Gravatars: A Powerful Free Way To Brand Your Comments!

October 21, 2014 · 67 comments

in Attraction Marketing & Branding

Gravatars: A Powerful Free Way To Brand Your Comments!

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[GSE has now become outdated and un-updated in several years.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

Get The Inside Scoop!
social tripletKeep up with all the latest social marketing changes!


{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Julianna Brower January 30, 2010 at 6:29 am

Thanks for the info on the gravatar. Checking out to see what happenns!
.-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..What Kind of Plugins Should You Have On Your Blog? =-.

Reply

DeadPoet March 27, 2011 at 6:51 am

Test :)

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry March 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

Pass with flying fancy gravatar colors! Well done!
Kimberly

Reply

Julianna Brower January 30, 2010 at 6:31 am

Now lets see, Thanks for the tips!
.-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..What Kind of Plugins Should You Have On Your Blog? =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry January 31, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Hey you got a gravatar working! Look at you go girl!

Reply

Susan Davis January 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks for another great insert into building a better blog Kimberly! I wish everyone would take the time to Brand themselves better!

Live Full Out & On Purpose,

Susan
.-= Susan Davis´s last blog ..Social Media Etiquette 101 =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry January 31, 2010 at 11:18 pm

If you enjoyed this one on branding be sure you also check out my post on Wisestamp for branding your emails! It’s a sweet little tool!

Reply

Khaleef Crumbley January 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for the information! I just signed up.
.-= Khaleef Crumbley @ KNS Financial´s last blog ..Should I File a Tax Return? – Why filing a tax return may be beneficial even if you aren’t required to do so. =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry January 31, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Hey Khaleef, glad you made it! Looks like everyone’s getting it working without any trouble, that’s awesome! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Reply

Jan January 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Hey Kim – great post! Gravatars are essential when building a business online – social proof, and it lets people know you aren’t a spammer! I never accept friends that don’t have a picture of themselves on facebook, twitter etc… and it seems like your gravatar picture follows you everywhere so you aren’t constantly uploading pictures (like the Ning groups etc..) Thanks for sharing this Kim.
.-= Jan@social media rockstar´s last blog ..Crush It! Why now is the time to cash in on your passion =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry February 1, 2010 at 12:00 am

Jan I see you got keywordluv working! Look at you rock! Once you figure out what keywords you are aiming at for your blog you will want to use them in place of “social media rockstar” (which of course you are!) Those will be keywords that Google will then credit your blog with, and it will help you rank over time!

Reply

Darlene Davis January 31, 2010 at 11:56 am

Kim, While I’ve used a gravatar for a long time I didn’t know that it meant “Graphical Avatar”.
What a cool idea the Gravatar Signup Encouragement plugin offers to someone who doesn’t have it yet. Thanks for the plugin update. I’ll let you know if it works with the Fresh News Theme.
.-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..Notes From A Kindle Junkie – Part I =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry January 31, 2010 at 11:20 pm

That would be awesome Darlene, would love to hear how it works for you!

Reply

Toni King February 1, 2010 at 12:25 am

Great explanation about the Gravatars Kimberly. I know I registered with Gravatar, but I don’t recall getting it as a plugin… I logged in and changed my id pic from the MonaVie pic to my own, but it still shows up as the MonaVie pic… Will investigate it further as soon as I get a chance. Cheers Toni

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry February 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Toni that image is definitely a actual gravatar, hosted with them. You can verify this by right clicking on the image, and selecting “view image” or “view background” or “view background image” depending on your browser. Your’s says when viewed:
http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fac134650f54f5e7f269f2fd8c8f36d0

This implies you have more than one account somewhere, an old one you don’t know how to get to anymore. I would contact gravatar directly, now that they are owned by wordpress they should be able to check both hosts for you.

It has to be linked to your email address I believe, or your email and url. You could test this by putting a different email in the gravatar signup you JUST made, and then making a test post here using the new email address and I expect it will show the new image (as long as its not domain linked which I do not believe it is).

If that didn’t make much sense, catch me later/tomorrow on Skype!
Kimberly

Reply

Beth Allen February 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Oooh, I’ve been waiting for this post! Just added the plugin, thanks Kim, you rock!
.-= Beth Allen´s last blog ..Day 30: The Stages of My 30 Day Video Journey =-.

Reply

Amy Posner February 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Hey Kim,
Thanks for this – you are such a great resource and your explanations are always so clear and easy – I might have to start calling you: Kim, the Great Demystifier….
.-= Amy Posner´s last blog ..Is Happiness a Choice? =-.

Reply

Lori Thomas -The Hypnovator February 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for posting this, been wanting to get this done. Was just on my Wordpress Blog working on it and wanted to get it done before leaving a comment Here so, my Avatar would he Here too but having trouble finding where to add this to my Profile on the Dashboard. Saw the plug in for it but where do you add your Photo ?

