You’ve probably heard of Tumblr. Best described as a micro-blogging site, it’s like a mix of Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook.
Users can post text, images, videos, audio, and links. If you follow the blogs of other users, you’ll see the content they post in your own feed.
The site launched in 2007. By the end of 2017 had amassed 555 million monthly visitors and hosted more than 375 million blogs.
When you sign up for the service, it can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? What tricks are the pros using? We’ll answer all those questions in this article. Here are 10 useful Tumblr tips that all new users need to know.
1. Find Blogs to Follow
If you don’t follow other people’s blogs, you’ll find Tumblr to be a boring and lonely place.
The trick is to follow people who post content you’re interested in. For example, perhaps you’re a keen gardener and want to grab a few tips, or maybe you’re a science junkie and want to stay abreast of the latest discoveries.
To find blogs, click on the Explore icon in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Tumblr will offer suggestions based on what you already follow and list the currently trending blogs. You can use the search bar to find specific content.
2. Follow Search Terms
It’s possible to follow broad search terms as well as specific blogs. This is useful for categories such as sports teams or current affairs; it means you’ll see anything posted about the topic in your own feed.
To follow a search term, go to Explore and enter your keywords. When you see the results of your search on the screen, click Follow in the search bar.
3. Reblog Other People’s Content
When you download and repost Instagram content, it’s good practice to give credit to the original poster. It’s common courtesy, and can even help avoid unwanted legal disputes.
The same does not apply to Tumblr. The network provides a Reblog button; it’s akin to the retweet function on Twitter. When you reblog a post, it will appear on your own feed.
When you have content on your feed, it makes people more likely to follow you. Therefore, reblogging is an excellent way to grow your followers quickly.
4. Keyboard Shortcuts
Want to use Tumblr like the pros? Learn a few keyboard shortcuts. It doesn’t matter which app you’re using; keyboard shortcuts are always a sure-fire way to speed up your workflow and boost your productivity.
Here are some of the most useful:
- J: Scroll forward
- K: Scroll backward
- L: Like the current post
- N: See the number of notes
- Shift + E: Add post to your queue
- Shift + R: Reblog a post
- Z + C: Create a new post
5. Create a Custom Domain
By default, your blog’s URL will be http://[username].tumblr.com. If you want to make your content shine, it’s better to create your own custom URL.
It’s easy to do. Click on the profile icon in the upper right-hand corner of the website, then go to Edit Appearance > Username.
Next, click on the pen icon, toggle the slider next to Use a custom domain, and enter your preferred web address. Hit Save when you’re ready.
6. Schedule Your Content
Much like Facebook and TweetDeck, Tumblr provides you with a way to schedule posts into the future. It’s a great way make your blog appear active even if you’re going to be unable to tend to it for a period of time.
The schedule feature is split into two distinct parts: Queue and Schedule. When you create a new post, you can use Schedule to specify the exact time and date you want it to go live.
Queue is a list of posts that go live on a pre-defined timetable. To change your queue settings, go to Profile > Edit Appearance > Queue. You can change the number of queued posts that go live in a day, and restrict the posts to certain hours.
7. Set Your Theme
Another way to stand out from the crowd is to use a custom theme on your Tumblr blog.
If you understand the basic principles behind CSS and HTML code, you can make your own theme and upload it to the site. If your programming skills are a little rusty, you can use one of the hundreds of free themes in the Tumblr store.
To change the theme, go to Profile > Edit Appearance > Website Theme > Edit Theme. On the new page, click on Browse Themes to see what else is available.
8. Mega Editor
As you become more proficient at using the platform, you might start to regret some of your earlier posts. Not necessarily because the content is terrible, but because you made organizational errors. Perhaps you didn’t tag your posts correctly, or you posted a picture with a poor title.
You can use the Mega Editor to resolve the problems without needing to delete anything. You can bulk select posts and edit lots of data at the same time.
9. Use Your Phone to Make an Audio Post
It’s possible to use your phone to make an audio post directly onto your blog. And we don’t mean using the Tumblr smartphone apps; you can make a telephone call to your blog to create the content. This feature won’t be for everyone, but for certain types of Tumblr blogs, it’s a useful addition.
To set up phone-based audio posts, go to Profile > Account > Settings > Dial-a-Post > Setup your phone.
10. Let People Submit Posts to Your Blog
There are a few Tumblr blogs that are entirely made up of submissions by different bloggers. To use the feature on your own Tumblr blog, you need to enable it.
Click on the Profile icon and go to Edit Appearance > Submissions. Slide the toggle next Let people submit posts into the On position and save your changes.
It allows anyone to submit a post to your blog, but you’ll still need to approve the posts before they go live.
Add Your Own Tips and Tricks
These 10 useful Tumblr tips will be enough to get new users started; they might even be a timely refresher for long-term users who’ve forgotten some of the basics.
Of course, we always appreciate getting your input, and this article is no different. If you’re a long-term Tumblr user, we would love to hear from you. Which tips do you think are essential for new users? And have you considered using Tumblr to host your online portfolio?
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