Gravatars: A Powerful Free Way To Brand Your Comments!

October 21, 2014 · 105 comments

in Attraction Marketing & Branding

gravatar logoWhat is a Gravatar?

Gravatar may sound like a funny word, but its one of the hottest tools to increase your branding value while blogging… for free!

Have you ever wondered how come some people’s comments on blogs get a sharp looking image next to their comment, while yours gets a boring generic image?

gravatar-example-1

Gravatar stands for “Graphical Avatar” and essentially means picture that represents you. In the world of self branding, that’s your picture! It’s your face! It also is the answer to the riddle!

By setting up a profile (login) containing your picture at Gravatar.com (now owned by WordPress.com) you can become instantly recognizable on every blog you visit! The setup is quick and painless and once set up requires absolutely no special effort to “use” when commenting. The images simply appear on any blog that supports them when you submit your post.

This awesome little video explains some of the advantages and shows you how fast and simple it is to sign up!

Click here to get your free Gravatar account. 

A WordPress Set Up Walk-Through

My colleague, Jim Landers, from Jupiter Jim’s Marketing Team, has a great introduction and walk through to take you by the hand and show you how to get set up.

Tired of Generic People Commenting On Your Blog?

If you have a blog and are interested in your commenters being prompted to get their OWN unique gravatar (without annoying those that already do), a quick wordpress plugin is in order!

Gravatar Signup Encouragement is a simple plugin that encourages users without an avatar on Gravatar to make one!  It creates a prompt (and link to the website) for any user who’s email was not found on file at Gravatar.

[GSE has now become outdated and un-updated in several years. I recommend upgrading to Commentluv Premium which includes an actively supported version of this feature.]

Assuming you are signed in and have your own avatar, you will not notice any changes to your blog. Log out of your blog and then try to leave a comment with a random nonsensical email address, to see the prompt.

User’s that do not have an email on record will see something similar to this screenshot:

Comment Box Screenshot with Gravatar Encouragement Plugin In Use

That’s all folks!

Got any cool gravatar stories or suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Here’s to better blogging! Like this tip? Tweet It, Digg It, Facebook Share It and Leave a comment!

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: If your gravatar does not appear to be working for YOUR own administrator account for your blog, click here.

 

Originally Published January 1st, 2010 and most recently updated October 21st, 2014

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95 comments
DavidMerrill101
DavidMerrill101

A gravatar is one of the most important things to set up when you're a blogger.

It makes you a "real person" in the minds of people reading your comments, and greatly enhances the likelihood of them clicking on your links to follow you onto your own blog.

Andy Lockhart
Andy Lockhart

Hey Kim


This is great information for people who are new to blogging or even just have had a website built that has a blog.  Business owners especially don't understand this whole Gravatar bit.


Thanks  Andy

julieannevanzyl
julieannevanzyl

Excellent tutorial Kim, there are still a lot of new bloggers who've never heard of a gravatar before.  Good idea to prompt people to create one before they comment!

siphosith
siphosith

Thanks Kim for the great post. This helps for one to be unique. Thanks for sharing the video.

WilliamAmis1
WilliamAmis1

Kim, great article on the importance of being unique. Just free registration at Gravatar. Takes care of issues one would have to leave a supportive comment. 


I for one, would not allow anyone without a valid Gravatar, ability to leave a comment. I will not approve someone who is not willing to show themselves. I believe in transparency and that is it.


Hey, you want people to know you as a real person? That is good enough reason to sign up.


sheerargan
sheerargan

Hi Kim,

Very interesting subject. I will try to find a good avatar for my website.

Thanks a lot!

victoriamelchor
victoriamelchor

YES!  I've been using gravatar forever too.  I never thought of it as a branding tool but I can see how it definitively is a useful tool to establish expertise and make a name for yourself around the web!


donnamerrilltribe
donnamerrilltribe

Hey Kim,


I had several different gravatars going on a while back.  People were getting confused.  They were all pics of me, but with all my fooling around with hairstyles, they needed one on all platforms.  I also needed a professional shot for my new blog, so I did that and then went over to every single platform to have the exact same gravatar shown. 

People noticed right away!  So point being, even if we have a gravatar set up, it has to be the same on all platforms we are on.  So learn by my mistake!

-Donna

BigLeaguesBook
BigLeaguesBook

So true Kim. Adding a pic to my profile was one of the first things I tried to do on my website. The task was not intuitive. Six months later, I became aware of the word Gravatar and its plugin on wordpress. :)  I hope all registered users on my website pick one for the reasons mentioned above.

SteveVargerson
SteveVargerson

Obviously Kim I now realize the significance of Gravatars as they are the unanimously accepted gifts to WordPress. 

PromosOnWheels
PromosOnWheels

i was reading another article about this and heard "testing" pics helps too -- so maybe a half smile or smile can lend itself to a certain perception, etc. and in your case, Kim, being dressed appropriately for the topics you write about, makes sense.

