Tumblr Tutorial: Get Up and Running

Last Friday, Kat Cantwell introduced us to Tumblr, where all the young’ns hang out. So how about we show those young whippersnappers our awesome books? They don’t know what they’ve been missing. We just have to figger out how to use this newfangled Tumblr thingie. Honestly? It’s easier than WordPress or Blogger. Let me show you why.

The first thing you need to do is go to Tumblr.com and set up an account. It’s super fast (they’re not kidding).

tumblr signup step 1 2

Just follow the steps above – #1 through #3, then click Sign up (#4). That will bring you to a new screen where they ask – oh no, not that – your age, and to read the T&C. Then click Done! (#7) and you are signed up. You’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your membership. It’s that simple.

tumblr step 3

The next screen you’ll see is the preliminary set-up screen for your blog. Just enter numbers 1-3, then click Make it (#4) and you’ll get the screen to the right (above). If you’re happy with that, click Make it.

Now comes the hardest part of the process: Tumblr wants you to select three blogs to follow before you can start blogging. On the right-hand side of your screen, Tumblr will suggest some trending blogs for you (#1 below). If that’s not your cup of tea, you can type a subject into the search box (#2 below).

tumblr step 4

Being a curmudgeonly hermit, I like wilderness, so I searched on that. A bunch of results came up, and I selected the top one, “Hipster in the Wilderness,” which now has a green check mark next to it. (Note: One thing to keep in mind is that this site is NOT always Safe for Work. If that is an issue for you, pay careful attention when selecting the blogs to follow. You may end up with a bunch of cuss words and risque images on your screen.)That was my third blog, so now we can click Next step (underlined, above).

In the next screen, Tumblr will ask you which app you’d like. Since I don’t have a phone smart enough to use apps, I clicked I’ll get it later which is the bottom choice.

That will now bring us to the dashboard. You can see the posts of the people you’re following in the body of your dashboard. At the top, you can see the different types of posts you can make. I thought this was super convenient, because a lot of times, I just like to post photos. So, I clicked the camera icon (under the pink arrow, image below).


That opened a screen that wanted me to upload photos. I selected five. Uploading multiple photos was extremely convenient.


If I wanted to upload more photos, I could, at #1. I wrote a brief description at #2, then selected some tags in #3. Then I pressed Post (#4). Done! So easy.

If you’d rather write a post, click the Aa at the top of your dashboard and a screen will open for you.


Type in your title (#1), your body text (#2), add pictures if you’d like, enter your tags (#3), and then BE CAREFUL. The only thing about Tumblr I do not care for is that the CANCEL is where you would expect to find the POST button, on the right. If you click the dropdown arrow next to Post, you will get a number of different options. Very convenient. If you’re good to go, just click Post. And you’re done. It’s that easy:


The best thing I like about Tumblr is how easy sharing is. Just go to the bottom of this post (okay, or any post, but really, you should do this one to show your appreciation to me for all the awesome things I do for you for free…), and click the dropdown arrow next to the share button. A tiny new window will open. Click the t for Tumblr.

mr pish app share

That will open a new window for you, with the title and link to the article already filled in. All you have to do is type in your description (if you want – #1) and then click Create post (#2). It is that easy to share a post and create content for your blog. See published post below.

mr pish shared

Of course, as with WordPress and Blogger, you can customize the look of your blog. I found it a lot easier to do on Tumblr than it was with either of those. Now I know why all the hipsters are on Tumblr. It’s slick, fast, and easy. We can go into customizing your blog at another time, if you want. Right now, this old girl needs a nap.

Now get your Tumblr blog set up – tomorrow we’re going to have a follow-fest!

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

17 thoughts on “Tumblr Tutorial: Get Up and Running”

  1. I agree. I switched from WordPress to Tumblr some months ago. I like it better and it connects nicely to my WIX website, fettigrewhall.com

  2. I LOVE these tutorials. (Did I tell you yet today, how much I love Indies Unlimited?) The instructions are so easy to follow and even I, an over-loaded scatterbrain find them so very useful! If I were to set up a Tumblr account, is there a tutorial on how to untangle my domain name from the wordpress site, which it presently is attached to, to the new Tumblr blog that I would have?

    1. Hi Dianne, well, we love you, too! And sorry, but I am too new to Tumblr to know how to do anything like that. I think for a web site that has static pages as well as a blog, WordPress may still be the way to go. But for quick sharing, you can’t beat Tumblr. I know there is a plugin for WordPress that automatically publishes WordPress posts to Tumblr, but I haven’t messed with that yet. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  3. You can actually skip the add three blogs step, same as with twitter. Just change the address bar to tumblr.com and you won’t see that screen again. 😀

  4. Thank you! K.S. Brooks. You explained it. I understand it now. I’ve had an account for a while, but I did not know how to use it. Now I do. Well…I’m bookmarking this so I can refer to it.

  5. I had a Tumblr account last year, and loved it….for a few months. I liked the vibrant look and ease of use. I didn’t like how hard it was to attract readership, but the lack of followers/readers didn’t worry me too much, as I had my WordPress blog linked. Then an ‘incident’ happened that made me close my account on principle…and to protect my author-branding.

    Someone re-posted one of my WordPress posts – a pre-release promo for my novel. Good you say? No, not at all. It was a hard-core porn site. Until that moment, I didn’t know Tumblr was infected with that sort of material. I’m no prude, I’m a believer in each-to-their-own. But I’m not talking a few nudey pics here. I’m talking gifs, videos and stills of extreme stuff that would make your eyes pop.

    Anyway, I soon learnt that there was nothing I could do about it. My blog post was stuck in the middle of some graphic images. You see, Tumblr has a strong ethos of ‘freedom of speech’, which means that there is no way to complain or report offensive material – even if it impact on you. Then I started investigating, and found the countless stories from parents whose children had innocently stumbled across graphic images. After all, its where the all young ones hang out.

    From their response, it was evident that Tumblr is not interested in measures that protect minors from stumbling across hard-core porn and graphic violence. Who knows what their policies on cyber-bullying are? Or the other forms of abuse found on social media – racism, sexism and other ‘isms’. I found nothing to assure me that they have at least the same checks as FB, twitter etc – which is a worry.

    The only way I could stop my blog (and novel) from being associated with those images was to delete my whole account on Tumblr. I did that willingly, because frankly I don’t want to be associated with a platform that does not take responsibility for protecting minors, nor demonstrates good social consciousness.

    Rant over

    1. That’s good to know, Karen. We were forewarned about the NSFW contingent in the first post, and I noticed some of it while trying to find the three blogs to follow as I started out. I’ll keep my eyes open. Sorry to hear of your experience, but thanks for sharing it.

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