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I was given some advice the other day andwant to get some feedback is the picture in the writers profile a big draw to someones writings or is it just a myth?
I would say it's not so much a draw as it potentially can be a turn-off - does that make sense? What I mean is that a decent picture may just be okay but not something that would draw in traffic, but if you have a bad picture - like something obscene or scary or weird, it may drive traffic away once they get to your hub.
Just my personal opinion. I want to be taken seriously when someone reads a hub of mine, so I stick with "safe" profile pics.
I never heard this before. Everything you do is a part of your image. However, visitors from search engines do not get to see your picture when deciding whether or not to read your articles, and that is where the big potential for traffic and income lies.
What do you mean?
"However, visitors from search engines do not get to see your picture when deciding whether or not to read your articles"
Just take a look at my picture. Now if that won't scare off readers, I don't know what will! WE is probably right, people are not looking for a picture or avatar, they are looking for content. If you have the content, you can be one ugly troll and still do well.
The advice from people running writing sites is often that a real photo tends to come across as more credible. These days, a lot of writing sites request a real photo. Some that don't may not push the real photo unless you want one of their "premier type" "positions" (rather than being just a regular member, a writer may have access to assignments - that type of thing; or else the type of thing where a writer gets to be featured in selected categories - that type of thing). Anyway, they'll request or require a head shot.
I used to think it shouldn't be necessary to post a real picture as long as the image selected looked reasonably "professional" (as opposed to a cartoon picture or kitten or something like that). That's the thing a lot of writing sites suggest as an alternative to a a real picture (if they suggest an alternative at all). One writing site points out that a real picture "shows the writer is willing to stand behind his words." I used to think that was silly, because I'm willing to stand behind my words even without a picture of myself. Now, I understand more why they like a real picture for credibility.
After being around writing sites for awhile, I now see the wisdom in suggesting/requiring people post a real picture. It's true that search engines don't feature pictures when people have searched for something; but I can see how a goofy or "off" picture is likely to make someone click immediately away. Of course, my thing is that if I run into a picture after I've searched for something, I'm clicking away because I take articles more seriously if there are no pictures along next to them at all.
One thing that is a myth is that a picture of a sexy actress is going to pull in traffic or boost scores. If you look through the first 50 or so pages of "top Hubbers" it's very, very, rare that any picture of anyone even a little close to being a glamourous model or actress shows up in that top 50 or 60 pages.
I'm uncomfortable posting a real picture on the Internet (got a "shyness thing"), but I'm getting closer and closer to going that route; because I've become pretty disenchanted with a lot of the stuff that goes on as far as identities go on writing sites.
Of course, I suppose whether or not people click away because they think a writer is goofy, crazy, or phony may depend on whether the writer writes about "where to buy cell phones" or articles about the more "serious" things in people's lives. If someone writes nothing but personal-experience and/or fiction stuff, it probably doesn't matter what he uses for a picture.
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