Five minute fix – setting up your gravatar

Open book

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One of the major areas that indie authors have problems with is social networking and marketing.  Part of the reason for this is in many cases, we use tools that require repetition, or don’t work for us.  Which is what the ‘five minute fix’ articles are all about.

What’s the buzz?

On WordPress based blogs, if you’re commenting, a small image comes up next to your comments.  You can get a pretty image that’s basically random – or – you can have an image YOU can control.  Many people commenting think it’s something you have to set up per blog – which, lets face it, if you’re active in the author community, might seem like a lot of work.  Which is why many people don’t look into it.
Good news!  There’s a website that you can use, and is automatically built into every WordPress install out there.


Gravatar is a service from WordPress’s ‘parent’ company, Automattic, which created a centralised store, attached to your email that lets you attach an email to your comments.

Non tech translation – you can sign up for an account and, when commenting, use a different email depending on what image you’d like to show off.  As your emails aren’t used on site, swapping them out will only make a difference if you subscribe to the comments themselves, which means depending on where you are commenting you could have:

  1. A book cover Gravatar for professionally or book based comments.
  2. A professional one for comments that aren’t necessarily book based (like on sites like this) or for a bit of a change from your cover.
  3. A personal one for blogs that you comment on that isn’t to do with writing.  If you want a distinction that is 😉
Paired with URLS
One of the major things that people overlook when commenting on blogs is that whether they’re ‘no follow’ or ‘do follow’ (no follow means that they don’t get Google credit for comments, while do follow, do) is that pairing your Gravatar with an image is a great way to draw attention to, say your book.  You *could* post the link to your book with your cover based comments, while pairing your blog link with all others work.  On sites that have other plugins like Commentluv (which pulls your last blog post link below your comment, it’s a powerful combination that might encourage people to click through.


Head on over to Gravatar and check it out – it’s as easy as uploading some photos, attaching some email addresses, and, if you want, filling in more of the profile.

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Kai Wilson-Viola writes under various names, and in all genres. Co-founder and webmistress of the IAG site, she writes content on request of members.
She has written several books including the Ten Hour Marketing Plan and 12x12 - tutorials for social media.
When not writing, she can be found maintaining sites, designing themes, managing a charity called the Less than Three foundation, gaming, knitting or reading.

0 thoughts on “Five minute fix – setting up your gravatar

  1. Is this like being signed on to blogs through WordPress or Yahoo! or Google accounts? I hadn’t really thought about it, I have the same awful picture on all of them. Now I have to think about what avatar to put on every blog that I comment on? It’s definitely getting more and more complicated being a cewwwebrity.

    • Bonnie, that’s the point I was trying to make – you can make it easy by uploading an image and then using that email address (which you set up at the time of uploading) to comment and it loads it for you.
      As for being a ‘cewwwebrity’, it’s only as complex as you make it. Do as much, or as little as gets you by is my motto.

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