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Profile Pictures, is Yours Turning People Away?

Updated on January 23, 2016
Blond Logic profile image

Having met with business owners both locally and internationally, I bring fresh ideas to help you generate more income.

Shocked man
Shocked man | Source

Which type of profile picture to choose?

What does your profile picture say about you? Is it portraying the same image as your hubs? If for example your hubs are offering professional expertise in a business field no one is going to respect your opinions if your profile picture is let's say, less than optimal. If you are wanting to convey a sense of respectability, then a professional photo of yourself wearing clothes suitable for a business meeting is better than a picture from your last BBQ showing you can balance a can of beer on your head.

If you write topics related to pop or rap music, you can get away with a less than polished appearance but if you are promoting yourself as someone who is a savvy businessman/woman then you had better look the part.

Let's take a look at some examples. Here are two of my favorites here on Hubpages.


Clover leaf. She is obviously a fun loving person. Great picture. To me this would convey a feeling of an open person who is willing to share advice. Almost like a friend or sister. The genuine smile instills a sense of confidence and you would therefore tend to gravitate to someone like this, either in person or here on the internet. The look of a positive fun-loving person would be suitable for a wide variety of topics.


Cloud Explorer

It isn't always necessary to have a photo of yourself. Often a drawing or photo of an object is better. Take for example the icon of hubber Cloud Explorer, this I think is a wonderful profile icon to have.

The term 'cloud computing' is the new buzz word, making this a perfect design for anything having to do with accessing the internet, online storage and even social networking. This jolly looking fluffy cloud is non controversial and could be used for a multitude of topics that hubber Mike Pugh chooses to write about.

This is a perfect example, in my opinion, of a multi-faceted icon. A bit of fun, easily recognizable, and an icon that a brand could be developed around. The blue has obviously been researched to be a crowd pleaser you only have to take a look at Facebook, Twitter, and Skype to realize this.

These are just two of the profile icons I like here on Hubpages, now let's take a look at what types are unsuitable.


There are some unusual pictures here on Hubpages. For these people I won't give their names. I have seen a few people who I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. In trying to look serious, they just look scary. There is even one that looks like a potential ax murderer! Some of the women are no better. There are some who have pictures that look as though it is from a high school yearbook. I personally don't see anything wrong with that if it was a nice photo, but the 1970s look isn't retro, it's just bad. Big hair, shoulder pads, and gold lamé.

With the availability of cameras, be it in a phone or otherwise, there is no reason why you shouldn't have a great avatar. If you can't get a good picture of yourself, opt for clip art or a photo of something else to use but remember keep it non-controversial.

Self portrait
Self portrait | Source

Self portraits

I believe many of us have read on various sites that it is best to put a picture of ourselves up, to bring a bit of familiarity and commonality with our readers. This is going on the assumption that this will be a good if not a great looking picture. This is where everything comes unstuck.

I have even seen a profile picture with a young man attempting to lounge on his bed. This looks as though the picture was taken by himself using a reflection in a mirror. Because of the angle, he had to perch on the edge of the bed to take the photo without getting the camera in the shot. The result? Someone almost falling off the bed taking the bedspread with him and trying to look natural. Kudos for trying to achieve a photo without help but come on people, everyone knows someone who would be more than willing to take a picture of you.

I hate seeing these pictures taken in a mirror, usually they are taken in a bathroom. The problem is they haven't thought about their surroundings. There will be an old dingy towel chucked on the counter, a toothbrush that needs replacing and when was the last time that hairbrush was cleaned out? These things are all unnecessary clutter and distracts the viewer. If you must take a photo of yourself in the bathroom mirror, for goodness sake, get in there and clean that bathroom before you snap that picture.

The worse thing is when it is taken in a public restroom. Ok, maybe you were out with your friends and you had the time of your life. You were dressed to the nines and you looked pretty good. The fact that your best friend is coming out of a bathroom stall and has her skirt tucked into her panties. Sure it was funny but this is not the avatar you want. Use a photo editing program and crop your friend out. If she can't be cut out, choose another photo.


Will your profile picture earn you money?

Perhaps you have a profile picture of yourself on your Facebook account or another social networking site you use. This may or maynot be suitable for writing here on Hubpages or other sites that have the potential to earn money. Two things can happen. People will look at your picture and think, "wow if they like it I might like it". But if you look like a redneck, and are suggesting they buy a high value item, they (your buying public) will either think that you really don't know a thing about the product or they will associate that product with a redneck and will not make the purchase.

For women, it is important not to have a photo that looks, hmm how shall I put this, like you have loose morals. If you were only targeting your hubs towards men, this may work but you would alienate women readers. I have seen a few avatars, here on Hubpages, that are borderline. If in doubt ask a female friend. Tell her what you plan to write about and ask her opinion. If she says, " yes, you look hot!" Choose another photo or ask someone who is older what they think of the picture. If they say you look like you should work on 'Happy Street', choose a different photo.


Profile pictures for specific topics

You can also choose a profile picture that represents your main topics. For example if you write about the arts you can choose a photo that will be synonymous with art such as the one pictured to the right. If your medium is painting this would be an ideal choice.

If you write mostly about budget traveling you could choose an icon that represents this. This man looks as though he could tell you how to travel without spending a king's ransom. Alternatively you could use a travel scene that is still low key but nice. No flashy hotel photos if you are writing about budget traveling.

If your favorite topic to write about is gardening you could choose something like this plant. This would allow you to write about not just flowers, fruits and vegetables but also topics as diverse as gardening tools, lawn ornaments, and pathways. When you think about all the different aspects there is to gardening, you will have a virtually never-ending supply of material to write about.


