The Complete Guide to Creating Your First Tumblr Blog

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Blogs are exploding in popularity. With blogging now mainstream, services are starting to streamline the process to make it easier and funnier for aspiring bloggers. Tumblr is such a service, and aims to not only simplify the experience, but to make the end result appear as beautiful as any other blog.

Signing up for Tumblr is easy. Enter your email address, a password, and a URL you’d like for your blog. This URL is how people can visit your website — for example, you can make your URL “behavioraleconomics.tumblr.com” if you were interested in talking about behavioral economics. Usually, people choose something personally meaningful, like a nickname or a catch-phrase, or what you’d name your autobiography. Get creative!

Register for Tumblr

Creating your First Post

You might be required to enter some captcha text to prove you’re a human. Enter it, and proceed to write your first post!

Tumblr Dashboard

This is the top part of your Dashboard, where you can decide on what type of post to create. The beauty of this is that Tumblr has pre-made layouts for different types of post, and embedded flash players for audio and video.

Tumblr will prompt you to write your first post. Choose to do that, and you will reach a page that looks like this.

Tumblr Post Overview

The main body of this page is the post body, where you will write your article or blog post.

Tumblr Post Body

By default, Tumblr publishes your post. If you want to keep crafting it or if you’re not complete, you can choose to save as draft by navigating to the right of the post body. Alternatively, you can choose to add to a queue of posts, or schedule a post for later in the week. You can also save the post as private if you’d prefer to keep it hidden from public eyes.

Tumblr Publish Post

You can create tags for post. This is an often under-valued feature, and allows for easy sorting and discovery of articles with the same tags. Simply type in what you’d like your tag to say and then press the comma key. Tumblr will automatically create a tag and envelope the text in a green box, as seen below.

Tumblr Post Tags

If you want your post to have a specific URL, you can set a custom one to the right of the post body.

Tumblr Post URL

You can engage your readers and modify your writing by using a variety of different tools, such as bolding text, italicizing, using blockquotes, or inserting a link.

Tumblr Post Link

None of these tools are difficult to use. For example, if you’re inserting a link, this dialog box will pop up. Simply highlight the text you want to link to, click the Insert Link button, and input the Link URL and what you want the the link to say when a cursor hovers over it.

Tumblr Post Link

Most importantly, before you ever leave the post page, you must save your post. If you choose to publish now, the button will say Publish Post.

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Save Tumblr Post

Customizing your Tumblr Blog

You can customize your blog by first going to your blog. Visit your Dashboard and click the URL.

Tumblr Blog

Navigate to the top right of the page, and you will find the Customize and Dashboard buttons.

Customize your Tumblr blog

Select customize. You will be taken to a page with live previews of how your blog will look after modifications.

Customize your Tumblr Look

Select Info to modify the basic details of your blog, such as name and profile picture. Your profile picture will appear as the favicon of your blog.

Edit your Tumblr's Information

Also, you can input this code into your Description field. This code enables infinite scrolling, which means your older posts will keep loading as your reader scrolls down until he reaches your first post. (Your posts appear in chronological order, from most recent to earliest.)

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://proto.jp/js/tumblrAutoPager.js”></script>

You can also modify your blog’s Theme by selecting Theme. If you’re looking for a free theme, select the scrollbar and navigate to Free Themes.

Tumblr Themes

That will filter out all paid themes. From here, you can select a free theme that you like. It will preview, and you can click Use if you like it, or Cancel if you want to keep your old theme.

Select your Free Theme

Connecting with other Tumblr blogs

There are a variety of ways you can connect with other fellow Tumblr users.

Tumblr Interaction Options

For example, you can Love their posts and Reblog it. Loving a post will result in a link to the post that you can visit when you’re on your dashboard. Reblogging their post will publish their post on your Tumblr blog. Following a Tumblr user will bring their posts to your Dashboard, where you can catch up what’s on their mind.

Tumblr Dashboard

Tumblr is definitely one of the most streamlined and easiest way to blog. By interacting with other users, you’ll never run out of material to blog or reblog about. If you want to try something similar to Tumblr, Guiding Tech has already taken a look at Posterous which is also very easy to operate. You can also use Amplify to share content on Tumblr.

What are you waiting for? Start your Tumblr today. Happy blogging!

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  • Cammy

    when i click customize, it takes me to a totally different page but i need to know how to get to the one above^

    • http://hrbrt.tumlr.com/ Herbert

      Hey Cammy, Tumblr recently had a makeover. We’ve updated the screenshots and steps accordingly. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Ari

    But how do I save once it’s customized? I can’t find a save button.

  • osnapitzari

    how do i save once it’s customized?

  • Constance

    I’ve just joined Tumblr using Chrome, and I don’t think I am using the updated version, which makes watching and reading tutorials a bit difficult.. Any tips on how I can be using the latest version of Tumblr? Do I need to be using firefox maybe? Thanks!