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How I Brought My Blog Back to Life with Tumblr

This guest post is by David Edwards of www.asittingduck.com.

Over the past few years I’ve had success with guest posting and uploading videos on YouTube, but the one thing I’ve struggled with was my blog. There were two reasons:

  1. Illustrations are very time consuming to make.
  2. Thinking what to write used to stress me out!

I’m not sure about you but I totally failed at blogging, I set a plan to produce a fresh post every Friday and before I knew it the next Friday was here already and I had nothing to publish! There are many minefields online when you’re using images and text content, and when I was blogging, I started to drift away from the main theme.

A lot of new bloggers could probably relate to this. When you start a blog, you end up trying to find out how to rank on Google, gain traffic, and so on. That leads you to websites like problogger.net, and you read them so much that you start to talk about their subjects on your blog. Why would a designer want to know about pay per click on my blog? He can come here for that!

tumblrA few months back I looked at my blog and I didn’t like what I had published. I made a quick decision to convert it into a squeeze page and build an email list. Then, instead of blogging, I’d send the occasional newsletter.

It worked, but the traffic and community around the website lost its buzz. Back when I was publishing every Friday I did start to see that day was popular in terms of traffic stats, so I was getting that weekly return traffic. I knew that I had to get some more momentum on the website if I were to launch a series of products. The solution was Tumblr.

Why Tumblr works for lazy people

On joining Tumblr, you instantly become a member of a vast community of very creative people. You can select your favorite topics and hunt through fresh, quality posts. Within minutes I managed to follow 100 top bloggers and the five topics that I wanted to keep “A Sitting Duck” based around:

  • art
  • comics
  • design
  • gaming
  • illustration

Once you have logged in, set your tags, and started following some relevant people, the dashboard shows you posts on your subject, and basically helps you become a curator for your niche! Through the re-blog feature, you can publish other people’s hard work straight to your blog instantly. They get exposure from their work being shared, and you have something for your regular visitors to look at. It’s a win/win situation.

I’ll continue to publish drawings and ideas, but the main benefit of Tumblr is that I always have the backup of the reblog feature, which makes blogging fun again, and a stress-free experience.

I’ve already started to see my traffic climb again and people are keen to see fresh blog posts, which is a huge boost!

Why reblog?

Tumblr has a one-touch button that lets all members instantly reblog a post from another publisher on the platform. I’ve seen posts that have been reblogged over 50,000 times in a day! Reblog is kind of like Twitter’s retweet function, only that it seems more permanent, as the post is actually published on the domains of bloggers who have reblogged it.

As a character designer myself, many people ask me if I’m afraid of letting my ideas getting stolen. As far as I’m concerned, you’re better off having people see your work and share it than hide it in a sketchbook. It’s always best to get copyright advice first, but I think you need to get your stuff out there to build an audience!

Tumblr: a good choice for relaunch

The best part about my relaunch is that I’ve owned my domain for over three years now, and I’ve built up stacks of great links. Relaunching the blog has given all my metrics a kick, and I’ve joined a community which has over 30 million members, so the opportunity to grow my audience is huge.

Is your blog going off track or dead? Would you rather become a curator for your site and keep the momentum going than leave it to stagnate? As always I look forward to your comments.

David Edwards is the founder of www.asittingduck.com and today has released a brand new video on YouTube called “Milkshake Cat”.

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Comments

  1. Hey Dave, I’ve talked about this exact sort of thing on my blog that covers Tumblr.

    It’s a unique platform, and it doesn’t work for everybody, but for some people it can bring really fast success, mostly people focused on creating unique image content.

    Glad to see things worked out for you on Tumblr!

  2. Glen Allsopp says:

    Interesting, though your goals for the two must be entirely different?

    What was the goal of your blog compared to what your goal now is with Tumblr? If you were blogging just for the sake of blogging, then I think that’s cool. But if you actually wanted to make money and become a pro blogger, I would argue that it’s considerably harder to do that on Tumblr.

    Sure, there are exceptions, but it is a very different format.

    Interested to hear your thoughts.

    - G

    • One thing I’d add Glen is that Tumblr can be quite adverse to advertising (no affiliate marketing at all allowed), so to succeed financially on Tumblr you might have to deal exclusively with selling your own products.

