If you’re just getting started as a serious web designer, then most likely you’ve debated whether or not you need some kind of blog. It’s fair enough to just have a website, but these days people are looking for regularly updated news and information – even if they don’t read it – they want to know you are regularly interacting with your own website. However, diving into a serious blog this late in the blog-trend game can make you feel like you are trying to shout to the drummer on stage when you’re at the back of a packed concert house filled with screaming fans.
This is where Tumblr comes in. Tumbl. is far from new; it was launched in spring of 2007 and has almost 65 million blogs. So don’t think you won’t have any competition. But what makes Tumblr unique is how fully it embraces micro-blogging. No one will expect Top 10s, How-Tos, and other extensive articles that take a serious amount of time to write professionally. Instead, Tumblr is a place to share pictures, quotes, and if you feel like it, you can choose to occasionally write up something more full-length.
Getting Started with Tumblr
So how do you get started with Tumblr? It’s as easy as anything. Just head over to the Tumblr website and sign up. Tumblr will provide you with a URL that will be something like yourname.tumblr.com and you can pick a theme and start blogging the same day you click yes, I’m ready to tumbl (That’s not actually what the button says, but it could be!)
Next you can redirect your Tumblr account to your own personal URL by going to your domain registrar’s control panel and following the directions you will find there.
Tumblr also provides an array of custom theme designs for you to choose from – or you could find one elsewhere on the web and even pay for a premium design. But to be honest, Tumblr is all about having an easy way to blog, and Tumblr has some awesome themes ready to go for you. Once you choose a theme, Tumblr will let you customize it on the spot – just don’t forget to hit save when you’re done.
After you’re set up, it’s time to start posting. Tumblr makes it easy to post by just choosing between seven post options: text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio, or video. Posts can be as short or as long as you like, but in general, short posts, photos, and media is what people are looking for when they are browsing Tumblr blogs.
For web designers specifically, Tumblr is a great place to post things that catch your eye and stir inspiration, as well as fun little details and designs you do on the side that don’t necessarily fit into a project but you are proud of anyways.
Find Your Community
Unlike other blogging platforms, Tumblr is very community oriented. One of the first steps in the sign in process is choosing your interests and then Tumblr suggests blogs for you to follow. Also, the main dashboard page of your account will features the blogs you follow, similar to a Facebook wall.
Last but not least, Tumblr (as of now) does not come standard with a place for readers to comment. Instead, people can share what you post and like what you post. This creates a very positive blogging atmosphere – something not all platforms offer.
Grow Your Fan Base
The more you post, share, and participate in the Tumblr community, the more you’ll find fans for your own stuff. One of the best ways to grow your fan base is by following fellow web designers and by posting tips, ideas, and inspirations that are practical to people just like you.
Also, you can hook up your Tumblr account with all your other social media outlets including twitter, FriendFeed, and more, to pull in fans from everywhere.
Last, Tumblr is all about having fun and creating an online space that is all you – so tap into your own personal interests and you will be surprised how quickly you find other people who support you as well.
Examples of Designers Using Tumblr
Get inspired by the unusual angle Brizk sees the world. He can take an ordinary chair and make it extraordinary. A great place for new ideas and to get a sense of collaboration – he’s big on showcasing unusual work environments.
Gavin Strange of Jam-Factory has an unusual combination of stunning photography and displays of minimalistic design. Plus, his blogs are personable without being TMI and enjoyable to read.
Simurai does designer blogging great. His blog feels like a reflection of what’s going on in his brain at all hours of the day. Anything he finds interesting, clips of his own work, and more are posted regularly. Plus the clean theme he uses on his blog makes it super easy to browse and find tips and tricks that could actually help other designers with their work.
A creative director at BBH London & BBH Barn, Pablo Marques is the designer blog to hit up if you’re in the mood to watch videos rather than read – which let’s just say it, there are days like that. Very tech, game, robotics oriented, this blog will only speak to a certain group of designers, but the ones who share interests with Marques will love it.
Don’t forget the ladies, they’ve got great ideas as well. Timoni West is a designer in San Francisco. Her blog features a nice balance of inspiring quotes and articles to get you thinking, along with photos and videos. You’ll feel smarter and more cultured after just a few minutes on her site.
Who are your favorite designers on Tumblr?
About the Author:
Roy K works for Design Pax. The company provides web site design services in high quality all over the world.