You use WordPress – so why on earth would you consider using Tumblr?
Surely Tumblr is a competitor platform?
Well, yes it is – but it can also be used to drive traffic to your WordPress blog. While this might not be useful in all cases, if you regularly blog media clips and images then having a Tumblr blog setup is a great way of attracting interested users of the service and direct them to your website.
Of course, blogging in two places at once can take a bit of time, but fortunately there are a few tools that you can use to automate the process – much as you would when sharing posts to Facebook or Twitter.
What Is Tumblr, and How Can It Help My WordPress Blog?
Tumblr is essentially a blogging and social networking site, all rolled into one. The name derives from the term “tumbleblog”, which basically refers to the tumbling nature of the rapid short-form blog posts that users publish.
The 13.4 million users (as of July 2011) of Tumblr can subscribe to and follow any of the other 58.9 million blogs (as of June 2012), making this a powerful platform with a massive user base.
Despite the sudden growth of Tumblr (use increased 218% between 2010 and 2011) WordPress users need not be concerned that the service is going to overwhelm their own platform. Instead, they should take advantage of it, wherever it seems appropriate.
With so many users, there is a massive audience ready and waiting to find your new Tumblr presence which will direct readers to your main WordPress website. Setting up a Tumblr account is easy; just head to www.tumblr.com/register and signup, giving the Tumblr blog a name that resembles your WordPress blog. Once the account is ready, you can head back to WordPress and add one or two useful plugins!
Once everything is set up and people are visiting your Tumblr blog, the automated updates from your website will be shared on Tumblr, just as they might be on Twitter or Facebook. Other Tumblr users can then read and hopefully share – a process known as reblogging – which will help to increase your blog’s reach.
Tumblr Plugins for WordPress
There are two great Tumblr plugins that you should use if you plan on sharing some of your content to the reblogging platform.
First is Tumblrize, a plugin that can be added to your blog which will post to Tumblr whenever you post or update your WordPress blog. Once installed, this plugin has a range of features, such as an email confirmation of a successful Tumblr post, addition of links to your blog in the Tumblr post (vital for driving traffic back to your blog) and options concerning the addition of post tags.
Once installed, the Tumblrize tool will appear in your post screen, offering a radio button to crosspost to the Tumblr blog, a choice of post type (text, photo, quote, etc.) and an option for sending the post to a group or your own Tumblr.
In addition to Tumblrize you should install the Tumble plugin. This WordPress enhancement enables you to choose historic posts to reblog on Tumblr.
This plugin is also designed to let you access your WordPress media library, so photos, audio, and video can all be accessed and sent to your Tumblr blog, ready for your followers there to find, share and expand your audience.
Why Tumblr Is Important to Your Blog’s Growth
You should consider Tumblr not as a competitive blog platform that could send your own blog heading for the ocean but as yet another social option, like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
As with those social networks you can attract followers, users can reblog (like retweeting or sharing) and generally promote your core WordPress blog on your behalf.
Sure, the format is slightly different and there isn’t a limit of 140 words, but you don’t need to worry about that. In fact, you barely need to set foot in Tumblr, except perhaps to check any messages and follow a few notable blogs in a similar niche to your own – something that you can do once a week.