There are countless guides about increasing the popularity of your blog. More or less, they are all concentrating on socializing, participating and of course creating quality content. Indeed, these are the most direct methods of getting your work noticed. These techniques are more or less taken for granted for everyone who has been in the blogosphere for a while. But there are also more indirect, more subtle ways to increase your popularity. One of them is the way you manage to combine your blog with your persona, your avatar.

image credit: brtsergio

The Avatar

The avatar is your face in cyberspace. It represents you in the networks in which you participate, it even says something about you: if you have humor, if you like cartoons, if you have artistic tendencies, what combination of chromosomes you have. It is only natural that you spend some time choosing this avatar. After all this is the first impression you leave.

A more wise, careful selection of your avatar can significantly boost your position in the networks in which you participate and, consequently, the popularity of your blog.

Let’s first see why and then concentrate on how.

Pavlov’s Dog

Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiment with his dog showed how animals (and humans) can be trained to respond in a certain way to a particular stimulus. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that people just react on signals without any critical thinking, but there are studies that prove that people tend to categorize objects and information. One simple reason is that it helps them manage their narrow memory scope. The study of social representations is just one theory explaining this natural human function.

In simpler words, our mind combines…

logos with products…



…ideals with colors…

red

…dressing styles with music…

bach

..and avatars with blogs.

That’s why if you make a very good selection of an avatar, it will help you increase your authority and your popularity.

How To Choose an Avatar

So your purpose when choosing an avatar is to combine it with your blog. When people see your avatar, they should immediately think of your blog. There are two main ways to do that:

Consistency

Be consistent. When you choose your avatar, use it in every network you participate. This doesn’t necessary mean using your blog logo. It can be the style of your blog, or its colors, even the type of images you use in your blog. Be creative. But when you choose this avatar, use it everywhere.
MarkDykeman
Mark Dykeman’s avatar is a very good example. His blog is called broadcasting-brain and his avatar stays on topic. I’ve seen him in at least 4 social networks (digg, mixx, SU, Sphinn) and he always uses the same avatar. After a while, the name of his avatar becomes irrelevant. The image is doing all the talking.

Difference

Try to be different. Choose an avatar, that draws attention. Remember, an avatar is your face and a mirror to your personality; you don’t want to look like everybody else.
RMonkeyGirl
Wouldn’t you click at Rhea’s avatar, to check her profile? Wouldn’t you go to her blog?

Conclusion

We sometimes don’t pay too much attention to details and choosing an avatar might not seem that noteworthy, but it is one of those small details that can really make a difference.

To prove my point here’s a question for you:
DoshDosh
Can you guess whose avatar is this? (click on it to find out)

This is a guest post by robojiannis. He writes at changemod.com about social networks and the evolution of the web.

Written by Matt Peters
Matt is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pandemic Labs, and enjoys thinking about, writing about, and talking about social media marketing whenever someone will let him.