Tumblr Vs WordPress: Which One To Use For A Blog?

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Two of the popular blogging platforms are Tumblr and WordPress.

This is the guide for you if you’re wondering about the differences between the two and trying to figure out which one is the right one for your blog. Let’s get started with the Tumblr vs WordPress comparison.

Tumblr Vs WordPress: What’s the difference infographic

Tumblr vs WordPress comparison

Tumblr Vs WordPress: Why I recommend WordPress

I have heard, seen and experienced many wonderful benefits achieved by running a blog. My projects have made an amazing difference for me in my life and career.

That’s why I prefer to use the platform that gives me the full control and freedom.

So for the question of Tumblr vs WordPress, I recommend you go with WordPress on your own domain name and hosting too.

Similar issue you may have with other hosted platforms such as Blogspot. Take a look at my Blogger vs WordPress comparison post for those details.

I run all my projects on WordPress and more than 75 million other bloggers and brands do so too. It’s the most used blogging platform.

Tumblr is more of a social media network rather than a blog publishing platform and it can be used to find visitors and build an audience for your main blog.

In order to get started with WordPress, you need to have a web server to host all your content and make it all available for anyone with an internet access.

Which host should you use? There are many capable and affordable hosting providers.

The host that I recommend is the one that I personally use and am a paying customer for over a number of years.

The link below is my affiliate link. Simply put, if you click on my affiliate link and start your blog, I earn a commission, yet you don’t pay any extra. You even get a discount.

Click here to visit Bluehost and start your WordPress blog.

They have the easiest setup process possible. It will take you about 5 minutes to get your site online with the 1-click WordPress install feature.

They offer a free domain name, 24/7 live support and even WordPress recommends them. More than 2 million blogs WordPress sites are hosted there and you can get started at $2.95 per month.

Here’s the 10 step process on how to start a blog:
  1. Visit Bluehost and click “Get started now.
  2. Select the “Basic” plan at $2.95 per month. It’s recommended for beginner bloggers.
  3. Type in your chosen domain name and click on “Next“.
  4. Bluehost tries to upsell several other services such as SEO help and these combined can add about $9 extra to your monthly cost. All these are unnecessary so I recommend you deselect them all. To get the lowest price you need to sign up for 36 months. The total price for having your blog up and running for 3 full years is $106.20.
  5. Fill in your personal information, your payment details and click on “Submit“.
  6. Your account is now open. Set your Bluehost account password on this page.
  7. Now it’s time to install your blog. Click on “WordPress Tools” in the top menu.
  8. Fill in your blog’s name, the username/password combination you want to use and click on “Install WordPress“. You’ll be able to change any of these at a later stage too.
  9. It will take a minute to set up your blog and you’ll get an email with the subject line “New WordPress Site” when it’s done.
  10. Congratulations! You now officially own a domain name and your blog is live. Anyone can access it by going to yourdomain.com. You can go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ and explore the WordPress admin section.

Thank you for your support!

Steps to using Tumblr to complement your main blog

As mentioned in the infographic above, instead of choosing Tumblr vs WordPress you should get both of them to work together. This combination could be more powerful for you than using either of them on its own.

Tumblr might not be up to WordPress standards in terms of content control, ownership and freedom but its positives can still be used to complement your main WordPress blog.

People rightly consider Tumblr not as a publishing platform but more of a social network. See the list of other blog sites here.

You should see Tumblr as another distribution platform and get the most out of its social properties to help you drive attention and traffic to your content. This is especially important if you’re targeting a younger audience.

And even more important if you’re targeting a female audience.

According to Pew Research Center only 10% of Internet users are on Tumblr, but 23% of teenage girls are, compared with 5 % of teenage boys. This is how you get the powerful combination of Tumblr and WordPress:

Setup your Tumblr profile

  • Create your Tumblr profile.
  • Fill in your full details.
  • Find a nice looking design.
  • Make sure to include a link back to your main WordPress blog and your other social media profiles from your Tumblr sidebar and biography section.

Follow and interact with other curators

First part of getting an audience on Tumblr is following other sites.

  • Find people who curate content about things relevant to what you are doing, explore their content and follow them.
  • Don’t just follow but interact as well.
  • “Like” the content that you love, “reblog” posts that you find interesting. This way you will be getting attention from Tumblr users that you have shared content from.

Publish visual post excerpts with links to your main site

Publish your post excerpts, interesting facts and quotes, and pictures on Tumblr and link back to the full article on your main WordPress blog.

Tumblr content is generally very visually appealing, it has to look good and be eye-catching to grab the attention. Use images, GIF’s, quotes on images, infographics and videos.

Tag your content properly

Tags are key getting your content to be discovered by a wider audience on Tumblr. Tag everything you do and do not be afraid to tag each post with a large number of relevant keywords.

Collect popular keywords by visiting the “Explore” section, seeing what tags other people are using and searching for different keywords.

There you can discover trending searches, trending blogs, content that’s trending, staff picks and so much more.

Aim to publish content that’s tagged with the relevant and trending tags that you have discovered.

Use a WordPress plugin to automate this process

If you prefer to save some time steps 3 and 4 can actually be automated thanks to one of the great WordPress plugins.

The plugin you should activate is Tumblr Crosspostr. It allows you to automatically cross-post your WordPress blog posts to your Tumblr blog.

The plugin fits perfectly for this strategy as it also optimizes your posts for Tumblr by either importing your existing WordPress tags or by allowing you to choose which tags to add to your post on Tumblr.

Easy option that will make your more productive.

Moving from Tumblr to WordPress: A Step-By-Step Guide

For people who are ready to switch their main blog from Tumblr to WordPress, there is a free Importer plugin that migrates all your posts and content.

The process is all done in the browser, takes only few minutes of your time and you do not need any tech know-how. This is the step-by-step process:

  1. In your WordPress admin go into Tools – Import
  2. Click “Tumblr” to install Importer plugin that imports the content from your Tumblr
  3. In the “Install Importer” pop-up click “Install Now”
  4. Importer is now being installed. When done click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”
  5. Type in your Tumblr login details and click “Connect To Tumblr”
  6. Select which WordPress user should be listed as the author of imported posts and click “Import This Blog”

The process of importing your Tumblr content to your WordPress has now started.

It will take few minutes depending on how much content you have, so do wait a bit and click on “Refresh View” to see the status of how many posts, drafts and pages have been imported from Tumblr.

When the import has finished you can see all your Tumblr posts on your new WordPress blog.

Note that your old likes and reblogs won’t be imported as that is part of the Tumblr network and cannot be replicated on your new home.

Tumblr – summary

Tumblr looks and functions more like a social media network than a content publishing platform.

It makes it easy for people to follow other people and post their own short updates, pictures, videos and quotes in a very simple interface.

  • Tumblr is all about curation of content – you go to explore, like, repost and share content other people have created
  • Posts are normally short, don’t have too many words but include a lot of visual and multimedia aspects such as images and videos
  • It allows you to follow and connect with like-minded people
  • Your domain name is something like yoursite.tumblr.com
  • The process of buying and setting up your own domain name cannot be done directly from Tumblr interface but can be done via a domain registrar
  • There is a decent range of different design themes – some free, some premium
  • There are no plugins for you to add additional features and functionality
  • In case you’re into HTML or CSS you have the option for limited customisation of the themes
  • There are very limited options for monetizing your blog. You can use Google Adsense.
  • Including affiliate links in your content will get you banned as Tumblr terminates blogs with “spam or affiliate marketing”

WordPress – summary

WordPress is a very flexible platform that gives you full control and ownership in terms of the way you run your blog, everything from the look and feel, the way you publish and present your content and to the way you monetize it.

The brilliant thing about WordPress is the large community of people modifying it and adding to it. Open source thrives on ideas from the community and WordPress benefits from that.

There is a hosted and a self-hosted version of WordPress. WordPress.org (self-hosted) is the home of the platform, while WordPress.com is the hosted version.

The difference between the two is like owning or renting a house. See my WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for full details.

I use and recommend the self-hosted WordPress.org where you actually own and control your blog.

  • WordPress is all about creation of content – it is mostly used for the creation of new and original content.
  • You have the complete control and own your blog
  • You need to get your own domain name and a hosting server
  • You can monetize any way that you wish
  • You can edit the database and modify different CSS and PHP files and codes
  • Access to thousands of free designs that can help you create a unique looking blog
  • Access to thousands of plugins that help you add any feature and functionality
  • Several Tumblr styled designs and plugins to turn your WordPress into Tumblr-like blog

This is it. Everything you needed to figure out about Tumblr vs WordPress and which is the right choice for your blog.

Marko Saric

HowToMakeMyBlog is my blog for anyone who runs their own site – or wants to. Here I write instructions and guides for you to start blogging and get visitors using content, search and social media marketing. Learn more about me and contact me.