Tumblr Tips for Artists

Tumblr tips for artists: 3 years ago, Very Private Art’s community was launched on Tumblr. The aim: to show the most emergent art. I learned the microblogging platform’s potentials and imperfections. This useful list is dedicated to you, artist. For you to see if Tumblr might be a good investment of your time or something to avoid and keep on creating. It will be categorized into:

  1. advantages,
  2. tips,
  3. how to start.

Advantages of a Tumblr Art Blog

by Greg bot
Newest edit: Tumblr Radar in Tips

Tumblr tips for artists

#1: Dedicated Art community

With time, you will find, follow and be followed by others. And here is the best: the community is great and social and will mostly always answer or react if you write to anybody. Here some numbers:

  • 240 million blogs in 2015, 409 million blogs in 2018
  • 28th highest traffic site on the web in 2015, went down to 51th in 2018
  • 420 million unique monthly visitors in 2015, 614 million in April 2018 (in comparison, Twitter has 3.79 billion)
  • 69% of Tumblr users are millennials, 42% are from the US.
  • 73% access it through a mobile device

Despite the relatively low audience reach, Tumblr is a popular platform for online fandom discussions regarding art, music, movies and TV shows. Because of its smaller audience, the engagement, and dedication is relatively higher.

Global Ranking


Traffic from the US

#2: One Account, Many Blogs

Tumblr allows you to create different blogs with the same accounts and switch among them. Many artists are creating one blog to curate their inspiration, and another one to share their art. It is a huge advantage for bloggers in terms of content and account management. Important: Only the secondary blogs can be used in common with accounts from other persons.

#3: Perfect for Curatorial

I repeat it: It is better to switch between different blogs than mixing a different kind of content in one blog. In the case you are curating the images of other artists you like, try to keep the same niche, a coherence among the content, an identity.

#4: Creative content

In this case, the most important: just post your own original content, may it be your artwork or an article. It is more attractive to your followers if you are posting about something unique.

You can create and select your blogs

#5: Selfie time

You can integrate some selfies of you painting with your dog for example if you think your image can be a part of your communication. The best integration is when it is thought as a part of the process. The work of Lindsay Bottos is a good example: Due to the incredible number of users on Tumblr reading and writing about a wide range of subjects, one way to stand out is to build your own distinctive identity.

Lindsay combines the harsh comments posted on her blog with self-portraits

#6: Mobile

Tumblr is a perfect place to publish original artwork on any portable devices, even away from your computer. From mobile phones to your tablet, you can write and publish on the go. I recommend installing the official app (on iPhone and Android).

#7: Customisable: begin with free themes

The main difference with other social media is that Tumblr allows you to code and design your own page. To start with, there is a large number of free Tumblr theme that you can use. Even the official theme is great and you can configure it quite well. I will suggest 4 choices of free themes for artists based on the idea it can be linked to your other social media. But of course, none of them are perfect because their goal is to push you to invest in a paid theme. This isn’t necessary at the start, but if you become serious about it, I would advise paying one.

Xio is a great masonry with fast downloading time

Hipster is more like a blog, and great to show proximity and personality.

Astoria is embedding other social media so it can preview their content.

Lunar would be more adapted for neat and elegant content. Classy contemporary art style.

#8: Referencing your website


Do not use Tumblr for the SEO possibilities. Links from Tumblr are not ‘Dofollow’ from 2016. A post now uses a Javascript redirect, so it doesn’t pass link value. According to Takeshi Young of Moz, if you do an image post with the image as a link, those are still ‘Dofollow’ but I verified and it isn’t working, it uses a Javascript redirect too. The only link that is DoFollow is from your domain name or Blog homepage. It is a bit technical so don’t hesitate to contact me through the comments below.

#9: Hidden pearls inside

When you are using the Search tool in Tumblr, it uses the most popular posts. Instead, switch into “most recent” and with a bit more patience you can discover some hidden pearls. Furthermore, if you share or like some content which has no success you will likely attract the interest of the owner. Don’t forget: Be social and contact anybody you think could match with your style or goals. This is the most important, Tumblr is a social media.

#10: Nice Art influencers living-in

You really don’t need to fall into the dopamine game of collecting for thousands of followers. Contact the influencers and submit your art! This way, it is not really necessary to hunt for followers as if you are kindly shared by great Influencers your art will be seen as if you own the same amount of followers. There’s no guarantee the blog owner will post your submission: it can be because the style doesn’t fit in the blog, or that you will need to improve the quality of your photos or your art. Look at the content they share, it will give you an idea. Here a list of account owner I advise contacting, with their style and the approximate amount of followers:

  1. Tu Recepcja (48k followers) (deactivated at the moment)
    Art, design, and illustration. Margaret is all ears and all heart. She already brought many emerging artists on the front scene. There is no submit button on her blog but can contact her with the “ask” one.
  2. Optically Addicted (36k followers)
    Animation, illustration, emerging art. Andrew Davidson has a deep passion for art and often moves directly to see the exhibitions (in Europe). Contact him and propose your art!

