3 Ways to Gain Tumblr Fame

First of all, what is Tumblr fame?

Bart Simpson on Tumblr fame.
Bart probably *is* Tumblr famous, but he’s been
building his database for 20+ years.

[Image source: Mob.co.]

If it hasn’t happened already, someday soon you’ll meet somebody claiming to be Tumblr famous. And, if you start now, it could be you.

Tumblr is a customizable microblogging platform with 41 billion posts across 90 million blogs. No surprise: you’ll find lots of teenagers here. But how about this? According to social media industry research by Quora, forty-six percent of users are over 35. Most are American; and the gender split is almost even, unlike Pinterest and Google Plus which skew toward more female and more male, respectively.

Standout blogs in every area of human endeavor enjoy high followership and engagement numbers. They’re Tumblr famous. They curate and share their passion with the world.

You can use Tumblr well as part of your overall marketing strategy to continue finding your audience online and build your “in real life” (IRL) following or funnel. Your Tumblr blog is just another one of many social media throughputs to your sales pipeline. You might include a link on your Tumblr page to your site or your RSS feed or your shopping cart. Or include a link to subscribe to your e-newsletter on all of your posts.

Second of all, what does *that* look like? An example of Tumblr for authors.

Recreate your book world

Say you’ve written a Christian romance set in the roaring twenties.

You’ve done your historical research already. Now share it to deepen the experience for your reader. Find and follow accounts who post about the fashion, music, food, dances, politics, and so on in the world your characters inhabit.

Reblog the images, videos, famous quotes, recipes, and so on that strike a chord with you or with your characters. Add your comments explaining what you like about it or how it relates to the world of your book. For instance, share an image of a flapper girl with her pearls and fringe and kid gloves and say,

Flapper girl.

“This is exactly what Seraphine wore to the magistrate’s dinner, except picture the whole ensemble in shades of cream and buttercup yellow.

Of course, she’s a striking brunette, so you can just imagine how speechless Gordon was.

[Source: Roaring Twenties Tumblr.]

Then, one fine day, one of your fangirls will be scrolling through your Tumblr archive during her lunchbreak and reblog your post, adding her own comment, “I know, right? I couldn’t believe Gordon was speechless. He’s usually so chatty.”

Or, whatever. But there you are dialoguing with your reader and her friends.

Share a YouTube link of your protagonists’ song and invoke that moment of the two of them dancing in a starlit clearing when he’s singing this tune sweetly, if off-key, in her ear.

Share to inspire

Your Tumblr is a place of sustenance for the reader, the aspiring writer, the friend of a friend of a friend who will see your post at the right time when it’s just what they needed to see. In that moment, they will follow you, browse your archive, wonder how they’ve never heard of you before, and click through to your sales page so they can get more of you and your words.

That’s why you should share excerpts from your book occasionally. Inspirational passages and heart-fluttery moments of requited, or not, love go over as well as any wordcraft that speaks to universal human experience. Here’s a fan-posted example in an easy to follow format. All you need is a camera phone and a highlighter.

User-Generated Content - Nicholas Sparks' Tumblr.
An example of user-generated content (UGC) from a Nicholas Sparks’ fan.

[Source: Forever Enchanted to Meet You Tumblr.]

Find your favorite authors and/or tributes to them on Tumblr. Follow and share what inspires you. Notable quotables. Writing tips, writing schedules, and other tradecraft. The thriving community of aspiring writers will appreciate the camaraderie of another established author.

Tag Appropriately

If you’ve got more than one book and would like to draw a wider audience to each, consider creating only one blog under your pen name and use tags to keep the lines drawn between books. Tags are used to post categories cleanly in the same thread and are preceded by a # sign. For example, a user might be interested in #vintage fashion but not particularly in #Coco Chanel trousers. (Unlike Twitter, Tumblr tags can include spaces.)

Letting all of your books share the same Tumblr account helps readers cross-fertilize and gain access to your whole canon instead of having to rediscover it in pieces on different channels.

Just like the Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. Share your passion with the world and the long tail who shares your interest will find and flock to you. Then you, too, can claim Tumblr fame.