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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      If that is the theme of many of your articles, then I think that is an excellent choice for a profile picture. It gives credibility to your articles.

      Thanks for reading.

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 4 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      I write a lot about rats, and my pet ones, and so that is my picture. And I write, so I may try to pose my Rat holding a pencil. Nice Hub!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      That is exactly what a profile should be, something which encourages your reader to want to know more and visit your page. It needs to be a hook, and also something which show confidence.

    • Lissa Clason profile image

      Lissa Clason 3 years ago from Fayetteville, North Carolina

      Very interesting hub. My profile pic is a random spontaneous shot taken by a friend while we were studying and cracking jokes. It was a happy moment, so I decided to use it as my profile pic. Some of the pictures I've seen on here are really interesting, like a guy who was skydiving or a picture of the person's handcrafted woodcarvings. Makes me want to read more of their work!

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 5 years ago from Ludhiana India


      You r very close to my personality thanks for the ans.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      What an interesting idea. Well here goes, please correct me if I am wrong. I would say, without having looked at your profile, you are female with a keen interest in gardening or photography?

      The photo itself tells me you could write about any topic without pigeonholing yourself into a narrow field.

      How close am I?

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 5 years ago from Ludhiana India

      Hi Blond Logic!

      Interesting hub never thought about the profile pic,can u tell by seeing my profile pic what impression this give to the other hubbers.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      I agree, people tend to look at the photo and then the name. We live in a visual world .

      My husband is a photographer and he was asked to do photographs of Gucci and Ray-ban sunglasses for a local opticians. That is the story behind my profile photo.

      Little Miss Tiffy is adorable.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub and have a wonderfully relaxing Sunday.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      .... I would defy anyone here at the Hub to say otherwise but everyone looks at the profile photo/avatar 'first' then the hub name (love your hubname by the way) and that's the way it goes - hopefully the good writers will be discovered beyond the eyecatching appeal of a sexy or attractive profile photo. And yes you have presented us with a fabulous presentation of the appeal and mystique behind an alluring and captivating profile photo which seems to say so much about the writer/hubber within (and then perhaps not) Your hub subject itself was entertaining, witty and informative ...... sending you warm wishes and good energy lake erie time ontario canada 9:50pm and the story behind my photo - well the beauty takes away from the beast - lol - and yes that is Little Miss Tiffy - 17 years old , she is a diva and that is my mum's cat and she has taken to me .....

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Teaches12345,

      I agree, it does make a difference.

      I think most people go through phases with photos. First phase we want to look trendy and hip, second phase we, especially women, don't like how we look, and finally acceptance of how we look.

      As always, thank you for commenting and have a wonderful day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I like Cloverleaf's profile pic also, such a sweet smile and great look. Thanks for the advice on how to choose a winning profile pic for your writing online. It does make a difference.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello p10kabhijita,

      Thank you, I am pleased you enjoyed it. I thought about it as well for quite awhile until finally getting around to writing it. I should write a hub about procrastination but..........

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • p10kabhijita profile image

      Abhijit Aswath 5 years ago from India

      Great Hub. Have always thought about it, but to see someone implement it feels great :) Quite agree with the content. Cheers! :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Flashmakeit,

      Thank you for the compliment and comment, I am pleased you found it interesting.

      Always great to hear from you.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I do find cloud explorers logo image a little impressive as well as your images with the glasses. I think I will have my head held up higher in my next profile photograph. Interesting hub!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Wetnosedogs,

      Many people feel self conscience and don't like having their photo taken. At least you have cooperative subjects to photograph.

      Thanks for popping by.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      I am lousy in photos and I hate having my picture taken. I know my dogs are cuter. They don't like their pictures taken either, I believe, but they won't tell me to stop. They just put up with me-LOL.

      Great hub.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Bedbugabscond,

      A great photo or icon is important. Here is a link where I find many of the images I use here on Hubpages.

      Great to hear from you.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 5 years ago from United States

      I did not realize the importance of profile images. I can see I might want to think about mine.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Cloverleaf,

      Thank you for allowing me to use your photo.

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It is so true. In the fast paced world we live in people make judgments in the blink of an eye and we have to create a hook, to catch them before they move to something else.

      Thanks again

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Weestro,

      Thank you for the vote.

      I am pleased you found it useful, it was one of my first attempts at adding a bit of humor to a hub.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      This was a humorous and informative read....I need to do something about my boring passport photo! Voted up.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Blond Logic! I'm so excited that you feel my profile picture has such a positive influence. I was certainly very happy on the day it was taken - on a beach in the Grand Cayman! Many thanks for mentioning it in your hub :)

      I agree that a profile picture can say a lot about a person. We only have a few moments to create a first impression on HubPages and I think that profile pics go along way to portraying our identity and installing confidence in our readers.

      Best wishes, Louise.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Thank you,

      At least you are using your waiting time constructively.

      You have made an interesting statement there. I wonder if there is a male/female divide on which gender clicks on which type of photos or icons?

      Take care and I hope the traffic gets moving soon.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 5 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Great hub BL - I don't know if your profile pic can make you money, but I think the choice of photo can get you traffic, at least from other Hubbers. We (generally speaking) are extremely responsive to visual stimuli, so an attractive or otherwise visually stimulating photo is more likely to generate a click. (Completely unscientific observation, and coming from a guy with a choo choo for a profile image.) My personal favorites are the pics that were taken with a cell phone from behind the wheel of a (hopefully stopped) vehicle. Couldn't think of anything else to do while stuck in traffic?