Good Day Class,

Today we are honored to have David Wright of Blogger Dad as our substitute teacher (guest writer). He will be covering a subject many of us may have thought about, but we normally don’t discuss.

Since this is a longer lesson than normal, I ask that you take your seats as I turn the classroom over to David.

Welcome to the BWAB classroom, David.

The floor is ours.

ugly-blogger cartoon by david wrightDear Ugly Bloggers,

Oh wait, I’m not saying YOU are ugly, but you are being judged by your appearance.

Yes, it’s true.

Sure, the story of Susan Boyle has people suddenly waxing introspective about first impressions and pretending they don’t judge others on appearances.

Yeah, right.

But trust me when I say this, just because one Ugly Duckling has blossomed into a swan, nothing has changed. Don’t count on any rush to suddenly celebrate the average or unattractive among us. It isn’t going to happen.

Whether we like it or not, people form instant opinions based on our appearances. Studies have shown that our ideas of beauty transcend culture and may even be hardwired in our genetic makeup. Just like my love for Cookies N’ Cream ice cream.

Today’s Lesson

Fact is first impressions matter.

That goes for both the first impression your readers have of you and your blog. If either is ugly, you might want to reconsider your online strategy.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, who are YOU to give advice to ugly bloggers?

I know this will surprise my legion of readers (all 10 of you) but… I’m not a good looking guy.

At best, I’m average. I’m roughly 100 pounds overweight and I look like Kevin ‘King of Queens’ James, a guy you probably won’t find anytime soon in People Magazine’s ‘Most Beautiful People’ issue. It wouldn’t be so bad to look like Kevin James, since I tend to write funny stuff (actual reader experience may vary), except I look like Kevin James if he were about to pick up a car and throw it at you. According to my wife, I tend to appear very intense and possibly homicidal.

“WELCOME TO MY BLOG, JERK! NOW GO AWAY.”

That’s not the image I want to project on my friendly parenting blog.

Fortunately, I’m a cartoonist, so when it came time to start a blog, I decided to draw a friendlier looking version of myself. I would highly recommend becoming a cartoonist. Then you can draw yourself however you like. Heck, you can make yourself a 20-foot robot with rocket blasters on your arms and nobody would be the wiser.

blogger cartoon by david wright

    1) Don’t post a photo of yourself. Not every blog NEEDS to have an author’s photo. Be a little mysterious. In fact, wear a Zorro-type mask. Nothing says mystery like a Zorro mask.
    2) Post a photo of yourself with a bag on your head. Note: not a plastic bag.
    3) Try to capture your best feature. If this happens to be your big toe, then use a photo of your big toe. Make the photo black and white and people will think you’re “artistic”.
    4) Post a photo of yourself as a child. People will find it endearing. Unless you were also an ugly kid. In which case, post a photo of another child.
    5) Post a photo of your pet. Unless you have a Chihuahua. Nobody wants to see photos of Chihuahuas.

For the most part, we can’t help it if we’re unattractive. However, there’s no excuse to have an ugly blog. None.

While I won’t run away if you look like Quasimodo, I will run away if your site style pre-dates Google. I’ll also run away if, your logo is text on top of a huge gradient color bar, your color scheme celebrates all the wonders of the visible spectrum, you have more ads than content on your front page, you have flashing, blinking or scrolling text or images, or you use the Comic Sans font ANYWHERE on your site.

What to do if you have an ugly blog:

    1) Check out WordPress.com for some more modern themes than what you’ll find on Blogger or LiveJournal.
    2) Host your own blog, install WordPress or Joomla and choose from thousands of free or premium themes.
    3) Hire someone, like a cartoonist (ahem) or designer to create a new logo or customize your blog.
    4) Customize your color scheme. You can find tons of inspiration at sites like these: Colour Lovers and Color Scheme Designer

I’ll close on a serious note to keep in spirit of this blog’s usual thought provoking quality.

While I can joke about it now, I found it hard growing up as a fat teenager. I was doomed to a life of exile from most of my peers and it was rough. However, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything, as they made me who I am. Because of my isolation, I blossomed creatively and became an artist and a writer. Some of my favorite artists, comedians and writers are not particularly known for their good looks.

It’s not easy being unattractive in a world where the media obsesses on and celebrates beauty.and damns anything short of perfection.
If you feel that your image will get in the way of people getting to know you or your work, by all means, don’t post your picture.

Rise above expectations and let your words define you.

Today’s Assignment

1) Do you think an unattractive blogger should post their picture?

