Profile Pictures, is Yours Turning People Away?
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.
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.
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.
- Writing Ideas For Year-Round Revenue
If you are stumped for ideas on what to write, try this brainstorming session with a calendar theme. You will have a year full of ideas to get you over your temporary writer's block.