Rowena Wiseman

Written by

Rowena Wiseman

18 March 2024

Book Promotion

Why Writers Should Be Using Tumblr: A Complete Guide

Why writers should be using Tumblr - Novlr

Tumblr is a blogging platform that can be used to engage with readers, share content, and connect with other writers. With Tumblr, users can post photographs, videos, quotes, links, music, and text posts.

One of the best ways to build a following on Tumblr is to create content that people will want to reblog. Your content will have greater reach if other users share it with their followers. It is similar to Twitter and the retweet button.

How writers can use Tumblr

Writers often use Tumblr to display their writing in a unique way. For example, they might create a “Tumblr novel” where each chapter is a separate post on the blog. Or they might choose to do a series of micro-fiction stories that are only one or two sentences long.

Understand Tumblr’s culture

Before diving into promotion tactics, it’s critical to understand the platform you’re working with. Tumblr is a mix of microblogging and social networking, where multimedia and short-form content thrive. It houses a vibrant community that values creativity, humour, and social commentary.

  • Appreciate the visual aspect: While it’s a place for writing, Tumblr also has a strong focus on visuals. Including images, GIFs, or videos can help your posts stand out.
  • Engage with the community: Follow other writers and readers, reblog their content, and participate in discussions. Being active in the community can help you grow your audience organically.
  • Be authentic: Tumblr users value genuineness. Be true to your voice and style, and your authenticity will resonate with your audience.

Create captivating (or useful) content

Now that you have a sense of Tumblr’s atmosphere, let’s talk about the content that can help you shine as a writer.

  • Share snippets of your work: Tease your readers with thrilling excerpts from your stories or poems.
  • Write about your writing process: Readers love to get behind-the-scenes looks at how stories are made.
  • Offer writing tips: Sharing your knowledge can help establish you as a trustworthy voice within the writing community.
  • Create quote graphics: Share memorable quotes from your work over eye-catching images.
  • Share character art and mood boards: Give a voice to your characters and let readers see your story world come to life.
  • Uplift other writers: Once you start to build a writing community don’t be afraid to share other writers’ wins. We’re all in this together, and the more we support each other, the more support we’ll receive.
Tumblr open on a phone on a purple-lit keyboard

Utilise Tumblr’s enagagment features

Tumblr has several built-in features that can enhance your promotional efforts.

  • Tags: Use relevant, popular tags to ensure your posts are discoverable by a wider audience.
  • Asks and Submits: Enable these to encourage direct engagement, allowing followers to ask questions or submit content. You can also use these features that other writers have enabled to build your community.
  • Queue and Schedule: Keep your blog active by scheduling posts throughout the week, keeping in mind when your audience is most active. By scheduling, you can make sure the content goes out, even if you’re not around to post.

Engage with your followers

Building a community is about more than just sharing your content; it’s about interaction.

  • Respond to comments and messages: Show appreciation for feedback and engage in conversations.
  • Reblog and like other writer’s content: Support your peers, and they’re likely to reciprocate.
  • Respond to Asks: Let your followers get to know you better and ask questions about your work.
  • Cross-promote: Share your Tumblr posts on other social media platforms to draw in more readers.
  • Collaborate with other creators: Work with other writers or artists on Tumblr to cross-promote each other’s work.
  • Participate in writing challenges: Engage in Tumblr-based writing prompts or challenges to showcase your work to a new audience.

Tumblr in action

Shelby Leigh is a poet, mental health advocate, and author marketing strategist who has been writing on the internet for 6+ years, amassing a following of more than 300,000 readers. Her third poetry book is coming in Fall 2022 through Central Avenue Publishing.

I asked her how she has been using Tumblr and her advice for other authors who want to use the platform.

“There are so many writers on Tumblr, but that doesn’t mean it’s an oversaturated platform! Tumblr is the first platform I started sharing my writing on, and I quickly built an audience to more than 100k in a year. It’s fairly simple to get visibility on Tumblr because, similar to Twitter, posts can be reshared really easily to different audiences. Relevant tags are also pretty effective in getting more views and engagement on your posts.”

What type of posts by writers perform best on Tumblr?

“I’ve found that two types of posts perform best: simple, text-only quote posts and high-quality photos of quotes from books or journals. The text posts are easiest to do because you just need to type your poem! However, I have had photos of pages of my poetry books perform very well, too.”

Shelby Leigh poetry on tumblr for writers

Best tips for writers using Tumblr?

Shelby Leigh has been writing on Tumblr for years.

“Like any social media platform, I recommend consistency and quality. Stick with a posting schedule that you can adhere to, whether that’s twice a week or every day. Experiment with different post types to see what works best for you and your audience. Use relevant hashtags to get more eyes on your work. Finally, engage with others. You should never follow to unfollow, or like people’s posts just to get likes back. However, you should find other accounts you truly enjoy and engage with them regularly. That is the best way to build a community!”

Summing up

Tumblr offers a unique landscape for creative writers to promote their work and grow their readership. By understanding the platform’s culture, creating captivating content,and engaging with followers, you can build a thriving community around your writing.

Check out writers on Tumblr to see how authors are presenting their work on the platform. Use the search bar to search for terms such as ‘writing’, ‘creative writing’ or ‘poetry’ to get some ideas on how writers present their work on this incredible multi-media, multi-layered platform.