Will not putting my photo (picture) on my blog or website bring down my credibility?

34 replies
Hello Warriors,

I am a reserved and shy person. I also maintain low-profile both at work and my personal life. Now, with my new blog in the food/recipe niche, I have this question.

I am hiding behind a pen name, not because I want to hide something, but basically I am shy and an introvert. But, I have seen many food/recipe blogs putting their photos.

Will not having my photo on the website/blog bring down the credibility if I provide a lot of value to my readers and visitors?

What is the solution? Please advise.

Thank you,
Peter.
#blog #bring #credibility #photo #picture #putting #website
  • Profile picture of the author Aribabs
    I have a blog as well and I haven't put a face to my name either. However, I do believe that adding your picture will boost confidence in what you have to offer. I plan on adding my picture on my blog in the very near future. After a fabulous photoshoot of course. Lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Peter Thomas View Post

    I am hiding behind a pen name
    I think most affiliate marketers do that, with most of our niche sites.

    I'm "hiding behind" 8 different pen-names mostly because I didn't want their customers/subscribers finding out that I have so many others, in case they felt it detracted from my credibility (and now partly because I don't want anyone else to find out what my niches are, either, to be honest ).

    Originally Posted by Peter Thomas View Post

    Will not having my photo on the website/blog bring down the credibility if I provide a lot of value to my readers and visitors?
    Probably not, but who knows, for sure?

    It's not exactly something you can realistically split-test.

    In my opinion it's better to have a photo than not to have one.

    Originally Posted by Peter Thomas View Post

    What is the solution? Please advise.
    My solution is to use a range of drawings, sketches, silhouettes, and various other not-recognizable pictures of myself. I had most of them made by graphic artists on Fiverr. They provide some "visual identity", but even most people who've met me wouldn't know they're really made from photos of me (which all of them were).

    I originally did this partly because I was 18/19 when I started, and looked about 15, and didn't want people thinking they have "nothing to learn from a teenager", so it was just an age-concealment trick. But with hindsight I'm very glad I did it (and just very sorry that I used my real name in this forum - with hindsight, I'd have avoided that, too, but that's a different matter). :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      I really don't think it makes one iota of difference. Visitors are far more interested in your content and what you have to say. Keep it top notch, highly informative, and just what they're looking for . . . and they'll keep coming back for more - regardless of whether you've got a photo up of yourself that looks like Quasimodo on a bad day, or a bunch of tulips avatar.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatjc
    In my opinion as a professional online marketer, you should provide whatever trust symbols you can. But whether that should include your own photo depends on the content slant of your site. If your slant is a personal dialog between you and your visitors, and your goal is long-term business relationships with your visitors, then you should certainly display a personal photo.

    As my favorite online marketing guru likes to say, "People don't buy from web pages. People buy from people.". With the exception of ATM robots and other vending machines, we usually buy out in the world from people, not from their physical retail stores - same thing online.

    By the way, it's best to use a photo of you looking toward the page content - not looking directly "out of the page" at visitors. Visitors naturally stop and look closely at images of people making eye contact with them. This disrupts the eye path through your page's sales process. Perhaps this will also help with your shyness, as it deemphasizes the visual importance of the photo Vs other graphical elements on your page.

    Other useful trust symbols include:
    * Web page security emblems
    * Trust certificates (like the BBB)
    * Professional association emblems
    * "Number of years in business" symbols
    * Social network symbols
    * Testimonials

    Hope this helps...
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by thatjc View Post

      In my opinion as a professional online marketer, you should provide whatever trust symbols you can. But whether that should include your own photo depends on the content slant of your site. If your slant is a personal dialog between you and your visitors, and your goal is long-term business relationships with your visitors, then you should certainly display a personal photo.

      As my favorite online marketing guru likes to say, "People don't buy from web pages. People buy from people.". With the exception of ATM robots and other vending machines, we usually buy out in the world from people, not from their physical retail stores - same thing online.

      By the way, it's best to use a photo of you looking toward the page content - not looking directly "out of the page" at visitors. Visitors naturally stop and look closely at images of people making eye contact with them. This disrupts the eye path through your page's sales process. Perhaps this will also help with your shyness, as it deemphasizes the visual importance of the photo Vs other graphical elements on your page.

      Other useful trust symbols include:
      * Web page security emblems
      * Trust certificates (like the BBB)
      * Professional association emblems
      * "Number of years in business" symbols
      * Social network symbols
      * Testimonials

      Hope this helps...
      Google itself is sending signals regarding this. They keep bleating on and on about brands and authorship. Don't be surprised when these and other verifiable indicators play a bigger role in the future. The Internet's biggest problem has always been trust. Expect more daring solutions in the future.
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  • I don't use a picture of me on the Warrior Forum. On other sites I may do so,
    it all depends. But for the sake of this post, let me see if I can find a good pic of me,
    so you all can see what I look like posting on the WF on a Sunday afternoon.

    Ah, here's one...


    Signature
    Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
    "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
    "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

    "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
    "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      On the plus side, no photo is better than a stock photo or a random pretty young girl.

      There's some corkers knocking around. It immediately discredits.

