10 Useful Tumblr Tips That New Users Need To Know

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tumblrlogo 1   10 Useful Tumblr Tips That New Users Need To KnowI’m absolutely hooked on Tumblr. I found my way back there recently, and in two days I managed to post 45 blogs – some reblogs, some quotes, a few long form essays, and lots of image posts. I don’t know what the appeal to Tumblr is over other similar blogging sites such as Posterous or WordPress, but I’ve caught the Tumblr bug and I have learned some things that might not be so obvious to those who are new to the fastest growing  microblogging site.

1. Following & Followers

When you blog on a site like Tumblr, you’re typically not there to talk to yourself. Tumblr is as much a social chatting site as Twitter is. After you’ve set up your blog, you will want to follow other bloggers and be followed back. What’s the quickest way to do that? Easy, click on the Dashboard and then click Explore.

On the Explore page you’ll find lots of popular topics that members are blogging about – everything from tattoos to food to architecture.

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Nothing in the list appeals to you?  Then search for a topic and see if you don’t find a minimum of ten people who are tumblr blogging about what you’re interested in.

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2. Tag Your Searches

Another way to follow your various interests on Tumblr is to save your search tags. When you search for a topic, you can easily revisit that search by clicking the “Track this tag” button. The tags you track will appear on the right side of your Dashboard.

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3. Re-Post & Ask Questions

When you are new to Tumblr, you will want to quickly start filling up your homepage with content. People will start following you when they see you have content. So one way to get some content on your page is to reblog posts by other members, as well as create your own.

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On Tumblr there’s nothing shameful about reblogging. When you see a blog you like in the search list and you want to reblog it on your page, put your cursor over the upper-right corner of the post and click. Once the page downloads, you will see a small menu bar of four items that show on every blog post of Tumblr (unless the poster chooses to disable it).

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Click the familiar little “Reblog” button to repost it on your blog.  Or you can give a little love and simply click the heart button to let the poster know you like the post.

4. Leaving Comments

Leaving comments on Tumblr is different than on most other blogging sites. First off, you need to click Account > Preferences settings > Customize your blog. Next, click on Community and select one or both of the Replies tick boxes.

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In order to deal with trolls and spammers, Tumblr only allows replies from people you follow. You can also select to only allow people to comment on your page after they have been following you for more than two weeks.

5. Submissions & RSS Feeds

Another interesting Tumblr feature is one that allows other bloggers to post submissions to your blog. I discovered a few Tumblr blogs that are totally made up of submissions by different bloggers. To use this feature, you also set it up in the Preferences section of your account.

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You can also set up your Tumblr to accept blog posts from RSS feeds.

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6. Deselect Twitter & Facebook?

Another preference setting you will want to think carefully about is if you want to have your posted Tumblr blogs immediately shared on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. This feature might be turned on by default.

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If you find yourself posting a lot on Tumblr, sharing numerous posts might be a turn off to your followers on your other sites. So it’s something to carefully consider.

7. Customizing Background Colors

There are lots of great and free Tumblr themes to choose from. You no doubt spent some time looking for just the right theme for your blog. But even if you don’t know any CSS coding, you can still change the background and font colors of your selected Tumblr theme. Again, this is found in the Preferences section under Appearance.

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8. Queued Up

If you catch the Tumblr bug and start posting a lot on your page, you might consider spreading out your posts so your followers can get a little time to appreciate all the content you’re sharing. In Tumblr you can put your posts in a queue or set a specific date for them to post.

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I use this feature for working on several blog posts at a time, like daily challenges, which means I can write several blogs but not have them all post at once. Notice you can also save posts as Drafts and come back on work on them later.

9. Chat Post

One of the seven types of posts you can make on your Tumblr is called Chat. When you click it, it appears that it might be a way to hold a public chat with your followers or the people you’re following. But that’s not the case. The purpose of this feature is to copy and repost a chat (e.g., Instant Messsage, iChat) that you had online.

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But one way to initiate a little public dialogue on Tumblr is ask and answer questions of your followers. In Preferences you just need to turn that feature on for your blog. This is also where you can change the “Ask me anything” line to anything you want, like “No question is too personal, so ask.”

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10. Publish Your Blogs

When you post enough blogs, you might want to publish your Tumblr entries in book or PDF format. Feed Fabrik is set up to do that for you. After setting up your account, the site will import all your blog entries and create a book.

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If you need some how-tos about getting set up on Tumblr, you can also check out How to Easily Create a Blog with Tumblr. Let us know what you think about Tumblr, and if there are tips and tricks for using the site that I overlooked.

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10 Comments -

timmyjohnboy

Good advice, Bakari!  I’m running a Tumblr blog (http://bloggerdoggie.com) on which people can post their own pictures, like a community-type blog (still new though).  That would be another tip to add :)

Bakari

Great Tim, thanks for sharing it. I forgot to add about community blogs on Tumblr which are very popular, and a great way to build content.

timmyjohnboy

And you can also setup google analytics but perhaps that’s not geared towards newbies :)

Bakari

Probably not, but it’s still a good tip.

ConJunTuraL

Tumblr has a awful support service! My ticket 176486 had no resolution since 16 Dez 2010! “Our developers are aware of this issue and will fix it as soon as they can. Thanks for your patience.Sorry for the long delay,
Renee” in Feb-04, than nothing!
I gave up of my blog! TUMBLR NO MORE!

Bakari

Hmm, sorry to hear that. Have you tried writing them back several times?

ConJunTuraL

Sure! 5 TIMES! And I didn’t mind other small problems also with no resolution (ticket #188145 and #191545) TUMBLR DOESN’T CARE!

Extreme John

Sweet tips Bakar. We’ve recently stepped up our Tumblr game within my small businesses as well as my personal brand. One thing I’ve noticed about Tumblr is that it seems to be a more layed back, fun, interactive social tool. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there’s something about Tumblr that I’ve always liked and that’s always stood out.

These tips are going to come in handy, thank you.

Bakari

Yeah John, I like Tumblr for some of the same reasons. It’s great place to find community and share blog posts. I’ve tried keeping a personal blog several times and always for all behind. With Tumblr, it’s easy to post or repost a photo, a few paragraphs and keep moving. And it does have a fun, kinda hipster style. I’m not sure how well the site will work for a business—guess it depends on the type of business—but there’s seem to be enough different communities for all types of topics and interests. 

And thanks for the feedback. This article will be followed up with another set of tips. 

Ajith Basnayake

Very important post, Thankx