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Tips for Creating Your Own Tumblrpony Blog

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Welcome! This article has been written to assist those looking to create their own Tumblrpony blogs. While most of this information is relevant to new users, older ones may still find something useful. Below is a guide to setting up the blog, as well as a few tips, and pitfalls to watch out for. However, remember while reading that, it is the differences and diversity among the many Tumblrponies that make them all so interesting and unique in their own way. Use the advice below as a guideline, and don't be afraid to do your own thing!

If you're running a Tumblrpony blog yourself, feel free to jump in and contribute. Every piece of advice helps!

Is running a Tumblr pony blog for me?Edit

Good question! Making and running a Tumblrpony blog can be a lot of fun, and can introduce you to a diverse and friendly community. But to make the most of it, you'll need to put some time and effort into it!

You'll also need to be reasonably happy to interact with and learn from others. No one's perfect, and to improve your blog, you'll need to put some time and effort into it. Having an original idea that stands out from other blogs is a big help too. But remember, if you have a particular theme or character in mind; make sure you have enough ideas to last a while!

Remember that running a blog is, and should be fun, for you, and hopefully your readers! So don't be afraid to take a few risks, but don't get too invested either.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, read on!

Setting Up TumblrEdit

Those familiar with the Tumblr interface may wish to skip the first few steps. For newbies, keep reading!

First StepsEdit

The website this all takes place on is the blogging site Tumblr, at www.tumblr.com. To create your first blog, click "Sign Up", you'll need to enter an email, password, and username, these can all be changed later however.  You will also be asked to provide your age as well as a security Captcha.
Tumblr Sign-Up

Wow, thats good use of space...

This username should probably represent either your Mod Blog or Main Character Blog and will be used as your blog URL. Each has their own advantages, but most use the latter.

Usernames usually start with ask and then the name of the character. If you're picking a popular character then the name will most likely be taken. You can try adding replies to the end, adding dashes, or come up with something different. Remember that this doesn't even have to be a pony!

Examples:

  • asktwilightsparkle
  • ask-twilight-sparkle
  • twilightsparklereplies
  • twilightanswers

This username will be your main blog URL and your name on Tumblr. Your blog will be accessible at username.tumblr.com, and any questions your ask will be in that username. This URL can be changed at any time, but if you've been around for a while, it's not recommended!

DashboardEdit

Dashboard

After signing up, you'll be present with the option to follow some blogs and find people you know. Feel free to do any of these. Following people means that every post they make will end up on their dashboard (similar to a Twitter feed or Facebook stream). This is the main way people keep up to date with blogs on Tumblr.

After that, you'll be presented with a view of the dashboard. The header will have various options for making posts, labelled Text, Photo, etc. To the left is a picture of your avatar (usually the default face), and an option to pick an avatar. Usually an avatar contains a picture of the characters (or characters) along with a red bubble. Check out some of the blogs on this wiki for examples!

Hint: Make creating an attractive (or dramatic, or scary) avatar your first task. It's the way your blog will be represented in questions to other blogs, so demonstrating your skill and style here can attract new readers.

On posts there will usually be a number, two arrows, and a heart button. The numbers represent notes and is an indication of how many people interact with a certain post. The two arrows are for reblogging, taking that post and putting it on your blog, usually adding a comment along with it, and is the main way to comment and share things on Tumblr. The heart is for liking a post, liking is the main way people know what they're doing is good, so make sure to like things you like!

SettingsEdit

Clicking the gear icon at the top of the page will bring you to the settings page, where you can configure any of Tumblr's settings. Those of note are some Browse tag pages in Safe Mode and Add Explore posts to my Dashboard under the dashboard heading. Under email you can setup email notifications for any new followers, replies, or messages you get.

Hint: New follower and message emails can be really encouraging for new authors, and are a good way to prompt you to work on the blog. Just remember that you can turn these off when you become Tumblr-famous; your inbox will thank you!

Clicking on your blog name will allow you to configure it. From here you can change the URL, allow asks, share to Twitter, etc. Feel free to experiment with settings and see what they do.

PostingEdit

Every post on Tumblr is either a 'Text', 'Photo', 'Quote', 'Link', 'Chat', 'Audio' or 'Video' post

  • In 'Text', you can put a title, and a large amount of text, along with some pictures.
  • In 'Photo', you can upload up to 10 pictures in one post. Placing the same picture multiple times is allowed and you'll have options on how the images are positioned and presented.
  • In 'Quote', you can simple add a phrase or quote, and then a source to say who it was by.
  • In 'Link', you can place a single link as a large title, and a description that is similar to a Text post.
  • In 'Chat', you can post a chat log, and it will presented in a table format.
  • In 'Audio', you can post any MP3 file, up to 10 MB.
  • In 'Video', you can either embed a video from a video site, or upload you own one. Your own videos are restricted to 5 minutes a day, and 100MB limit per file.
To the right of nearly every post option are some additional options allowing for tags, saving as draft, queuing (putting your posts on a delay), sending to twitter, allowing replies, etc. Feel free to test out posting things; you can always delete the posts later!
What to Post...

