The Good and Bad of Anonymous Blogging

Below is a quick outline on blogging anonymously thus far:

Five Themes:

1) Intelligent Readership: This is not surprising. The only people who are able to tell that this blog is legitimately run by Wall Street professionals are people who either a) work on Wall Street, b) have legitimate knowledge of Wall Street or c) have a high IQ and spent the time reading about the profession.

Example: One of our contributors stumbled upon a personal finance website called Financial Samurai and in just 2 weeks we noticed he dropped in and left a comment on our post: Working with a Psycho Managing Director.You can’t fake experience because the content would reflect the lie. Sam over at Financial Samurai has a legitimate financial background so he’s one of the rare people we read with regard to personal finance advice. He didn’t inherit his money so he has a right to speak on the topic. Even though we may disagree (IE: we don’t like homes as long term investments while he loves them) at least he has walked the walk.

2) Easy to Recruit: Again, this is a bit Wall Street specific, however anyone who has actually spent more than a few years on Wall Street knows that the job can become painfully mind numbing and boring. By verifying legitimate Wall Street professionals (emails, linked-in etc.) it becomes very easy for someone to write a blog post when they have had very minimal exposure to creativity. It becomes a fun hobby and the content by default becomes much more interesting.

Example: We had a chance to speak with a few high end individuals in Private Equity. While they have no interest at all in becoming long-term bloggers they jumped at the chance to put in their few cents on what life is like on the Street and what their days look like. Negatively, since Wall Street is an extremely close knit group no one wants to have their name plastered over the internet so we can use hypervisors/logmein accounts and different servers to easily erase their linkage. Now you can see why choosing friends is important.

3) Private Network: This is probably the largest benefit of having an anonymous blog. You develop a private network where you can help other contributors meet one another to exchange ideas and build their own mini-private network. This way you are adding value through multiple avenues 1) posts and content and 2) peer to peer networking.

Example: Back in September of 2013, we had an out of work investment banking analyst contact us asking for advice on landing a job. The catch? Well we already knew of a slot that had opened in his city and the other contributing blogger was the person in charge of the hiring. You can guess what happened. Slotted into an interview at minimum which resulted in a job. As mentioned several times on this blog, this does not mean you can simply ask for a job or help, you need to be qualified. No one in their right mind would have a problem referring someone with legitimate job experience for a first round interview.

4) Slower Growth: Naturally, if you don’t want to put your name out there (no idea why anyone on Wall Street would ever do this) you’re going to experience slower growth. The slower growth eventually turns into sporadic growth and ideally hyper growth in the future. After about a year we received ~5-10 emails per month saying that the information was “fake”. Now that we have hundreds of posts and have answered hundreds of questions the only people who could believe that the information is fake don’t know anything about Wall Street or are simply haters. We get one of these once every 4 months or so and just chalk it up to someone being illiterate.

Example: Before we got around to throwing up our resume advice we had to prove our information was legitimate. So what did we do? We threw up an Investment Banking Q&A which is 100% accurate for anyone who has ever interviewed for Investment Banking. After a few highly detailed Wall Street specific posts we saw a massive increase in our stick rate (returning visitors). With the backdrop out of the way we believe an anonymous blog will take at least a year to gain any meaningful traffic since you have to build trust like any other business.

5) Hobby Atmosphere: Since we have no interest in really making a lot of money from this blog, we can simply write at our leisure and work on a product on the side as well. For one reason or another we’ve come up with some good ideas for posts over the past 3 months so we’ve increased the post count dramatically during February and March.

Example: The posts slow down in the Summer/December. This is the only time Wall Street employees take vacations. Generally it’s the “August slow down” and the normal holiday season shut down (week of Christmas/New Years). This year we’ll try to keep a few posts pre-loaded to help with the flow, but there is no chance we’re going to be typing up posts while we’re kicking it on an international vacation.

Overall Suggestions on Blogging: In short, if you intend to make a blog that obtains a high amount of revenue and net income, you need to show your face. If you look around at the high end blogs that make money, all of them have a person to attach to (IE: people don’t have control of their emotions and need a human connection). On the flip side, if you’re looking to meet a set of high quality people, anonymous blogging is great. You’re able to quickly filter out the noise and meet like minded individuals. Once every 1-2 months you’ll come across someone who understands your views and you may have a new friend out in Chicago or Miami in no time.

We are assuming that many of the readers here also run blogs or have an interest in starting one, if you have additional questions/comments feel free to leave them below.


