I’ve had a Tumblr blog for I don’t know how long exactly. But how I’ve used it has always been a mixed bag.
Lately I’ve discovered the secret (or what I think is the secret) to Tumblr and using it successfully. But before I get to that, I want to make a quick statement of what doesn’t really work on that site…
At least, in my experience.
KickStarter announcements – maybe just don’t share a link to your KickStarter campaign in a post on Tumblr. In my experience, those posts only get a lot of traction AFTER the campaign has ended. And that defeats the purpose of the whole process.
Original Art – this has always been a mixed bag. I don’t really know (personally) any artist who has made posting original illustrations on Tumblr popular. Comics? Maybe. Anthro art? Depends on the crowd. But original characters and comic concepts? Practically dead in the water upon arrival.
Social Justice posts – I know Tumblr has garnered a reputation for “filthy SJWs to make echo chambers” on the site, but actually no – that’s Twitter. The most common issue I see on Tumblr whenever someone tries to make a social justice-related post is someone retorting with a fact-check…or something that they THINK is a fact-check. To be honest, I have a side blog on Tumblr specifically for reblogging social justice-related posts, and those don’t get a whole ton of attention.
Here’s what DOES get attention in my experience:
Tumblr. Is a Site. For Fans.
Archive Of Our Own Fanfiction links? EVERYWHERE. Fanart of video games characters? CONTENT FOR DAYS. Posts dedicated to headcanons (or stuff that a fan made up that may or may not have a basis in the actual content, but they think would work in the official canon)? THERE ARE ENTIRE BLOGS FOR THIS SH*T. And these blogs can even be categorized as ones that are safe for work, or not safe for work.
I came to this realization fairly recently – and also because, of all the posts of my artwork that have gotten popular on my Tumblr blog, the most popular art posts are fanart.
There’s nothing wrong with a site dedicated to fandom. I think it’s great. Sites like Archive of Our Own are a testament to that.
But if you’re an original content creator looking to promote your work? Tumblr is not for you. Tumblr is a site for fans.
(If you’re making a fancomic, though, it’s something to consider).
To that end, I’ve been restructuring my Tumblr blog so that it IS based more in me geeking out about the content I like. So if you want to geek out with me, go check out the re-named blog.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.