How To Get Tumblr Followers (And Use Them For HubPage Traffic)
My best friend and I joined Tumblr about a year before it became popular. We would post blogs and conversations we had with one another and "like" each other's posts. Neither of us had any idea what it would turn into. We didn't know that there would be Tumblr-isms. We couldn't even begin to guess how insanely popular the site would become as we grew bored of it.
I created a brand new profile just as Tumblr came into real power months later. I focused on one of Tumblrs best features: the photo button. I would scour the internet for inspirational quotes, pretty pictures and things I thought other people would reblog. A year and a half later I run four successful blogs all featuring different aspects of Tumblr and one that was created just to promote HubPage articles I'd written. I have hundreds of followers from all my blogs combined and that number increases daily, it could be even higher if I paid more attention to my blogs and posted more often.
But why does Tumblr matter? Because so many articles on this site that talk about getting traffic fail to mention the site. It's a great place for back-linking, especially if you have many followers, but it can also be useful even if you don't have a score of friends on the site. That's why I created a Tumblr page just for my HubPage articles. Just like this site they use tags, which if you appeal to their popular ones more people will see your link. I've always been very careful when clicking links that lead off Tumblr because more than once they've led to inappropriate sites. I thought that utilizing their tags would be another way to draw people to my HubPage, which has proven successful. Categorizing all my HubPages in one blog just seemed easier than spamming them across four blogs with unrelated content.
Have A Specific Topic!
One account on Tumblr can house multiple blogs. I have five and they fall under these categories: inspirational slash pretty images, my pregnancy blog, thinsporation slash health, my HubPage articles and one that's rated not safe for work. Each blog can contain it's own number of followers and each one does. That way if someone is following my pregnancy blog, they don't see the posts that are being generated from my inspirational blog unless they know it exists and follow it as such. Each blog was created for a purpose. Each one only dealt with one specific topic. I learned quickly that one blog can contain all the things you're interested in, but you're less likely to have followers who enjoy all the same things you do.
So, you need to appeal to a certain type of audience with each new blog. The reason my inspirational blog has more followers than the rest of my blogs combined is because more people follow that trend on Tumblr. It's a place where things like "forever alone" and Harry Potter images get reblogged like crazy. The reblogs link back to your site and if someone visits it and thinks you have great quality, they'll follow you and see your images on their dashboard. This leads to more likes, reblogs and, inevitably, more followers. If you want to have a blog about gardening, don't group it with one about notorious gangs from Ireland. Tumblr is free; you are allowed to have as many blogs as you want. Keep things separated because not everyone wants to see beautiful castles in one post and blood and gore in another.
Do you use Tumblr to promote your hubs?
Utilize The Tag Feature!
The same way you use tags on HubPages, you can use tags on Tumblr. My most popular tags are: life, love, pregnancy, inspirational, happiness, quotes, Harry Potter, and various celebrity names. Those are also some of the most popular tags on Tumblr in general. However, if your blog on Tumblr focuses on love images slash quotes, then you can't exactly make a link to your HubPage hub about a delicious recipe. You can, but I wouldn't advise it. The purpose of having specific categories for each blog is so that when you write about a topic you can link it to your Tumblr and people won't think, "That's not what I followed this blog for."
The more tags you add to your Tumblr posts, the better. I read something here on HubPages that said you shouldn't use more than 4 - 10 tags per hub. On Tumblr you should use whatever you can to describe your post. If I post a picture of a woman in a bikini I almost always use the following tags: bikini, summer, thinspo, beach, beautiful, woman and thinsporation - sometimes others, sometimes more variation depending on what else is in the picture. This reaches anyone who looks up those specific keywords. Some people will use whole sentences in their tags. But how many people look up "and this is what happened to me that one time back in 2009 when I went to the beach"? Make sure your tags are appropriate though. Don't go adding popular words to something just because you want followers. That's cheap and dirty and people can see through your marketing ploy!
If you ask bloggers questions, when they answer there will be a link back to your page. More views equals more potential followers!
While you can have multiple blogs on Tumblr, if you follow someone they'll get a notification from your main account. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't follow others. Following others often attracts more people to your blog. I've been mentioned in several posts when someone I followed posted new text blogs saying, "Hey so-and-so, thanks for following me!" And from that I gained followers from people who wanted to know who I was, what I blogged about and liked what I had to say. Also, most people on Tumblr will follow you back if you follow them. It's not a for sure thing, but it couldn't hurt to try. Search up the "follow back" tag, it'll help you find people who will follow you if you follow them first. Though I'd be careful if I were you about blindly following someone. If you don't know what the content of their blog is check into it before making the mistake of having something inappropriate pop up on your dashboard. There's nothing more awkward than your husband coming up behind you to see masculine parts on your screen someone else just posted.
Furthermore, a lot of themes will show who you follow. They'll take the display picture from those who you follow, resize them and post them beneath your 'about me' if you decide to keep that feature. The good thing about that is if someone follows you and your picture shows up on their profile, other people look through their followers to see if there's anyone worth following. There's also the ask box, which has generated a few extra followers for me over time. People will comment about how they love your blog and ask you to recommend other Tumblers who have content like yours. If you fill someone else's dashboard up with great pictures or blogs, you could be one of the people they suggest. Followers will help their followers out. Tumblr seems to be a place where people have one another's backs.
Use Shameless Self-Promotion.
1. I've recently found out about the tumblr train. It's like when back in the Myspace days people would join trains to get more friends, except this is to get more followers. I haven't experimented with it much and I'm still seeing if it really generates more followers, but it couldn't hurt to try it out. You don't have to sign up or register. You just click "join a train", see if there's anyone you want to follow and if not click "no thanks", insert your Tumblr username and click submit. Bam, you're added.
2. Sync your Tumblr with your Twitter! It'll send every blog, photo, link, audio file, etc. to your Twitter as a tweet. This helps get followers for both social networking sites if they like your content, or just in general put your work out there for the world to know about. Some people sync their Tumblr with their Facebook, but I never have because I post far too much. My inspirational photos blog has over two thousand posts alone; I don't want my Facebook friends deleting me because they think I'm spamming them. However, if you only post an occasional blog about your newest hub, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try out. It'll save you the trouble of having to link it twice: once on Tumblr, once on Facebook.
3. Post your Tumblr link on Twitter, Digg, Reddit, etc. Like the same way you post your HubPage link on these sites you can post your Tumblr link. If the person who clicks happens to be a Tumblr user, they could follow you and thus help you gain more popularity. I haven't had much luck with this, nor have I tried it too much, but it's a way to get viewers.
It's not hard to get followers on Tumblr, it's really not. I forget about my blogs for days, sometimes weeks at a time, and I come back to them and there are still people who will be reblogging and liking my content. People don't often unfollow others unless they post things the follower doesn't like. And if you gain a reputation for having a good blog, which doesn't take long if you do it right, people won't mind you occasionally posting a HubPage advertisement. In fact, some of them will even reblog the ad which will show it to all of their followers. It's not a huge source of my incoming views yet, but I'm hoping to see a spike soon. I'll report back with results in a few weeks. Until then, enjoy your newfound Tumblr knowledge and get to using that extra source for traffic!