You’re Going to Want to Create an Account
Go to www.tumblr.com and click the Sign Up button and enter the following information.
Email – This will be the email that you want your account associated with. I do suggest using an email that you will actively check and not tuck away and forget about.
Password – Always good to pick something you’ll remember 🙂
Username – This will be the name that people will see when content you post shows up in their feed.
Since you’re an artist/band it’s important for you to use your artist or band name for search purposes. You’ll want to do the same a little later when you create the URL for your Tumblr for SEO purposes.
* Tip for a newbie– very few non-musician users (unless they are using their site a portfolio or place to show off their work) use their birth name as their username or name of their blog. You’ll see things like shipwrekfrontierpioneer, studdedheartsxo21, and ryangoslingsgirl. (So just don’t be alarmed.)
A neat thing to note is that web surfers don’t need a Tumblr account to view your Tumblr blog. Your Tumblr blog will have it’s own URL (as hinted prior) and will exist on the internet as a web page. Even though in settings you can change it so your Tumblr will not come up in a Google search- I can think of few reasons why you’d want to go this route.
Okay now that you created an account and are logged in –
(In between creating your account and getting to your dashboard you’ll be prompted to follow 5 blogs to “get started”. You can skip this step and come back to it when you have a better lay of the land.)
You’ll see a house with a halo that says This is your dashboard – not-so-ironically, this is your dashboard.
Guys here is where it’s going to get creative.
You’ll see above your dashboard a toolbar that says Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio, Video. This is where you create/upload original content for your blog.
If you want to add a video, click Video in that toolbar, and pop in a video and when you click post you’ll see the video pop up on your dashboard. Here’s the thing though- that video does only pop up on your dashboard. It will also pop up on the dashboard of everyone who is following you on Tumblr.
Here is where it’s going to get social. Woo!
So your dashboard is pretty much equivalent to your Twitter feed or your Facebook feed. However, unlike Facebook and even more so than with Twitter, it’s encouraged for people to share other people’s posts. Facebook calls it sharing, Twitter calls it Re-tweeting, and on Tumblr it’s known as reblogging.
Imagine a place where people are actively looking for art, cultural references, quips, GIFs and just stuff. It’s like the place to be!
Well — not so fast.
Let’s point out a few things,
First thing to point out. Tumblr is not THE easiest place to gain followers. Gaining followers is really dependent on content. There are three way to gain followers.
– Put stellar, interesting, original content on your Tumblr.
– Hashtag your posts and make sure the hashtags are relevant to what you’re posting. There’s a spot to add these when you create an original post as well as when you reblog a post.
– Follow other people who are putting out content similar to yours, reblog them, and like their stuff. (Tip: I tend to find that reblogging is more effective than liking when it comes to gaining people’s attention and harvesting that follow)
Second thing to point out: You aren’t going to have much traction on Tumblr if your fans/potential fans aren’t using Tumblr.
That being said, overall, Tumblr, unlike any other social media platform, has quite the distinct personality (Snapchat probably being an up and coming competitor). If you don’t believe me then consider the fact that the @SincerelyTumblr Twitter handle exits.
And right about now you’re probably either like ‘dude that’s right where I need to be’, or you’re like ‘okay but I’m not a whiny millennial experiencing the world is GIFs’ —
It’s okay there is something for everyone, but it’s good to point out that Tumblr does skew young.
Last Thing: Tumblr is not the place for shameless self-promotion.
Let me explain it this way. I’ve been a Tumblr user since I was 17, so I remember when Tumblr began to introduce sponsored posts on to their users’ dashboards. What was so interesting about it was I almost reblogged an add for some shampoo company without even realizing it! The point is these companies promoting themselves on Tumblr are not making ads that just say “Breakfast special at [Restaurant]”. They’re making clever GIFs that blend in with the territory (posts that look like solicited posts on users’ dashboards).
Take a lesson from the heavy hitters and put out content that will appeal to the site’s user base.
In other words, post your song, post your creative tour poster, post the doodle that you made in the tour van, but don’t put in the caption anything resembling “Come to my show”/ “Buy my CD”. Please, PLEASE. As a Tumblr user I’m giving you the inside scoop.
* Of course you can always have a widget on your homepage that says something like “CD Available here” or something like that, but leave it out of you posted content.
Now that you know how it works —> You probably have some ideas as to the content you want to share —> And you can now customize/ pick a layout that will complement the content you’re putting on your blog.
Here’s how to customize your blog:
On the page where you see your dashboard go to the upper righthand corner and click on the little person icon (a faceless head with shoulders). Then click on Settings in the drop down menu.
Here you can make some basic edits to your settings.
If you click the button that says Edit Appearance you can change your profile image, your cover image, the title of your blog, and your description.
On this same page you can also change your
– URL (of your blog)
– The appearance of your blog (I’ll get to that in a sec)
– And a plethora of other really cool options like allowing people to ask you questions on Tumblr (these come to you like messages and then you have the option of responding and sharing/making them public on your blog and in all of your followers’ newsfeeds)
Now let’s own this and pick a theme:
Theme is synonymous with Layout (btw).
There are a bunch of free themes you can choose from. If you click Edit Theme and then on the new page you’re directed to click Browse Themes you can check them out. With free themes you have flexibility to customize the HTML and really make it yours.
Reblogging- It’s Going To Get Intimate.
So reblogging. How do you do it and why should you do it?
Reblogging is super easy and very much so part of the territory with Tumblr.
There are three great benefits to blogging other people.
1. Reblogging other people allows you to share awesome content that you otherwise wouldn’t have on your blog. Your blog may become a source of inspiration for yourself. For example you can archive cool designs that may inspire your album art down the line.
2. As mentioned prior it’s a way to gain followers, ingratiate yourself within different Tumblr communities, and gain followers.
3. If you have fans who are sharing content about you, reblogging their photos from a show or their fan art can be a great way of showing that you approve and appreciate the support. Remember positive reinforcement from school? Check out Taylor Swift’s Tumblr.
It just goes to show how Tumblr gives you the tools and you have free reign to do with them what feels right for your creative project.