Some Advanced Tips For Those Starting Out Building A Tumblr Blog

Bakari Chavanu 20-06-2011

Some Advanced Tips For Those Starting Out Building A Tumblr Blog tumblrlogo 11About a week after I wrote my first list of Tumblr tips How to Use Tumblr: 12 Useful Tumblr Tips for Beginners Here are the most useful Tumblr tips you need to know, including what is Tumblr, how to use Tumblr, and best practices for Tumblr. Read More , 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 How to Easily Create a Blog With Tumblr Are you looking for a simple and quick way to start a blog? You can't go wrong with Tumblr. Here are the simple steps. Read More 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, 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.

tumblr blogs


You can pretty much add anything you like to these pages. Here’s one idea you might find useful.

Tagged Post:

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.

tumblr personal blogs

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.

More Appearances

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.

tumblr personal blogs


Show Streampad

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.

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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.

Fixed Sidebar

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.

tumblr blog ideas

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.

tumblr blog ideas

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.

Mobile App

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.

tumblr personal 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.

tumblr blogs

Let us know about other Tumblr tips that new bloggers should know about.

Related topics: Blogging, Tumblr.

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  1. Zpoet
    July 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

     Hi every one it seems i can not show people i follow on my page how can i do that?

  2. Tjop58
    July 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I don't see most of the options that you mention on my dashboard. Are they only available on premium themes?  Also, is there any way to widen the images, videos, etc.? There is so much wasted space on each side of the entries!

    • Bakari
      July 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Tjop58, right about the time this article was due to be posted, Tumblr made changes to the Dashboard format of their site. The same features are still there, they just got redesigned and moved around a little. 

      “Also, is there any way to widen the images, videos, etc.? There is so much wasted space on each side of the entries!“

      Are you talking about on Tumblr? That may have to do with which Tumblr theme you’re using. 

  3. Anonymous
    July 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I'm currently in the process of setting up my tumblr but I have zero coding experience and I'm keen to customise. Can anyone direct me to a how-to site/blog etc so I can get cracking? I've been trying to do this for a couple months now & it's slow going! Thanks in advance : )
    PS - great article, thanks!

    • Jana
      July 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Do a search on Smashing Magazine. I believe they have an article there.

      • Anonymous
        July 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

        Hey, thanks! I haven't found the relevant article yet but what a great site!

    • Bakari
      July 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Cassandra, what type of customization are you trying to do with your Tumblr site? Maybe I could write another article about that focuses on advance coding skills with Tumblr, but I need an I idea of what kinds of changes Tumblr are seeking to make. 

      • Anonymous
        July 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

        I want to be able to change the colour(s), fonts & layout. I (think?!) I want a centred heading and 2 - 3 columns. I'm unfamiliar with.. everything, really!.. but I want to enable comments beneath/attached to each post. I was pleased & surprised to receive your response Bakari but my knowledge of this topic is so slight that I suspect I may have a billion other things to ask but don't know it yet! I have clicked 'Custom HTML' & am a little daunted by how utterly foreign coding is. But! I'm sure it'll be fun to learn! Sorry my response is so long. What I should've said is: "Hi Bakari, thanks in advance for sharing your skills & experience. If you could write another Tumblr article aimed at informing people who are HTML illiterate how to prettify & tweak the functions of their Tumblr, that'd be fantastic!". Many thanks : )

        • Bakari
          July 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

          Hi again, Cassandra. Yes you’re referring to advance techniques with Tumblr, which mainly involve making tweaks to the CSS code in your Tumblr site. It can be done, but it require more explanation that I have space for here. In the meantime, you might consider looking at all the other Tumblr blog themes, by clicking on the Preferences button in the Dashboard, then click, “Customize your blog,” and finally click, "Themes". You will see previews for both free and premium themes. Perhaps one or two will fit what you’re looking for.

          The thing about customizing HTML is that you have to know what you want change. You definitely want to copy and entire code and paste it somewhere for backup before you actually start making changes to the original code.The idea for an article about HTML/CSS for Tumblr is good. I will see if there is some basic techniques that anyone can use without a lot of prior knowledge about web coding. 

          Thanks again for visiting our site. Keep your questions coming.

        • Bakari
          July 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

          Cassandra, I just did a quick search for CSS and Tumblr. Take a look at this article:

        • Anonymous
          July 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

          Thank you! Could you write an article about how to stretch time so I can learn these things + do new blogs x3, please? That'd be tops! : )

  4. Kevin Schlanger
    June 28, 2011 at 4:57 am

    thanks. great article.

  5. Anonymous
    June 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I don't think "stagnant" means what you think it means. Although stagnant might be an appropriate description for a lot of blogs out there.

    Did you mean "static pages"?

    • Bakari
      July 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Lol, pathseekerken, thank you for catching that. "Static pages" is exactly what I meant. Will make note of the difference.