Do you ever notice that when you comment on blogs or post in some forums, that a gray box appears where it seems like your picture should be? This gray box is actually called a Gravatar and when you sign up for one, your picture will appear instead of a gray box. Sounds nice enough, but how do you go about getting a Gravatar?
Why Gravatars are Important
Before I get into the instructions on how to get your own Gravatar, let’s chat about why you need one. Most blogs and forums utilize the Gravatar technology to post your photo when you leave a comment and you will look more professional if you have your actual photo as opposed to a little gray box. Also, by signing up and creating a Gravatar, you are enhancing your personal brand and making it consistent through all of your marketing material, including your online brand. Plus a photo of you next to your comment really makes your comment stand out and helps the readers connect with you.
How to Get Your Own Gravatar
The great thing about creating your own Gravatar is that it is one of the easiest things you will do all day! I actually need to create one for this blog, so I will walk you through the process step-by-step.
1. Go to the Gravatar site to sign up. If you have an existing WordPress.com account, choose that option on the top right hand of the screen to login to your account. The majority of people reading this will not have a WordPress.com account, myself included, and will instead choose Create Your Own Gravatar towards the middle of the page.
2. Create your account by entering your email address, username and password. A note about your email address. Use the email address that you associate with your business or personal account. This photo will follow you all over the web and if you are using it for business purposes, you will want to remain consistent and professional. I don’t recommend using an old junk email address when signing up for a Gravatar. Think of this as you being verified across the web and you want your identity to appear professional. Click Sign Up when finished.
3. Next you will be asked to check your email for a confirmation to verify that you did sign up for this website. Don’t forget to check your junk mail if you can’t find the email!
4. Sign in to start the process of creating your Gravatar!
5. Once signed in you will see a link in the middle of the page that says “Whoops, looks like you don’t have any images yet! Add one by clicking here!” Click that link.
6. Next you can choose where you would like to get your image from. You can choose from your computer where your picture is most likely stored, an image URL of you from the Internet or take a picture using your computer’s webcam.
7. I chose to upload one from my computer and was sent to this screen for the upload. Once you choose your photo click Next.
8. You will then have the opportunity to crop your photo so you look the best in your Gravatar! If you look below the big image of yourself you can also see how your Gravatar will appear as a small and large preview. This helped me a lot in deciding how to crop my photo! Once you have your photo sized just right, select Crop and Finish.
9. Next choose your “rating” for your Gravatar. (Ei yi yi!)
10. You will then be taken to the confirmation page to see that your image, aka your Gravatar, has been attached to your email address. Easy enough!
Now that you have your Gravatar all set up, why don’t you take it out for a drive! It is very easy and I am going to use the comments section in this blog post to show you how easy and automatic it is to make your image pop up next to your comment. Simply type in a comment in the section below, use your same email address that you used for creating your Gravatar and hit submit. Your Gravatar should appear right next to your comment.
Every little bit of branding counts when it comes to real estate and your presence on the web is no different. Present yourself in the best light and that includes staying consistent and showcasing the same photo on forums, social media and print advertising. Plus by providing a photo, people will get to know you better and start to recognize you when they see you posting across the web!
Don’t forget to take your Gravatar out! Comment below to make sure everything is working correctly and show us your Gravatar!