2) Do attractive looking bloggers have it easier in blogosphere? If so, are you more easily swayed to subscribe to their blogs based on their looks alone?

3) Does a well designed, well written blog outweigh the fact the blogger is not posting their picture?

Raise you hand and share your thoughts.


blogger_dad.jpegDavid Wright is a cartoonist at I Draw Comics, a blogger at Blogger Dad writes about creativity and interviews other bloggers with Sean Platt at their online studio, Collective Ink Well, and can also be found on Twitter.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Dan MirandaNo Gravatar says:

    4) Post a photo of yourself as a child. People will find it endearing. Unless you were also an ugly kid. In which case, post a photo of another child.

    5) Post a photo of your pet. Unless you have a Chihuahua. Nobody wants to see photos of Chihuahuas.

    HAHAHAHA!

    Dan Miranda´s last blog post..13 Heartfelt Ways To Thank A Thank You

  2. Dan MirandaNo Gravatar says:

    1. If an “ugly” blogger wants to post a picture of themselves, it should be your intention to “accept” them in the blogging community.

    2. Uh, not really. And no, I’m not more willing to subscribe to a “better looking person’s” blog.

    3. Content is king, not photos.

    Note: the reason I quote “ugly” and “better looking” is because who are we to judge how a person looks.

    Dan Miranda´s last blog post..13 Heartfelt Ways To Thank A Thank You

  3. This is an interesting topic and you have written it with some humour 🙂 I do not think that an author’s photo is a necessity in a blog though the About page could be.

    If what’s written on a blog is of good quality, I doubt if anybody worry about the looks of the blog. However, in today’s intensive social networking habits of people, it’s a fact that many people post their best pictures (or doctored ones) alone.

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..The importance of a ‘Donate’ button

  4. […] rare guest post (complete with art) by me over at Blogging Without A Blog. The title of this post: Does an ugly blog(ger) stand a chance? Stop by and weigh in for what will likely be a spirited discussion. And thanks to Barbara for […]

  5. Yes, attractive people do get a better deal everywhere until they have to display authentic talent. Yes, a picture of an attractive person does help if you are selling something. Yes, a well designed well written blog outweighs no picture.

    Bloggers are individuals. Some are shy, some are extroverts, some are confident, some are shallow, some are idiots, some are very clever, some are good looking, some are plain, some have exceptional talent. It’s only by reading what is written that we get to know one another. But then again, a face did launch a thousand ships…

    Good article – thanks.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)´s last blog post..Keeping Up With the Flashy Blogs

  6. Id say its more about the blog then the looks of the owner, thats the beauty of the internet, u can be Anonymous.

  7. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Picture or no picture? ugly or beautiful? All that matters is good content to get me to stop and comment.

    Linda´s last blog post..Earth Day

  8. David,

    This post was hilarious, and I enjoyed it thoroughly! I knew I shouldn’t have posted a picture of myself on my blog, though it’s too late now. I can only hope that as my readers grow older, their eyesight gets worse, which will make me look better and better as time goes by!

    Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog post..Back to the Start: Why You Do What You Do

  9. RibbonNo Gravatar says:

    Hello… I’m not yet convinced ugly or not if anyone needs to post a photo of themselves. I have recently done so and yes I have focused on a positive attribute, that being a smile.
    I guess if you feel the need to do the photo thing……… then smile. A smile is beautiful no matter what the face looks like behind it. A smile is an international language.
    Okay so maybe you’ve got not teeth… then just do a big smile with your mouth closed 🙂 hee heee hee!

    An attractive photo may be a good lure, but it’s not enough to maintain a blog.
    Content is the big attraction for me.

    See ya and I’m gonna check out your blog

    best wishes Ribbon

  10. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I think you’re missing an essential strategy here Dave. Ugly doesn’t matter if you can gather a well seasoned special effects team. I myself look like a slightly less attractive version of Gargamel. I am also 84. Yet due to a crack effects team they have managed to make me look like Ray Ramono and Zach Braff’s dorky looking love child. Go team.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..Serial and Milk: Available Darkness – Chapter 1

  11. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    Just as with any first impression, during my first 5 seconds on a site, I am judging its appearance. I don’t look at the person who’s writing it until I’ve read a lot of content, and if that content doesn’t grab or interest me, chances are I don’t care what the blogger looks like.

    Once the content grabs me, again, I don’t care what the person looks like.

