Five Marketing Tactics for Your Tumblr Blog
Tumblr is the king of blogging platforms. With fantastic tagging and sharing capabilities and a super simple set-up process, it’s easy to start and build a blog with Tumblr. Many businesses have added the social blogging platform to their list of marketing channels, but how can you grow your following on Tumblr, especially if your Tumblr is your business or product? Here are five tips to market your Tumblr to grow your following and drive repeat traffic to your page.
1. Create amazing content
Before we dive into marketing tactics for your blog, let’s make sure it’s amazing. The best blogs have a strong point of view, take on the world, or “gimmick.” The blog Fill the Silence, for example, is a collection of posts that feature random bits of trivia to use in conversation, each accompanied by a quick doodle.
Make your posts concise, shocking, shareable, visual, unique, and interesting. Find your niche and live and breathe in it unapologetically. The best marketing machine in the world can’t save crappy content. So before you invest in marketing your Tumblr, make sure you’ve built up a steady library of awesome material.
What do we mean by “a steady library,” exactly? Well, as just about any blogger will tell you, keeping up with a regular posting schedule can be tricky no matter how easily you come up with content. Lucky for you, Tumblr allows users to schedule posts up to a week ahead of time, which means that you can build up a queue of posts that will provide your readers with a constant stream of your most profound thoughts and have you readers coming back for more.
To schedule your posts, click on the arrow next to the “Publish” button. You’ll see the “Publish on…” option in the menu that appears. Select that, enter the time and date you’d like your post to appear on your blog, and you’ll be good to go!
Want to build up a collection of scheduled posts for longer than a week? Then use the Queue function. All you have to do is pick how many times per day you want to publish posts, and Tumblr will take care of the rest. To queue your posts, click on the arrow next to the “Publish” button and pick the option “Add to queue.”
The downside is that you are limited to when your content is published.
2. Interact with similar users and interests
Like any social network, interacting with other users and their content is essential. By interacting with others, you increase the likelihood they’ll visit your site and follow or like your content. On Tumblr, you can and should:
- Like posts – click the heart in the bottom right-hand corner of any post.
- Reblog posts – click “Reblog post,” add an optional caption, and publish to your blog.
- Follow others – click “Explore” on the right-hand side of the page. Search for blogs that are about similar topics as your blog, and then click “Follow” in order to follow that blog. If all goes well, this will encourage that blogger to follow you and perhaps share future content.
Tumblr’s “Explore” icon
- Return the favor – if another user likes a post, reblogs a post, or follows your blog, consider scratching their back in return.
Be sure to target your interactions with users and blogs that are similar in topic or audience to yours. Tumblr is a huge network of smaller, topic-based networks, and you’ll need to work to penetrate your target and build your following.
3. Reward interaction with giveaways and sweepstakes
In addition to organic growth and targeted outreach, consider sponsoring giveaways and contests to reward users who interact with your blog. Be sure to choose a valuable, relevant prize, outline which actions count as entries (following, liking, reblogging, etc.), and set a deadline to create urgency. As your promotion makes a splash and attracts future followers, the return will outweigh the cost of the prize in no time. Here are a few examples of great giveaways to get your creative juices flowing:
- To celebrate a follower milestone, the blogger at The Review Marina held a giveaway of signed copies of books her followers would love. Using a free giveaway platform, Rafflecopter, participants could enter by following her and reblogging her post.
- An up-and-coming artist gave away pieces of her artwork as prizes in a sweepstakes, sure to delight her followers and promote her work. The promotion was administered manually, and reblogs, likes, and following counted as entries.
- In honor of their blog’s birthday, the people behind the photography Tumblr Websta gave away photography-themed prize packages. To enter, users needed to submit a creative of fun birthday greeting on Instagram using a custom hashtag. This drew Instagram audiences to follow the blog, and encouraged engagement with the business through creative user-generated content.
Giveaways don’t even need to be very elaborate or time-consuming. QLP put together a quick contest where participants just needed to like or reblog our post and they were eligible to win a water bottle full of chocolate.
It didn’t take long to set up or craft the post, and QLP got hundreds of notes and a slew of new followers.
Whether it’s a season, holiday, follower milestone, or just because, sweepstakes are a great way to increase your Tumblr’s followership and engagement. Keep in mind how you’ll get the winner(s) their prize(s). Many of the giveaways above required users have their Tumblr ask box open so they could be contacted if they win.
4. Share on other social media networks
Share your Tumblr and specific posts on other social networks. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are powerful networks to create profiles on and drive traffic back to your blog. Each site has its own personality, so be sure your blog meshes and adapt its voice to the site (Facebook: human and personal; Twitter: short and sweet; LinkedIn: all business, which can create a challenge if your blog is of the more informal kind often found on Tumblr). If your budget allows, you can also considered paid or sponsored posts or ads on each of these social media sites for an extra push.
If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can even tie your multi-network push into a giveaway. For example, the music enthusiast Tumblr blog Pup Fresh used Twitter to administer a sweepstakes, requiring vinyl lovers to follow them on Twitter and tweet a specific phrase to enter. They then used Twitter to drive traffic back to their blog, increasing their engagement across both platforms.
Tumblr posts can also be embedded in HTML websites (like we did above). So consider embedded Tumblr posts on a WordPress-hosted company blog to grab additional attention. There are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Individual blog posts pages now feature an “Embed” button (a new feature in 2015), so users can click on that while visiting a blog.
- If users have the URL for an individual post (also called its permalink), they can paste that URL into the appropriate spot in their page’s HTML code and add /embed to the end of the Tumblr URL.
- From the dashboard, users also can click on the three-dots icon at the bottom of a post and choose “Embed” from the menu that appears, as seen below:
5. Tag smartly
Tumblr users will discover your blog when you tag each post with relevant interests. Be sure to include a variety of popular keywords to help users discover your blog. For example, #vinyl for your vinyl blog or #drwho for your Doctor Who blog.
As you can imagine, broader, more generic tags like those are quite popular, so be sure to also include longer, more specific tags (like #nowspinning for vinyl records or #EleventhDoctor for Doctor Who fans) that will help attract your niche audience.
To appear in search engine traffic, be sure your Tumblr title and description is relevant and includes popular keywords. You can edit or update these by clicking on the “Edit Theme” button in the upper-right hand of your Tumblr homepage. The editing menu will pop up on the left-hand side of the next page:
Also, you can submit your sitemap directly to Google Webmaster Tools to help it rank higher. Here’s a Tumblr post, fittingly, describing how to do just that: http://aepearson.tumblr.com/post/1518918074/how-to-submit-your-tumblr-blog-sitemap-to-google
To grow a plant, you need soil, carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water. To grow your Tumblr blog, you need great content, two-way interaction, attention grabbing activities like sweepstakes, social media publishing, and smart tagging. Put in the hard work and eventually your Tumblr will hit its stride and start to grow rapidly and organically.
Are you actively trying to promote your Tumblr blog? Which tactics worked best for you? What prompts you to follow someone’s blog on Tumblr? Let us know in the comments!