Can you guess what makes my day as a blogger?
Yes, you’re right! Comments. I absolutely love getting comments and get excited when I see notifications in my inbox that I have received one.
But do you know what I love more? Getting comments from people with pictures. It makes me want to give a longer, more substantial reply since I can put a face behind the name. Seeing the picture facilitates the start of “KNOW-LIKE-TRUST” process, which is so important in building your online relationships.
Are you a spammer?
Looking at my own practices, I have observed that I tend to initially think of faceless commenters as spammers. You can’t blame me. After all, spammers don’t leave pictures of themselves all over the Internet. A real person’s comment can be caught in between the dirty river of spam comments and be deleted with the lot. So if you want to build a relationship with the blogger, or at least get your comment approved, you need to show a face behind the comment. The easiest way to do that is through Gravatar.
A gravatar is an image that appears beside your name whenever you leave a comment on a blog or site. To get a gravatar, you need to register for an account at http://en.gravatar.com/. You will be asked for your email address. Now, it’s very important that you remember what email you used to register for your gravatar because that will be the email you need to enter when leaving comments on blogs. If you use that email, your gravatar will appear. If you use a different email, then your gravatar will not appear.
In my case, I have several emails that I use for leaving comments. One email is for industry-related sites, while others are associated for the different blogs that I own. To make sure that I always have a gravatar beside my name, I registered all those with Gravatar. I used different pictures for each account but you can use the same picture if you want. To help you choose which picture to use, here are a few tips:
- Choose a clear picture. Don’t use ones that are so blurry it’s impossible for your friends to recognize that it is you.
- Show your face. If you want to build a relationship with the blogger, then show your face. I know of some people who used professionally taken headshots as gravatars and they received great feedback for doing so. However, you can use your computer camera, phone camera, or digital camera to take a picture of yourself.
- Make sure your picture is not slutty. One of my pet peeves is seeing slutty profile pictures of “professionals.” (You know what I mean!) Call me a prude but my clients do agree with me. I once referred a VA to a former client who had someone’s behind as her profile picture in Yahoo Messenger. My client thought that was unprofessional so he did not hire her. Similarly, if I see a slutty picture on my comment’s, my first thought is “This one is a spammer.”
- Share your interest… as long as it’s appropriate. Do you have a dog? You can use a picture of you with your dog – not your dog only.If you love reading, then you can show a picture of you holding your favorite book or your kindle. Similarly, you can add a logo to your picture if you’re promoting something. But never, never use a picture that shows you drinking or smoking pot. They might be “interests” for you but it’s just not done. Thank goodness I haven’t seen that in my comments but I have seen that on the profile picture of a web worker I interviewed on Skype for a client.
I hope that after reading this post and sharing it to your network, you will go to the Gravatar web site and register for an account. Then come back here and leave a comment to show me that you have a gravatar.