Tumblr is all the rage these days. New Tumblr blogs are going viral on an almost daily basis, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses to The 99 Percent, funny text messages and more. Seeing all the Tumblr success that surrounds you may inspire you to start your own Tumblr blog, but where do you start? We’ve put together a list of five Tumblr tips to help you plan, set up and run your Tumblr blog for maximum success.
Think before you “Tumble”
If you’re considering starting a Tumblr blog it will be worth your while to do a little thinking and planning beforehand. Before you start tumbling, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you want to start a Tumblr? Do you think it will be fun? If you just want to start tumbling because “everybody else is doing it” then maybe it’s not for you. Tumblr is a super fun platform, but the only way that you’re Tumblr is going to be a success is if you are ready to have fun with it.
What will your Tumblr be about? Sure, you can open a personal Tumblr where you just tumble random stuff that you happen to enjoy (like you Tweet random articles that you like or post random stuff you like on your Facebook timeline). However, the most successful Tumblr blogs are those that are very specific. Tumblr blogs that focus on a specific meme, topic or project are the way to go.
Note that with Tumblr you can create a whole variety of different topical blogs under one user name. Keeping things separate will help you target specific niche audiences.
Is anyone else already tumbling about this? It’s always best if you start a Tumblr on a subject or idea that doesn’t already have a popular Tumblr blog dedicated to it. Do a little research and see if anyone else is already tumbling about your idea. If they are, you may be able to contribute to that Tumblr instead of starting a new one yourself.
How much time can you spend on your Tumblr? If you want your Tumblr blog to become popular then it will take some committment on your part. If you don’t put up new posts consistently then it will be hard getting readers to come back consistently, or to decide to follow you. Additionally, the more you post the more content there will be for your fans to share, aiding in the viral spread of your Tumblr.
Setup For Tumblr Success
Once you’ve come up with a plan for your Tumblr it’s time to set everything up. The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a nice theme that you think meshes nicely with the topic of your Tumblr. Luckily Tumblr has a ton of really nice themes for free (along with some gorgeous themes that you can pay for as well). While you can always change your theme, I suggest putting some time into finding a nice one and sticking with it because your readers will associate the theme you choose with your Tumblr “brand.”
Once you’ve chosen a theme you’ll want to make sure you include as much information as possible on your Tumblr to help your readers understand what your Tumblr is about, how they can submit content and ask questions (if you want to open your Tumblr to submissions and questions), and more.
You may also consider adding a commenting feature to your Tumblr. Tumblr is inherently social, as users are encouraged to like, reblog and follow your content. However, by adding comments to your Tumblr you can make it even more social. Note that some Tumblr themes support Disqus while others do not, so if you want to add commenting you’ll have to choose a theme that supports it.
Tumblr is a social platform so if you want to become a successful member of the Tumblr community then you’ll have to get social! Follow similar blogs and people that seem like they would like your content, reblog and like their Tumble postings and they will be more likely to respond in kind. Similar to other social sites like Facebook and Twitter, if you expect to just sit back and relax and expect fans to come to you, your odds are slim to none. You have to get involved in the community and reach out to potential fans and followers if you want to get noticed.
Don’t Forget The Metadata
Many posts on Tumblr consist of photos, animated gifs or videos and not text. For this reason, it is incredibly important to include a little bit of text along with tags for every post that you make. This way your posts will show up in search results.
Try to include around five relevant tags on every post. When coming up with tags ask yourself what types of things people that would be interested in seeing your post may search for. You should also try to include a short text description within your post that uses some of the keywords.
Tumblr automatically creates your URLs, but they give you the option to set a custom post URL for every page. Take advantage of this and create a short URL that uses descriptive keywords. Tags and custom URL can be added on the right side of the editor.
Post Regularly And Often
Once you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to start tumbling. The great thing about Tumblr is that you don’t have to create new content every time you want to post. You can search for content that other people have tumbled and Reblog it to your own Tumblr to keep things fresh, even when you don’t have the time to produce new content on your own. This won’t only keep your followers happy, but it will also help you grow your network so that when you do post your own content it will get more likes and shares.
What tips would you offer to someone who is just starting out with Tumblr? Feel free to share advice in the comments below!
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.