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Branding Yourself With Gravatars

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Branding Yourself With Gravatars Illustration

Its well known that one method for gaining more readers for your blog is to comment on blogs in your niche. Its a way to establish your credibility. You can further enhance your branding and recognizability when commenting on others blogs by using Gravatars.

What are Gravatars?

To quote directly from “A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80×80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?”

Some influencial blogs have Gravatars enabled. Take a look at the comment section in a popular blog like Freelance Switch. Here is a link to an article on Evil Knievel that has some Gravatars in use in the comments.

It is really simple to set up a Gravatar. You create an account at The site walks you through a really simple process of uploading an image that you can use as your Gravatar. You associate your Gravatar with an email address. So when you go to enter a comment on sites like Freelance Switch the form asks you for your email address. The Gravatar you have associated with that email will then show up when you enter the comment.

Benefits to Using a Gravatar

You could use your logo or anything really as your Gravatar. By setting up your Gravatars you will have a consistent brand image next to your comments. This helps to give you quick and professional recognition on these websites. Its a technique that allows your comments to stand out. It will get your brand scene by many new potential readers. Combine that with your excellent tips in the meat of your comment and you've got a winning combination. This will help to pull more readers back to your website.

Using a Self Portrait as Your Gravatar and On Your Blog

Why do author's always have a photo of themselves on their book jackets? As an author their photo is their brand identity. As a blogger you are a writer and you can utilzie this same kind of personal brandability.

As a blog author you are a big part of your brand. Especially, if you are a single blogger on your site and not running a multi-blogger site like Freelance Switch. You can use an image of yourself on your blog and for your Gravatar. Its also possible to further brand this self portrait with design elements from your website or your blog's logo. You could wear a t-shirt with your logo on it for example.

Whether its at the small Gravatar size or if its a larger size. Your individual blog will benefit by placing a portrait or photo of yourself on your blog. Some obvious places to put an image of yourself would be on your website's about page or in your sidebar. If you opt to put the photo in your sidebar then your personal branding will be persistent throughout your site. You could also get creative with your placement and find some space for it in your header or in a unique area in your blog's theme.

Look at This is a blogger that is an excellent writer. Skellie's brand identity would benefit from some personal branding. Especially, with such sparse branding currently. Now look at What jumps out at you on the home page. Yup, its a video of the author Darren Rowse. The videos are persistently shots of Darren and serves as a great brandable image on the website. He's also got a nice portrait shot of himself on his about page

Furthering the Use of Your Self Portrait

As a guest writer on other blogs you may be given the opportunity to place your photo next to your profile. You can use the same image in social media networks like facebook or technorati. You could use your portrait as an Avatar on forumns, which is another great place to gain new readers for your blog. Ultimately, you can use the same image to brand yourself all over the web. As we move into the future a persistent personal identity will help you to be recognizable.

What if You Have More Than One Website to Promote?

This is the position I'm in. I resolved this by creating an illustration of a photo of myself. Then I added branding elements from the different websites and blogs I want to promote. When I use the image on social networking sites I use the plain unbranded version. When I leave comments on blogs I choose which site I want to promote next to my comment. So, I have a flexible system that can expand for different brands, but they are all held together by the common element of my self portrait.

Its also really easy to set up multiple images at You just create a different email and then associate that Gravatar with that email address. See the image below When you comment on blogs you can choose which email address to leave. Depending on which email you choose to use for the comment you'll get the associated Gravatar.

Gravatars Setup

For full design instruction on the self portrait visit the AiBURN article. Let me know if you have any questions and your thoughts on Gravatars and Branding yourself.

Finally, an idea for my gravatar that represents all my blogs

Great advice. I have been using a gravatar that represents my first blog but not the two I have added since. Your idea of making a universal gravatar with the flexible features is a great idea. I don't have the graphic talent you have, but I'm gonna give it a shot. Thanks for the excellent advice.

Great Post

Hey Sean, this is a great post. I never thought of connecting myself with my commments before. It makes sense though. In every forum post I have a avatar, and a signature that will link you to me, but I never even considered having a way to connect myself with a blog comment. I will definetly be creating a gravatar for myself in the near future.



If at some point you have the funds you could hire someone to illustrate something similar to what I made for you, or you could get a cartoonist to do something more stylisic.

Or you could try using logo designs from your different projects. You could also try wearing different t-shirts and taking photos. Those are just some ideas. Let me know what you come up with. I'd love to get an update.


Yah, most people are familiar with the concept of Avatars. Gravatars are really the same thing but just used somewhere else. Let me know how it goes with creating your Gravatar. I have it set up on this website so once yours is working you could leave a comment here to test it out. has gravatars set up as well. There a nice website for freelance advice.





A simple 2 colour logo looks pretty good.


Well mine does anyway but you can't see it here...

Update: Gravatars are now working

I still want to tweak this a bit, but at least the Gravatars are working now.

Ooo I like this post. I'm

Ooo I like this post. I'm going to get one for myself. Once I post this. Your right though it can help you brand. And every little bit helps.. Thanks

It's works ! :-)

It's works ! :-)

Everything works great ! :)

Everything works great ! :) Thanks for this article

thats nice piece of

thats nice piece of info
thank you for sharing it
good job


Excellent... went and created one. Photo so far, may look at the drawing conversion when I have a free moment...

The idea of same image with varying branding in the background is really good IMHO.


Murphy, ever lurking

Of course, I forgot to associate the image with the email... here goes then (or is there a delay in the system? We'll see...)


avatars rule!