    Unlike Susan Boyle, who was judged before she opened her mouth, a blog doesn’t depend on what the person writing it looks like. It’s the blog itself that garners the attention, via both looks and content.

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..“Postcards from Ballona”

  12. DaveNo Gravatar says:

    Very very very good. Just this morning I was wondering if all the good blog posts in the world had already been written. Thankfully it seems there was room for one more.

    Dave´s last blog post..Chopped Liver

  13. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    This is hilarious! Although half of me thinks it might be a gentle hint. Hehehe.

    I want to improve the look of my blog, right now it’s “not hideous” but I want it to be gorgeous. I don’t think I can keep readers by having a gorgeous blog but it might convince people to take a look instead of flipping to the next blog.

    As for the pictures, generally speaking by the time I see a blogger’s picture I’ve already decided if I like them or not. Notice how people you like are instantly 100% more attractive?

    To make this all about me, I am extraordinarily unphotogenic. My husband practically shudders when he sees photos of me! This cheesy webcam picture is the nearest thing I have to a photo that looks like me, so that’s what I’m using for an av. One of the things on my to do list is finally get a photo of me, in focus, high resolution, suitable for framing. Not just for my blog, but so my grandkids will know a) what I look like and b) that my life was more than a series of belly shots and just pushed a baby out shots (seriously, that’s 98% of the photos of me!)

    Tracy´s last blog post..A WHOLE chicken in a CAN

  14. Unfortunately, I think that, no matter what, attractive people have an upper hand in life, in blogging and in pretty much everything else. I think it would be best if nobody posted their pictures. That way we would all be focused on the words and content in the blogs rather than on what people look like. I don’t post a photo of myself on my blog for that very reason. I don’t want people to judge me on my appearance (and, let’s be honest, I’m a tad paranoid and I’m scared of stalkers).

    Positively Present´s last blog post..wisdom from wonderland

  15. Lori -SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    Loved this: ‘I would highly recommend becoming a cartoonist. Then you can draw yourself however you like. Heck, you can make yourself a 20-foot robot with rocket blasters on your arms and nobody would be the wiser.”

    Your cartoons, humor, and content paint a good enough picture for me.

  16. I think that the most important thing about a blog is that it’s clear, clean, and easy to read. I have the habit of crowding my pages at times.

    In terms of using a photo – I’m a fan of it. At least on the About Me page. Blogging is such a personal effort that it seems a shame not to share a picture of yourself. (I do like the suggestion of using a Pet photo, and have done so for avatars/Gravatars in the past!)

    I use a photo on my Florida Mortgage Blogger site.

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Boost Your Real Estate Presence with a Google Profile

  17. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff.

    I think a blog needs to feel good when you land and have that certain ambiance. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s some common patterns that work over others that don’t.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Finding Your Process

  18. I don’t think being attractive is that important online. I choose the blogs I read based on their content and on the blogger’s personality. I couldn’t care less about their looks, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..10 Magnificent Nature Images – Earth Day 2009

  19. What? We’re not all movie star gorgeous?!!! Rats! I thought that came with the promise of riches on line…..aughhhh….another illusion just shredded….. I like content and people who can be at ease just being who they are…great looks are a bonus, but they have to have something to back those up.. just like in real life.. great looks and charm will get you fifteen minutes… substance keeps you there.

    Janice Cartier´s last blog post..Welcome to Private Studio

  20. But … I like photos of Chihuahuas 😉

    And I guess who haven’t heard of the ugly site guy …

    http://onlinecashgenerator.com/niche-marketing/earn-online-cash-with-ugly-websites/

    There are many who believe that ugly sites make more money … I haven’t been willing to test the theory.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..My 5 Favorite Articles That I’ve Written This Year

  21. kellbell68No Gravatar says:

    This blog post cracked me up! I am very, very amused… and yet, you bring up a very good point!

    I do have my picture on my blog, and I guess I never really considered not having my less-than-perfect face displayed for the world to see. However, I am smiling, so that may help to take the focus off some of the acne and hairy moles… oh, and the third eye. :0)

    I think it depends on what a person is looking for in a blog that inspires them to read more than the name of the person, and look at that picture. I tend to be a grammar freak, and although poor spelling and grammar won’t make me click the X, I honestly prefer a well-written, honest blog… pictures, in my opinion, can be optional. But it’s certainly nice to put a face with a post.

