@Kimmoy: I'd like to know if you create a new persona or alias as an affiliate. If so, why?
I often do, yes.
There are a number of reasons you might want to use pen names, or a different persona or personality on your niche affiliate sites...
Wikipedia: Pen Name
A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her writings, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. source
To get a better understanding of the use of pen names, I highly recommend you visit the WikiPedia page linked above and read the section on Western Literature. You can also see a list of notable pen names there.
Some of those same reasons can be applied to affiliate marketing, or to online business in general. For example, Michael Green (well known internet marketing expert) uses a pen name because he is involved in UK politics and also runs an established printing & publishing business offline.
There are a number of privacy issues to consider. For example, if your telephone is billed and listed under your name then anyone can pull up the address and Google map by doing a simple search on your name and state.
Remember when I had someone show up at my back door one night? 😯
Using your real name could also affect your current or future job. Employers often search online during the hiring process. Let's not forget that Heather Armstrong (aka "Dooce") was outed and fired back in 2002 over her personal blog.
You may also choose a pen name that is more suited to your niche. Most men don't want to buy auto accessories from a woman, and most women don't want to buy lingerie from a man. The alias or pen name you choose for a certain niche should be part of your mission to properly serve that market.
There's also the case of different personalities for different topics. Some niches require an impersonal approach (focus on the product, not the person selling it), others require a very professional character, and some may require a more fun and personal interaction.
In the case of my own niche affiliate sites, each represent a very real side of me. There's very little "faking it" necessary as I choose niches that I have personal interest or experience in. I might be very competitive-natured on my sports site, the maternal side of me shows through on my parenting blog or site selling products for kids, and my personal blog might give you the wild crazy side of me.
But they are each true sides of the real me.
I have other reasons for using pen names as well. On some of my niche affiliate sites I outsource a lot of the writing and marketing. That one pen name is actually managed by multiple people, including myself - but without the collective work reflecting on any of my other reputations in any other markets. I don't personally catch heat for the opinions or writings of my ghost writers, for example.
Do you use pen names yourself, and if so - why?
I'd love to hear your experiences and examples...