Would you like to be popular on Tumblr? It can seem like quite a daunting task–especially if you’re new to blogging. Fortunately, there are some tricks to making your blog stand out among the many Tumblogs out there. It isn’t easy to become popular, and success is more similar to capturing lightning in a bottle than a formula to follow.
There are still rookie mistakes to avoid, and if your new Tumblog is a good idea, this is a great way to maximize your potential. The following points have been broken down into easily accessible nuggets for your perusal.
- Do what no one else is doing. If you are copying someone else and just riffing on a theme, you can expect your Tumblog to die pretty fast. It will more than likely not be taken seriously, and it will receive a few hundred views before petering out. Consider Tumblr to be a microcosm of the internet. That means that anything that’s popular on there now won’t be in as little as a week, so try to be original. Every blog starts at its core with a good idea. If you don’t have one, try following this next tip.
- Do what someone else is doing, but better. Does this contradict point number one? Not really. If you’re doing something that someone else is doing but better, then you’re still not doing what someone else is really doing. The point is that you’ll do it better, funnier, wittier, or however. Despite the flash-in-the-pan nature of Tumblogs, you can gain longevity by emphasizing quality. If you take a great idea that is poorly executed and tweak it, you can become very popular very quickly. A lot of popular blogs are actually based on someone else’s ideas, but produced in a much better way, both on Tumblr and off.
- Do not feel compelled to follow everyone. In fact, don’t follow everyone who wants to follow you. Follow-for-follow proposals might seem appealing while your numbers are low, but you should carefully curate the number of Tumblogs you follow. The reason behind this is that you will end up attracting an unappreciative or scattered audience. This in turn will affect the quality of your blog as you try to please a group of uninterested or varied readers. Instead, stay on message and follow popular Tumblogs that have similar interests or themes to yours. This does not mean that you should throw creativity out the window–if you’re a photo blogger and you find someone who does great creative fiction, then by all means follow that person. Just don’t pair off with the resident Tumblring video game nerd or sports fan since that wouldn’t fit your theme.
- Do comment frequently and helpfully. It isn’t enough to just comment on someone else’s Tumblog. You have to actually contribute something, or else your voice gets drowned in a sea of similar banal opinions. The point of this is to try to pique someone’s interest enough to have them read your blog too. Do you think that a short or plain comment is going to do that? Similarly, when you find a post that you like, it can often help you gain new followers to riff on the original post. You can post a funny critique or tweak the theme itself. Often there are very long chains of hilarious retumbled posts, and being on that chain can be vital to getting your blog’s visibility up.
- Get off Tumblr to gain an audience. Tumblr is unfortunately a very clique-based community, and it can take a lot of time to gain a following there. The quickest way to actually get a lot of followers is to start on Facebook, on Twitter, or on other blogs by commenting on them. One of the best things you can do is create a really well-written or high-content Tumblog, and then shop it around to other blogs to feature. If it is featured, then your traffic will increase exponentially depending on the size of the blog that featured it. Not all of your traffic needs to come from Tumblrs–in fact, for awhile, it probably won’t.
- Post. A lot. Tumblr is not a place for the casual blogger. If you need to take your time and do long-form posting, then you ought to go just about anywhere else. If you like to post a bunch of quick clips, photos, or flash fiction, then stay right here on Tumblr. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. You can always try to see if you can buck the trend and be the first long-form blogger on Tumblr, but it’s a serious battle and you’d be trying to undo several years’ worth of established form.
- Ignore Tumblarity if they ever bring it back. It was a dreadful system that failed utterly to determine who was the hottest poster on Tumblr, and it will not be welcome once it comes back. Many are crying for it, but like Twitter followers, it’s only as good as you leverage it. Many smaller Tumblogs are doing much better than ones that supposedly have a million followers and a Tumblarity of 1. Instead, get a pageview counter to determine your success in followers. You will find that your pageviews easily outstrip Tumblr followers.
- Crowdsource your content as much as possible. Tumblr is meant to be a community-driven blogging engine. Not asking others to contribute is tantamount to driving your car without turning the key in the ignition. People love to see their submitted content on your blog and will in turn act as evangelists for your blog. Not doing this will mean that your Tumblog will go forever unread.
These points are just a start. Do you have a successful Tumblog? Let us know in the comments below and let us know your perspective! We would love to hear what you think about this article.