Mike's Gravatar alongside a generic one

Ever thought about Gravatar marketing?

August 9, 2011 · 4 comments

Here’s a great way to increase your visibility. It’s called Gravatar marketing.

What is a Gravatar?

A Gravatar is a globally recognized image (avatar) that sits next to the comments you make on many popular blogs or group forums. If you don’t have a Gravatar, a more generic image will often accompany the comments you make instead. Thinking back, have you ever noticed how easy it is to skip over the comments of someone who doesn’t use a Gravatar? Well, that’s the purpose of this article. I would like to urge each of you to take just a few minutes to create your own Gravatar. It’s free, easy to do, and is something that will have a positive impact on your image and brand.

What’s considered a Gravatar image?

Most people use a headshot, while others use a logo, illustration, or some other image. I think it’s smart to use a photo of yourself, and here’s why…

1. Using a headshot lets other readers know who they’re talking to. It gives your comments a more personal touch, rather than seeming like generic thoughts from an anonymous person.

2. Personal images build trust. It’s not about vanity or ego; it’s about T-R-U-S-T. We all like to know who we’re dealing with. It’s as true online as it is offline. Using a headshot is an easy way to build a reputation and strengthen your brand.

3. Many people think visually. How many times have you heard someone say they can’t remember the names of streets if you ask them for directions, but they could give you landmarks? That’s because many people are “visual thinkers.” When you use a photo of yourself as a Gravatar, it helps build a visual connection between your image, your name, and your content.

How do I get a Gravatar?

1. Gravatars are free. All you have to do is sign up for one at http://en.gravatar.com. If you have a WordPress blog, you’ll be prompted to enter your WordPress username and password to get started. Otherwise, you’ll be asked to enter an email address. You’ll then receive instructions by email for completing the registration process.

2. Once you’ve created your account, the Gravatar website will allow you to upload an image and crop it however you see fit. The crop box is square in shape (and must remain square), but it can be resized to remove whitespace.

3. After cropping your photo, you will be asked to pick a rating for your Gravatar. The ratings line up with those used for movies (G, PG, R, etc.). The system allows blog owners to select a maximum rating for the images that will appear on their websites, so I’d recommend a rating of “G.” That way, your Gravatar will appear on all blogs that use the Gravatar system.

4. With your account in place, your Gravatar will now appear when you comment on a blog that incorporates the Gravatar system (like this one). Just make sure you use the same email address you registered on Gravatar.com, so the system knows who you are. You can link additional email addresses to the same Gravatar account by logging in at http://en.gravatar.com and following the instructions.

That’s it. It really is easy to do and will immediately improve your image as a tech-savvy marketer.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gig March 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Just created mine. Thanks.

Sandra Kennedy August 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for helping me understand Gravatar better:)

carolyn grieves August 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I learned a new word today. Thanks, Mike

Randy August 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Mike, yes, it’s a simple thing to do, and it’s always better when readers can relate to a picture.

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