Leanne Chesser
Leanne Chesser

Yup. I use Gravatar. I didn't know that it stood for graphical avatar, though. Very cool :).

Yorinda Wanner
Yorinda Wanner

Hi Kim,

when I came across the Gravatar, fortunately when I started blogging, I thought it was such a cool way to have a photo and other info appear when you comment.

Thank you so much for this information and the videos, which I watched just incase I missed something.

I don't think I want to block anyone who doesn't have an avatar, but I could see how this could apply to some businesses.

Cheers,

Yorinda

Rachel Lavern
Rachel Lavern

Hi Kim,

That was a great tutorial. I have been using a gravatar since I first started blogging...most have received some great guidance. Thanks.

Karen Peltier
Karen Peltier

A few months back, I signed up for a Gravatar. I really enjoy the fact that I can associate several email addresses with it. And having one is helpful as I think it makes comments much more personal. I haven't necessarily noticed an measurable outcomes from having one, but I'm sure it has helped.

Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson

I think a gravatar is essential in building your brand online. Plus i cant stand it when someone ain't rockin one when they comment haha. Makes it much more personal and trusting.

Jupiter Jim
Jupiter Jim

Kimberly,

I don't think I ever noticed the feature on CommentLuv Premium, that I've been using for a long time, thanks to you, that encourages people to get the gravatar! That is most awesome and thanks for sharing that information. Also, I incorrectly read that Gravatar means Global Avatar but like you said Graphical Avatar would make more sense! Great post and thanks for sharing the link to my video and blog post, Miss Kimberly!!!

~ Jupiter Jim

nick catricala
nick catricala

Kim,

thanks so much for having this article for all of us to refresh and learn more...

When I was first introduced did not see the need.. but boy ho boy, did I see the need when I had to add my picture every time I needed to add wow.. what I relief to know Gravatar works automatically without even thinking of it.. and as Jim said.. you set as you like and the rest will be done automatically for others to know you better :-)

Thanks again

_nickc

David Bennett
David Bennett

Yes, gravatars are good markers for being a 'real' person on the web.

Some people don't have a blog to associate with their gravatar, but some people do and still don't associate their blog(s) with their gravatar.

They comment, but they have not linked themselves to their blog. Then it is a case of googling to try to find where the person writes.

Sarah Arrow
Sarah Arrow

Gravatars are often an important component in your author box plugin if you use one and it's much easier to find the real people in your spam filter as the photo makes them stand right out.

Shelley Alexander
Shelley Alexander

Kim, I have had a Gravatar for many years and and I think its a great tool to use to brand yourself when you share on social media and blogs. Thanks for providing this post and the helpful videos to help everyone who has not gotten one yet.

Willena Flewelling
Willena Flewelling

I'm surprised at how many people still don't have an avatar -- especially considering the alternatives on some blogs. I'd far rather have my own chosen picture of myself than some randomly generated monster.

David Merrill 101
David Merrill 101

The funny thing about gravatars is this.

When I monitor the spam messages I get, they almost never have a gravatar. When I get comments to my blogs from real people (not spam bots), they almost always have a gravatar.

So a quick way for me to look through my spams messages is to simply look for a gravatar. If there is none, I just leave it as spam and delete it... forever.

So gravatars are a sure token of credibility.

donna merrill
donna merrill

Hi Kim,

You gotta have a gravatar! When someone comes to my blog or any side and doesn't have one, my mind immediately goes to "I don't trust this person." Now, I know there are plenty of newbies out there that may have not gotten around to it. I will make an exception on my blog for them.

But...if they don't have a gravatar, they cannot come into my blog.

It is also important for branding purposes. Kim, I had so many different hair styles over the years, that a few months back I had to take a new picture for my gravatar and then put it up all over the place so it would be congruent.

-Donna

Chery Schmidt
Chery Schmidt

Hello Kim, I love this post! I cannot beleive the amount of people that leave comments without a Gravatar. I could understand if it was something hard to do but as you have clearly stated here it is pretty simple to do..

Thanks for sharing.. Chery :

Richard Martin
Richard Martin

Thanks for this Kim, the problem I have is that my Gravatar displays on everyone else's blogs, but not my own!

Nika
Nika

thanks! This really helps, hopefully I'll figure out how to get it to show up on Blogger

sooreneccs
sooreneccs

Hi Kim,

Since gravatar is your image identity calling card, would it make you a spammer if a year or so, change to another gravatar?

Thousand thanks in advance!

PSN
PSN

Nice article.

Great explanation of gravitar. :)

Joyce Edwards
Joyce Edwards

Hi Kim,

Thnaks so much for the heads up on the Gravatar. It was so easy! I think that I tried to use this before because I already had an account with an old email address. I is amazing the things that I am learning from you and others at TSA. This makes doing a blog so much easier since there is always someone who can make the learning curve less steep.

