Tumblr tips for artists
Tumblr tips for artists: 6 years ago, Very Private Art’s community was launched on Tumblr. The aim: to show the most emergent art. I learned this microblogging platform’s potentials and imperfections. This useful list is dedicated to artists, to see if Tumblr might be a good investment of time or something to avoid and keep on creating.
Tumblr Tips for Artists and Creatives
Advantages of a Tumblr Art Blog
#1: Dedicated art community
Like on any other platform, there are Bots and Spams but the community is mature and social and will mostly always answer or react if you write to anybody.
(Check the last updated stats on SimilarWeb):
- 28th highest traffic site on the web in 2015, went down to 51th in 2018, dropping to 92th in 2020
- 69% of Tumblr users are millennials, 46% are from the US.
- 73% access it through a mobile device
- 2% of under 35s art collectors on social media are using Tumblr for art-related purposes (Source Hiscox report 2019) Against 79% Instagram, 27% Facebook, 20% LinkedIn, 11% Twitter, 8% Pinterest.
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.
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.
#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.
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: Tumblr themes
Freemium and paid 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.
None of them is 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. In 2020 I wouldn’t advise it anymore because they are not updated for the most. I would now be interested in Indy themes.
This is very interesting: There are many programmers who are devoted to coding new themes and they are updating it consistently. For artists it is a great way to engage with those creative people and why not support them. The drawback is that you, even if it’s quite simple, need to be interested in the basics of coding: hose theme might need some modifications for adding options you would want.
#8: Referencing your website
#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.
#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
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:
#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,
- Eat Sleep Draw
- Tumblr Art curated by the Tumblr HQ itself
- Us as well, Very Private Art you are welcome to submit a post.
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: