Making the Most of Your Tumblelog

 Welcome guest columnist, Karma Bennett, Publicist, Social Media Consultant and Writer. When I met Karma recently at a meeting for book publicists and those interested in book publicity (like me!) I was struck by her bubbly nature and her absolute passion for Tumblr. So I begged to write a post on the topic. She wrote me two! Yesterday’s post asked if Tumblr is right for your book. Today’s posts goes into how you can use Tumblr to attract your potentials readers to your books. Enjoy! And let us know if you have any questions!

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Making the Most of Your Tumblelog

Yesterday, I wrote a post on Tumblr, what it is and which authors would most benefit by blogging there.
Today I want to give you some tips on how to gain followers with your Tumblr microblog.

Keep Posts Short

To succeed with Tumblr, make your posts as short as possible. For example, on my music tumblog, I have a series called “Rules for Shows.” On an old-school blog, I could have made one post that was a long list of “100 Ways To Not Be A Jerk At A Concert”. I could still do that on Tumblr, but have had more success writing one or two paragraphs on each item, and including a photo. I get a lot more content that way, and because it is easier to digest I get more reblogs and likes.

As an author, you should go through your book with a highlighter and pull out various quotes from your novel that you’re especially fond of. Each of these can be their own post. In the spot where you give credit to the source, use your Amazon link.

Use the Queue

One Tumblr feature I love that I don’t see many other platforms using is the queue. This simply means that if you have posted two hundred quotes from your novel, there’s no reason they need to go up all at once. You can tell Tumblr to post several times a day in a specific window of time. It’s also useful if you wrote your post at an odd hour. Add it to the queue, and it will go up in the time-frame you’ve allotted.

Like traditional blogs, you can also schedule posts for specific dates, but the queue is so fast that it will make blogging a breeze.

The schedule option is also more convenient on Tumblr than it is on other sites, simply because it’s rare to see a WordPress post of one picture daily, while this is common on Tumblr.

For example, on my local site I have a feature called “Low Rider of the Month.” But it’s really just twenty pictures I took at a lowrider show and scheduled to post on the first of every month.

Always Credit the Source

This is good manners in general, but it is especially important on Tumblr. Because it is so simple to reblog someone’s entire post, most popular Tumblr users have had their content stolen at least once. It’s the quickest way to lose respect in the Tumblr community.

On the other hand, when you reblog someone, they may get curious and head over to your site. They can’t do that if you don’t give them credit.

Note that Tumblr even provides a spot where you can paste the url for the “content source.” If you’re reblogging, the link of the person who posted it should show up automatically at the bottom of the post, along with their comment.

All you need to do in that case is to keep it intact. Use the “content source” box when you’re posting something from outside of Tumblr. For example, if you’ve shared an image that you used as research for your novel, the website where the image came from should be pasted in the “content source” box.

Share Things You Love

Don’t only use Tumblr as a space to announce the latest developments with your book. Use it to share anything you find that you think your readers would be interested it.

If your book is a dark murder mystery, use your Tumblr blog to post quotes from Sherlock Holmes, the dark music that inspires you, and artwork that fits with your aesthetic.

Because your writing style fits with your interests, most of these aren’t things you have to go hunting for.

Next time you find yourself clicking the “Like” or “Tweet” button, send it to Tumblr instead. Tumblr allows you to automatically send all your posts to Twitter and Facebook, so you don’t waste time by posting to Tumblr instead.

If you do want to go hunting, you can subscribe to particular tags within Tumblr.

Always Tag Your Posts

If Tumblr users are going to find your blog through the site, it is most likely because they’ve searched for something that you tagged. If you don’t tag your posts, they won’t get discovered. When deciding what tags to use, ask yourself what search terms you would use if you were looking to find a post just like this one.

Try to think of what people would actually be searching for. For example, it’s possible someone might search for “new book” but they’re far more likely to search for “books.” Also consider the competition.

If you share a post called “music” it’s not likely to land on anyone’s front page for longer than half an hour. Better to be more specific, like “playlist,” or “concert photography.”

Find Your Niche

One of the many things that makes Tumblr so easy to use is how simple it is to start a new blog.

You can change the name and url of your tumblog at any time. Thus if you write gorey zombie books and children’s fantasy, it would be better to have two blogs (unless your zombie and children’s book are one and the same).

Think of your Tumblr blog as a space for the kind of people who like your books.

  • Who is your reader?
  • How old is she?
  • Does he favor certain hobbies?
  • Certain kinds of music or art?

Tumblr is famous for the ultra-specific “single serving blog” and the more specific you can be, the more someone will know at a glance whether they want to follow you.

This does not mean that you should only post about your book!

It means you should post art, music, quotes, videos and news stories that fit a certain theme, and that theme should be united by your book.

I hope these tips will help you gain many reblogs and followers.

If you have a Tumblr blog, let us know in the comments.

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Karma Bennett is a publicist, social media consultant, and writer. She has Tumblr blogs on music, San Francisco, and writing but if you want to see her all grown-up and profesh, check out the page she is building from scratch at karmabennett.com. You may find her singing and dancing in public, usually at the grocery store.

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