Questions and AnswersEdit

The most common way to create content for the blog is to allow your followers, and anyone else, to ask you questions. To activate this feature, go to your settings, and then click your blog's name. Under "Ask", check the box labelled "Let people ask questions", and consider adding a custom title to the page.

Hint: The custom ask title appears just on the homepage and above the question entry box. Consider choosing a phrase your pony would say when asking for questions!

Think carefully before checking "Allow anonymous questions". This allows anyone on the internet to send you messages, even non-Tumblr users. You will likely get far more questions, but may risk a higher number of offensive, abusive, or otherwise unpleasant messages. A pop-up message will warn you of this if you proceed. Younger, shy, or sensitive users may want to keep this unchecked, at least at first.

Any question you are asked can be replied to, and you may reply either publically or privately (although Anonymous questions cannot be replied to privately). You can check your current asks by clicking the letter icon at the top.

Most drawn ask blogs do not use the inbuilt Tumblr answering system. Instead, take a screenshot of the question ("Print Screen" on most keyboards) and then use the image in a Photo post, along with their answer. If you only need to respond with text however, most of the time you can just use the Answer button.
Ask

When you logged into Tumblr, you can ask questions either as the account you logged into (be aware if you are switching between accounts) or as an 'Anonymous' ask, if the option is allowed.  Funnily enough, you are even able to ask yourself a question, if you are bored or wanted to have their 'thinking' potrayed.

SubmissionsEdit

As well as receiving questions, you can choose to allow "Submissions" by checking "Let people submit posts", in below the "Ask" settings. This allows anyone to send any of the permitted media to you. Here people can contribute everything from art, to music, or text.

Some popular blogs untick or close their ask box when they have too many questions. Using submissions to then try to ask questions is frowned upon.

ThemesEdit

Even though people usually see posts through their dashboard, clicking through to your blog will present people with a regular looking blog. Tumblr allows you to change the look of this extensively through use of themes.
Customise

To change your theme, go to settings , click on your blog name, and then click "Customize". This will present you with a preview of your blog, and a whole host of options. Many themes have many different options, so play around until you get something you're happy with. Adding an appropriate Title and Description is something everyone should do however.

Mod BlogsEdit

Tumblrponies often create a Moderator Blog or 'Mod Blog' to go with their character or characters. This allows you to blog as yourself (posting unrelated things, reblogging other things, drawing other artwork, and so forth) without disrupting the flow of your main blog. This extra Tumblr can be an entirely new account or through 'side blogs'.

Usually, people tend to make separate accounts on Tumblr and then put a link to each other. This allows you to ask and receive questions as your Tumblr character, and as yourself.

However, some people might find the account switching to be inconvenient, and instead want to make a 'side blog'. Side blogs can still receive Asks and Submissions, but you cannot send them under that name, and your main blogs name will be used instead.

To create a side blog, click your main blogs name on the dashboard, and then underneath click "Create a new blog". You'll be able to pick a title and a URL for your new blog.

You should now know how to mostly work Tumblr! If you're still confused, try searching around the web for an answer, or even try asking around on this wiki.

Running Your BlogEdit

From this point, you should have decided upon a character or theme, and a format. Both are fairly central to a blog.

FormatEdit

For format, you can either be a Text based blog, a Roleplay blog, an Audio blog, a Drawn blog, a mixture, or something completely different.

Some examples:

  • A Text blog usually responds to questions In Character, as your character would reply to the question. Many like telling a story, or simply acting out their character.
  • A Roleplay blog usually interacts with other blogs In Character.
  • An Audio blog usually responds in the voice of the characters or adds audio to replies
  • A Drawn blog usually responds with artwork or drawn images, with the characters acting as they usually would.

The majority of blogs are either exclusively Drawn or rely heavily on drawn content. Not to say you can't make a non-drawn blog, but it will be difficult establishing yourself if you do anything else.

Something else to consider is if your blog will be story based, instructed, or more loosely connected. For more examples, check the main page of this wiki!

Hint: Story blogs are often best read chronologically! See Tips from Others below for some great tips and tricks.

Another decision is being a SFW (Safe For Work) or NSFW (Not Safe For Work/Explicit) blog. Most blogs are SFW, but if you wish to make a NSFW, make sure to check the NSFW option in your blog settings, and to mention that you blog is NSFW in the description.

Updating and FrequencyEdit

Many people have an idea for a blog that initially is very exciting, and ideas come very easily. However, over time, these blogs slow or even stop completely. In terms of frequency, keeping a regular schedule (weekly, twice weekly, etc.) helps motivate some people, but serves as a grind to other. Just make sure that you're comfortable with however you're going about it.

Don't be afraid about taking breaks, not answering all your questions, or even not answering a question you have no ideas for.

FollowersEdit

The main way people view your blog is as a follower, with your posts showing up on their dashboard. The amount of followers you have it shown to only you. Some blogs celebrate when they reach certain milestones (100, 1000, etc.). If you're just starting out, don't let that discourage you, if you bring something interesting, you're likely to have people notice you!

