Blogging is an intensely personal experience, and for those who blog under their own names, they’re letting the entire Internet get a glimpse into their lives. But your blog is about the other people in your life too, and they may or may not be as interested in having their experiences, foibles and words documented for anyone with a web browser to stumble across.

Using a pseudonym or nickname is an easy way to protect the identity of your friends and family that you might discuss in your blog. But switching your son’s name from “Bill” to “John” will probably feel a little weird, so instead try taking a more creative tact to renaming your supporting cast:

Go with an initial
If you’re just trying to avoid having your spouse’s or kid’s name show up in a Google search, calling Timmy “T” and Juliet “J” is an easy approach. People who know your family will be able to easily identify who you’re actually talking about, but it doesn’t do much to really hide their identity.

Get descriptive
Writers use language to convey a story, setting and emotion to their readers, and there’s no reason your fake names can’t do the same. Come up with a nickname that hints at their essence, such as dubbing your hyperactive troublemaker “Whirlwind” or your tea-party loving, dress-up diva “Miss Fancy Pants.” And this can be extended to pretty much everyone you blog about, including your boss “Ms. Grumps,” your neighbor “The Helpful Handyman” and your prying “Aunt Nosy.”

Birth order inspiration
Got a few kids that regularly make an appearance in your posts? Well, calling your firstborn “The Eldest” or your third child “Kid 3” is one way to keep your characters straight while not giving away their names.

What strategy have you taken with real names in your own blog? Let us know in the comments section below.