone else’s name, it would have been such a disappointment.  Of course, I can use this event to try to bring in new clients and grow my business as well. There is no way to predict when this type of thing will happen, so whenever possible, make sure to publish your content in your own name.

Excellent Portfolio

Most freelance writers know the importance of having a good portfolio they can show potential clients.  Some people will make a website for their services, and publish content to show others.  This is a great idea, but it is even better if you can show potential clients that you are published on a wide range of different sites.  If, for example, I have content published on websites of a dozen different niches, I can send people samples of my writing in a niche that is closely related to theirs.  This will give them a good idea of just what type of writing I can do, and it will show them that I have experience related to their project.

Link Profile

If you can get a link back to your site as well as having it published in your name, you can build up a lot of high quality back links to your site.  Of course, you’ll want to be somewhat careful about where the links come from, but when done properly, the links from other pages to yours can dramatically improve your search rankings.

In addition, if someone is reading an article on another site, they may like your writing and decide to hire you.  If they don’t have a way to get in touch with you, you may have lost a client.  If, however, you have the content published in your name, and with a link to your site, they can quickly get in touch with you and start building that relationship.

While it won’t always be possible, you should always attempt to have content published in your name.  It is a great way to build your freelance business over the long term.  Obviously you won’t be likely to get any real benefit from it right away, but over time, you will start reaping the rewards.

What do you think about writing in your own name compared to handing over the rights to the client to publish in their own name?  I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

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  1. says

    I was quite surprised, several times, when my online articles were republished in offline newsletters and/or magazines! That’s a real gift, IMHO.

    So glad to hear your article was quoted in the NY Times! Grats!

    I am surprised someone would actually pay you to write in your name, unless of course we’re talking about a magazine, newsletter or newspaper. I wasn’t aware that people actually PAY you online to write an article “in your name” for placement on a third party website. How cool is that?
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How to Make Your First $5 with an Unfinished ProductMy Profile

    • says

      Yeah! I was really excited about it. 🙂

      I have three or four clients that allow me to publish in my name, and I’ve had a few others that just needed one post and let me put it in my name (for a discounted price). I almost always ask clients if that is an option, and if they are open to it, great! If not, no big deal.


  2. says

    Congrats Michael! That is so awesome to hear. Do you have much resistance from clients when you ask about putting your name on the article? I’m curious about niche sites especially. I would think most put a personal spin on it and would want to make it like they wrote it, unless of course it’s a guest post.
    Misty recently posted…Micro Niche Site versus Authority Niche SiteMy Profile

    • says

      Some clients don’t care, others say no. I always figure it never hurts to ask. 🙂 I’ve got a number of clients who let me post under my own name. I often use it as a bargaining chip. If my prices are too high, I’ll offer to drop the price by X% in exchange for allowing me to post under my name (sometimes with a link to my site). Another benefit they sometimes get is that I will post the articles to their site for them, so they just go in and review it and hit approve.

      Of course, some of them are completely against it as well, which is fine. I don’t mind ghostwriting, but when given the option, I always want my name on it. 🙂

      It has worked out really well for me, and it seems like the clients are really happy with it as well.


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