And why you are losing out without one… Before the Internet, I was not a fan of marketing. It all seemed like a misleading façade to convince people to buy a product they didn´t need. Because of the billions of dollars of advertising campaigns and corporations could spend on marketing, I lost complete faith in grass-roots or do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing.
Marketing on the Internet, however, has an everyman DIY feel to it. Sure, there are many companies out there with huge offices staffed with writers for the sole purpose of ranking higher on Google and creating buzz about the company. But there are also plenty of industrious individuals with their own blogs and Websites that are actively engaged in several online communities to get themselves out there and get recognized. The best part about the Internet is that it really only takes one individual to gather an entire following for an idea, topic or product.
Gravatars and Marketing Go Hand in Hand
For all you go-getters trying to get your name out there and recognized, you must get a Gravatar. Your Gravatar, short for globally recognized avatar, is an image that follows you from Website to Website appearing beside your name when you do things like commenting or posting on a blog. It automatically associates an image of your choosing with your email address.
So whenever you like to leave a comment on virtually any blog or Website, you only need to enter your email and your image and a link back to your Website or blog appear automatically (requiring no form or upload).Best of all, a huge amount of Websites and blogs (and only growing larger) support Gravatars, so registering for a Gravatar is never a waste of time or effort.
As bloggers marketing our own blogs and personal brands, we all know the importance of commenting and interacting with other blogs. With Gravatars, your level of interaction will look that much more interesting and professional, and it is also easier to use than filling out the same old contact form!
How to Use Your Gravatar Effectively
Now that you know to use a Gravatar to increase your authority, familiarity and traffic on the blogosphere, I will give you some tips to make your Gravatar stand out (but not annoy!).
1. Use a background color in your image that will “pop” in most blogs: Most blogs tend to have white backgrounds so having an image of yourself in a black background is not a bad idea at all. Of course, using a bright or unique color is also a way to attract attention to your avatar image as well.
2. Use a high quality image and unique composition: Having such a tiny Gravatar image appearing pixilated is probably the easiest way to appear unprofessional. Even though it is going to be a small image, make sure you upload at maximum resolution (512 pixels wide). On top of that, it is also a good idea to have a simple and clear image. Try to be creative with your avatar composition but remember that it will be a very tiny display and too many details will just look like a mess. Keep it simple!
3. Logo or Face? This really comes down to your personal preference. Either one can be just as memorable, though I personally believe a good logo is more easily differentiated. That being said, a good face shot might appeal more to some readers although I generally don´t trust most faces I see on the Internet (or I don´t believe they truly represent the words they are next to anyway).
Your Turn to Talk
If you have something to add or anything else to say, please share your opinion in the comments section. Your opinion matters, unless it is a Spam.