    Kelly 🙂

    kellbell68´s last blog post..The Sweetest Blessings

  22. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s okay for bloggers to have pictures that don’t look so great, but I think the sites (themes) cannot be ugly. Sure, content is important, but I am not going to look at the content (or maybe I will read it, but I won’t keep coming back) if the site is constantly flashing ugly colors at me.

    Of course, I am just talking about the more extreme cases, as in “What the heck were you thinking when you picked this ugly theme?” I am actually fine with someone just using a very simple, default layout. That just says to me, “I just care about writing something and don’t care for what this site looks like” to me. I am fine with that.

    However, I do admit that I’ve subscribed to a (website) designer’s blog when it was still early with little content, just because the site looked real good. Also, when all the contents are at about the same level, I’m going to go with the better looking site or better looking blogger. Vain? Maybe. Do I care about content more than looks in the long run? Yes. But it still takes a site that’s at least not frustrating to look at for me to look into the contents.

    Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..Cookie Monster’s Choice of Instrument

  23. David WrightNo Gravatar says:

    Dan – While it is not kind to judge people as ugly, and most of us would certainly never do so publicly, I think everybody has a gut reaction, even if we keep it internal. I think the best we can hope for is to not discriminate based on appearances. Glad you got a few laughs.

    And come on, you’re following the “post a photo of yourself as a kid thing, aren’t you? You’re really a 40 year old guy, I knew it!

    Paisley – Thanks. I’ve always wanted to experiment with either a new blog or new comic with a very attractive looking woman’s photo and see what happens. Maybe I’ll do that someday, though it would be hard to keep it secret – I’d want to tell somebody!

    Linda – Awesome! Content IS King And Queen!

    Daphne – Thank you. And I don’t know what you’re talking about. At the risk of getting kicked out of Barbara’s school for flirting with the pupils (and my house by my wife), you’ve got nothing to worry about in the looks department.

    Ribbon – Thanks for weighing in, and that’s a great blog photo. Though, I might disagree with you on the smile thing – some people have creepy smiles that look like precursors to their mugshot photos. I look forward to seeing you at my blog!

    Writer Dad – You know, I was going to ask if Ray Romano and Zach Braff were your biological parents! Thanks for clearing that up. At least you have two funny parents with some talent.

    Lisa – I’m glad to see so many people judge content first. I wonder what would have happened if Susan Boyle sang offstage and then walked out.

    Dave – HA! Thanks! Though to be fair, my idea originated from the discussion on this site during the past week.

    Tracy – While your blog is not not ugly (sparse works well for many sites) I think a lot can be done to pretty it up. Your content ABSOLUTELY ROCKS, though! As for photos, yours looks friendly but it’s hard to get an idea of what you look like from it. I’m with Seth Godin on hiring a professional photographer (or a really good amateur) for one AWESOME shot that everybody can use on their blog as a marketing tool. Even though he’s not exactly the first thing I think of when it comes to attractive guys (not that I give much thought to attractive men), his photo looks very cool.

    Positively Present – I agree. Attractive people DO have an upper hand in life. However, there’s not much we can do. Believe me, if there were some store I could go to and trade my appearance for that of Brad Pitt, I’d be standing in line right now. We’ve just gotta make the best of what we’ve got. And I totally get you on the stalker thing – and have written on the subject of protecting your (and your kids’) privacy online.

    Lori – Thanks! That was my favorite line, too. And for the record, I am really a 20-foot robot with rocket blasters.

  24. David WrightNo Gravatar says:

    Kevin – Well said, clear = good!

    J.D. – Thanks. And yes, there are some well tested examples of what works versus what doesn’t.

    Vered – I’m sure you’re not alone in choosing quality over superficial.

    Janice – Agreed. Maybe all the unattractive – but talented – bloggers can ghostwrite for the Super Attractive but empty headed bloggers! I’m seeing a new service here!

    Kim – LOL, I knew someone would bite at the Chihuahua dig. Wow, that ugly site guy advocates choosing fonts which are hard to read? That’s some real sage advice. Wow, I have now officially seen it all!

    kellbell68 – LOL! Wow, that IS a good smile! I completely missed the third eye and the acne! Thanks for the nice words! Glad you got a laugh.

    Kelvin Kao – Well said. I’m with you. If someone has an ugly blog but good content, I’ll subscribe to their RSS to avoid their site.

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    First, to everyone who has come by and read and/or commented on this post, I say “thank you”. David wrote a thought provoking post, didn’t he?