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry February 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

First help me out by telling me if after you enter your Name/Email/URL to leave a comment, and start typing one, but before you hit submit… if you do not get a little message under the comment box that says “You do not seem to have a Gravatar on file… get one now from here (link)”.

Either way, the answer is to register a profile at http://www.gravatar.com and use the email address and domain name there that you use to submit on comments. Then on any blog that supports them it will be automatically recognized when you submit the post. No need to set it up on each of our blogs individually. You used to need to set it up on wordpress.com too but now wordpress.com owns gravatar so it’s all one system.
Love,
Kimberly

Reply

Lori Thomas -The Hypnovator February 11, 2010 at 3:02 am

checking to see what it says…
.-= Lori Thomas -The Hypnovator´s last blog ..Avatar The Movie & What We can do Here… =-.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry February 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

Awesome! You got it working! Woot!

Reply

Lori Thomas -The Hypnovator February 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Yes, Oh Cool – didn’t know it would put it on my older posts, the pre-avatar ones, as well. Got to get Your Avatar at Gravatar Now, it is too easy.
.-= Lori Thomas -The Hypnovator´s last blog ..Avatar The Movie & What We can do Here… =-.

Reply

Kellie Hosaka February 13, 2010 at 4:41 am

Kimberly, this is a wonderful post! Thank you so much for this and this is the first time I have seen that video! So simple! I will re-post immediately.
Mahalo (thank you) for posting such valuable content!
Aloha,
Kellie :)
.-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..THE LAW OF ATTRACTION & QUANTUM PHYSICS =-.

Reply

Ingrid Abboud April 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Hi Kim,
Thanks a lot for sharing this useful tip. I wasn’t familiar with the Gravatar Signup Encouragement plugin – I’m gonna’ check it out :)!

Ever since I came across your fantastic blog, I’ve become quite the fan and always look forward to coming back to see what insightful articles you’ve got for us. Thanks again and keep ‘em comin’!

Cheers

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry August 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

Heya Ingrid! How’s it going hun? I haven’t seen you on twitter in a bit but I’ve been so busy (and had a temporary twitter suspension) that I don’t know that I’d catch something if it bit me! hehe!

Thanks for all your support, really appreciate it!
Kimberly

Reply

Kongkor May 15, 2010 at 2:59 am

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the great explanation about Gravatar. I just had my WordPress account activated after importing my postings from blogger yesterday and as I was toying with it today, I signed up for Gravatar as well. Now that you’ve explained, you’ve save me lots of time researching. Kudos Kim

Cheers

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry August 4, 2010 at 10:02 am

Hey Kongkor! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner things have been crazy busy here! Glad you got it set up and working, nice to see your face! Good luck with the new blog wordpress setup!
Kimberly

Reply

Jakes July 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hi Kim,
Informative post. I didn’t knew there was a plugin for encouraging the users to have a gravatar. Thanks for introducing it.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry July 24, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hey Jakes!
Glad you enjoyed it. Just a nice simple little plugin that does its job. I love stuff that “just works” LOL!

Reply

Milan August 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hey Kim and others!

I am the author of Gravatar Signup Encouragement and since I prepared a new version, I’m wondering if anyone would like to try beta version and give me thoughts about it?

I will listen to your suggestions and answer on every question.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry August 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hey Milan, I’d love to! Grabbing it now! Thanks for the opportunity!

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry August 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Hmmmm… for unregistered users the message below the text box is not displaying. Its either hiccuping with commentluv, keywordluv or si-captcha’s fields would be my guess. The popup after comment submission does work though, which I think is very nice. I need to edit the message on it (since most dont know what a gravatar is) but the new settings are an improvement soon as I get them working :)

Reply

Milan August 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

It isn’t shown anywhere since you turned off this option (I don’t see code in source code of this page).

If you have a problem where to show message, you can choose below which field you want to show it.

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry August 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

Milan, that plugin just wasn’t quite ready for this blog. Under defaults it was not displaying. I tried moving it from displaying under the comment box to displaying under the email box with no luck. I was able to get the “after comment popup” for non registered visitors however to work and that is very nice. But no dice on displaying before they hit submit. It was definitely running, allowed and NOT working when you came and looked for the code.

I finally disabled the plugin because it was giving me, as a registered commenter, the “blank white screen” on wp-comments-post.php after every single comment until I disabled it. I even tried installing the suggested google libraries.

As I said earlier, my best guess is that it doesn’t like another plugin I’m running. However I don’t have time tonight to troubleshoot. I’m optimistic about the new settings though!
Kimberly

Reply

Milan August 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I found a reason why this was not working. Your theme (Thesis) was not compatible with my plugin (which means it didn’t work even with previous version) so I updated code of my plugin to make it compatible with Thesis. You can now download updated version.

