I joined Tumblr in April 2007 before it exploded and became the popular online community it is today. My knack for adopting early and occasionally finding tomorrow’s next big thing stayed at the finding part with Tumblr. Twitter, the other site I joined a month earlier, had won my heart and became my favorite destination. After several posts, reblogs, and getting a handful of friends to join Tumblr, my tumblelog sadly fell to the wayside and only saw me once in a blue moon.
Tumblr may not be as widely visible as big players Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest, but it’s grown steadily as the little microblogging site that could with 63.8 million blogs since launching in April 2007. It’s a great place to post what I like to call “bite-size” content.
Thankfully my daughter, who I dragged kicking and screaming onto the site in my footsteps, stayed on and became a Tumblr Staff favorite this year. Her newfound rockstar status prompted me to ask her how to get the most out of Tumblr. She schooled me.
Here’s what Kyera recommends:
Follow other Tumblrs. In order to connect with others who share your interests, follow other Tumblrs so their posts appear in your dashboard. Tumblr is a community about sharing content that’s both your own and other Tumblr’s.
Explore Tumblr. The fastest and easiest way to find Tumblrs that interest you are to click on the Explore link and… explore. You’ll see the most popular tags divided into categories. The tags are not set in stone; they’re based on what’s popular and trending. Hitting Explore is the best way to find great content and great Tumblrs to follow. Fashion, Design, Television, Vintage and Film are some of the staples you’ll find.
Search Tags. Tumblr makes it easy to find content through tags. Type in a topic in your dashboard search bar, and you’ll find everything that’s been posted with that tag. This search is where you can find posts not as popular as the ones you can find in the Explore Tumblr link. Tags like “Jesus”, “cupcakes”, and “robots”, are some things you won’t normally find under Explore but you will find somewhere on a tumblelog.
Reblog posts. Reblogging is Tumblr’s way of retweeting (Twitter) or sharing (Facebook) posts. Content that is popular will have a high number of “Notes.” One to three reblogs per day is a good place to start to build content on your site and to show others that you’re part of the Tumblr community.
Schedule posts. The beauty of Tumblr’s dashboard is that it takes the guesswork out of what type of content to post. A post can be anything from just a photo, a video, text, or even a quote, among other things, thus the microblogging format or “bite-size” content. But while the temptation to post one from each category in rapid succession may be strong, resist and use the scheduling feature instead. Or if you really can’t resist, give yourself a maximum number of reblogs or posts in one go and then space out the rest. This strategy allows for more people to see your posts, including reblogs, throughout the day or night, as opposed to your followers seeing nothing but your posts in their dashboards which could lead to un-following.
Post regularly. One post per day is a great starting point, whether these posts are your own content, or reblogs, post something everyday. Be consistent so your follower list will grow with people who share your interests or like what you either find and reblog, or create on your own.
Maximize themes. Tumblr has a massive library of free and premium themes to choose from, and if you’re handy with CSS, you can even customize or design your own theme. Into photography? There’s a theme that will showcase your work. Looking for something minimalistic? There’s a theme for that.
Focus on a topic. The most successful Tumblrs are laser-focused on a singular topic and nothing else. They create their own content, reblog others’ content on the same topic, and post frequently and consistently about nothing else but their main topic.
I’m back on Tumblr more regularly but I don’t think I will ever use it as my main blog. I love lurking and watching the content others post. And I have to admit that I can get lost exploring and searching tags! I also love that Tumblr is very straightforward and easy to use. On days I just want to share a photo or a video, or if I’ve come across a quote or want to share a chat convo, I tumbl.
But when I have more to say, here’s where you’ll find me. Which is fine. One rockstar in the family on Tumblr is more than enough for our household.