    David,

    Ironically I didn’t use a photo for two years. Instead, for my avatar I choose a red headed anime that had spikey hair – not unlike mine the first thing in the morning. At the time, online stalking was in the news and as a female blogger, I felt it was a wise choice to be incognito. Time passed and I never got around to adding my photo, and really didn’t think it was important, but many of my readers did want to know what I looked like. Not only to please my readers but to also brand myself, I felt it was time to reveal what I look like.

    That being said, with the blogs I read, it’s the author’s words that draw me in and whether they post a photo or not is not important.

    I do think better looking bloggers can have a leg up on those who aren’t as attractive. Based on first impressions, many may use their looks to promote their blogs, knowing in life good looks can open doors – literally and figuratively. Although that’s all well and good, the biggest challenge comes when they are required to continue to produce good content.

    An ugly blog to me is one in which the content is overpowered by distracting flashing banner ads. Those, I tend to click off of fairly fast.

  26. Hang on just a cotton pickin minute here. Is this why you drew me as are cartoon for Blog to Fit? Are you saying I’m ugly Blogger Dad?
    Anyway, have you not seen Twitter these days? There are pictures on there that are SO not the person writing. Have you seen that guy that puts a picture of a cute baby up too? Sheesh x

    Tara@Sticky fingers´s last blog post..I (nearly) killed Baby

  27. I believe the design of a blog plays a major role in how many subscribers it will garner.

    Content is king. But royal content depends on many factors and by itself it will not do the job.

    Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s last blog post..7 More Bizarrely Named U.S. Towns

  28. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    evening,

    it’s not really funny how we judge people, but it’s true. if you’re not beautiful, people don’t accept you the same.

    a blogger can post their ugly picture if they want to. i posted mine. i’m not swayed by how a blogger looks. i care more about what they have written. actually i prefer my bloggers to remain anonymous. i like to pretend what i think they look like.

    funny post. enjoyed it.

    Natural´s last blog post..My Two Left Feet

  29. katyNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve wondered about this question many times. I put up a pic of myself, then I took it down. Don’t have Writer Dad’s special effects team … (note my AV was drawn by my daughter, the aspiring artist.)

    But if blogging is about connecting with people, I kinda feel more akin to people if I know what they look like. I am thinking of posting some kind of action shot, maybe a few yards (or a few miles) away so the features are nondistinct…
    Or inviting people to your facebook where ugly pictures are accepted and even expected.

    katy´s last blog post..Readers’ ideas for fun and exercise for the family

  30. katyNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like my avatar didn’t show up with my previous comment.

    katy´s last blog post..Readers’ ideas for fun and exercise for the family

  31. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi David Wright, Sir.

    Nice to read you again! Your sense of humour is what attracted me to your earlier blog. Looks mean nothing to me. My perspective is the same as Vered’s. I read a blog because I enjoy the blogger’s personality. I don’t really “judge” an “ugly blog”. It’s a natural response just to click away if it is not visually pleasing or hard to read — like puckering over a lime — are we judging the lime? 🙂

    This was a fun Friday post Barbara. Have a good weekend.

    Davina´s last blog post..Morning Muse — Flock of Thoughts

  32. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    Tara – No way, you’re a hottie. But I couldn’t have you and Fowler with photos and ME with a cartoon! Besides, I did suggest we could do photos – so I wasn’t opposed to the idea. And that guy who uses the baby as his Twitter icon should be ashamed of himself!

    Bamboo Forest – Well said.

    Natural – Thanks! And I feel the same way sometimes. I especially feel that way about talk radio hosts. I prefer the image I have of them than their actual appearance, even if they are great looking. It jars the senses to have formed one impression and then have to adjust it.

    katy – That’s a cute avatar. As for photos, I’m considering taking a shot from Google Earth and using that.

    Blogger Dad´s last blog post..Available Darkness is here!

  33. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Hilarious! I am one for content over beauty and don’t really care much about fancy looks. I really despise flashing ads though…or a blog so full of ads that you wonder where the post is.

    Great sub!

    Caroline´s last blog post..Favorote “Foto” Friday

  34. notSupermumNo Gravatar says:

    It’s not something I had thought about to be honest. I think content is the most important, after all who wants to look at photos of bloggers if they have nothing interesting to say.

    Having said that, my blog now is anonymous with no photos of me. Last year I used to be quite open and posted regular photos. Guess which blog gets the most visitors and comments? Yep, the one without photos…….

  35. mihlaNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a blog snob, and won’t bother with an ugly blog. If the blogger doesn’t care enough to create a pleasing container, why should I care about their content?