#11: Vertical images

When you upload images, privilege vertical ones. The rule here is similar to Pinterest. If you have only horizontal ones, associate them with a vertical one. The difference with Pinterest is that you can put many images in one post, you don’t have to edit them into one before.

Example of good size: Featured Street Art about Borondo

Always give your sources! Borondo’s website: gonzaloborondo.com

Tips for an artist on Tumblr

#12: Find your niche

Be bold! Tumblr is a great place to carry out experimentation and collaborates with creative professionals outside of your existing network. Follow the popularity of your posts, ask for reactions. It can lead your creativity and define your style.

#13: Don’t focus on the numbers

However, do not worry too much about generating a big audience. Share your passion and expertise, you will found your followers soon enough. Then be social with them and finding them will possibly influence your creations, find your way and give you motivation. We will take the example of the artist Rexisky:

He was using some artists’ artworks adding motion design.

More recently, it seems he found his direction and style.

Also, he was doing some abstract paintings but less.

Being more constant, creating more and progressing faster.

#14: Tumblr Radar: How to get featured on Tumblr 

Tumblr isn’t good to bring people from your account to your website, simply because this social media is a blog system and has to keep the traffic. But the active people on it are more art-related than any other social media (Except Ello.co if you consider it as a social media). So it might be interesting to reach people there even from the art market and the creative industry. And the best way to do it on Tumblr is to get the Tumblr Radar!

How to do it?

my best guess is that they found my work via art related Tumblr accounts that my work had been posted on (work I had submitted to these art accounts). I think whoever, or one of the people who pick art for the radar must follow some of these accounts & picks work from there.
I’d say just search around on there for art related accounts that take submissions & submit your art.
Two suggestions adding on the previous influencer list,

  1. Eat Sleep Draw
  2. Tumblr Art curated by the Tumblr HQ itself

It obviously depends on the kind of art you make. But you can easily find the most influencing from your category, see if they accept submission and then contact them. Don’t forget your own website should be the most important for your content but this technique could be fruitful

The effort is relevant?

Even if you don’t get on the radar, it’s good exposure to get your art in front of people who might be interested & also to discover new artists that you might like. So yes. But I wouldn’t make it as a goal. Contacting and publishing through an influencer is way more reachable and relevant.

#15: Quality first

 One of the most important Tumblr tips for artists: Quality content posted regularly is a lot more important than the quantity. Your artwork can be great, if the photo is not well-made, nobody will share it. Also, forget about putting watermark, as it kills most of the chance for sharing.

#16: Fit not fat

And, for each post, try to explain your concept in a few sentences, otherwise, people won’t take the time for tedious articles. Same for Tags, don’t add more than 5, as it would be too invasive and considered as “phantom tags” by Tumblr

#17: Scheduling & reblogging, the XKit extension

This extension permits to reblog, schedule, and use tags in a faster and easier way. It greatly improves the navigation of Tumblr. Here is the installation page:

How to start a Tumblr Art blog

You should be interested to create your Blog on Tumblr if you did scroll and read until here. We will see step by step the best options to set your account and to post.



Tumblr SEO, the love hate relation


Even if Google tends not to show social media content on its Search Engine, Tumblr can still have its chances because the published content on Tumblr is also published on the website that is embedding the content (see #17)

Tumblr SERP optimisation

If you want your content to be seen on SERP (search engine result page) be sure to optimise your Tumblr page as well as each post you make, and that includes links, pictures, videos, and text:


#18: Tumblr can embed a domain name (DNS)

You can change their URL from whatever.Tumblr.com to yourdomainname.com. It can be interesting when your blog begins to have a nice Page Authority (at least 30) because you will own your own Domain Authority (links to Moz definitions).

#19: Webmaster tools

Once you use your own Domain Name for your Tumblr, you can create a “sitemap.XML” and send it to webmaster tools. It will greatly improve the SEO of the blog. Here is the way:

  1. Generate the sitemap using the website XML sitemap for example.
  2. Download the generated the XML file.
  3. Host it on your website domain.name/sitemap.xml
  4. Upload it to Google Webmaster Tools (Dashboard/crawls/sitemaps):

#20: Tumblr Custom URLs

Always create custom post URL: Click on the options before sending your post. You can edit the structure of the URL and also add your source.

#21: Tagging on Tumblr


As for other social media, using a few relevant tags in each post will help to increase the reach of posts, and will allow them to be found by searchers. Here the tips:

  • Not more than 5 tags. Or perhaps the 6th could be your artist name. When there are too many tags they are considered by Tumblr as ghost tags. Ghost tags won’t make your post seen by others.
  • The Tag artist on Tumblr is advised
  • Tag one or two art category (portrait, illustration, watercolor, digital art, etc)
  • And tag categories which are not of the art framework and more about the theme or a social group (eyes, saturated colors, LGBT) This way you will potentially reach more people.

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