      It helps to have a photo of yourself to brand yourself but I wouldn't dwell on it if your offerings are good enough.


      Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      I don't use a picture of me on the Warrior Forum. On other sites I may do so,
      it all depends. But for the sake of this post, let me see if I can find a good pic of me,
      so you all can see what I look like posting on the WF on a Sunday afternoon.

      Ah, here's one...



      I wouldn't be sat there playing with my laptop if that were me. Still, each to their own.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joshua Lowenthal
        The way I look at it is if you have the type of website in which you may EVER actually work directly with and therefore 1 on 1 with, the customer, then YES you should have a picture of yourself almost as a face to go with the handshake of your headline. If that makes sense.

        If you are doing a hard sell or a quick decision sell, like a WSO or digital copy type product for instance, then YES you should have a picture of yourself for the same reason as stated above.

        There are time where you could pull an Alexa Smith and make your personal photos more Artsy and therefore meld them with the style and feel of your website, which is cool and makes the whole website seem more real because we can now SEE the webmaster.

        This doesn't mean that having a photo of yourself is always good though. There are just sometimes when not having a visual of yourself is needed or useful.

        You can split test like stated or take a look around at similar blogs or your direct competitors and see what they are doing. Maybe they don't and putting your pic separates you from the rest.

        Its about studying and testing!

        Good Luck!
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        • Originally Posted by Joshua Lowenthal View Post

          There are time where you could pull an Alexa Smith and make your personal photos more Artsy and therefore meld them with the style and feel of your website, which is cool and makes the whole website seem more real because we can now SEE the webmaster.
          Hmm, perhaps this is a good candidate for a new entry into the Warrior Forum glossary of Internet Marketing terms.

          http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-...ing-terms.html

          To Pull An Alexa Smith - To make your personal photos more Artsy and therefore meld them with the style and feel of your website.




          Signature
          Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
          "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
          "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

          "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
          "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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  • Profile picture of the author thatjc
    Good point about split testing. If you want to know (rather than guess) at the results of including your photo, definitely do a good A/B split test, with and without your photo.

    You could even try various photos by split testing.
    Signature
    "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed."
    Online Visual Communication expert
    Visual Marketing Info signup: Visual Marketing Online
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  • Profile picture of the author run
    Ay!

    Who reads my content about loss weight while my real figure is fat!
    Who trust my Skin Whitening articles while I'm black.
    Who believe my products recommendation while I'm younger than theirs.

    I've always use the pen names & images instead of mind because my face looks unreliable that's even here I can't put my real face lol!
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    I just wanna tell you that most of the links in the signature are trash and/or a trap to make you pay!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnV88
    You are not alone I don't even like to have Facebook account for the same reason you stated above...I don't think it will effect anything on your blog & I believe it's actually good because you don't want people to judge your blog by your looks..
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Lowenthal
    Member since 2008

    Somebody I get behind when they speak.

    Even if I am the butt of a joke on a forum.

    Cheers to that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hill SEO
    I do not think makes a huge difference and the guys have already stated that it's the content that matters...

    BUT

    Because you have made a big deal about this to yourself, you have got to overcome this hurdle and just do it...prove to yourself that you want this to work, what's the worst that can happen!

    If your content is good and appeals to people, there is no need to be shy...Be bold and make yourself feel uncomfortable on a regular basis. Keep pushing the boundaries!
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  • Profile picture of the author ajwilliams
    Hi Peter,

    I posted a reply to another of your questions recently. This one has created some welcome levity. Humor is one of the best ways to make a point and it seems that this point is being made that way..

    You might try using an avatar that resembles you or your personality. Most people when they choose an avatar probably have that in mind in the first place. I believe that you can still be taken seriously without a photo or with something representing one.

    Realize that this is the internet. It is like a reality show where you see all these things happening and nothing is really as it seems. May be that is being too over the top. There are some real things on the internet.

    Thanks for the chance to read some of the fun stuff in this post and replies. In the long run, just be your shy self and do your best to promote yourself and your image as a straight shooter and have fun doing it.

    A J
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    • Profile picture of the author curly sue
      There are so many blogs out there without the writer's photo on it so am sure it won't be a problem. Just continue giving that good quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    You should learn how to build your self-confidence because you will need it (online and offline).

    Click on my links and you will learn how to overcome all obstacles with courage instead of being shy and insecure.










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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      Click on my links and you will learn how to overcome all obstacles with courage instead of being shy and insecure.
      But I haven't got the courage to click your links :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Thomas
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      You should learn how to build your self-confidence because you will need it (online and offline).

      Click on my links and you will learn how to overcome all obstacles with courage instead of being shy and insecure.









      Thank you everyone for your responses and I feel great now.

      Now, I had to quote this response from clever7 especially to tell even though I maintain low profile, I am confident in myself, and not at all insecure.

      I think I will get from Fiverr like Alexa said some sketches or something!

      Thanks again Warriors.
      Peter.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Thank you everyone for your responses and I feel great now.

    Now, I had to quote this response from clever7 especially to tell even though I maintain low profile, I am confident in myself, and not at all insecure.

    I think I will get from Fiverr like Alexa said some sketches or something!

