It is a good picture of you. I appreciate the fact that it is really you. You don't see that often. If you can find a picture that you think depict you better, it's up to you. But, your avatar suits you. It is you. My avatar is a pic of me. I am not the most gorgeous chick in the world, but that's me.
Change it and change it whenever you feel the need. When I'm tired of seeing the same picture or want to portray my feelings, I change it to whatever I want. I love that part of it. But of course it's up to you.
Nice pic, nice background. You could change it for a few days and see how you feel about it and what comments people make to that effect. It just takes a minute to change anyway. If you do, I hope it will still have your Smiley face.
I think having a real photo of yourself is good, because it builds trust (both in your outside visitors and within the community), but if you don't like that particular picture, you should go ahead and change it.
Although I hate to disagree with the lovely Maddie I will, trust is not the issue for outside visitors but content and an interesting read. A real photo is not what they seek, a good interesting read is, but I may be wrong, or looking at my outside reads I may be right. But and a big butt, if I looked like you I wud deff post my real photo. Nice to have you back Maddie
No Whitney deff has a point and one that someone else pointed out to me as well. If you check Whitneys hubs you will see loads of comments from outside of hubs and I mean loads. I dont respect many people on Hubs but I do respect her because she deff has Hubpages sussed. So keep your pic mate, people will respect a real pic more !
Seriously now, I think having a real photo can indeed increase your credibility (if you write about credible topics, that is LOL!). It's especially effective if you want to publish hubs in order to sell something or to serve as a link to your personal blog.
Otherwise, it's not that big of a deal. Myself have the same avatar since I joined, almost one year ago. It's an anime pic, but that's what I hub about, so I think it's apropriate!
I my case, it worked the other way. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered on Hubs like "how I toilet trained my kids", but it was damaging when it came to Hubs like, "overcoming grief". Too girl-next-door-ish for some topics. I'm guessing I'm not the only woman with this issue.
I really can't argue with you Whitney as I have seen the amount of outside comments you get. Believe it or not I respect your reply and I may put my real pic as my avatar because you may have a point. Thanks for the comment Whitney, and enjoy your weekend !
Hahaa, I laugh. You're right. Some avatars(wild animals) could really place less value on the poster. Dave, most excellently you're using your pic, you can also change it with any other one of your choice.
I really do think Whitney has a point Bristol and to be honest if you look at her outside comments you really can't question her stats, I dont think anyone gets more outside comments than her so I have to agree with her and also thank her for bothering to comment, she didnt have to !
Its whatever you are happy with mate, I intend to follow a different path than what I used to follow. My first 3 months were a learning curve but my next 3 months I intend to make my outside traffic exceed my hubs traffic and I will !
BristolBoy - I do indeed like your current avatar. Maybe you could contact Hal Lacino and have him somehow blend your actual pic w/the squirrel's pic using photoshop. he's our in-house photoshop expert...
but isn't a factor for her Hubs also that they're about very specific things? They seem like very searchable subjects to me, and that's what gets the best outside traffic. I can't help but wonder if it's the substance of her writing more than the fact she has a real photo.
Your avatar is a nice picture. If you're happy with it you should leave it. Avatars can, though, affect your traffic. I never posted a real picture because I don't look "authoritative", and I worried that a picture may mean people wouldn't take my writing as seriously. I posted one, and in two days I started getting e.mails from people who were giving me tips on how I should have written whatever I wrote! Then there e.mails from people I can only assume were looking for women they thought they could scam. I took the picture down. Then, still wanting to make some effort to be a little more personal, I added just my eyes to my Earth avatar. I figured other people have just their eyes or parts of their faces, so I gave it a shot. My traffic went way down! : I suppose it was too weird. Oh well, back to the Earth avatar.
I think your pic is great (who doesn't love the beach?) If you change it, I'd definitely advise you to at least keep a picture of yourself.
I know when I'm reading on other sites (or even on here), seeing real pictures sort of pushes me to keep reading because psychologically a real person wrote this information. So, obviously your photo won't help you get more SE traffic, BUT it may help your readers to stay on the page longer and read your info. I have no way to really prove this, but it's my best guess.
When I first started, I had a pink flower or something like that...but, I think my real picture is much better because it can give my readers a sense of trust. This varies for all topics, of course, but for me I think it works well since I write a lot of healthy eating, weight loss and beauty stuff/feminine type stuff.
That's what I've seen. Content brings basic and most traffic, but trust that the information is accurate is in the belief that a real person wrote the information, which potentially keeps people on the page and keeps some coming back.
But to each is his own. Whatever one thinks works best for him/her, is what that person should do.
I don't think that the avatar should be a major point of focus in comparison to content.
The only real time I've ever paid much attention to a photo in a hub was when I accidentally found one of my own hubs whilst looking for info on something, I got half way through it before I actually recognized it and had to go check the avatar.
I was like 'who wrote this garbage?' ah, it was me...
but bet ya havent done what I did one day ,standing outside a store window looked at this women who was bigger than me~~ smiled smuggly and stepped out to get on the bus ...yep you guessed it , the reflection was moi..dohh
From my point of view, I change my avatars around, but usually use pictures of me as a kid, or pics of my kids. I am usually the one behind the camera in the family and rarely get a decent photo taken of me. I tried taking pics of myself in the mirror and got a bunch of weird angles.
I appreciate the interesting comments. Do you think its a cop-out to use old photos?
I sometimes wonder about the people depicted in some web avatars. Are the writers really the "hot babes" depicted in the photos?
Wanted to share an interesting observation with my fellow hubbers. For the first four months on Hub Pages, I used a clip art image on my profile. It was a painting of a woman who kind of looked my me- but not...
I believe in something I call Hubbers Respect. Mora useful than Hubber Score. What is Hubbers Respect? You see I think we are way more likely to click on an Hubbers name and check is profile and consequently his hubs on...
I have taken time to go through some top hubbers' hubs,and i observed something that worried me.It is this:most comments posted on most hubs,were made by hubpages members alone,i don't seem to see plenty of comments...
I only ever receive a handful across my entire account. Granted it's nice I'm not dealing with spam or off site crappy comments but wonder if there is some trick to it.I have traffic, I have some adsense click through...