    I really don’t care if a blogger is ugly, but I want to see a photo because it helps me get to know them better. So, I don’t like to see photos of Fluffy or Fido or little Bobby Blogger. I even hesitate to follow people who don’t post a photo of themselves on Twitter.

    There are lots of ways to manipulate a portrait to make it more flattering. For my own, I cropped very close so you can’t see my double chin and plus-size figure. Fortunately, even at 63 I don’t have many wrinkles to Photoshop out.

    mihla´s last blog post..February Feelings

  36. I do think that attractive bloggers do have the advantage on the web. The first impression from the personal photo featured on the front page helps break the ice for readers like myself who comes in wondering how does the author look like in real.

    It helps too that the content actually adds value, making the “whole package” a great one that will retain readers to their blogs.

    To end it off, it takes confidence and courage to post one’s own photo online, being average in looks doesn’t make him/her an average blogger anyways.

    Daniel Richard´s last blog post..3 Types Of Salespeople In The World

  37. Hi David. Great article and slightly controversial. We all like to think looks doesn’t matter but I think we all know good looking people have a bit of an edge over those not as attractive.

    I like to think I’m a relatively attractive guy, but I still don’t post my picture on my site. Not that I’m hiding it, but rather I don’t want people viewing my site as a single person blog, but rather a business. If one day my blog has multiple authors, I may consider posting all of our pictures with a small bio under each (I think TechCrunch does that).

    As for ugly blogs, I have to disagree with some people who say an ugly blog does not matter. I think it does. Now if your content is good you might hook a few people (even lots), but I have a feeling that if your blog was not ugly you might of hooked even more.

    Also, if the ugly blog is not easy to navigate, people will click away quicker.

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..How To Not Track Your Own Visits In Google Analytics – Setting Up A Filter

  38. Aah nice blog post! There is one thing i’d have to disagree with you though. The chihuahua remark was certainly uncalled for! Chihuahua pictures can enhance any blog. Well I’m off to make a chihuahua photo wordpress plugin 😉

    ocularharmony´s last blog post..Designing a logo from scratch part 1: Creative Brainstorming

  39. Great post – thanks for the laughs!

    I’m only in for the content and that’s why I subscribe to a blogger’s RSS. What they look like doesn’t matter. Same goes for print journalists and radio personalities.

    Laurie | Express Yourself to Success´s last blog post..An Important Interpersonal Skill

  40. I think a photo on a blog strengthens trust with the readers. I know Barbara was a mystery for a long time with out a photo but with her photo I feel like I know her and connect better with her.

    I also like how Stacey at Create a Balance has her picture right out there. So personally photos strenghthen my connection with both other bloggers and my readers. Jannie Funster’s blog is popular not only for her humor but for the photos of herself and family. I can mentally still see that photo of her with her burnt bangs. Ha!

    Oh and don’t forget that gorgeous photo Julie has of herself on Random Meanderings.

    My photo is posted on my about page. I’m not brave enough to have it on the home page. What does that say about me?!?

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..

  41. RachelNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks this is useful. My about page (and the photo – or lack thereof) is something I’ve struggled with.

    I do always click through to the about page (if there is one) when I’m on a new blog. I know a lot of people include photos and I like to see them on an about page.

    My issue is that I have a significant privacy/security-related impediment to doing so myself. I feel there is an expectation to see the person behind the blog and I feel like I’m letting my readers down. I’m not in a position to explain why I can’t post a pic and doing so will in any effect defeat the purpose of not posting one.

    For what it is worth I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly photo on a blog. Sure some people are more attractive than others but I’ve never had that change my opinion of the blog per se.

    The only appearance related things that affect my opinion of the blog are related to the blog itself and its readability. If I can read the writing and I don’t want to vomit we’re all good 🙂

    I’m considering some kind of cartoon or alternative photo but I’m not really sure what style would suit my blog at this stage.

    I’ll be watching the comments to see what others think. Should I forget it altogether or would a cartoon or something else be better?

    Rachel´s last blog post..Orange and poppy seed cupcakes with passion fruit butter cream

  42. PalabuzzNo Gravatar says:

    Susan Boyle is a singer so we are going to look at her face whenever he sings. I don’t believe that an ugly blogger would have someone to look over him since no one can’t see him.

    Palabuzz´s last blog post..Marian Rivera as the new Darna

  43. David WrightNo Gravatar says:

    Davina – Sorry, I must’ve missed you in the crosscommenting. Thanks for the comments and for the kind words. As for the lime, I’ve seen some pretty evil limes in my time who were quite deserving of judgment!

