How to Get More Followers on Tumblr

Learn how to get more real followers on Tumblr by creating something valuable and interesting.

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When you browse blogs in Tumblr’s Spotlight, you will rarely see any wall of text reblog wars. Drama may flare up from time to time, but it’s not a weekly, or even monthly, occurrence.

Avoiding drama doesn’t mean ignoring anything unpleasant. But there’s a line between describing a less-than-positive experience, or drawing attention to an important issue, and bugging out because of snark, nastiness or trolling.

No, you didn’t. (source)

If someone’s harassing you, in violation of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines, you can take screenshots of the offending posts (using something like Paparazzi or Printscreen) and email with the information.

People go online for one of two reasons:

  1. To take away some kind of pain.
  2. To be entertained.

These reasons can sometimes be combined. Let’s say, for example, that I’m not a good cook. I can become better, or feel like I’m becoming better, by watching entertaining videos about cooking:

Note that in this video, John Stage is telling a story. Not a fictional story––you can see him making the burgers as he’s telling you about them––but a story nonetheless.

People love stories. They make sense of the world by telling stories to themselves. Tell a compelling story through your blog, or help other people tell their own stories.

Examples from the Spotlight:

  • Adulting Blog tells the story of a young woman inventing herself into adulthood, and all the things she needs to learn along the way. It’s also a story about how you can become an adult, by learning basic life skills.
  • The Complex Life of a Church Janitor tells the story of the inner life of a Christian.
  • The Daddy Complex tells the story of a Dad to twin boys.
  • Farm Weather tells the story of a farm.
  • Filmme Fatale tells the story of a film buff, her favorite films, her passions, and creative struggles.
  • My Daily Coffee tells the story of a man’s life through the cups of coffee he drinks.
  • This Big City tells the story of a city that could be, if we work for it.
  • Tommy the Pomeranian tells the story of, er, Tommy, the Pomeranian.
  • Tumblrbot tells the story of TumblrBot, mascot of Tumblr, including his tragic affair with Siri and its aftermath.
  • The Tumblr Developer, Engineering and Staff blogs all tell the story of running Tumblr, from different perspectives.

A story is more than just a plot. What’s the theme of your story? Who are the leading characters? What motifs run through it? Is it easy to follow? How does it end?

New Tumblr App Lets You Track Reblogs Across Tumblr

Tumble Tree is a simple browser app that charts all reblogs as a large tree. The result is a simple, interactive infographic, that lets you see all reblogs across time.

To install, just drag the “Tumble Tree” bookmark from their webiste to your browser’s bookmarks bar. Then, whenever you want to see the reblog tree for any post, click on the bookmark.

Tumblr works from your Tumblr dashboard as well. It takes a lot longer for me to load a tree from the dashboard, especially if it has many notes.

On Tumble Tree, you can save an image of the tree, zoom in and out, and see the names/URLs of rebloggers by hovering your mouse over each node.

You can also see all likes, reblogs, and comments on the post. If the post was featured in a tracked tag, that will show up as well.

The tree links are color-coded by time, from blue (old) to red (new). If the post has been featured in a tracked tag, you can also see the tree color-coded by reblogs before, and after, the post was featured.

At present, Tumble Tree only works with posts that have 5,000 notes or less. Posts with 2,000 notes or less work the best.

Tumble Tree’s Website:

(tumble tree of a post by silfarione)

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. You need to create something of value to build a following.

Ask more of yourself than just reblogging Dr. Who gifs and pictures of shiny things. What are you doing better than anyone else on Tumblr? (Passive consumption of media doesn’t count.) What makes your blog different? Exciting? Interesting? Follow-able?

With Tumblr’s 67 million blogs and counting, you’re going to have to work harder than ever to stand out amidst the fray. The good news is that you have a much wider audience of potential followers than even a year ago.

With its new Storyboard blog, Tumblr is clearly focusing on original content creators. In an interview earlier this year, Tumblr’s Mark Coatney said he wants to “unearth interesting content from citizens in a city of 39 million.”

What’s interesting about your content? What makes it worthwhile?

If you can’t answer these questions, neither can anyone else.