    Thanks again Warriors.
    Peter.


    This forum really is very nice.

    I’m glad because you are strong.





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  • Profile picture of the author tommocharlie
    google is pushing for having identifiable authors of blogs. If you look at google SERPs you will see little pictures of the author popping up next to the articles. This means google has verified the author, this makes them look more credible. https://plus.google.com/authorship
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    • Profile picture of the author PazG
      @ OP: I used to have the same issue, i'm a pretty reserved and private guy. However, now that I have started to create my own products and plan on offering coaching, I feel that having some type of picture is very important. I wasn't comfortable putting up a photo of myself, so instead I use a caricature. It's not verifiable, but I do feel that it increases the trust factor.

      Paz G
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    I don't know if it makes a difference. But if I was going to put a picture of myself on my blog I would not obscure it in anyway. I will want people to know that I have nothing to hide and I look the part.

    In other words, if you own a skin care website but your skin looks unhealthy you will lose credibility. However, if you have healthy skin people are more likely to buy your products. Similarly, if you own a muscle building blog and you don't look the part, your credibility will be questioned. I think you should only upload a pic of yourself if it is not obscured and proves the techniques or products you are selling work.

    At least, that is just what I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikecount
    Why not have a stand in, if you think it will enhance the trust factor and you don't want to do it yourself. Tv commercials use actors, companies have spokespersons, writers have ghostwriters. Get yourself some good shots of someone who can represent your product in a good way.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by mikecount View Post

      Why not have a stand in, if you think it will enhance the trust factor and you don't want to do it yourself. Tv commercials use actors, companies have spokespersons, writers have ghostwriters. Get yourself some good shots of someone who can represent your product in a good way.
      What would one call that?

      Along the lines of a spokesperson, would it be a visual person? A view person?

      Probably just a model, lol!

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author zpoll92
    I guess, if you do not have a picture of yourself, it is not a problem if you structure your page well. However if you do have a profile picture, it will boost the confidence in the visitor for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author curationsoft
    I don't think there is nothing wrong with that, as long as your blog is interesting and convincing to the readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Even just browsing this forum I feel more of a connection with people who post using a profile image compared to those who just use a product image or no image at all. That's just the way I feel.

    You should really look at your photo as your logo. If you plan to brand yourself in a niche then using one photo across all sites such as forums, blogs, Facebook, etc can have a huge impact on your branding and make you instantly recognizable. I have been to many other websites where I have seen a photo I recognized from the Warrior Forum and so I knew that person right away without even knowing their name in many cases, just like you recognize the golden arches as McDonalds.
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    • Profile picture of the author BSharpToday
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Even just browsing this forum I feel more of a connection with people who post using a profile image compared to those who just use a product image or no image at all. That's just the way I feel.

      You should really look at your photo as your logo. If you plan to brand yourself in a niche then using one photo across all sites such as forums, blogs, Facebook, etc can have a huge impact on your branding and make you instantly recognizable. I have been to many other websites where I have seen a photo I recognized from the Warrior Forum and so I knew that person right away without even knowing their name in many cases, just like you recognize the golden arches as McDonalds.
      I agree. (adding a photo my my profile now!) I do know this, I've seen multiple studies on why adding one is beneficial, and never have seen one that shows it is hurting you. If you are not "photogenic" just find a friend who's good with a camera and photoshop and knows a bit of what they are doing. Lighting is key!!
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by BSharpToday View Post

        I agree. (adding a photo my my profile now!) I do know this, I've seen multiple studies on why adding one is beneficial, and never have seen one that shows it is hurting you. If you are not "photogenic" just find a friend who's good with a camera and photoshop and knows a bit of what they are doing. Lighting is key!!
        I don't even think you need to be photogenic. No one cares about that stuff really. I don't judge the information people give based on their looks but I do feel a stronger connection to those who use some sort of photo rather than nothing at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    I think the question is not credibility, but branding yourself. It is for sure that people want to talk to a real and opened person. Most of the people are friendly, so don't shy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Peter Thomas View Post

    I am a reserved and shy person.
    I also maintain low-profile both at work and my personal life
    I am hiding behind a pen name
    I am shy and an introvert
    What is the solution?
    Peter

    Peter,

    I'm a low profile kind of guy as well.

    I set up my first web site in 1998 and I can tell you that it's not always the best posture (to be shy) for an Internet business owner. There is a certain advantage to developing a more open, friendly, and "lay it out there" persona when you're trying to sell something.

    There is also an advantage to moving out of your comfort zone, taking a few manageable risks, and opening up to build relationships with others online. "Others" includes prospects, customers, potential partners, industry experts, and suppliers.

    Sometimes we introverts tend to be wimps in our businesses and try to do everything alone. That's fine for mediocre success, but I can tell you that a certain amount of boldness and (dare I say) arrogance will sometimes serve you well as a business owner.

    I would say put your picture up, be proud of who you are, and let that be a start to a more open, confident, and self-assured YOU. Remember, in this business (online) you are the business. You must step up and take what you want because no one is going to pamper you and volunteer to give you success.

    I hope you do well,

    Steve
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