For the longest time I used to blog without a gravatar and whilst I didn’t see any problems blogging this way, I soon started to realize that I was missing out on the benefits that a gravatar gives me.
So in the post I wanted to explain what the benefits are of having a gravatar and how having one could help create better branding and generate global recognition.
But first this obvious question is – what the hell is a gravatar?
So What Is A Gravatar?
A gravatar is a graphical representation, icon or in most cases a picture of yourself that is recognized around the world wide web. Many web applications and content management systems recognize it and pulls the gravatar image directly from their server.
Typically when I create a comment on a WordPress blog is would look something like this.
You can see my face appears next to my comment and as such is more likely to be approved by a moderator.
And it’s not because I’m such a handsome devil, or because of my cheeky grin, but more to do with a combination of the comment I leave and me taking the time out to create a gravatar.
As you can imagine, if you were to comment on a number of WordPress blogs, especially if they’re in the same niche as your own, your face with soon become recognized in that space, which should be one of your aims as a online marketer.
How Do I Get A Gravatar?
It’s quite a simple process really and all of the instructions on how to create a gravatar can be found on the Gravatar website. The image of the gravatar is typically assigned to a email address and therefore will appear when you use that email address in a comment.
So what you want to do is to use an email address that you use all the time as this is how the gravatar app will know what picture to pull from their database.
Why Is A Gravatar Such A Big Deal?
When I first learnt about gravatars I used to think to myself – so what. I mean I get a picture next to my comment – whoopy. But if you think about it, what it does is helps to differentiate you from comment spammers.
Even though I use the askimet WordPress plugin (that helps to combat comment spam) the odd spam comment slips past the filter, however I can tell right away if the comment is from a spammer or not, and one of the tell tail signs is that spammers don’t use gravatars.
Gravatars can also help with branding you or your company or you as I mentioned eariler.
Connects with readers
Gravatars can also help you to make a better connection with readers. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case the gravatar can add personality to your comment that words can’t.
So the main reason why comment spammers exist is because they use comments in WordPress sites as a way to get a link back to their own website. By dropping their link in a comment, unsuspecting bloggers especially if they’re new to blogging, will approve the comment and whola they get a back link.
If you don’t know why a backlink is important, then just know that it will help with your rankings if done the proper way, which is why comment spammers spend such a great amount of time pursuing backlinks.
However, it is unlikely a comment spammer will get a comment approved on a highly trafficed website, because the filters they have in place and each comment is passed through a moderator before being approved.
The only way to do this is to create a really good comment that relates to the content on the page and use an email address that’s associated to your gravatar.
You’ll have a much better chance of getting your comment approved.
No Follow Attribute In Comments
A lot of people get hung up on the nofollow attribute. Some say that it’s not worthwhile getting a link on a rel=”nofollow” backlink, while others say that it doesn’t matter, that it will still count.
In my experience a nofollow back link is still worth getting especially if the blog your getting it from has a lot of traffic and relates to your niche.
If you leave a decent comment on the blog then there’s a high chance that other readers of the blog will visit your website, which means you’ll get some free traffic.
What’s more, you’ll get free highly targeted traffic as well as a backlink from a trusted website.
That has been my experience with it anyway.
Seek out the top bloggers in your niche
So take advantage of connecting with some of the highly trafficed bloggers in your niche and leave comments.
You’ll find that once you leave a comment and it gets accepted, then any future comments get automatically approved, which means more branding opportunites, more potential traffic and gaining more backlink opportunites, making this a worthwhile exercise.
Have any questions, just leave em below, in the comment section 😉
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1 thought on “Why You Should Get A WordPress Gravatar”
While a Gravatar is a graphical representation of your avatar and self, it stands for Globally Recognized Avatar.
Matt Mullenweg once told me that Gravatars assured us that comments were not spam. I grabbed my computer and showed him comment spam with Gravatars. LOL! He hoped this was true, but spammers are smarter.
Even without a Gravatar, website links in comments have nofollow by default, and really have little to do with the topic of Gravatars, especially since nofollow/follow died a long time ago. Never worked, and is a non-issue.
The most important point you make is true, that Gravatars put a human face on the conversation. I’d rather talk to a person than a blank screen.