I tested updated plugin on Thesis with both comment form and dialog after comment is posted and it worked with both registered and unregistered users so if you still have issues please send me list of your plugins so I can see if my plugin is incompatible with any of them.

Thank you for your bug report, it helped me to solve potential problems with Thesis and other themes as well. (this is why I asked that someone test it!)

BTW, it looks like you have two plugins for email notifications. I get two emails for every comment you posted.

Miguel September 24, 2010 at 5:39 am

I wish I wouldve seen this post before I made my gravatar. I had to figure it out on my own and it took me a while :

Reply

Suresh Khanal November 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

It really looks odd to list the commentors with that face-less heads. Its so easy and effective but still not known to many new bloggers and readers. Your post is a step towards educating them.

Another thing that irritates me is entering site name or keyword in “Name” box of comment form when a blog has keywordLuv installed.

I guess it will never end, as everyday thousands of new fellows are entering, but at least we can try to spread the word.

Reply

Suresh Khanal November 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

It really looks odd to list the commentors with that face-less heads. Its so easy and effective but still not known to many new bloggers and readers. Your post is a step towards educating them.

Another thing that irritates me is entering site name or keyword in “Name” box of comment form when a blog has keywordLuv installed.

I guess it will never end, as everyday thousands of new fellows are entering, but at least we can try to spread the word.

Reply

Dave and Dawn December 16, 2010 at 7:16 am

Hey, Just stopping by and wanted to say THANK YOU! Just changing over our branding images and couldn’t remember the name of this and I thought to myself that you probably had a post on it and poof! There it is!!!!

Love you Girl!
Dave

Reply

Betty December 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Kim, I really do hope that you don’t consider my many posts on your blog today as spam. LOL I have been sitting here reading your posts pretty much since this morning. Today, I am finally able to sit down and dedicate time to reading and commenting. You have taught me so many things and thank you. I am trying to implement them all so that I can have more credibility with my blog and my comments on other blogs. I have be banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how everyone has an avatar in their comments no matter where. Thanks to your post, I have figured it out. Thanks again!

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry December 25, 2010 at 4:53 am

Consider lots of comments spam?!?! Are you kidding sister?!?! I’m over here going woo-hoo I got comments! You’re rockin it and I am very thankful! :)

It’s interesting because while that post itself is useful (everyone needs a picture) because I used the actual name of the picture service, it never gets found. I’ve got a draft started of a second post – on this same exact thing – that is titled more like “How To Add A Picture To Your Comments” and is pretty much the same content just wrote differently. I hope that that will make it more findable.

I also need to write a second post because it’s gotten important to actually fill out the profile on that site (besides just adding a picture) because of the new Gravatar Hovercards. They are enabled on all wordpress.com sites and a lot of us are enabling them on our WP.org sites too although at the moment that requires code. To see them, come back to the blog and hover your mouse over my comment picture for a few seconds, and up will pop a “business card” with click-able links, click-able pictures and all sorts of good stuff including a link to my blog etc. As people enabling hovercards becomes more common, having them fully set up will help bring additional traffic to your social media sites and blog.

Glad you got it working and got your smiling face up on your comments! Thanks again Betty!
Kim

Reply

Betty December 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Kim, I really do hope that you don’t consider my many posts on your blog today as spam. LOL I have been sitting here reading your posts pretty much since this morning. Today, I am finally able to sit down and dedicate time to reading and commenting. You have taught me so many things and thank you. I am trying to implement them all so that I can have more credibility with my blog and my comments on other blogs. I have be banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how everyone has an avatar in their comments no matter where. Thanks to your post, I have figured it out. Thanks again!

Reply

Jean December 26, 2010 at 9:38 am

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!

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry December 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

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

Reply

Jean December 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

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 …

Reply

Linda G. Cox February 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

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!!

Reply

Linda G. Cox February 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

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!!

Reply

Allegra Sinclair February 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

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

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry February 16, 2011 at 2:14 am

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

Reply

Allegra Sinclair February 16, 2011 at 8:40 am

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

Reply

Marla Hughes April 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

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!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Lorie Letschert April 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm

thanks Kim. Great information as always.

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

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry May 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

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

Reply

Lorie Letschert May 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

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.

Reply

Joyce Edwards April 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm

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

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry May 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

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

Reply

PSN August 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Nice article.
Great explanation of gravitar. :)

Reply

sooreneccs September 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

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!

Reply

Kimberly Castleberry September 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

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

Reply

Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Awesome, been looking for a post like this was driving me bonkers ahaha. M

Reply

Nika June 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

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

Reply

Richard Martin February 24, 2013 at 3:26 am

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

Reply

Kim Castleberry February 25, 2013 at 7:06 am

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

Reply

Chery Schmidt October 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm

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 :

Reply

donna merrill October 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

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
donna merrill invites you to read…Build Your BrandMy Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 2 trackbacks }