Tumblr has been on a dramatic downhill slide since announcing policy changes in late 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, the traffic to Tumblr has declined by 30%.
This is your guide if you’re looking for a list of Tumblr alternatives. I’ve listed and reviewed 16 blogging platform alternatives.
Depending on the type of content you plan to publish, please do review the terms and conditions of the individual platform to make sure it fits your needs.
Let’s get started. Here’s what to use instead of Tumblr.
Here are the best Tumblr alternatives:
WordPress.org: The recommended Tumblr alternative
WordPress is an open-source blogging platform that allows you complete control and ownership over your blog and the content that you post. You are fully in charge.
WordPress is a powerful and open-source alternative to Tumblr. With WordPress you are fully in charge. You completely own and control your content.
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 best Tumblr alternative, I recommend you go with self-hosted WordPress on your own domain name and hosting too.
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.
How to start your WordPress 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 WordPress hosting service 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.
Visit Bluehost and start your WordPress blog now.
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.
Thank you for your support!Here are the easy steps you should take to start a blog:
- Visit Bluehost and click “Get started now“.
- Select the “Basic” plan at $2.95 per month. It’s recommended for beginner bloggers.
- On the “sign up now” page, type in your chosen new domain name and click on “Next“.
- On the “Create your account” page, fill in your personal information.
- Further down the page, select your account plan. All the “extra” packages such as site security and SEO help are unnecessary, so I recommend you deselect them all.
- Next up add your payment details. If you’d like to pay with PayPal you can click on “more payment options”. Then tick the “I have read and agree to Bluehost’s terms of service…” and click on “Submit“
- Your account is now open. You will shortly receive a couple of confirmation emails. The “WHOIS verification” email needs your attention. You need to click on the “Verify your email” button to confirm.
- Click on the “Log in” button. Bluehost displays several design themes on the “Pick a theme that inspires you” screen. You can do this later, so I recommend you click on the “Skip this step” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Your WordPress blog is being set up now. It may take a couple of moments so do hold tight until you see the “All done!” message. You’ll get an email with the subject line “New WordPress Site” too. Now click on the “Start building” button.
- On the “Welcome to WordPress” page, click on “I don’t need help” button. On the following screen click on the “Launch” button to launch your site.
- Congratulations! You now officially own a domain name and your blog is live. Anyone can access it by going to yourdomain.com. You can enter your WordPress admin dashboard by going to yourdomain.com/login.
Here are all the other alternatives to Tumblr:
What is it: Open-source and decentralized social network. No ads, no tracking and no censorship.
What is it: A very popular social network with a large and loyal audience.
What is it: A social network for artists where you can share your content and follow others.
What is it: Global community of artists and creators. Built by artists, for artists.
What is it: A social network without ads and spyware. Your personal data and content is yours and only yours.
What is it: Community committed to free speech, gender equality and privacy rights.
What is it: Online community for artists and other creatives.
What is it: You probably already have an account at this social network.
Ghost: A good blog alternative to Tumblr
Price: Free to self-host.
What is it: Open-source, non-profit, transparent and independent blogging platform.
Posthaven: Small, self-sustaining blogging platform
Price: $5 per month.
What is it: From the founders of blogging platform Posterous which was acquired by Twitter and shut down. It’s a simple blogging platform with a pledge that they will last forever, are not looking for investors and have a self-sustaining business model.
Listed: Privacy and cryptocurrency integration
Price: Free. Needs a premium subscription of $34.99/year if you want to connect your own domain name.
What is it: Open-source, minimal and no-interface blogging platform using the end-to-end encrypted privacy writing app Standard Notes to post your articles.
Write.as: Built with strong privacy principles
Price: Free. $0.83 per month for the ability to add your own domain name.
What is it: Ad-free, distraction-free and independent blogging platform funded by its customers. It’s built around privacy with strong principles and your identity as a blogger is being kept confidential.
What is it: Hosted version of WordPress.org software. Feature restricted and ad-based free version.
What is it: Commercial platform launched in 2012. A place to publish your writing.
What is it: Commercial platform.
Blogger is one of the early blogging platforms later acquired by Google. Easy to start, easy to use with a decent selection of design themes.
See also my list of 40+ of the best blog sites here.
How to move your Tumblr content to WordPress
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:
- In your WordPress admin go into Tools – Import
- Click “Tumblr” to install Importer plugin that imports the content from your Tumblr
- In the “Install Importer” pop-up click “Install Now”
- Importer is now being installed. When done click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”
- Type in your Tumblr login details and click “Connect To Tumblr”
- 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 Vs WordPress: What’s the difference infographic
Tumblr – summary of pros and cons
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 of pros and cons
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
Steps to using Tumblr to complement your main blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is it. Everything you needed to figure out about Tumblr vs WordPress and why WordPress is a great Tumblr alternative and a right choice for your blog.