Joyce

Lorie Letschert
Lorie Letschert

thanks Kim. Great information as always.

i just download the gravatar. i hope it will work :)

Allegra Sinclair
Allegra Sinclair

Hi Kim,

I have my gravatar set up so my picture shows when I visit other blogs but my picture does NOT show up on my own blog. Any idea why? I hope you're having a POWERFUL week! Allegra

Linda G. Cox
Linda G. Cox

This was the very first thing I learned when I was starting! And it is the very first 'tutorial' I made. I watched my tutorial the other day and I realized I need to re-do it now that I have Camtasia, but there is never enough time!!

Linda G. Cox
Linda G. Cox

This was the very first thing I learned when I was starting! And it is the very first 'tutorial' I made. I watched my tutorial the other day and I realized I need to re-do it now that I have Camtasia, but there is never enough time!!

Jean
Jean

Thanks, Kim. I've debated with myself for months about this. Think I'll just do it! I'll let you know if it's not as easy as it sounds!

isuperAltamash
isuperAltamash

@BigLeaguesBook totally agree with you and @Kimberly Castleberry It's really true between is my gravtars looking hot :D. Literally its so true to have a gravatar otherwise its just looks spam or as you mentioned in your post not so hot and if some commenting ofr building as a blogger for readers, it's really so important.


Altamash Sid

(from Altamash sid & Brands)

AskKim
AskKim moderator

@Leanne Chesser You're quite welcome Leanne! It's such a cool and handy little feature :)

AskKim
AskKim moderator

@Yorinda Wanner Definitely Yorinda! Everyone needs to do what's right for their own business. It's good to know what tools exist even if you're not going to use them for a certain project. 
Kim

AskKim
AskKim moderator

@Rachel Lavern Thank you Rachel! I know it's definitely old-news for you but sometimes we have to back track a little and help the new guys get up to speed :)

AskKim
AskKim moderator

@Karen Peltier Agreed Karen! It's really less about measurable things achieved of having one but instead is more about the headaches that happen if we don't have one. Getting one is just pretty much expected for professionalism today!

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Did you get that fixed Richard? I have a blog post about how to fix that so just use the search here on the blog if you havent

Kim

Kimberly Castleberry
Kimberly Castleberry

Sooreneccs, changing your gravatar one in a year would make you HUMAN or at least not be suspicious. Lots of us update our social pictures and stuff once a year so I don't see that that would be cause for any alarm. Let me know if you have any trouble getting yours set up since I see it isn't working at the moment. Good luck!

Kim

Kimberly Castleberry
Kimberly Castleberry

Yay Joyce! I'm glad to hear you got it set up and working! Yeah if you change email addresses, and you don't log into the account and update the email address, it just stops working because it no longer finds you when it looks for you. Next time you update your email address, just log into your account and update the account and you'll be off and running again! I'm glad your enjoying TSA if you have any other questions, just shout!

Kimberly

Kimberly Castleberry
Kimberly Castleberry

Hey Lorie, I see you got your gravatar working! Congrats on that! Hopefully you didn't have any trouble setting it up? Might want to fill out some of the details on the profile there, so that sites like mine that allow your image to be hovered and show a mini version of your profile actually link to all your good stuff. If you have any questions, give me a shout!

Kimberly

Kimberly Castleberry
Kimberly Castleberry

Hi Allegra! This is real common. Usually it is just because you do not have the profile on your blog set up to use the same email your gravatar email is using. To check this, log into your dashboard, on the left sidebar go to "Users", then find your username, and then click it and open it up and see what email address is in the. If it's not your gravatar-assigned email address than that is why!

Kimberly

Kimberly Castleberry
Kimberly Castleberry

Okay Jan, now I really hope you're going to come back and tell me WHY you would debate this? I want to hear the internal chatter that has been going on and what arguments you were using. Please share, these insights will help others!

Kim

Lorie Letschert
Lorie Letschert

Hi Kim,

The gravatar is working good. no problems until now. thanks.

actually i have another question. maybe you can help.

what plugin are you using for "Related Posts" and how does it work? do you choose the articles that appear in the related posts or they come automatically and based on what.

Allegra Sinclair
Allegra Sinclair

Is there anything you DON'T know? Thanks, I'm off to check that.

Jean
Jean

Well, Kim, I just thought it would be too complicated. But you made it sound so easy. Buuuuttt ... now it's back to sounding complicated. I am on Blogger, not WordPress, so ...

Marla Hughes
Marla Hughes

Allegra, I can answer that: Yes, but if she doesn't know the answer, Kim will know (or find someone) who does!

Yes, I know, I haven't done my Gravatar yet, but I'm working on my website so figured I'd make mine and do the plug in for my website at the same time.

Luv ya Kim!!!!!!!!!

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