    Caroline – Thank you! I think 99.98% of web users HATE flashing ads. Well, actually the number may be as low as 60%, since 40% of the web users also seem to be marketing something or other, and probably LOVE those kinds of ads!

    notSupermum – Hey, welcome back to the web. I saw that you vanished a while ago. As for photos, I completely understand why a woman or a parent (and heck, some guys, I’m sure) want to preserve as much of their anonymity as possible. There’s lots of crazies out there and it’s good to be cautious.

    mihla – Hmm, I have a photo of little Bobby Blogger (well, little E Blogger) on my site and as my avatar in many places.

    Daniel Richard – Well said. I definitely admire those with a “take it or leave it” attitude. It usually more than makes up for whatever superficial imperfections they have. Unless of course you look like Kevin James. Man, Kevin James is gonna Google this page and get really ticked off! Hey, Kevin, I love you, man. You are awesome. You just happen to be the closest frame of reference I have to describe myself.

    John Hoff – Yeah, I was afraid I’d start a riot, or at least a food fight with this post. Good reasons for not posting a pic. And yes, I think most people have an aversion to ugly bloggers.

    ocularharmony – I stand by my statement. In fact, I will clarify it by adding, Chihuahua’s are the most EVIL dogs in the world. If some scientist were to ever find a way to make Chihuahuas as large as Pit Bulls, I believe humans would soon fall slaves to the new species of UberChihuahua. Pray that it never happens. Pray, I tell you!

    Laurie – Thank you for laughing with me and not at me. As for journalists, they are typically not much to look at (take it from a former journo). However, that Lara Logan is quite the cutie, and has the brains to back it up. Shh, don’t tell my wife the REAL reason I watch 60 Minutes.

    Tess – Personally, I think photos, unless they are part of the site’s design or header, SHOULD probably go on the About page. Save for blog posts, of course. I get what you say about connecting, though. There are lots of blogs in my RSS where I simply enjoy looking at the pictures of the bloggers and their families or their photographic subjects. I know Dooce is Uber popular and doesn’t need my plugging her site, but I can look at the pics she posts of her dog for hours! And I’m not even a dog person! They’re just such awesome photos!

    Rachel – I completely agree on the privacy thing as I said in prior comments. I say do what you feel is right. Trust your gut, your instincts are rarely wrong. As for a cartoon version of yourself, I don’t want to turn Barbara’s blog into a sales pitch for my services. So I sent you an email with some info, if you are interested. However, your site looks beautiful as it is, I have to add. I LOVE the photos you have in your posts!

    Palabuzz – You’re right. We control whether or not people see us. We control how much we let the world into our worlds. We also choose the best way to present our ideal selves to the world.

    Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. Keep the comments coming, I’ll keep checking in!

  44. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    David,
    I don’t pay quite as much attention to a blog’s design when I first arrive. I’m interested in content. To each their own I guess, and as long as the design is not flawed or annoying then I’ll continue to stick around for great content.

    After I’ve developed some kind of relationship I’d be interested in seeing who the person is, but it’s not crucial.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Use flash fiction to move your writing forward

  45. David,
    I love tongue-in-cheek humor and your piece had me rolling on the floor laughing. I loved the cartoonish photo and the comment about the number of readers – all 10 of them sounds like mine and counting!
    Humor aside, I dont think it should matter what the blogger looks like and that is why (even though I’m cute… well, my family thinks so), I dont have my picture as my gravatar. What should matter is content; did I like it? did I learn from it? Next!
    I dont care about blog bells and whistles, the talking iguanas that welcome me to your page, or even if you have your domain name or the devil’s name… what matters to me is that you’ve made the effort to be heard amongst the maddening crowds of bloggers. I pay my respect with a comment or a glance and move on.
    Wit and humor grab me, newsy information I can always use, angry or ugly fighting words I skip … it’s my choice. Can I get riled up and write from that place? Sure, I can and I have but it is not a preference. I prefer the positive.
    As a busy working mom/new blogger, I am grateful when I can add content to my blogs and so I dont take other people’s effort for granted.
    Thanks for sharing your ugly blog(ger) comments. It gave me food for thought and my next blog – as well as a good laugh.
    Cheers!

    eliz obihfrank´s last blog post..Support Malaria Day: The Fight against Mosquitoes

  46. What a cool post!

    I think any smiling face photo is probably an asset to a blog, no matter if it’s a “gorgeous” face or not. Just add charm, wit and / or great writing and a blogger can’t go wrong.

