Instagram has been become extremely competitive, with more than 1 billion active users.
And while every photographer focuses on Instagram – Tumblr gets overlooked.
As a part of my Photographer’s Guide to Social Media & Marketing, I wanted to test every channel out there and Tumblr has performed surprisingly well.
My Tumblr is called Street Photography in Mexico.
Why Tumblr is relevant for photographers
- Tumblr is the 22nd most visited website in the US.
(Not far behind Reddit that is the 3rd most visited in the US – and also really import for photographers)
- Tumblr relays heavily on photos.
- Tumblr can drive traffic to your Instagram or website.
How do I use Tumblr as a photographer?
I basically use Tumblr like I use Instagram:
- I post 3-4 times a week. This is an example of one of my posts.
- Every post I publish contains a photo, a caption followed by relevant hashtags.
If you don’t have Tumblr page yet, it’s pretty easy to setup:
- Create a Tumblr Account.
- Find a username that fits
- Find a free Tumblr theme you like
- Start posting.
- If you want, you can auto post direct from Instagram to Tumblr. I go into more detail about the pros and cons of this.
How to appear in Tumblr’s Search & get more likes
Tumblr search and algorithm changes almost daily, like Instagram’s algorithm. That’s said here are facts about how to my your post appear in Tumblr’s search result.
- Only original posts can appear in the search. No reblogs.
- Number of tags per post
Only the first 20 tags you use will be indexed in top search and recent search. But only your first give tags will be indexed in tag search results. So it’s very important that you carefully pick the right 5 tags, to begin with.
- How often you use the same tags
If you are posting a lot of posts after each other, only a few of them might show up in the search result.
- Which links you are using
There are some links that may hide your post from the search results. I’d guess it’s a way for Tumblr to make sure not to promote shady websites
- The number of post notes
In order to appear in the top search results, you need to get a lot of post notes and reblogs.
Why you shouldn’t auto post from Instagram to Tumblr
There is a handy function in the Instagram-app to automatically sync your post to Tumblr. While you can do that to save time, it also comes with a price. When I look at the most popular photographs on Tumblr, it’s very rare to see a photo that links to Instagram. And maybe for good reasons. Instagram & Tumblr are after all competing for the same attention.
That’s said. If you want to save time posting, you should definitely just use the auto-post function.
What photography hashtags should you use on Tumblr?
I’ve written a lot about how to use Instagram hashtags and strategy on Tumblr is similar, but a little different.
Hashtag tips for Tumblr:
- The maximum amount of hashtags per post is 20 tags.
If you use more tags, those won’t show up in the search.
- Tags on Tumblr can include spacing.
That’s why I use #streetphotograph AND #street photography in my posts.
How I build followers on Tumblr
Tumblr works like every other social media site.
- Post great content (surprise).
- Find people who are relevant to your audience.
If you are into street photography, do a search for street photography and follow people who like Tumblr posts about street photography. Expect that 10% will follow you back.
My inbox looks like this after I submit a new post and I follow people who like posts about “Street Photography”.
Should you use the Tumblr Reblog feature?
I don’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reblog.
The reason I don’t use the reblog feature is that I want my Tumblr to only contain photography I’ve created – like my Instagram. I don’t repost other peoples work.
That’s said if you want to make a Tumblr for black and white photography where you feature other peoples work, by all means, use the reblog function and scheduled posts for later-function.
This guide is a part of my photographer’s guide to social media and marketing. I also wrote about how photographers can use Flickr.