RebloggingEdit

Most blogs do not reblog posts on their main blog unless they are somewhat related to it (crossovers, fanart, etc.) and people are generally looking for original content, rather than a repost of someone else’s.

Reblogging things on a Mod Blog is usually fine however.

Getting NoticedEdit

No matter how good your content, if people don't know about it, it's not going to be seen! Some ways of getting your blog out there are:

There are other ways to go about it, just remember to have fun doing it!

Advice from TumblrponiesEdit

  1. If you're planning on making your own character (an OC, or Original Character), one thing you should avoid is making them a Mary Sue. A Mary Sure is a usually a character universally loved, with incredible powers outstripping everyone else, or just the best at everything they do. While a Mary Sue might not be 'perfect', their flaws are usually incredibly minor compared to their massive advantages. Making a balanced, but interesting character is key. This link gives some advice, but searching around for ways of developing a good character is also useful.
  2. The Pun Pony Project offers a list of useful tips for new Tumblrponies. Amongst other things, they discuss whether or not running a Tumblrpony is right for you, recommendations on reblogging and scheduling, and how to avoid losing followers.
  3. Muted Grey offers a long post full of good advice. This includes recommendations to continually improve your artwork and co-operate with other blogs, tips on how to keep followers - and a stern instruction to make sure you enjoy yourself! A few tips on how to run a text-only blog are included too, although these types of blogs are significantly less popular.

Tips from OthersEdit

Post your advice here! Try to sign off with a signature, if you can.

  1. It may not be a good idea to publish everything about your pony on this very wiki. Unless you plan to make this place a developer's diary of some sort, it might be better to let the viewers get to know your pony from the tumblr itself. That way the readers will feel more engaged and can relate on a more personal level to the tumblr pony better as more about them are known.
  2. If you run a story based blog, or have a general storyline, trying to read through that using the default Tumblr interface can be confusing, as Tumblr displays the newest posts first. A way around this is either by tagging all your posts with a tag (e.g. archive) and then letting people read chronologicall by linking to the tag page with /chrono (e.g EXAMPLE.tumblr.com/tagged/archive/chrono/). Erthilo (talk) 11:17, December 13, 2012 (UTC)
  3. A useful tumblr theme can be found on the Moonstuck website. The framework allows for back/foward and first/last buttons. You can find it here . Note that you will have to know how to customize you blogs HTML slightly. Erthilo (talk) 11:17, December 13, 2012 (UTC)
  4. Some blogs put links to their commission information or a donation link as a link on their Tumblr blog. If you go to your settings , and customise your blog, you can add pages and links to almost any page you want. Erthilo (talk) 11:17, December 13, 2012 (UTC)
  5. A good start is important. Try this: Start with one or two introduction posts and a good avatar. Your introduction posts should be more than just a 'hey' and should state why your character is making a tumblr account. Try to leave a little mystery and help your followers know what to ask. Then, follow five popular blogs for inspiration, and ten newer blogs. "Try searching 'ask pony, ask blog, or something similar". Ask as many of them as you can some good questions (their followers will see you if the blog answers the questions). Those blogs just might ask some questions back! Usually you can form a group of friends with blogs that start around the same time you do, because you tend to learn together. Kaybalderdash (talk) 17:39, June 17, 2013 (UTC)
  6. When making comics be sure to use word bubbles. Windows 7's mspaint has a shape tool you can use for this, two of them actually and a thought bubble version as well. This is because text will often clash with backgrounds.
  • Try to avoid color themed word bubbles or text boxes as often this can make the text very hard to look at with certain color combinations, such as blue and red. Always avoid things like blue and red text and text background combinations in any scenario. Heck, just avoid using these color combinations in general, they are tacky and painful on the eyes.
  • Center your text when using things like word bubbles. GIMP has an option to center text in it's tool options pane when using the text tool. Also make sure the crosshair is in the dead center when you move the text.
  • Remember to always make your panels around the same size, sometimes different sized panels cause the contents of one or more of the panels to get cut off and your followers may not realize they are missing something.
  • Tag your posts. This has probably been said before, but it's vital in getting your posts and blog discovered if you have no other means of doing so. Kore wa shomeidesu. (talk) 04:29, June 22, 2013 (UTC)
  • Be sure to get a post or two up BEFORE following people. They should have something to see when they check to see who followed them. Have your ask open too! Kaybalderdash (talk) 23:50, September 16, 2013 (UTC)
  • {{stub}}Here's one that's relevant right now, and comes back to presentation. Have a modblog set-up early on (a blog designed for off topic posts and reblogs) and/or have a button and tag set-up for your relevant updates. When people come to your blog, they will turn away immediately if there is a high percentage of contest entries, unrelated gifs, and even fanart compared to actual ask posts. Your ask blog functions differently then the average tumblr blog, and you should keep up appearances! Kaybalderdash (talk) 22:44, December 17, 2013 (UTC)

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