    (I chose my big eye because my big toe comes in second, beauty-wise.)

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..I Need A (Chainsaw) Man, Video

  47. David WrightNo Gravatar says:

    Tumblemoose – Thanks for weighing in. Interesting that you’re in no rush to see the person.

    eliz – Glad you enjoyed the piece. Well said on the appreciation of the effort it took for someone to put something out there on a blog!

    Jannie – She of the mysterious eye! Thanks for the nice words. I hope that you’re not expecting much charm or wit from my blog. I’m all about the superficial and rocking my Kevin James looks!

  48. Wonderful post!! And yes indeed….today’s society alas IS so shallow that looks tend to count first and foremost.

    I loved the idea of posting a black and white picture of your big toe and callling it artistic! That made me chuckle.

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog post..I now have 18 free-flying parakeets – Empathy, please!

  49. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi David, I think you are right about the awesome shot and I want to do it, but can I confess something? I feel slightly cheesy about calling around to photographers to ask about photographing me. We live near the art school, what do you think of me asking a student if they’d come to my house and take a whole bunch of pictures and hopefully get a serious, a funny and an artsy one?

    I do like my spare theme, but I think the time has come for some sort of header so people know when they land on I Hate My Message Board.

    Tracy´s last blog post..This is how we learned to be writers

  50. David WrightNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara Ling – Thank you.

  51. BunnygotblogNo Gravatar says:

    Hello,
    My guy suggested no photo when I started off and because he knows from experience what a photo opens up for the author.

    I think it does provide a friendlier feel between author and traffic when I photo is used.

    If someone is following your blog because they find you physically attractive- they have a serious problem.

    My own experience, coming up to my one year anniversary is- I had one man that showed some uncomfortable signs of being obsessed,( lack of a better word – deranged might be closer).
    Commenting out of line and demanding replies.I don’t feel it was physical attraction but he relied on correspondence threw comments and it could happen to anyone who answered him.
    I decided to flag him because I was not having a such crap going on my blog. It was not flattering at all.

    We write because we have ideas and experiences we want to share.

    Bunnygotblog´s last blog post..Life With Mother

  52. Well, I for one have never posted a photo of myself on my blog before. I guess you could just call me shy!

  53. Chania GirlNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I loved this. This post made me laugh. Thank you! I don’t know if a blogger’s own physical appearance sways me too much … but I’m someone who doesn’t really think I’ve seen too many ugly people = I think most people look okay. (Maybe I have low standards? :0))

    Anyway … what does affect me, though, is the appearance of the blog. I am less likely to remain on a site that is visually boring (dull colors, Times New Roman font everywhere) and has miles and miles and miles of text with no images, graphics or anything. This is less appealing to me than the blinking, flashing graphics David mentioned — at least the flashy blogger was making an effort … tacky, but an effort.

    That said, now I am rethinking one of you all “stopping by” … had better go tidy up :0)

  54. I love it! Branding a blog does NOT have to mean using your personal photo and name! Think of the most famous blogs you know about. How many do you remember by the author’s name instead of the blog’s name? Quick, what are the author’s names behind ProBlogger, CopyBlogger, JohnCow, DoshDosh – I could go on..and on….

    Being a cartoonist would be great. A caricature of something related to your blog would be perfect. I could use one right now. I need a great Avatar for a new horse related site. How do you draw a wise horse? Add glasses? Any volunteers? Abundant credits and recommendations go along with it.

    The best Avatar images are memorable and interesting. Have you seen Tamar’s great Avatar at StumbleUpon? Love it!

    Internet Strategist´s last blog post..New Type of Scraped Comment Blog Spam

  55. 1) Do you think an unattractive blogger should post their picture?
    I really believe this is a personal decision. If I were unattractive (wow that sounds awful even saying it. And who knows maybe i’m *not* attractive. lol ) I don’t know that I’d post a photo of myself. Actually I do know. I wouldn’t

    2) Do attractive looking bloggers have it easier in blogosphere? If so, are you more easily swayed to subscribe to their blogs based on their looks alone?
    I don’t know! I’m drawn, my own self, to blogs that are beautiful, I don’t really care what the person looks like.

    3) Does a well designed, well written blog outweigh the fact the blogger is not posting their picture?

    YES. This makes a blog for me. 😀

    Sarah .aka. Mamalotsoftots´s last blog post..Writers Block?