Using a Gravatar for security reasons

Good idea, a Gravatar would be much better for security reasons, as many users images are now being stolen by criminals on the net and using them for identity fraud and dating site scams

Awesome Art !

Its cool art ! Wonderful thing to represent ourselves.

- Cheers,
Mac, Photo Artist


Great post. I need to make myself one. I have always meant to but could never really decide on an image. I just need to do it!

Great Post!!

Branding is so huge and most folks really do not gt it. My cartoon now is totally related to my blog where people see it. For reasons I do not get I totally forgot about Gravatars and no need to pay attention to it big time.


Thanks for the info, new to all of this so it was a really useful page as I'm just entering into the blogging spectre. I have come across the words avatar/gravatar but didn't know what they meant, now I'll have to set one up for myself, thanks!

Its a nice idea - thanks.

Its a nice idea - thanks.

good article

I am trying to figure out an avatar, one of my side projects is coming up with a blog involving my mixed martial arts cage fighting experiences, I am also a web designer, I was thinking doing a nerdy AsCII type picture of a guy kicking. My blog just started, but man can it use an overhaul in the ol aesthetic side of things

Great Gravatars (real estate agents)

wonderful information about Gravatars, Thank you so much for this valuable and nostalgic informative here.

As a ghost-writer /

As a ghost-writer / ghost-blogger, I use gravatars all the time when I am writing a post. I've also figured out how to place alt text on them!

On my blog:

On my blog:, if you go to the "About" page on the top nav bar you'll see a gravatar I used there. I can now see the need to use it all the time:)


Your right, branding is so important. Most of my customers do not find me on the web, but I still say it cant hurt. I will have to get my gravatar set up.

Great Ideas

Nowadays everything is looking better and more professional in the blogging scene, and gravatars are a good way to spread your image! I specially like the ideas of converting a photo to a drawing, it looks very stylish and web2.0ish!

Great Post!

gravatars--a cool marketing touch

you are correct--words are so easily and well complimented weith a graphic

its all about branding

I can see how important branding is. Imagery is something that really sticks in peoples' mind. A good gravatar is just like your company logo!

That was interesting, I like

That was interesting, I like what you did with your avatars. The drawing look great! I think bloggers are making much nicer layouts and presenting themselves much better! I think this is the way to go!

gravatars rock

It really is amazing to see how you can create a very cool gravatar. I have to say that I am slowly realizing the importance of having a gravatar. In my oppinion it can make or break a new blog. there so many blogs to compete with. I really like the self portrait idea.

I want to try this

I'll have to try this... I'm no photoshop guru though.

Great information! I will

Great information! I will will be setting up a gravatar for myself! I hope it is easy as you say!

Best regards,

Totally agree. Branding is

Totally agree. Branding is very important for everything. More than most people know.

Familiarity with something is the first stage towards trusting something or someone. It's important to build your profile and look after your image and reputation.

Nothing can be lost quicker


Gravatars are very important for helping people remember your blog. thanks

Sorry to Disagree

Gravitars are not my style, for something like a personal blog I can see how it definitely sparks recognition, outside of that I wouldn't use it per say to brand myself. Just my opinion though.

I guess it depends

I guess it depends...some people like gravatars some people dont. I can see how they can bebeneficial but I can also see the point of the people who dont like to use them.

Gravatars do work

It's true that gravatars do work. I mean they really do help you build your brand. I haven't used one yet but I should. It actually dawned on me the other day when I noticed that one of my favorite bloggers uses a gravatar and I see him all over the place. I just haven't figured out how to make one. Actually I just haven't tried but it can't be too hard.

Branding with Gravatars

Branding is a key part of having a successful business. A logo and a slogan are important. Blogging is also an important part of having a successful online business. So I guess the Gravatar would be interrelated with logo of your business. I am in real estate and the slogan I've come up with is "Don't Just List Your Home, Put it at the Top of Your list" I'm pretty pleased with the slogan but haven't been able to come up with a good logo. I'm thinking something to do with a Top (A spinning top) or maybe the top of a mountain might be cool. I think a slogan and logo would come first and then the Gravatar would come after. Any thoughts?


I meant to say "Don't Just List Your Home, Put it at the Top of the List"

nice idea on the multiple avatars

I really like your suggestion for promoting multiple sites. I haven't really worked on building a personal brand across multiple sites, but the benefit of branding is huge and often ignored by many people.

My avatar isn't amazing, but it stands out and matches my site. I use it with mybloglog too. My hope is that people see my little icon enough it starts to stick out to them.

Instant report building

I think having a photo of a human face and quickly build a rapport with a blog reader, assuming the photo is a good one.

Gravatars Are Great Marketing Tools

Great post. I think social marketing has evolved. It's kind of moving too fast though.

this is helpful tool, great

this is helpful tool, great

I think everyone should have

I think everyone should have a gravatar!

I think this is something

I think this is something that is going to really catch on around the internet.

I really like the idea of

I really like the idea of using the illustrated version of yourself.


I like making these for forums and social bookmarking profiles that I have. I just grab a pic of myself and mess with it in photoshop. I'm not expert but it usually looks decent.

Great advice

Hello! Thanks for the good information. Branding is very important and it is something I had not thought about before, all the big businesses do it, so it is the way to go for smaller enterprises too! Thanks for the tips!

great ideas

Hey man! Thanks for talking about this, I will be making my gravatar ASAP!!

Thanks for the tips, using

Thanks for the tips, using avatars is great! I had not thought about it yet, although I saw them on some blogs! Thanks for the info!

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