Gravatar screenshotIf you have a CMS (Content Managed System) website or blog, or comment on blogs and news articles that belong to other people, then this article is for you.

As you may or may not know, commenting on others blogs actually helps our ranking and status online in four ways:

#1: giving our opinion to others and showing off our expertise

#2: starting or joining in the conversation

#3: leaving a link back to our website on their website or blog, which means at the very least they will click onto see who you are and what you do if they haven’t come across you before which leads me onto the final benefit…

#4: more hits/traffic to your website with potential sharing and further investigation

Getting people to comment on our blogs and articles is difficult. Most of us have a concern that our audience won’t agree or like what we have written (but this is what makes us all different), so we don’t promote it as much as we should.

You also have to be aware that it takes time to leave our thoughts with other people. As you know, time is precious so we need to use it as best we can. I know 2-5 minutes to leave a comment  isn’t a lot of time but sometimes we can think that doing something is going to take us a lot longer then it actually would, which means the majority of people just won’t bother. Its the thinking time that takes the time, not the typing.

You should be commenting on someone else’s blog at least once a week to join in the conversation, gain new followers, make friends and new peers by being interested in what others have to say.

We also know that people buy from people, which means we like to do business with people we like and are relevant to us. This is what I call the 3-5 second rule. As soon as we look at someone we know instantly (within 3-5 seconds) if we like them or not.

So once you have left your comment on someone else’s website why not also show them WHO you are by creating a free account over at Gravatar! All you need to do is upload a photograph/image that you are happy with and once you have done that, your face or your logo will start showing up on websites and blogs you comment on (like in the image below);

What is gravatar (Koogar)

So what is Gravatar?

Taken from their website – An “avatar” is an image that represents you online—a little picture that appears next to your name when you interact with websites.

A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar.

Gravatar uses your email address and assigns one photograph/image to that email address, which means you can have a number of different Gravatars for different emails addresses within your Gravatar profile. Using an avatar will help you build your brand online and you will get noticed a little more.

Now that we are using a variety of platforms online that uses an image of some sort, we can recognise those people and accounts a lot quicker by seeing their avatar or profile picture. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all have their own versions but essentially they still display an image.

So for brand recognition… sign up to Gravatar, it’s FREE!

You can use either a photograph of yourself or logo. In my opinion, adding a professional photograph of yourself would be the best option for the majority. As humans we look for similarities and symmetry in others’ faces. The faces we relate to more are the ones we are drawn to, which naturally makes a face online more interesting to look at and investigate further.

Just to say; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use your logo. On the contrary, a logo should be used in certain circumstances. For example; some of us don’t like our photo taken and wouldn’t dream of adding it to our profiles, larger brands don’t yet have a face for its company, so this is where a logo is more appropriate.

Bloggers of the world are happy to display photographs of themselves so you can put a name to a face, but do make sure you do put YOUR name to YOUR face. Online we can be whoever we want to be but as business owners, bloggers, team members, marketing managers and the like we NEED to “walk our talk” for the company we are promoting. #beauthentic

WordPress isn’t the only online platform that uses Gravatar, there are a number of other platforms online that use this functionality like Hootsuite amongst others, but it is mainly used for blogging including publishers and commenter’s.

Finally, having a Gravatar ensures that the person who is commenting or publishing has a REAL email address, so more often than not they are a real person leaving you a comment.

I hear clients and peers constantly talk about the amount of spam comments they are receiving through their inbox and on their dashboards. To make sure your comments do not hit the spam filter, create your Gravatar today and stand out from the crowd!