  1. AdoubleU says

    Hi, thanks for the informative post. I have some questions:

    What are some examples of the high end moneymaking blogs that you mention? Do they tend to be general life blogging or fulfill some specific niche (politics, celebrity gossip)?

    Also, how do the majority of blogs bring in revenue? I don’t see many ads on WSPs site, is majority of money made just from blog donations?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      There is an example right here in this post… Financial Samurai

      The main money making blogs are always in the same fields 1) health, 2) money, 3) relationships.

      The trick is you need to be an expert or else you’re going to garner bad/terrible traffic. This is again why we emphasize “better well done than well said” the reason why blogs like FS are successful is because it is legitimate. Within a single article it is not hard for us to tell he is an ex-Wall Street guy, he didn’t even need to put up a bio because his typing style, formatting and tone is clearly ex-Street.

      • Financial Samurai says

        Thanks for the shoutout!

        My goal has been to be as open as possible about my experiences. It makes writing much easier. But at the same time, I value my privacy. I’m happy to meet nice folks face to face if they come out to SF.

        I didn’t want any type of conflict of interest while i exercised my freedom of speech in 2009. Now that I’m no longer beholden to anybody, I’m more transparent, but still enjoy my privacy too much.

        Maybe this summer things will change a little more!


      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Good stuff Sam! We may be able to get a writer to meet up for coffee or something in the future. Or a game of tennis ha.

        Agree on all fronts, as it stands we’re working on that same balance of anonymity and legitimate information.

  2. IB Analyst says

    The first and second point really resonated for me. The only way people will know the blog is legitimate without a face is by having specific niche information. Anyone who has worked on Wall Street knows that the information here is real. Makes your audience smaller though.

    Doesn’t seem to be a big issue to you guys though.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Yep, the emails of authenticity declined dramatically after a few posts regarding Wall Street Recruiting and financial modeling. You simply can’t fake the information because it takes hundreds of hours of work to really understand all of the topics.

      We’re not really interested in writing to the 99% though, so the growth is just fine.

  3. Blogger says

    I started a blog but had the same ideas you guys listed here. Without showing face it would be hard so I ended up using my real information. After that it is pretty easy to keep work Internet activities separate from personal Internet activities.

  4. Jason says

    This site is incredible. I found it from your recent post on wallst oasis – cuts out a lot of the crap and delivers the juice.

    What do you guys get out of it? From reading a couple of posts:

    – your big on giving back; you say this leads to success
    – you dont do this blog to make a huge amount of coin
    – your well connected
    – you dont state your identities.
    – website is clean and simple

    So whats in it for you guys? No recognition, no big coin, giving back but no one knows who you are?
    What’s the vision/ motive?

    I like it a lot, cheers.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      In a sentence?
      The truth should be free.

      More details below:

      1) There is a lot of BS information out there about Wall Street, so we wanted to cover that.

      Example: No one needs to spend $2000 on an investment banking modeling class before going to Wall Street (all of the models are pre-built)

      2) There is a lot of terrible life advice on the internet

      Example: growing trend of men getting married young (eg: in their late 20s).

      3) It is hard to find mentors, so if people are smart and young they have an opportunity to ask what ever they like to a Wall Street professional. EG: Giving back is not a bad thing it’s fun, again as you stated we don’t need the money.

      4). If we can raise a few bucks for charity, there is nothing wrong with that, again don’t see why we should turn down free donations for red cross or XYZ charity. So if you learn a lot here feel free to donate.

      5) The people we allow to post all enjoy their jobs so there is no point in linking it all up to our names. Some of the info here is not “PC” like our post on drugs.

  5. youngprofessional says

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to start an anonymous blog for younger professionals – how did you guys create your website? Did you go to somebody? Are there certain mechanics that should be built into it that are important?


    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Not sure how to proceed without information this was entirely self made by a small group of people.

      In terms of advice, if you’re going to have an anonymous blog you absolutely must have niche information.

      What this means is that you cannot have an anonymous blog without information that proves you are real. The information we provide here would be excruciatingly difficult to fake as we have personally helped many people break into Wall Street already. For free.

  6. Noor says

    Hey guys,
    I’m currently an Economics major interning for a startup in N. California, I’m taking the quarter off to start a personal trainer business and marketing on the side. My question is with this particular set of niche knowledge and skills, how can I segue into WS if I consider it, also quick background I just switched to Economics…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.