      The obvious disadvantage with all of that connectivity is that you can’t self-host a Tumblr blog too, so what happens if Tumblr doesn’t approve of your content? (Not common, but it has happened)

    • Hi Glen,

      Thanks for your comment mate. You are right, it’s a softer way to hook people in rather than the classic email builder. My list is more focussed on the YouTube subscribers now to get ready for my iPhone game launch.

      Next year the business model will be to produce animations for free and make sales from the back end with my Apple releases.

      All the best,

      David

  3. David – I may have missed it, but how is reposting people’s content via Tumblr reviving your actual blog?

    • Hi Joshua,

      It’s fresh content for new visitors, I’ve published over 150 posts within 30 days and it was easy to do. ;]

  4. Jenny says:

    So glad someone shared this post on Twitter! I work for http://www.homeschoolconvention.com and a lot of my coworkers’ blogs are suffering because we’re launching some really big things soon! I shared this on our team page to give them hope for their blogs. My blog has stayed alive thanks to guest posts and articles from Future Horizons, but I’ll be looking into this! Thank you.

  5. tushar says:

    i am hearing about Tumblr for the first time from anywhere and checked it out. It looked pretty much like Twitter and facebook. Anything new here?

  6. Jared Dees says:

    I’ll admit that I still need to learn a lot about Tumblr, but at first glance I cant’ seem to gather what your blog or business is about. What do you want website visitors to do? What are your conversions? How do I sign up for the email list you mentioned in the post? How do I know which drawings on Tumblr are yours? I’m not criticizing, I’m genuinely curious how Tumblr works.

  7. Steve Scott says:

    Tumblr is something that I haven’t gotten into yet. You definitely make it sound interesting. I will have to make it a priority to get involved over there.

  8. Faizan says:

    Tumblr is surely an interesting platform but I don’t think that it is better than WordPress.

  9. Hearing some buzz on Tumblr recently David. I haven’t used it in years but will dig a little deeper now.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RB

  10. Bangla Choti says:

    Yes .. This is a great and tricky way for blogger.. going to work in this way..

  11. Jon says:

    A lot of interesting points. I’ve been a WordPress.org user for years and have never done the Tumblr, WordPress.com or Blogger thing. You bring up some good points about re-blogging that I never thought of, thanks for the post!

  12. Thanks for publishing. Video should be live at 7PM (UK Time). ;]

  13. Basil Rehill says:

    I have run across Tumblr before and couldn’t quite see how it was used. Thanks for making it so much easier. I never even considered it as a source for valuable content.

  14. Brad says:

    I’ve never been interested in tumblr but this may change it. Thanks,

  15. Carolyn says:

    Wish you’d explained what Tumblr is . . . I’m pretty lost!

  16. Very interesting post, going to have a look into tumblr now.

    Thanks for the infomation

  17. Chris McCoy says:

    I’ve been debating whether to swap to Tumblr for a while now. Some of my favourite blogs are Tumblr-based, like DearPhotograph for instance. Just wondering whether it’ll be as easy as Blogger to implement Adsense and other monetization methods.

  18. Daniel says:

    I will be honest and say I have not heard too much about Tumblr.

    I was going to sign up a while back when deciding on which social sites to get involved with(I ended up going with StumbleUpon).

    Considering some of these social sites(Systems) can be very time consuming, I would have to see the benefits of signing up before doing so.

    If it can help to drive traffic to your Blog or Website, then it may be worth looking into.

  19. It seems that you’re saying the whole advantage here is that you don’t have to blog…but seriously, if you don’t want to blog then why have a blog in the first place? The have a share button on Facebook and Google+ also. I would argue that this isn’t even blogging, it’s just aggregating tumbler content that has already been shared over 50,000 times.

  20. Bougie Girl says:

    I have seen some cool stuff on Tumblr. I just don’t think that it’s right for my style of blogging.

  21. Tina says:

    That’s interesting, I’ve never thought about using Tumblr this way. Thanks for the idea David.

  22. Primal Toad says:

    I’ve used tumblr in the past. It can be a great way to get traffic back to your main wordpress blog. I decided to ditch it for the past 2 months but may start using it again. It’s a great way to share pictures. So if you have a food related blog it can help drive traffic to your blog!

    And, it does allow affiliate links. I use them all the time!

  23. I haven’t started using Tumblr yet, but after reading your post i guess I’ll need to start using it as soon as possible.

    Thanks a lot for the post.

  24. Melanie says:

    I have a tumblr that I use just to reblog stuff that I find is cute. For those actually creating content, though, it seems like that would be a lot of work.