How to Use Tumblr for Blogging: 5 Easy Steps

In this guide, I walk you through starting a microblog by using Tumblr, one of the most popular microblogging services out there. Tumblr ( is hosted blog software, which means that you don’t need to have web hosting, a domain name, or anything more than the capability to access the website in order to get started.

1. Signing Up

Signing up and getting started are simple processes. To begin blogging on Tumblr, just follow these steps:

  1. Point your web browser to The main Tumblr page opens.
  2. Type your email address into the Email Address text box.
  3. Type a password of your choice into the Password text box.
  4. Type a username.
  5. Click the Signup button
  6.  Provide your age and accept the Tumblr terms of service.
  7. Verify that you are not a robot by clicking the box.

2. Creating a Text Post

Tumblr allows you to create blog posts by using text, photos, quotes, links, chat excerpts, audio files, and video. I show you how to post entries that include some of these different elements in the following sections.

Create a quick text post in your Tumblr blog by following these steps:

  1. Click the Text Post icon (a capital and lowercase letter A) on your Tumblr dashboard. Tumblr displays the Add a Text Post page.
  2. (Optional) Give your blog post a title in the Title field.
  3. Type the text of your blog post in the Post field. Use as much or as little text as you want.

If you’re ready, you can post to your blog right now by clicking Publish, or you can spend a little time making your post fancy. In the following section, you can find out about the options.

Formatting your blog post

Tumblr, like most blog software, gives you the ability to format your blog post while you create it. The icons appear above the content field, when you highlight the content, enabling you to format what you’ve written.

Tumblr uses a WYSIWG (what you see is what you get) interface, which shows you the effect of a tool in your blog post right when you apply it. This list describes each of the available tools (following the order of the icons from left to right):

  • Bold: Make any text in your blog post bold by clicking and dragging over the text that you want to affect and then clicking the Bold icon. The selected text is made bold.
  • Italic: Italicize any text in your blog post by clicking and dragging over the text that you want to affect and then clicking the Italic icon. The selected text is then shown in italics.
  • Heading: This transforms your content into a larger font, appropriate for a section heading within your post.
  • Insert/Edit Link: Make any text or image in your blog a clickable link to any website.
  • Strikethrough: This style is commonly applied to text that you need to correct. Click and drag over the text that you want to affect and then click the Strikethrough icon. The selected text is then made strikethrough. 
  • Ordered List: In web browsers, ordered lists usually appear as numbered lists. You can most easily use this tool by typing each list item into your blog post on a separate line. Click and drag to select all the items; then click the Ordered List icon. 
  • Unordered List: In web browsers, unordered lists are usually displayed as bulleted lists (like this list you’re reading right now). You can most easily use this tool by typing each list item into your blog post on a separate line. Click and drag to select all the items; then click the Unordered List icon.

Use the tools described in the preceding list to format your text, and when you’re ready, read the following section to see how to add an image to your text blog post.

Adding an image to your post

Blog posts are more fun with photos! If you want to add an image to a text blog post on your Tumblr blog, you can upload a digital image directly from your computer. Simply click the plus sign next to your Text Post window to make the toolbar appear. Click the camera icon and select an image file from your computer.

Uploading pictures that don’t belong to you? Don’t forget to respect copyright law!

Adding links to your post 

Links add a lot of value to a blog post by giving your readers the resources to explore a topic further or find more information about your discussion or idea. As long as you link to useful information, don’t hesitate to add links to your posts.

You can add links to both text and images. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the text or click an image in your blog post.
  2. Click the Link tool (it’s a small piece of chain). Tumblr opens the Insert/Edit Link window.
  3. Type or paste a URL into the Link URL text box.
  4. Click the Done button to add the link to the text or photo in your blog post

If you want to remove a link that you’ve created, you can easily do it. Simply click the text or photo on which you placed a link, and then click the Link tool.

Publishing your post

When you finish everything that you want to do to your blog post, it’s time to publish! Simply click the Post button, and your post appears on your blog for others to view. 

Click the Publish drop-down list to save your post without publishing it or to set a date in the future to launch it. You don’t need to be sitting in front of a computer in order to post to your Tumblr blog! You can also post via email, app, and even phone call.

3. Creating Non-Text Tumblr Posts

Loving the idea of diving into the blogging world without spending huge amounts of time on content creation? Want to share your creativity with the world without writing a ton of text? 

One of the best-loved features of Tumblr is the ability for users to create quick content that requires little time and little-to-no writing whatsoever! 

Tumblr posting menu allows you to select from the seven types of posts available to your Tumblr blog. These seven types include the following:

  • Text: As covered in previous sections, text posts on Tumblr are very similar to traditional blog posts both in creation and in appearance to readers. 
  • Photo: The perfect post style for the budding photographer, photo posts allow you to post one photo or a set of images in blog post form. 
  • Quote: Want to share a quote from a favorite movie or book? Publish an original poem? Inspired by a famous quote? The quote post style is often used for these very reasons.
  • Link: It is possible to simply share a URL with the Tumblr-reading world! 
  • Chat: Although this post type is called Chat, it is not actually a place for Tumblr users to engage in conversation. The purpose of this type of post is to copy and paste a chat that you had online via another platform. 
  • Audio: Have something to say to the world and don’t feel like typing it? Tumblr audio posts are a way to do just that. 
  • Video: Have something to say to the world, don’t feel like typing it, and don’t mind if the world sees you? Tumblr video posts allow you to share your favorite videos with your readers — or viewers!

Love something that you see on another Tumblr blog? Unlike traditional blogging where you should never consider grabbing another blogger’s content and posting it on your site, Tumblr users often reblog each other’s content. Every Tumblr blog post has a reblog button in the bottom right-hand corner, which you can use to place that content on your blog. Reblog away!

4. Customizing How Your Blog Looks

This section introduces you to the customization options for your Tumblr blog. You can change the look and feel of the blog, as well as some of the functionality. Adding your own touches really personalizes a blog and makes it feel more like home. 

Get to the appearance customization options by clicking your blog’s avatar to the left of your post creation taskbar.

Your blog is now in edit mode. Click Edit appearance to do the following:

  • Blog Avatar: Change or hide your blog’s avatar. 
  • Accent color: Change the accent color on your Tumblr blog. 
  • Background color: Change the background color of your blog’s posts.

Want to make additional changes? To customize additional appearance settings by selecting a new theme, follow these steps:

  • Select the person icon on your Tumblr blog’s taskbar
  • Select the blog you would like to customize.
  • Click Edit appearance. A new window will appear.
  • Click Edit theme.

Within this setting, you can change everything from your header image to your font style. Get started changing the appearance of your blog by choosing one of the design themes that Tumblr automatically provides. Tumblr offers nearly hun- dreds of free options. If you’re good with HTML, you can also create your own custom theme.

5. Configuring Your Settings

As mentioned earlier, there are some macro-level settings for your Tumblr blog that you might want to consider customizing as well. You can access these set- tings by clicking the person icon in your Tumblr Dashboard and then clicking the gear icon in the menu.

The settings you can tweak include the following:

  • Email: Change the email associated with your blog.
  • Password: Change your account’s password.
  • Dial-a-post: Associate a phone number with your account in order to call in posts from your phone.
  • Language: Select the language for your blog.

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