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About a week after I wrote my first list of Tumblr tips, the site made changes to its all pervasive Dashboard. The re-design was a welcome facelift for many members, while others lodged some major complaints. Nevertheless, the features of the Dashboard remain basically the same with a few enhancements.
If you’re hopping onto the Tumblr bandwagon—I recommend you do—here are some additional—perhaps advanced—tips you might be interested in after having set up your Tumblr blog and built a following. And don’t worry, none of these tips require that you get your hands dirty with code.
Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t set up your Tumblr blog yet, this article will show you how.
Pages and Tags
Let’s return to Tumblr’s Dashboard Preferences, for there are other little tools you might want to enable in there to enhance your blog. I covered few other Preferences features in the previous article.
Similar to the WordPress.com, you can add stagnate pages in your Tumblr site. You’re not limited to just your home page. On the Dashboard page, click on the Customize button and select Pages > Add a page. You can add three types of pages: Standard, Custom Layout, and Redirect.
You can pretty much add anything you like to these pages. Here’s one idea you might find useful.
If you get in the habit in tagging your Tumblr blog posts, as discussed in the last article, you can create a page that will show all your posts with a specified tag. So for instance, you might want to highlight all your posts that are mini “essays.” Here’s how to set it up.
Select the “Redirect” page. Now copy and paste the URL for one of the tagged posts that you want inserted into your new page. It should look this—with the name of your blog, followed by “tagged,” and ending with exact name of the tagged posts you want filtered on the page.
Finally, be sure to select “Show a link to this page,” and type a name for it, which will show up in the menu bar of your homepage. When the page is clicked, it will show all your posts with that designated tag.
While we’re in Tumblr Preferences, let’s click on the Appearance tab and see a few other features that are not turned on by default.
If you want to add some musical ambiance to your Tumblr homepage, click the Streampad box, and essentially the plug-in will play songs that have been uploaded to your Dashboard.
Depending on your Tumblr theme, the player should show up at the end of your homepage. If you want to further customize the player, click over to this Streampad page and follow the directions for making changes and adding the code.
If keeping visitors and readers focused on the sidebar content of your homepage is important to you, then check this box. It will keep the sidebar in a fixed position, even when readers scroll further down your page to browse all your awesome Tumblr posts.
Small Follow Box
When the “People I Follow” icons get long and unwieldy, clicking this box will put them into a smaller scrolling box for you.
Ask Me Widget
If you’re fairly new to Tumblr, you might often see the people you’re following posting a question to others on their Dashboard—in the form of a text box for responding to the question. It’s a great little feature, but it’s not quite obvious how to set it up.
To do so, simply create a Text post, and then type the question you want to ask. Be sure that the question ends in a “? “mark. When you do this, a little box, “Let people answer this”, will appear on the right side of the Dashboard. Click it and add your post like you normally would. The responses will show up in your Inbox. The checkbox will not appear until you put the question mark at the end of your question.
If you’re an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry user, and a Tumblr addict, you will no doubt want to download the Tumblr app for your mobile device. I find the iPhone version (iTunes Store link) super easy to use. It allows you to both browse your Dashboard as well post Tumblr blogs.
Other third-party apps like Instagram include Tumblr support as well.
Well, that’s it for these round of tips. Tumblr is taking the lead as the fastest growing microblogging site, so many more features and upgrades are sure to be arrive in the coming months.
Let us know about other Tumblr tips that new bloggers should know about.